5 things to know for March 4: Tornadoes, politics, Good Samaritan, Asia, Michael Jackson

A series of devastating tornadoes cut through Alabama Sunday night.
A series of devastating tornadoes cut through Alabama Sunday night.

(CNN)It’s a grim morning in Alabama after a deadly outbreak of tornadoes last night. So let’s get right to that and everything else 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.)

At least 23 people were killed after a series of devastating tornadoes gashed through Alabama last night. Half of the deaths occurred just south of the city of Opelika. It’s the deadliest tornado outbreak in the US in five years and surpasses the death toll from all tornadoes in the country in 2018. The damage looked “as if someone had taken a blade and just scraped the ground,” Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones said. He said the path of destruction is about half a mile wide and runs for miles. The county was hit by back-to-back twisters within the span of about an hour, CNN Meteorologist Gene Norman said. Authorities will escalate search and rescue efforts this morning as they look for more survivors and victims.

Deadly tornadoes touch down in Alabama and Georgia
Deadly tornadoes touch down in Alabama and Georgia 01:14

House Democrats start ramping up their investigations of President Trump today. As part of that the House Judiciary Committee will request documents from more than 60 people — including Donald Trump Jr. and Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg. Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler told ABC News over the weekend that it’s time “to present the case to the American people about obstruction of justice, about corruption and abuse of power.”

Meanwhile it looks like there will be enough Republican votes in the Senate to oppose Trump’s national emergency declaration. Kentucky GOP Sen. Rand Paul said he’d support the resolution of disapproval that’s already passed the House. The Dems had to have four GOP senators to join with them to get the resolution through the Senate, and Paul is the fourth GOP vote they needed. The vote in the Senate will come sometime in the next two weeks. If it passes, the resolution would go to the President for his signature, but Trump has already said he’d veto it. And it’s unlikely there are enough votes in either chamber to override his veto.

Nadler: Yes, I think Trump obstructed justice
Nadler: Yes, I think Trump obstructed justice 01:13

President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping could be meeting up later this month to end the trade war between the two countries. The two sides are in final negotiations on a deal that would lower Chinese tariffs on US good as the US removes broad sanctions against China, the…

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