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5 things for February 12: Immigration, Puerto Rico, Oxfam

By Doug Criss, CNN

(CNN) Happy Monday. We’ll be spending the morning poring through the thousands of emails you sent with your suggestions on our Sunday experiment. But first, here’s what 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.)


Immigration takes center stage in the Senate starting today when Majority Leader Mitch McConnell opens up floor debate on the topic. Several amendments will be considered, including President Trump’s proposal for a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million immigrants in exchange for $25 billion for a border wall and other security enhancements.

Meanwhile, the President unveils that much-talked about infrastructure plan today. The proposal’s general outline calls for a $200 billion federal investment in the nation’s roads, bridges, waterways and railroads. The White House hopes the money will trigger state and local governments to spend a total of $1.5 trillion on improvements.


A Russian plane crashed on takeoff near Moscow over the weekend, killing all 71 people. The crew of the Saratov Airlines flight didn’t report any problems before it crashed in snowy terrain. The plane’s flight recorders have been recovered.

Meanwhile, three people died when a helicopter touring the Grand Canyon crashed in Arizona. Three survivors and the pilot were later rescued in an operation that was hampered by the windy and rugged conditions in the canyon.


Officials are working to restore power to northern parts of the island, including the capital of San Juan, after an explosion and fire at a power substation caused a blackout. The fire was sparked by a mechanical failure and was quickly put out. If you remember, Hurricane Maria plunged almost all of Puerto Rico into darkness when it hit last fall. Some 450,000 are still lacking power because of it.


The aid organizaion Oxfam could lose public funding over allegations its staff hired prostitutes in Haiti while they were working after the 2010 earthquake. Oxfam aid workers, including the country director, are accused of turning a rented villa into a makeshift brothel. Oxfam says it will strengthen its vetting of its staff and create a whistleblower hotline to make sure such things don’t happen again.


Aetna is being investigated by California’s insurance commissioner after one of its former medical director made a shocking admission under oath in a deposition: he never looked at patient records when deciding whether to OK or deny care. CNN showed California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones a transcript of the testimony, and he wants to know if this is a widespread practice at Aetna.