Polar bears have taken over a small town

Ashley Shaffer

Happy Monday, Short Listers. Today, we hope Robert Mueller throws us a bone on Russia, debate Kyler Murray’s life choices and keep our eyes on El Paso.

But first, a polar bear invasion: The arrival of about 50 polar bears prompted an "emergency situation" in a small Russian town, where bears attacked people and entered residences.

Trump and O'Rourke face off in dueling rallies as shutdown looms

We're (back) on shutdown watch this week: The three-week window to find a compromise for government funding expires Friday, and both sides are no closer to a shared solution on border security. A week after he said El Paso, Texas, was once "one of our nation's most dangerous cities," President Donald Trump will visit the U.S.-Mexican border for a rally calling for his controversial border wall, a sticking point in the  negotiations in Washington. Who else just happens to be in El Paso, speaking across the street at around the same time? Potential Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke, an El Paso native who will lead a protest against the president

A fourth of this county's kindergartners missed immunizations. Now there’s a measles crisis.

Measles outbreaks in New York and Washington state have officials scrambling to contain a disease eliminated nearly two decades ago in the USA. Washington state declared a public emergency after an outbreak in Clark County infected at least 53 people, mostly children. Health officials have long feared a measles outbreak could spread rapidly, given the cluster of non-vaccinated children: Nearly one in four of the county's kindergartners did not get all their advised immunizations during the year. The New York outbreak is the largest there in decades.

Real quick

Ralph Northam seems to have a way with words

Embattled Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's media apology tour is off to a rough start. Northam went on "CBS This Morning" in an interview with Gayle King that aired Monday in an effort to save his political career after reporters uncovered a racist photo on his medical school yearbook page.

Northam: "Just 90 miles from here, in 1619, the first indentured servants from Africa landed on our shores." 

King: "Also known as slavery."

Northam: "Yes."

You may never hear from Mueller

Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election tampering has cast a shadow over Trump's presidency, But the public might never learn exactly what Mueller has – or hasn't – found. Though the investigation brought charges against some of Trump's top aides and revealed Moscow ties, Justice Department rules say Mueller needs to submit only a confidential report when done. William Barr, the man likely to be Mueller's next boss, cast doubt on whether he would let that document be revealed. Those who know him say Mueller, reluctant to speak publicly, is unlikely to do so on his own. That means you (and I) might never know if there are juicy details in the report. 

Special counsel Robert Mueller departs June 21, 2017, after a meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington.

School's out for a teacher walkout 

There's a teacher strike in Denver. Frustrated at chronic underfunding of public education, thousands of Denver Public Schools teachers didn't show up to start the school week. Trading pencils for picket signs, the teachers protested their schools after last-ditch negotiations broke down over the weekend. Hundreds of students from the 207 schools affected by the strike ditched class and joined the teachers in demands for better compensation. It's the latest incident in a nationwide mobilization of educators disrupting school systems in hopes of having their voices heard.

DENVER, CO - FEBRUARY 11: Denver Public Schools teachers and members of the community picket outside South High School on February 11, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. Denver teachers are striking for the first time in 25 years after the school district and the union representing the educators failed to reach an agreement after 14 months of contract negations over teacher pay. (Photo by Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 775295992 ORIG FILE ID: 1097896032

Kirk Bado chipped in on this compilation of stories from across the USA TODAY Network. Want The Short List straight to your inbox? Sign up, and tell your friends

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Polar bears have taken over a small town