Today we provide answers to some of life’s biggest questions: What does quid pro quo mean? And what even is a bomb cyclone? Let's talk news, people.
But first, if you read one story today, make it this one: A DNA test revealed a shocking truth to a reporter digging into the history of one of the country's founding slave families.
Did he just mention a Ukraine quid pro quo? Yup, he sure did
The White House admitted to a quid pro quo. President Donald Trump's acting chief of staff acknowledged Thursday that financial aid to Ukraine at the center of a House impeachment inquiry was withheld over concerns about corruption in the country. Mick Mulvaney's assertion was the first time a White House official admitted Trump set up a quid pro quo arrangement scenario in which money for Ukraine was used as leverage, though he defended the arrangement as standard practice. Hours after his remarks drew bipartisan criticism, Mulvaney said in a statement the money was withheld chiefly over concerns about corruption. Trump has repeatedly asserted that he did not withhold the money in exchange for Ukraine's help in looking into political foes, but House Democrats are investigating whether the administration tried to strongarm Ukraine into investigating Joe Biden, a leading presidential candidate.
Word of the day: If you were about to Google quid pro quo like I often do, it's defined as “something given or received for something else.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings, Capitol Hill veteran and Maryland Democrat, has died
Many mourn the passing of Baltimore native Rep. Elijah Cummings, who died at the age of 68 Thursday from “longstanding health challenges.” The congressman underwent a medical procedure in September that kept him from returning to work. On Sept. 30, he told The Baltimore Sun he expected to be back in Congress by mid-October. Cummings, as chairman of the House Oversight Committee, sparred with Trump as the 23-year veteran of Capitol Hill led investigations into the president and his administration. His wife, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, said he was an honorable man who served with “dignity, integrity, compassion and humility.”
What everyone’s talking about
- Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively shared the first photo of their new baby! Kind of.
- This isn’t a Halloween prank: A family found their basement filled with blood from a neighboring meat locker.
- Two hard weeks: Alec Baldwin's "heart goes out to" imprisoned Felicity Huffman.
- Prince William and Duchess Kate of Cambridge's plane was hit by lightning, reports say.
- LeBron James' controversial comment "furthers his brand power in China."
Record-smashing bomb cyclone wreaks havoc
Gale-force winds downed trees and utility lines and knocked out power to more than 600,000 homes and businesses Thursday, and you can blame it on the bomb cyclone. A record-smashing "bomb cyclone" roared across the Northeast on Thursday, with wind gusts approaching 100 mph reported in Massachusetts, where more than 200,000 people are in the dark.
Reminder: A bomb cyclone occurs when the barometric pressure falls at least 24 millibars, or 0.71 inches, within 24 hours. The faster and steeper the drop, the more intense the storm.
- "Dangerous" surge is possible: Tropical storm warnings were issued for the Gulf Coast as a system gains strength.
- Turkey agreed to a five-day cease-fire in Syria, Vice President Pence said.
- An ex-NASCAR team owner was found dead in the Ohio River near Louisville.
- Vaping giant Juul Labs suspends all sales of its flavored e-cigarettes in the USA.
- A contractor claims video of the Hard Rock Hotel collapse shows structural flaws.
- Actress Helen Hunt is recovering after her car flipped on its side in a crash.
Thousands of Chicago teachers are on strike. Here's why
More than 32,000 Chicago Public Schools teachers and staff went on strike Thursday after negotiators failed to agree on a contract with the nation's third-largest school district. What are the unions fighting for? Their campaign focuses on class size limits and more support staff (nurses, librarians, social workers). They're also fighting for pay increases, benefits and more teacher preparation time. Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the unions’ total requests would add $2.5 billion to the annual budget, which she called "completely irresponsible." Negotiations with the Service Employees International Union are also ongoing.
A break from the news
- Look, you're probably killing your gadgets. Here are 5 mistakes that can shorten the lifespan of your devices.
- Exclusive look at Disney's Top 15 Toys of 2019: Frozen 2, Star Wars, Marvel and Lion King.
- Candy corn: Why America has a love-hate relationship with the Halloween treat.
Nancy Pelosi, the clap back queen
After a tense day between Capitol Hill lawmakers and the White House on Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had a little fun. Trump tweeted a photo of a group in a meeting at the White House that showed Pelosi standing at a table, pointing a finger at the president. In his tweet, Trump said Pelosi had an "unhinged meltdown." So Pelosi made it the cover photo on her Twitter and Facebook pages. On Thursday, Pelosi said that the photo was taken as she told Trump his recent actions are benefiting Russia.
This is a compilation of stories from across the USA TODAY Network.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump, Elijah Cummings, bomb cyclone, quid pro quo: Thursday's news