10 things you need to know today: January 8, 2018
Hollywood stars at the Golden Globes denounce sexual misconduct, Stephen Bannon apologizes to the Trumps, and more
Lady Bird and Three Billboards win big at Golden Globes focused on sexual harassment scandal
Lady Bird and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, were the top films at the 75th Golden Globe Awards on Sunday, with Hollywood stars wearing black and using speeches to support victims of sexual harassment. Lady Bird won Best Picture for a musical or comedy, and star Saoirse Ronan was named Best Actress in a musical or comedy. Three Billboards won Best Picture, drama, and star Frances McDormand was named Best Actress, drama. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel took Best Comedy Series, and The Handmaid's Tale won Best Drama. Oprah Winfrey, accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award, said: "For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dare speak the truth to the power of those men — but their time is up!"
Stephen Bannon apologizes to Trump
Former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon on Sunday apologized to President Trump after questioning his fitness for office in Michael Wolff's controversial new book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. Wolff quoted Bannon describing as "treasonous" a 2016 meeting with Russians at Trump Tower attended by Donald Trump Jr. and the president's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner. Bannon said Sunday that Trump Jr. "is both a patriot and a good man." Bannon also declared himself "unwavering" in his support for Trump, and said there was "no collusion" by Trump associates in Russian election meddling. The statement was similar to one Bannon reportedly had planned to make before Trump vehemently attacked him after excerpts of Wolff's book came out.
Dangerous icy conditions persist as temperatures rise after record cold
Temperatures are rising Monday in areas hit by the Arctic blast that brought record lows to parts of the East Coast in recent days. Records were set in Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, where a low of minus 9 smashed a 1912 record. Boston tied a record set in 1896 when the temperature fell to minus 2. More records were set in parts of West Virginia. By Monday, temperatures are forecast to reach the low 30s, then the low 50s on Friday. Airlines are getting back to normal schedules but forecasters warned that coming rains, coupled with still-freezing temperatures, would result in dangerous icy conditions on many roads.
CIA Director Mike Pompeo denounces book and declares Trump fit for duty
CIA Director Mike Pompeo on Sunday fired back at depictions of President Trump in Michael Wolff's new book as someone who doesn't read or process information well. "Those statements are just absurd," Pompeo said on Fox News Sunday. Pompeo said Trump "reads material that we provide to him. He listens closely to his daily briefing." The defense by Pompeo and other administration officials came a day after Trump responded to Wolff's book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, by describing himself as "a very stable genius." On Sunday, Trump tweeted that he had held "great meetings with the Cabinet and Military" over the weekend, while complaining about having to deal with "a Fake Book, written by a totally discredited author."
Britain's May shaking up Cabinet
British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to fire at least four high-profile Conservatives in the biggest reshuffling of her Cabinet since last June's snap election. The most prominent ministers reportedly facing possible replacement include Education Secretary Justine Greening, Party Chairman Patrick McLoughlin, and Business Secretary Greg Clark. Two key leaders expected to stay put are Boris Johnson, who will remain as foreign secretary despite numerous gaffes, and Brexit Secretary David Davis.
Israel publishes blacklist of groups that back boycott
Israel on Sunday released a blacklist barring the leaders of 20 organizations from entry over their support of a boycott of Israel until it ends its occupation of the West Bank and grants the right of return to Palestinian refugees. The list consisted of primarily European and American organizations, including a U.S. Jewish group. It also names entities from Latin America and South Africa. "We have shifted from defense to offense," said Gilad Erdan, Israel's minister of strategic affairs, whose office drew up the list. "The boycott organizations need to know that the State of Israel will act against them."
BBC China editor resigns over gender pay gap
Carrie Gracie, the BBC's China editor, announced her resignation in an open letter posted Sunday on her personal blog, citing gender pay inequality at the British public broadcaster. The BBC has faced criticism recently for paying men more than women in similar jobs, and Gracie said that she learned when salary data was revealed in a July funding settlement how much less she made than male colleagues. The BBC had four international editors, of which she was one, and the two men in the role made at least 50 percent more than the women. Gracie said she was offered a raise but it was "far short of equality," and that there was now a "crisis of trust" at the broadcaster. A BBC spokeswoman said "fairness in pay" is "vital" at the organization.
SpaceX launches rocket on secret government mission
SpaceX on Sunday night successfully launched a Falcon 9 rocket into orbit carrying a secret government payload, in its first mission of 2018. The classified mission, known as Zuma, includes a satellite built by Northrop Grumman, but few other details have been released. The launch was originally planned for late November, but it faced nagging delays. SpaceX managed to land the rocket seven minutes after launch. The company is trying to cut costs and turnaround times for space missions by reusing its first-stage rockets. It now has made 21 successful landings, nine of them in a Cape Canaveral landing zone and 12 on "autonomous spaceport droneships" in the ocean.
Australia heat wave brings temperatures as high as 117 degrees
A heat wave pushed temperatures in Sydney, Australia, to 117 degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday, the hottest in 78 years. The highest temperature in the area, recorded in the suburb of Penrith, fell one degree below an all-time record set in 1939. Authorities in the neighboring state of Victoria were forced to warn drivers that a six-mile stretch of freeway was "melting." The high heat also triggered multiple wildfires. The severe heat came as Europe and many other parts of the world also experienced unusually high temperatures.
Jumanji overtakes The Last Jedi to lead the weekend box office
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle led the weekend box office in its third week in theaters, hauling in $36 million to raise its total to $244 million. Jumanji blasted past Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which fell to third place with $24 million and raised its overall total to $572 million. Newcomer Insidious: The Last Key moved into second place. "This is all about Jumanji's staying power," said Paul Dergarabedian, the senior media analyst for box office tracker comScore. "This is a movie that was overshadowed by all the excitement around The Last Jedi, and yet Jumanji just kept plugging away and drawing audiences throughout the holiday. This is kind of unheard of for a movie this size."