5 Things You Have to Know Today

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Congress has come back from its year-end holiday. It faces a government shut down and President Trump, who continues to insist he will not support legislation to reopen the government unless it includes funds for a wall between the United States and Mexico. The construction of the wall was one of his major campaign promises. It remains unclear whether the impasse can be bridged early in the year. Nancy Pelosi, who is likely to be the Speaker of the House, says the Democrats have a plan to solve the problem. According to Fox News:

California Rep. Nancy Pelosi said that when Democrats retake control of the House of Representatives on Thursday, they will “take action” to end the partial government shutdown.

In a letter to Democrats on Tuesday, the presumptive incoming speaker of the House wrote that Democrats plan to “pass strong, bipartisan legislation to reopen government, which has already received strong bipartisan support in the Senate.”

Data that show the Chinese economy is slowing hit stock market futures as the trade war between the United States and China continues to affect the growth of the world’s most populous nation. According to CNBC:

U.S. stock index futures pulled back on the first trading day of the new year, as more disappointing economic data from China hampered global risk appetite.

The moves in pre-market trade come after a private sector survey showed manufacturing activity in the world’s second-largest economy contracted for the first time in 19 months. China’s Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for December dipped to 49.7 from 50.2 in November.

President Trump attacked retired General Stanley McChrystal, who made negative comments about the president last week. According to The Washington Examiner:

President Trump attacked retired four-star Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal on Tuesday for questioning his honesty and morality.

The commander-in-chief mocked McChrystal’s military credentials and derided him as a “dog,” a term the president frequently uses to criticize opponents.

McChrystal recently said that he could not work for an “immoral” person like Trump.

Former presidential candidate and the new U.S. Senator for Utah, Mitt Romney, attacked President Trump in an op-ed that accused the president of not fulfilling some of the promises he made in 2016. According to Newsweek:

Two days before he is sworn into the United States Senate, incoming Utah Senator Mitt Romney is blasting President Donald Trump’s character.

In an op-ed for the Washington Post, Romney criticizes the president, saying that he hoped when Trump was elected in 2016 that he would “rise to the occasion” as leader of the free world.

“On balance, his conduct over the past two years, particularly his actions this month, is evidence that the president has not risen to the mantle of the office,” Romney wrote.

The Mega Millions jackpot hit $425 million, which makes it one of the largest in history. According to CNN:

New year, new (richer by $425 million) you.

It could happen, if you’re lucky (really, really, really lucky).

The New Year’s Day Mega Millions jackpot is the eighth largest in its history, after the December 28 drawing named no big winners. Last Friday’s winning numbers were 9, 10, 25, 37 and 38 and the gold Mega Ball was 21.

The drawing will be Tuesday at 11 p.m. ET.

In addition:

Sporting News looked at reasons for the defeat of Georgia in the Sugar Bowl.

USA Today Sports examined the last game of legendary Ohio State coach Urban Meyer.

Slice TV posted a list of the 100 most expensive things in the world.

Espresso offered a list of the 20 places retired people can buy a home for under $100,000.

Best Life did an analysis of how long it takes the body to recover from smoking.

USA Today examined the cheapest days to fly in 2019.