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5 things to know for February 13: Coronavirus, Justice, 2020 Dems, Israel, oil spill

An iceberg the size of Malta broke off the Pine Island glacier in Antarctica. The glacier has lost dramatic amounts of ice over the last 25 years as the region warms due to the climate crisis.

Posted: Feb 14, 2020 7:00 AM
Updated: Feb 14, 2020 7:00 AM

Good morning, overachievers! NASA is hiring a new class of astronauts in preparation for a moon landing in the next few years.

Here's what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door.

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1. Coronavirus 

Any hopes that the Wuhan coronavirus was slowing down have been dashed after 242 deaths and 14,000 more cases of the virus were reported yesterday. The spike is partly due to the fact that doctors are now diagnosing patients based on their symptoms and not just the results of a test. However, the World Health Organization says it's common during an outbreak to adapt the definition of a case. A vast majority of cases have been confined to mainland China, but the WHO cautioned that, at this stage, the virus would "create havoc" if it reached a country with inadequate medical infrastructure. Several major events in China have been shuttered over virus fears, including Shanghai's Fashion Week and the Hong Kong and Singapore legs of the World Rugby Sevens Series. The Tokyo Olympics, however, are still on track for this summer.

2. Department of Justice  

The fallout from the Roger Stone sentencing controversy, coupled with general post-impeachment uneasiness, is boosting tensions at the Department of Justice. Attorney General William Barr is under scrutiny from DOJ colleagues and Democratic opponents for his role in requesting a lighter sentence for Stone, Trump's former associate, after the President complained. Barr has played a role in other high-profile cases of interest to Trump and regularly faces allegations of political tampering within the DOJ. The Stone incident just adds to those claims. Democrats want to investigate Barr's conduct, but Republicans say they see no reason to. However, Barr has agreed to testify before the House Judiciary Committee next month and will likely have to answer questions about the Stone sentencing and other controversies.

3. Election 2020

Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Troy Price has resigned following last week's Iowa caucus debacle. Price and other Democratic officials agreed there was no way he could continue being the head of the state's party after a glitch delayed caucus results by days. The Iowa Democratic Party will soon begin a partial recanvass of voting precincts flagged as having potentially inaccurate results. If there are no major discrepancies, the party will declare Pete Buttigieg the winner, followed closely by Bernie Sanders. Meanwhile, Democratic candidate Michael Bloomberg, who was not on the ballot in Iowa or New Hampshire, is facing backlash for a 2015 video in which he uses racially charged language to praise New York City's controversial stop-and-frisk policy. Bloomberg said the comments do not reflect his thinking now or how he led as mayor.

4. Israel

Israeli leaders are furious after the United Nations published a database of more than 100 companies it says are doing business in Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories. That kind of business activity is a no-go since the settlements are considered illegal, having been built on land captured from Jordan by Israel in the 1960s. (Israel and the US dispute these definitions.) Most of the 112 businesses listed are Israeli, but others include Motorola Solutions, General Mills, Trip Advisor and Airbnb. Israel's foreign minister said the list, which was commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council, is discriminatory against Israel. Palestinian leaders and others say it holds Israel and other nations accountable for actions in the highly contested area.

5. Deepwater Horizon

The catastrophic Deepwater Horizon oil spill that ravaged the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 was actually about 30% bigger than originally thought, according to a new study. Researchers say layers of "invisible and toxic oil" that weren't detectable by satellites made the spill much worse than it appeared. This oil was discovered using computer simulations, and the results suggest that satellites and other observation equipment now in use may not be enough to properly determine the magnitude of oil spills. The 2010 spill began after a deadly explosion on a BP-contracted Transocean Ltd. Deepwater Horizon rig and is considered one of the worst environmental disasters in US history.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Astronaut Christina Koch shares her life advice: 'Do what scares you'

Well, she nailed it, because going into space is pretty scary.

Biggest turtle that ever lived had a 10-foot shell and horns 

If we're supposed to "do what scares us," the world's about to get a whole new wave of herpetologists.

Homeowners wanted the Tate Modern art museum's viewing platform closed because people could see into their windows

High-end real estate squabble aside, this is the angriest pair of buildings we've ever seen.

Mushrooms are the new trendy produce item 

Try using that line on your picky eater. 

KFC and Crocs have created a clog printed with fried chicken, with a charm that smells like fried chicken

So, are we trying to usher in the apocalypse?

TODAY'S QUOTE

"Black diamond, it's the toughest of the stones, of the diamonds, to cut. It's hard to hurt, to destroy. In my recent years, I've come to realize that I'm incredibly strong."

Janet Jackson, explaining the inspiration for her newly announced "Black Diamond" album and world tour

TODAY'S NUMBER

116 

The size, in square miles, of the iceberg that just broke off Pine Island Glacier on the edge of Antarctica. That's roughly the same area as the city of Atlanta or the entire country of Malta.

TODAY'S WEATHER

AND FINALLY

Faster than the speed of sound 

Want to see (and hear) an incredible example of a shock wave? Don't blink. (Click here to view.)

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 793065

Reported Deaths: 15189
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2621336401
Riverside574821172
San Bernardino52873908
Orange523821150
San Diego45147765
Kern31572354
Fresno27843362
Sacramento21628383
Alameda20748390
Santa Clara20587299
San Joaquin20019421
Stanislaus16398339
Contra Costa16056201
Tulare15687256
Ventura12477146
Imperial11606314
San Francisco1086599
San Mateo9625144
Monterey956869
Santa Barbara8930110
Merced8820137
Kings753477
Sonoma7160120
Marin6613113
Solano619457
Madera442465
Placer350742
San Luis Obispo343827
Butte276940
Yolo276554
Santa Cruz22768
Sutter167910
Napa164113
San Benito131211
Yuba11307
El Dorado10744
Mendocino87518
Lassen7350
Shasta72414
Glenn5633
Nevada5246
Colusa5196
Tehama5134
Lake51211
Humboldt4896
Calaveras31114
Amador28616
Tuolumne2264
Inyo18714
Mono1652
Siskiyou1630
Del Norte1381
Mariposa752
Plumas500
Modoc250
Trinity150
Sierra60
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Chico
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 81°
Oroville
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 82°
Paradise
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 81°
Chester
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 66°
Red Bluff
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 80°
Willows
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 81°
Wednesday has been similar to Tuesday around northern California with comfortable temperatures, but unhealthy levels of smoke in the air. A cold front is approaching the West Coast, and that will move over the region on Thursday.
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