5 things for January 5: Trump book, cybersecurity, marijuana, North Korea

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The fire and fury over “Fire and Fury,” the book that allegedly contains bombshell information about Team Trump, is growing. After excerpts exposed some distressing claims from insiders, the President’s lawyers fired off cease and desist letters to ex-aide Steve Bannon, who is widely quoted, and to author Michael Wolff’s publisher. The publisher responded by moving up the book release date to today. In response, Trump tweeted his complaints, saying the author had no White House access, calling the book “full of lies” and coining a degrading nickname for Bannon: “Sloppy Steve.”

    Trump: Wolff book is full of lies

As for what’s actually in the book? CNN obtained a copy, and among the serious claims is one about that 2016 campaign meeting in Trump Tower involving a Russian lawyer. Wolff says Trump insisted the meeting was about adoption policy — after knowledge of the confab became public — even though reporters likely already had evidence it was set to obtain dirt on Hillary Clinton.
    And former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer noted this about Bannon’s documented criticisms of Trump and his family: “While he may continue to say he’s a supporter of the President and his agenda, what we didn’t hear is a denial.”

      Spicer on Bannon: We didn’t hear a denial

    2. Cybersecurity

    Cybersecurity researchers this week revealed two serious processor flaws that could leave billions of devices around the world vulnerable to all kinds of breaches. Now, Apple has confirmed that all its iPhones, iPads and Mac computers are affected by the flaws, which are called Spectre and Meltdown.
    So, what should Apple users do? For starters, make sure your iPhone, iPads, computers and all apps you use are kept up to date to help protect against hackers exploiting the flaws. In fact, no matter what sort of device you have, experts say you should update your software — like, NOW — and brace yourself for slower device speeds for a while. 

      How to protect yourself from hackers

    3. Marijuana

    The industry of green is seeing red after Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded a trio of memos from the Obama administration that had adopted a policy of non-interference with marijuana-friendly state laws. This means federal prosecutors can now have a serious hand in how possession and distribution is regulated in states where marijuana is legal. The news sent marijuana-related stocks tumbling and had some wondering what might happen to an industry that took in $8 billion in sales last year and is expected to grow to $23 billion nationally by 2020 and create more than 280,000 jobs.

      Will new Justice Dept. guidance affect legal pot?

    4. North Korea

    It looks like there is a bit of optimism on the Korean Peninsula. North Korea has accepted South Korea’s proposal for official talks in what will be the first high-level contact between the two countries in more than two years. The person-to-person talks will be held Tuesday at the Peace House in the Demilitarized Zone between the two nations, a South Korean spokesperson said. High among the immediate priorities is North Korea’s involvement in the upcoming Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Both nations have seemed enthusiastic about this prospect. Other nations, however, are not as enthusiastic about the apparent thaw in diplomatic relations. Leaders from Japan and the US have expressed serious concern over the escalation of North Korea’s nuclear program and have cast a wary eye at this latest detente.

      South Korea: North Korea agrees to talks

    5. Retail woes

    It is a dark era for some former retail giants. Sears Holdings announced it is closing 64 Kmart stores and 39 Sears stores. While the rise of online shopping has spelled a precipitous decline for those brands, even stronger-looking stores are feeling the pinch. Macy’s and JCPenney both saw growth at the end of the year, but the time ahead is expected to be bleak. Macy’s has also said it plans to close 11 more stores in early 2018. It’s even worse for L Brands, the owner of Victoria’s Secret, Pink and Bath & Body Works, which slashed its fourth quarter profit outlook and saw share values plunge 15%. 

      When Sears sold cars

    NUMBER OF THE DAY

    36
    The number of states facing widespread flu activity. Experts say it’s not too late to get a shot. Plus, good news for people with egg allergies: New guidelines say the shots are safe for you, too.

      Seasonal flu: What you need to know

    BREAKFAST BROWSE

    People are talking about these. Read up. Join in.
    Met Museum of Art in NYC will start charging $25 to out-of-staters
    FDA issues new food safety guidance after criticism of slow recall responses
    But enjoy that breakfast sandwich, though. It’s probably fine … 

      What to do when food is recalled

    Here’s how parents tackle bedtime around the world
    In a word? Carefully. 
    World’s longest glass bridge opens in China, and it’s a narrow suspension bridge over a 715-foot gorge
    Haha, no, thank you! Absolutely not. 

    QUIZ TIME

    What ceremony kicks off the entertainment awards season this weekend? 
    1. The SAG Awards 
    2. The Grammys 
    3. The Golden Globes 
    4. The Oscars 
    Find out the answer in Total Recall, CNN’s weekly news quiz!

    AND FINALLY …

    Have you ever seen a robot dog slip on a banana peel? 
    It’s OK to laugh … for now, at least. Eventually, the robots will know we are laughing, and they will silence us forever. (Click here to view.) 

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