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5 Things for Thursday, April 20: Aaron Hernandez, Fresno rampage, O’Reilly

By Doug Criss CNN

(CNN) — What’s that smell? Happy 4/20 Day. Here’s what you need to know today 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.)

1. Aaron Hernandez

“Aaron Hernandez: Drafted at 20. Multimillionaire at 22. Convicted of murder at 25. Dead at 27.” This succinctly tragic tweet may tell the story best: Ex-NFL star Hernandez hanged himself in his Massachusetts prison cell. It was a shocking end to his tumultuous life, which saw him rise to Super Bowl star, then fall to convicted murderer. But that conviction, for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd, is now expected to be vacated because Hernandez died while his appeal was pending. By the way, Massachusetts has a prison suicide rate that’s almost twice the national average and is the fourth highest in the country.

2. Fresno shootings

Kori Ali Muhammad was already a wanted man before police say he killed three people in a shooting spree in downtown Fresno, California. Police had been looking for him in the killing of a motel security guard. He told cops he thought the guard disrespected him. But Muhammad wasn’t going down just for killing a guard, Fresno’s police chief said, so he tried “to kill as many people as he could.” The victim’s loved ones are devastated, especially their kids. Racism — Muhammad said he hated white men — is thought to be the primary motive in the rampage, so police are calling it a hate crime. But it’s not always clear what the criteria are for labeling an act of violence a hate crime or terrorism.

3. Bill O’Reilly

The “No Spin Zone” is no more. Fox News let Bill O’Reilly go and canceled “The O’Reilly Factor,” after weeks of pressure, an advertiser exodus and an internal investigation into sexual harassment claims against the show host. It is a shocking end of an era. O’Reilly essentially was Fox News for the 21 years he was there, and just three weeks ago, the notion that something could knock him from his perch would have been unbelievable. Fox insiders say he wasn’t particularly liked but was considered invincible. Obviously, he wasn’t.

4. Wells Fargo

Wow, the feds really screwed this up. The top federal banking regulator says that years ago, officials saw lots of red flags at Wells Fargo that could have stopped the fake accounts scandal. We’re talking, like, hundreds of whistleblower complaints about the bank’s aggressive sales tactics. An internal report says the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency provided “ineffective” oversight of the bank. The regulator did confront a Wells Fargo exec about the complaints but apparently didn’t follow up. Bank leaders say they’ve eliminated the unrealistic sales goals that drove the scandal.

5. GM and Venezuela

General Motors, which has been in Venezuela for almost seven decades, is pulling out of the country after it says one of its plants was illegally seized by the government. GM called it an “illegal judicial seizure of its assets,” including cars being taken from company facilities. The country, mired in an economic mess that has sparked food shortages, has been rocked by protests for weeks that have left several people dead. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday that the “government of (President Nicolas) Maduro is violating its own constitution and is not allowing the opposition to have their voices heard.”


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The queen of tennis will soon have a little princess or prince. Serena Williams is pregnant. She went to — where else? — Snapchat to make the announcement.

Rock on

An asteroid will do a really close flyby of Earth this week, but don’t worry, we’re not going to die. NASA even took a picture of the rock. Major markup

Good news. You can now get Ikea’s iconic 99-cent blue tote bag — for about $2,145 at Balenciaga. Now that’s smart shopping! Prof problems

How to get an unexpected break from teaching your college history class: 1. Tweet that the President “must hang”; 2. Endure the blowback and apologize; 3. Enjoy your paid leave.


Light bright

That time you tried to fix a broken traffic light — with a stick. (Click to view)

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