5 things to know for Jan. 25: Classified docs, Tornadoes, Immigration, Covid, Ukraine
By Alexandra Meeks, CNN
Rihanna headlining the 2023 Super Bowl halftime show has already drummed up immense excitement. But if pop music isn’t your genre of choice, perhaps you’ll be happy to learn the NFL has added a country music star and some Hollywood heavyweights to its entertainment lineup.
Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.
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1. Classified documents
About a dozen documents marked as classified were found at former Vice President Mike Pence’s Indiana home last week and have been turned over to the FBI, multiple sources told CNN. The documents were discovered by a lawyer for Pence, the sources said, and come in the wake of revelations about classified material found in President Joe Biden’s private office and residence. It is not yet clear what the documents are related to or their level of sensitivity or classification. However, the discovery has drawn scrutiny from some Democrats and the media after Pence repeatedly said he did not have any classified documents in his possession. The disclosure also comes amid speculation that Pence is readying for a run for the Republican nomination for president in 2024.
More than a dozen reported tornadoes struck communities in Texas and Louisiana on Tuesday, damaging many homes and businesses — and the threat is expected to persist today in other southern states. The storm has already inflicted extensive damage in some Houston-area communities, where roofs were blown off buildings and power lines were destroyed. More than 100,000 homes and businesses in Texas and Arkansas were left in the dark early this morning, according to the tracking site PowerOutage.us. Parts of Alabama, Florida and Mississippi are currently under a tornado watch as crews begin cleanup efforts in the affected regions. The storm may also bring a wintry mix of heavy snow and ice to Oklahoma and the Ozarks today as it expands into the Ohio Valley, the National Weather Service said.
Daily migrant encounters along the US-Mexico border have dropped by more than half in January compared to last month, a Homeland Security official tells CNN. Border authorities were averaging about 7,000 daily encounters last month ahead of the anticipated end of Title 42, a public health authority that’s been in place since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Supreme Court put a temporary hold on the termination of Title 42, leaving it in place for now. While daily arrests have dropped, it’s unclear how long the trend will hold as people continue to face poor conditions in their home countries. Officials say the drop in daily encounters this month is attributed to the expansion of a program that allows up to 30,000 migrants to enter the US per month from Haiti, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba.
The CDC wants to test the wastewater from commercial airplanes for coronavirus variants and other potential viruses. The agency is now ironing out the “logistical and legal” aspects of testing sewage before the program becomes operational, a source close to CDC discussions said. Health officials who are partnering with the CDC on this endeavor say airplane wastewater surveillance not only can help with detecting emerging Covid-19 and flu variants — it can also serve as a “radar system” that can alert vaccine makers to which variants our Covid-19 shots might need to target each year. Wastewater surveillance at major US airports and ports of entry may also be useful for identifying initial cases of pathogens from other regions among international travelers, according to a new report released last week.
Germany says it will send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine following weeks of diplomatic pressure to do so. “This is the result of intensive consultations that took place with Germany’s closest European and international partners,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said today. “This decision follows our well-known line of supporting Ukraine to the best of our ability,” he added. Meanwhile, the US is finalizing plans to send approximately 30 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, according to two officials familiar with the deliberations. Previously, Russia’s Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said Russian armed forces would destroy the US-made tanks and other NATO military equipment if they are supplied to Ukraine. “These tanks will burn down just like all the others,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov reiterated today.
Jill Biden to present Inauguration Day dresses at the Smithsonian
First lady Jill Biden will present both of her Inauguration Day ensembles at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History today, the White House announced. Presenting the first lady’s inauguration ensembles at the Smithsonian is a tradition dating back to Helen Taft in 1912. Former first lady Melania Trump donated her inaugural ball gown to the museum in 2017.
Oscar nominations announced
Looking for a new movie to watch? The strange and captivating film “Everything Everywhere All at Once” scored big with 11 nominations. See the full list of nominees here.
Ticketmaster under fire
It can be a pain trying to snag concert tickets nowadays… Watch a top executive of Ticketmaster’s parent company get grilled over high ticket prices.
Oreo has a new flavor
It appears there’s a presale for Oreo’s newest cookie flavor. Let’s see if it lives up to the internet hype … or crumbles under criticism.
Justin Bieber sells his music catalog
This massive deal is set to make the pop star $200 million richer.
The Doomsday Clock reveals how close we are to total annihilation
This clock attempts to gauge how close humanity is to destroying the world. Yes, it sounds very grim… but it’s actually helping to encourage public engagement in difficult scientific topics.
That’s how many mass shootings have occurred in the US in 2023. That amounts to more shootings than days so far this year, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive.
“It would be in the national interest not to grant him a visa.”
— Peter Wertheim, co-CEO of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, arguing to officials on Tuesday that Kanye West is not suitable to receive an Australian visa because of his history of antisemitic remarks. Pressure is mounting on government officials to deny entry to the award-winning US rapper after Australian media reported that West, now known as Ye, would visit the country to meet the family of his partner who grew up in Melbourne. A decision has not been announced, but Australia has previously refused or revoked visas for far-right figures for failing the “good character” test.
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An extremely talented percussionist
This musician holds the distinction of being among the world’s best percussionists. Take a few minutes to enjoy one of his impressive performances. (Click here to view)
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