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5 things for March 2: White House, Russia, economy, bus crash, 'bomb cyclone'

Updated 7:15 AM ET, Fri March 2, 2018

(CNN) - Today's a day to celebrate

The work of someone gone but great.

Come on now, don't be obtuse,

Let's all give thanks to Dr. Seuss.

Here's what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door.

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

1. White House

Things are just plain crazy, even for this White House. Topping the list is President Trump's announcement of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports that might kick in as early as next week. The rollout on this was wacky: White House aides charged with crafting the rules were caught off guard and haven't written the policy yet. Then came the pushback: lawmakers blasted the idea, the stock market plummeted and our allies fumed. Fears of a trade war -- which could result in more expensive cars and beer cans -- are high.

Oh, but wait, there's more:

-- The FBI counterintelligence unit is investigating Ivanka Trump's international business deals;

-- The gun debate may already be over, since Congress left town without voting on anything and the President's already made up with the NRA;

-- And National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster may be gone by month's end.

It's hard to keep up with all the drama. This handy little diagram might help.

2. Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin boasts of new "invincible" missiles that he says neither the US nor NATO can stop, but US officials aren't impressed. Putin said Russia has new drones and nuclear weapons systems with unlimited range that could render NATO defenses "useless" and deliver a warhead at hypersonic speed. He even showed video clips of an imagined attack on Florida. US officials called the video and Putin's claims "cheesy," stressing that US defense capabilities are "second to none."

3. Economy

Worried that the super-hot US economy is getting too hot? Relax, says the chairman of the Federal Reserve. Jerome Powell told the Senate Banking Committee he doesn't think the economy is overheating because despite the tight job market, wages still aren't rising that much. That can trigger inflation, which policymakers combat by raising interest rates. Powell said the Fed's prepped three rate hikes for this year to help keep inflation in check.

4. Tennessee school bus crash

A bus driver was found guilty on charges related to a 2016 crash that killed six children in Chattanooga. Johnthony Walker was convicted of negligent homicide, reckless aggravated assault and reckless driving. Prosecutors argued Walker was speeding and on his phone when the bus ran off the road, flipped over and hit a tree. Walker -- who denied being on his phone and said he couldn't remember how fast he was driving -- testified he'd swerved to avoid a white vehicle that veered into his lane. He'll be sentenced next month.

5. Weather

Oh, the weather outside is frightful -- if you live on the coasts or in the UK. A wicked nor'easter, which may morph into one of those dreaded "bomb cyclones," is racing up the East Coast, bringing heavy rain, strong winds and the risk of excessive flooding. On the West Coast, tens of thousands of Californians are evacuating as a storm pummels the state with rain, raising the possibility of flash flooding and mudslides. One place under the evac order is Montecito, where 21 people were killed in January in massive mudslides. Finally, Arctic cold and a big storm combined forces to make a mess of travel in the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe.



Get your invite yet? Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are inviting more than 2,600 members of the public to Windsor Castle to share their wedding day.

Race against time

Once dubbed the "most eligible bachelor in the world," Earth's last male northern white rhino is gravely ill, raising fears of subspecies extinction.

(Not) coming home to roost

First, they ran out of chicken. Now, dozens of KFCs in the UK are closed because lettuce and gravy are in short supply. 

But ... why?

Some lawmakers in Utah wrote a rap song. "Schoolhouse Rock!" it is not.

Blue streak

People in Michigan are enjoying a phenomenon usually only seen in glaciers: blue ice, which gets its otherworldly glow because it doesn't have bubbles.


Oscars quiz

A little something different this week: Let's see if you have what it takes to make an Oscar-winning movie. To boost your chances of winning the big prize, where should your movie take place?

A. New York City

B. Los Angeles

C. United Kingdom

D. The American South

Take our special Oscars quiz (the awards are this Sunday) to see if you're Academy Awards-ready.


$1 billion

The value of the planned IPO for Spotify


"Give me a call and see what's up."

Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey, who says the Browns, who went 0-16 last season, are open to trading away the No. 1 pick in the upcoming NFL draft. The only bright spot to going winless is getting the No. 1 pick, so this makes no sense to anybody.


I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream

This parrot asking for ice cream is pretty much all of us at the end of this crazy week. (Click to view.)

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