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5 things you need to know this morning: Jan. 11, 2019

Start your day off right with five things you need to know this morning.

Five things you need to know

1. Head of Japanese Olympic committee indicted

Corruption allegations have been made against the head of the Japanese Olympic committee, Tsunekazu Takeda, who has now been indicted. He allegedly spent $2-million in bribes to secure Tokyo’s successful bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics. Takeda and another International Olympic Committee member are under investigation.

2. US forces begin withdrawal from Syria

The withdrawal process for U.S. forces in Syria has begun. A spokesperson for the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group confirmed that the process was underway. However, they didn’t provide specific details of troop movements. There are 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria.

3. Former world No. 1 Andy Murray makes tearful retirement announcement

Andy Murray is one of the greatest tennis players of all time, but a nagging hip injury is forcing him to retire from the game at the young age of 31. The former top player in the world is now ranked 230th and he announced at the Australian Open that he’ll be retiring over the coming months. He hopes that he can make Wimbledon his final tournament.

4. At least 16 dead as heavy snow batters Europe

Heavy snow has been battering parts of Europe and at least 16 people are dead as a result. Red weather warnings have been issued in Norway and Austria, which is where a 16-year-old Australian died in an avalanche while skiing with his family. Video has also surfaced of train workers quickly working to dig out an animal trapped under the snow in Austria.

5. The NFL playoff field will be narrowed down from 8 to 4 this weekend

After a crazy wildcard round, the NFL playoffs resume on Saturday and Sunday and the field will be narrowed down from eight teams to four by Sunday night. Your matchups are: Indianapolis Colts vs Kansas City Chiefs, Dallas Cowboys vs Los Angeles Rams, Los Angeles Chargers vs New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles vs New Orleans Saints.

Notable Birthdays (via Famous Birthdays)

Mary J. Blige (48), Jamie Vardy (32)

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