(CNN)Which country has the world’s most powerful passport? Spoiler alert: it’s not the US. Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door. (You can also get “5 Things You Need to Know Today” delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)
Those secret, classified government files
on the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy have finally been released. So what are we learning from them? So far, not much, and folks looking for rock-solid proof of a conspiracy
will be disappointed. There’s a report in there detailing plans for a CIA-mob plot to kill Fidel Castro. We learn that the FBI got a death threat against assassin Lee Harvey Oswald the day before he was killed. There’s also a CIA memo on a call Oswald had with a KGB officer a few months before the assassination.
Those are interesting nuggets, to be sure, but nothing really earth-shattering yet. More than 2,800 documents were released, so it may take a few days for scholars, journalists and conspiracy nuts to go through it all. And let’s not forget that President Trump blocked the release of about 300 files, at the request of spy agencies, so there are still more secrets to be unearthed.
2. Russia investigation
Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and former DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz both privately denied to congressional Russia investigators
that they had any knowledge about an arrangement to pay for opposition research on Donald Trump, three sources familiar with the matter told CNN.
The interviews happened before this week’s disclosure that the Clinton campaign and DNC paid for the research. Senate investigators may seek to further question the two top Democrats and dig deeper on the origins of the so-called Trump dossier. Their remarks to congressional investigators raise the stakes in their assertion that they knew nothing about the funding because it’s against the law to make false statements to Congress.
3. Tax reform
The House passed a budget resolution Thursday, clearing the way for fast-track work on tax reform
legislation. President Trump and the GOP are ecstatic about that, but all that happiness is tempered by the realization that the really hard negotiations are about to begin. The budget vote was close — 216-212 — with 20 Republicans voting against it because of opposition to a part of the plan that would eliminate the deduction for state and local taxes. The GOP wants to end the tax break to help pay for all the tax cuts they’ve been promising. But it’s a popular tax break (especially in high-tax states) used by one-third of tax filers, thus all the pushback.
There’s a new bit of info on the attack in Niger that left four US soldiers dead earlier this month. The US convoy that was ambushed by ISIS became separated
during the ensuing firefight. US officials and a Nigerien soldier say the first two vehicles were hit and then the convoy was split up. This may explain why Sgt. La David Johnson became separated from the rest of the team. The Nigerien solider, whose unit was the first ground force to arrive on scene, said he admired the bravery of the ambushed US and Nigerien troops, who were fighting off their ISIS attackers while standing back to back. “They were ready to fight until the end,” he said.
We saw a different side of President Trump while he was declaring the opioid epidemic a national public health emergency. In his remarks at the White House, the President personalized his anti-drug message
by talking about his older brother’s struggle with addiction. Fred Trump Jr. was an alcoholic and died in 1981 at age 43. Trump said his brother’s untimely death is why he doesn’t drink.
As for the health emergency declaration, it directs federal agencies to give more grant money
to combat the epidemic. That’s less sweeping action than many thought Trump had promised. Many expected the President to declare a national emergency, which would have opened up FEMA money to fight the epidemic. But White House officials say FEMA money should be used to fight natural disasters, not health emergencies.
People are talking about these. Read up. Join in.
Time is valuable
A watch that once belonged to film legend Paul Newman sold for a legendary price — $17.8 million
. That makes it the most expensive Rolex ever.
You can’t help but be a patriot at the College of the Ozarks in Missouri, where all students take a mandatory patriotism class
A Disney first
Disney Channel will feature its first LGBT storyline
when the second season of “Andi Mack” kicks off tonight.
Lost at sea
Two women who had been adrift in the Pacific
for nearly half a year were rescued by the Navy.
Under the sea
Europe’s first underwater restaurant
will open in Norway in early 2019, so if you hurry, maybe you can get a reservation.
NUMBER OF THE DAY
That’s how much CVS is reportedly offering to buy
health insurer Aetna.
AND FINALLY …
Round and round
A car wash employee gets taken for a ride when his hose gets tangled up in a giant spinning brush. He was probably pretty dizzy, but he wasn’t injured.
Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/27/us/five-things-october-27-trnd/index.html