(CNN)Steve Bartman was once vilified by Cubs fans. Now he’s got a World Series ring. 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.)
President Donald Trump dictated a misleading statement for his son in response to a news report that Donald Trump Jr. hadmet with a Russian lawyer during the campaign,the Washington Post reported. Team Trump’s original plan was to issue a truthful statement, but then Trump personally decided to have the statement say Trump Jr. had met with the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, to discuss the adoption of Russian children by Americans.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders referred CNN to Trump’s outside counsel for a response to the story. Attorney Jay Sekulow issued a statement, saying, “Apart from being of no consequence, the characterizations are misinformed, inaccurate and not pertinent.”
2. White House
The general is in — and the Mooch is out. And so goes another zany day at the White House. Trump’s new chief of staff, John Kelly, was sworn inMonday, and the retired US Marine Corps general made it clear bytossing out Communications Director Anthony Scaramuccithat he wants to run a tighter ship. Scaramucci blazed quite a trail during his 10 days on the job, engineering the ouster of former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus (whom he accused of leaking) and crudely taking on presidential advisor Steve Bannon in one of the most colorful interviews in White House history. Scaramucci leaves behind a small treasure trove of memorable lines (late night talk show hosts are devastated), but in the end, sources say, his profile was just getting too big for the Trump White House.
Bye Bye Mooch
CNN’s Chris Cillizza says the way Kelly, who’d been Trump’s secretary of homeland security,handled Scaramucci may mean he’s more of a boss than we thought. The way the White House is now being restructured, everyone on staff will report to him, including Ivanka and Jared.
Scaramucci out as WH communications director
A pair of leading opposition leaders have been rounded up in Venezuela. Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledezma were taken from their homes, their families said on Twitter. Their removal follows Sunday’s controversial election establishing a new legislative body made up entirely of President Nicolas Maduro‘s supporters. This new national assembly will have the power to rewrite the country’s constitution. The election has been denounced worldwide, and the US Treasury Department hit Maduro with sanctions after the vote.
The GOP effort to kill Obamacare may be over, but there’s still a desire to make improvements to our health care system. So lawmakers are looking at possible fixes to the health care law, and this time it’s a bipartisan effort. About 40 House Republicans and Democrats — who go by the very catchy name of the Problem Solvers Caucus — have endorsed an outline of ideas aimed at making urgent fixes to Obamacare. Their ideas include mandatory funding for cost-sharing reduction payments, creating a stability fund, repealing the medical device tax and tweaking the employer mandate. None of this has been put into any bills yet, but it’s a start.
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Venezuelan president Hugo Chvez took one look at the Guardians correspondent and yelled out: Hey, Gringo! But if he could never quite fit in, Jonathan Watts has come to love the continent he is now leaving after five years
It was the merest of glimpses, but no less thrilling for that. A dark, sleek body, roughly the size of a person, arched elegantly out of the Tapajs river as we approached the So Luis rapids deep in the Amazon. A fraction of a second later, it plunged back below the swirling waters, leaving me wondering if my imagination or the morning mist were playing tricks. But no, it was real. It had been close enough to the boat to be sure of that. But what was it?
Big Ben’s famous chimes will fall silent from next week until 2021 to allow essential repair works to take place.
The bongs will sound for the final time at midday on Monday before being disconnected to allow the clock and surrounding tower to be restored.
The Great Bell has sounded on the hour for 157 years.
It last fell silent in 2007 and before that, for major refurbishments between 1983 and 1985.
Parliamentary authorities said stopping Big Ben – the commonly used name for the Palace of Westminster’s Elizabeth Tower – would protect workers carrying out the repairs.
It will still sound for important events including New Year’s Eve and Remembrance Sunday.
The clock’s keeper, Steve Jaggs, said Big Ben falling silent was a “significant milestone” in the project to restore the tower.
“This essential programme of works will safeguard the clock on a long term basis, as well as protecting and preserving its home – the Elizabeth Tower,” he added.
Big Ben basics
The Great Bell forms part of the Great Clock in the Elizabeth Tower – commonly known as Big Ben
It weighs 13.7 tonnes and the Elizabeth Tower stands 96m tall
Every hour it strikes an E note, and every 15 minutes four “quarter bells” chime
To stop the chimes, the striking hammers will be locked until 2021
The landmark Elizabeth Tower is said to be the most photographed building in the UK.
Scaffolding is up and repair work has already started.
The project’s principal architect Adam Watrobski told the BBC the works would install new amenities in the tower, including a lift, toilet and kitchen.
Essential maintenance will also be carried out and the building will be made more energy efficient.
As well as conservation work to the tower, the Great Clock will be dismantled piece-by-piece and its four dials will be cleaned and repaired.
The Ayrton Light, which shines when Parliament is sitting, will also be renovated.
During the repair work, an electric motor will drive the clock hands until the main mechanism has been restored, so it will continue to tell the time.
However, the faces will need to be temporarily covered while the clock is undergoing maintenance.
The wider Parliamentary estate is also in need of repair, and a multi billion-pound programme involving MPs temporarily relocating has been put forward.
Meanwhile BBC Radio 4, which broadcasts the chimes of Big Ben live, has announced it will broadcast a recording when the bells fall silent.
Head of station management Denis Nowlan told the Today programme that various alternatives were considered, including the bells of Nottingham Council House.
“We came very close to using the sound of Nottingham’s bells,” he said.
However, a spokesperson confirmed: “After considering various options, we’ve decided that pre-recording Big Ben’s chimes offers the most reliable and resilient option whilst the Palace of Westminster carries out its repairs.”
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