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5 things for January 11: Trump, mudslides, Myanmar, organ donation, Islam

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Will President Trump agree to an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller? Trump didn’t answer that question during a news conference, but he really, really, really wants us all to know that such an interview wouldn’t be necessary anyway because he thinks the whole Russia investigation is a witch hunt and there was “no collusion,” a phrase he used seven times in one answer. But the President’s hedging on this flies in the face of what he said last year, that he’d be “100%” willing to testify under oath about former FBI Director James Comey. 

2. California mudslides

    Hundreds of first responders. Helicopters. Dogs. Those are just some of the tools being used in the frantic search for people missing after deadly mudslides in Southern California. Seventeen people were killed when mud, trees, rocks and other debris — triggered by heavy rains — gushed down hillsides, destroying homes in coastal communities already ravaged by last year’s wildfires. At least 17 others are missing. Blocked roads and downed power lines hamper the search, but there have been some heart-stirring rescues, like the one of a family of five, including a newborn, plucked from the roof of a muddied, flooded home.

      Oprah takes video of mud-covered yard

    3. Myanmar

    Myanmar admits some of its security forces were involved in the massacre of 10 Rohingya Muslims found last month in a mass grave. It’s the first time the country’s military has ever admitted to causing any of the violence that’s driven more than 650,000 Rohingya from their homes to Bangladesh since August. At least 6,700 Rohingya were killed in the first month of attacks, which the US and UN consider ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya from mostly Buddhist Myanmar.

      Myanmar’s Rohingya militants

    4. Organ donation

    Organ donations spiked to another record last year, fueled by a distressing trend: the opioid epidemic. The number of deceased organ donors topped 10,000 last year, the fifth straight year of all-time highs, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing. About 40% of this five-year increase comes from people who died of drug overdoses, many of them from opioids. People who die of drug overdoses are considered good candidates for organ donation because they’re generally younger and “tend not to have the burdens of diseases associated with aging.”

      Why are opioids so addictive?

    5. Religion

    Islam may be America’s No. 2 religion in a few decades. The Pew Research Center predicts that by 2050, the US Muslim population will be 8.1 million, more than double the 3.45 million in 2017. But despite the massive growth, Muslims would still only be about 2.1% of the total US population. Immigration fuels this growth. In 2016, a record number of Muslims immigrated to the US, and the Muslim population tends to be younger than other religious groups, so they have a higher fertility rate.

    QUOTE OF THE DAY

    “You are 100% responsible.”
    Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman, blasting USA Gymnastics on Twitter and saying the organization enabled former team doctor Larry Nassar, who has has admitted to sexually assaulting underage girls

    BREAKFAST BROWSE

    People are talking about these. Read up. Join in.
    All about the money
    Mark Wahlberg reportedly got paid way more than Michelle Williams for “All the Money in the World” reshoots, and the Twitterverse is ticked off about it.

      Report: Actress paid way less than co-star

    In the dark
    When you’re running the world’s largest consumer electronics show, you need electricity, which the Las Vegas Convention Center had none of Wednesday.
    Cloud cover
    No, it wasn’t “Independence Day.” But a lot of folks wondered if it was after a cloud shaped like a huge spaceship hovered over Sydney.
    Panther power
    A GoFundMe campaign to help kids in Harlem see the upcoming “Black Panther” superhero flick gets some help from some big-time celebs.
    Back to the future
    American Girl dolls usually deal with history, but not the one named Luciana Vega. She’s a Martian astronaut.

    NUMBER OF THE DAY

    $4.8 million
    That’s how much in jewelry thieves armed with axes stole from a shop inside Paris’ Ritz Hotel.

      Thieves make off with millions worth of jewels

    AND FINALLY …

    Waltz of the marbles
    2018 stressing you out already? It’s fine. Watch this magnet marble run paired with Tchaikovsky’s “Waltz of the Flowers” and relax. (Click to view.)

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/11/us/five-things-january-11-trnd/index.html

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