5 Things: Oh Winter, Where Art Thou?

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The world plays ‘let’s make a deal’ … Julian Assange may get some visitors… And winter is MIA. It’s Monday, and here are the five things you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door.


Glass half full/ half empty: The good news: Yeah, we got a deal! The world actually got together and did SOMETHING! The agreement reached this weekend in Paris at the climate conference limits average global warming to 2 degrees Celsius. Staying below that mark means the Earth avoids super droughts, rising seas and mass extinctions. The bad news? The deal’s short on specifics, so no one really knows how it’s going to be enforced or how improvements will be measured.


Sole asylum: Julian Assange probably needs a change in scenery. The WikiLeaks founder is accused of sex assault in Sweden and fears he’ll be extradited there and (eventually) to the U.S. So he’s been holed up at the Ecuadorian embassy in London for more than three years. But there’s some movement now. Ecuador says it’ll allow the Swedes to question Assange about the case at the embassy. It’s still unclear when this’ll happen or how it changes his case.


Master of puppets: The guy believed to be the ringleader of the Paris attacks barked orders over the phone to the three assailants who carried out the massacre inside the Bataclan theater. A witness told investigators she saw Abdelhamid Abaaoud standing in a doorway a few blocks away from the concert venue, yelling into his phone for about an hour. Abaaoud, as we know, was killed five days later in a police raid.


No luck at the lake: Well, that was a dud. Divers scoured a lake near the site of the San Bernandino shooting, likely looking for the hard drive missing from Tashfeen Malik and Syed Rizwan Farook’s computer. They found some stuff, but nothing related to the investigation. So, the search of Seccombe Lake is over. Time to pursue other leads.


Oh, the weather outside’s delightful: It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, but it sure doesn’t feel like it. Most Christmas shoppers only needed a light jacket this weekend as 75% of the U.S. saw temperatures over 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Buffalo, NY, which is usually snowed under by now — isn’t. At Lambeau Field last night, the Packers fans battled rain, not snow. So what’s keeping the cold stuff away? A strong El Nino, which warms ocean waters in the Pacific and brings warmer temps to the U.S. during winter.


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Quote of the day: “A little bit of a maniac.”

The Donald going after Ted Cruz. Cruz responded by tweeting him a link to the “Flashdance” song. Very presidential, boys.

Rent is too damn high

Nearly half the renters in the U.S. can’t afford their monthly payments. Two reasons: Rent’s going up. Household income’s going down. You picked a fine time to retire from politics, Jimmy McMillan.

Peace train take this country

Two mosques in Hawthorne, California, were vandalized this weekend. Someone spray-painted “Jesus is the Way” across the front of one. Someone left a fake grenade in the driveway of the other. WWJD? Not this.

I’m dreaming of a bright Christmas

For the first time since 1977, there’ll be a full moon this Christmas. Remind me again, how do werewolves say “Merry Christmas?”


Hilcorp, a Houston-based company, gave its employees a $100,000 holiday bonus. All 1,380 of them! (Editor’s note: We’re getting homemade almond crescent cookies. They taste like a million bucks, though.)


Here’s what’s coming up later.

Let us not grow weary

Today’s the third anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. And this year, it falls on a school day for the first time. Flags will fly at half-staff. And the school, understandably, is discouraging media coverage.

Same ole, same ole

President Obama visits the Pentagon today to get briefed on how the fight against ISIS is going. (Not well). Don’t hold your breath for a change in tack though. The White House says things are going fine, thank you very much.

Number of the day: $1.76 million

What Janis Joplin’s psychedelic Porsche sold for. It was expected to go for $400K to $800K. So, we guess the car’s as overrated as she was.


Light ’em up, up, up

While you’re busy swooning over the new “Star Wars,” the trailer for the “Independence Day” sequel dropped. So did our jaws.

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