Dec. 18, 2017: What to Know 

  • Bingo Barnes
  • Tensions between the White House and special counselor Robert Mueller, who is tasked with investigating possible criminal ties between President Donald Trump's inner circle and Russia, are heightening. Over the weekend, Mueller took heat from Republicans when the Justice Department released text messages from an FBI agent overseeing the investigation expressing anti-Trump sentiments. Mueller removed that agent from the inquiry over the summer soon after learning about the text messages. In addition, Mueller's office released a rare statement defending his inquiry from accusations that it had improperly obtained emails from Trump's transition team, saying it had received the necessary permissions from email account owners to access emails to and from Trump campaign officials.

  • A major power outage caused by an underground fire at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has cancelled more than 1,100 flights. The outage, which began Sunday afternoon, completely stalled air traffic at one of the busiest airports in the world. Full functionality is expected to be restored by midday Monday, according to The Atlanta Journal Constitution

  • click to enlarge - The WSDOT Mounts Road camera shows Amtrak Train 501, which derailed off a bridge and onto Interstate 5 Monday morning (upper right-hand corner). -  - WSDOT
    • WSDOT
    • The WSDOT Mounts Road camera shows Amtrak Train 501, which derailed off a bridge and onto Interstate 5 Monday morning (upper right-hand corner).
    Injuries have been reported after an Amtrak train derailed between Lakewood and Olympia, Washington, toppling off a bridge over Interstate 5, the Seattle Times reports. Little is known about what caused Train 501, which departed Seattle on Monday morning at 6 a.m., to crash, and the Washington State Department of Transportation, the National Transportation Safety Board and the Pierce County Sheriff's Office have not released information about how many people have been affected by the incident, which has backed up traffic on both sides of Interstate 5 for three miles.

  • A small business that hopes to sell marijuana-based products in Garden City is getting stonewalled by local officials, The Associated Press reports. The business, Welcomed Science, would sell dietary supplements that contain cannabidiol oil (CBDs), but Garden City has steadfastly denied the company a building permit on the grounds that marijuana is illegal in Idaho. Though marijuana and marijuana-based products are strictly illegal in Idaho, CBDs are legal as long as they don't contain Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The would-be owner of Welcomed Science and the Garden City City Attorney have clashed over whether the products that would be sold there contain THC.

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