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5 things to know for January 9: Immigration, House, Brazil, Floods, Prince Harry

By Alexandra Meeks, CNN

The advancement of smartphones and internet search engines has left human phone operators virtually extinct. Still, millions of calls are placed annually to “411” and “0” to request directory assistance or operator help, according to the FCC. That could change this year, however, as more major phone carriers are taking the operator off the hook or offering the service for a fee.

Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.

(You can get “5 Things You Need to Know Today” delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

1. Immigration

President Joe Biden visited the US-Mexico border on Sunday amid record levels of border crossings, but he did not appear to see or meet with migrants, including during a trip to a migrant respite center. The visit to El Paso, Texas, marked Biden’s first to the southern border since he took office and appeared largely focused on enforcement issues and speaking with border enforcement personnel. The president’s flight was also met by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a persistent critic of Biden and his administration’s federal response to migration. The Republican governor confirmed to reporters that he gave Biden a letter outlining what he described as “chaos” on the border. Biden is scheduled to travel to Mexico today, where he will discuss migration issues with the country’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

2. House

Kevin McCarthy was elected House speaker on Saturday — a major victory for the California Republican that elevates him to a powerful position leading the GOP majority in the chamber and an outcome that followed days of painstaking negotiations and failed votes. To win over critics, McCarthy and his allies made a series of concessions to hardline conservatives — a move that frustrated moderates concerned the concessions may make it harder for the new GOP majority to effectively govern. House Republicans are now turning their attention to implementing their agenda, which includes gearing up to investigate the Department of Justice and the FBI. This will set up a showdown with the Biden administration and law enforcement agencies over their criminal probes, particularly those into former President Donald Trump.

3. Brazil

Supporters of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro broke into the country’s congressional building, Supreme Court and presidential palace Sunday. President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva described events in the capital Brasilia as “barbaric” and said “a lack of security” had allowed Bolsonaro’s “fascist” supporters to breach barriers set up by the Armed Forces. He also emphasized those responsible “will be found and punished,” as police made at least 400 arrests, according to CNN Brasil and a local official. The breaches come about a week after the inauguration of Lula da Silva, who defeated Bolsonaro in a runoff election on October 30. Bolsonaro denounced his supporters’ actions Sunday and his office previously said it would cooperate with the transition of power, but he has not explicitly conceded.

4. Floods

Several California communities are bracing for another round of likely flooding and power outages today. More than 34 million people were under flood watches across much of California Sunday night, while more than 30 million were under moderate risks for excessive rainfall. About 28 million people across the West were also under wind alerts. In Sacramento County, various evacuation orders have been issued, with officials warning that “flooding is imminent.” El Dorado, Monterey, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara and Alameda counties have issued evacuation warnings or recommendations for some areas due to possible flooding and other safety risks. This storm is arriving on the heels of a powerful cyclone that flooded roads, toppled trees and knocked out power to much of California last week.

5. Prince Harry

Prince Harry’s highly anticipated memoir “Spare” will be published late today, setting the stage for an explosive week for the royal family as they navigate his highly publicized disclosures. In two interviews with British and US networks ITV and CBS, the Duke of Sussex spoke of the death of his mother, the former Princess of Wales; his disdain for the British press; his anger over the treatment of his wife, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, and the subsequent fallout with his family since their marriage. Speaking to CBS’ 60 Minutes on Sunday, he said he hadn’t spoken with his brother, Prince William, and his father, King Charles III, for “a while,” adding the “ball is very much in their court” when asked about the possibility of a reconciliation. Buckingham Palace has repeatedly declined to comment on the memoir, which has been the subject of leaks detailing some of his most controversial claims.


Nurses from New York City hospitals go on strike

About 7,000 nurses in New York City went on strike this morning after contract negotiations at two major hospitals stalled. Tentative deals were reached in recent days covering nurses at seven hospitals, but deals have not yet been reached for Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan or Montefiore in the Bronx. The nurses are seeking increased pay as well as promises by management to increase staffing to address the union’s major complaint of nurses being overworked and facing burnout. The affected hospitals have developed contingency plans, which include transferring some patients and paying temporary “traveling” nurses to fill in where possible.


Watch this family find a hibernating bear under their deck

Believe it or not, these homeowners said they’re going to let the sleepy predator remain under their house until hibernation ends — which could be another two months or so.

Hot dog fanatics can apply to be an Oscar Mayer Wienermobile driver

Let me be frank, only the most obsessed hot dog lovers will get to relish this unique job. In past years, less than 1% of applicants were selected.

Why ancient Roman structures like the Pantheon still stand

Modern concrete can crumble in just decades. So how are ancient Roman temples still standing after 2,000 years? Well, researchers say the Romans used this mystery ingredient to make their concrete super durable.

Tips to help your pets live long and healthy lives

Bring on the zoomies! Just like humans, physical exercise is great for both cats and dogs. Veterinarians also say it’s great to keep your pet’s brain engaged with these mind games and activities.

Jeremy Renner shares 52nd birthday photo from the hospital

The Marvel star posted a photo of himself recovering after sustaining major injuries in a snowplow accident


Adam Rich, an actor who rose to fame as a child playing the youngest Bradford family member, Nicholas, on the TV drama “Eight Is Enough,” has died, according to the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner. He was 54. In addition to his role on “Eight Is Enough,” Rich also appeared on several TV shows and movies throughout the late ’70s and ’80s.


6 years old

That’s the age of a boy who is now in custody after allegedly shooting a teacher at an elementary school in Newport News, Virginia, on Friday. According to police, there had been an altercation between the teacher and the 6-year-old student, who had a firearm. A single round was fired and no other students were involved. The teacher is recovering after being listed in stable condition Saturday. Newport News Mayor Phillip D. Jones said authorities are “working diligently to get an answer to the question we are all asking — how did this happen?”


“We all won.”

— NFL player Damar Hamlin, tweeting from his hospital bed on Sunday after the Buffalo Bills defeated the New England Patriots in a decisive 35-23 victory. It was an emotional return to the field for the Bills after Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest during a game on January 2. His medical team has called his recovery “remarkable,” adding that he is now talking to his family and teammates. Hamlin is expected to be released from the hospital in the coming days, a source tells CNN.


Check your local forecast here>>>


Why is the ‘Mona Lisa’ so famous?

On any given day at the Louvre Museum in Paris, crowds of people are gathered at the Mona Lisa to catch a glimpse of the masterpiece. Watch this two-minute video to learn how the painting garnered international fame. (Click here to view)

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