5 Things You Should Know For February 17: Winter Weather, Biden, Covid-19, Trump, China


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1. Winter weather

Winter weather continues to wreak havoc in the US, with forecasts predicting more ice and lower temperatures in the worst-hit states. Texas, which is rarely this cold, has been hit especially hard. Freezing temperatures have increased energy demands and overworked or frozen energy sources, leaving millions of people in the dark and struggling to stay warm. The situation could have far-reaching implications as the US energy industry tries to reduce carbon emissions in response to the climate crisis. Another consequence of bad weather: Many cities and states have paused vaccination efforts. The winter storm has caused at least 26 deaths.

2. Joe Biden

President Joe Biden set a new deadline at a CNN town hall last night: By the end of July, the US will have enough doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to vaccinate all Americans. He also said the nation could hope to return to normal by next Christmas, adding that he did not want to promise too much. Those questions were some of the ones Biden addressed in his first city hall as president. He also cleared up confusion about reopening schools, defended a call for an increase in the minimum wage, and insisted the country is not divided. If you missed it, CNN’s Chris Cillizza has some takeaways on what mattered most. Overall, Biden showed that “the days of denial and indifference to the presidential pandemic for America’s suffering are over,” writes CNN’s Stephen Collinson.

3. Coronavirus

New York’s Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo was heralded as the textbook example of leadership in crisis last year, with his clear reporting on the coronavirus and passionate calls on the federal government for more medical supplies. He even wrote a book offering lessons on leadership. Now, all that is in doubt. Cuomo is at the center of a controversy over Covid-19 deaths in nursing homes, how they were counted, and how his administration handled requests for that data. A top adviser told state lawmakers earlier this month that his administration delayed the release of nursing home data over concerns about a possible federal investigation by the Trump administration. Cuomo admitted wrongdoing this week, but ultimately defended the decision to delay the release of data on deaths. Lawmakers from both parties have called for an investigation and limitations on their executive powers.

4. Trump

The aftermath of Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial continues. The former president on Tuesday went after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who offered a harsh criticism of Trump just after voting to acquit him. The insults directed by Trump against McConnell come at a time when the Republican Party at large is grappling with whether to continue in the Trump likeness or forge a path that deviates from the former president’s legacy. In other news, Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, does not currently represent the former president on any legal matters, an adviser said. Trump faces multiple criminal investigations, civil state investigations and defamation lawsuits by two women accusing him of sexual assault.

5. China

A United States Navy warship has sailed China-claimed islands in the South China Sea. It is the second navigation of its kind in as many weeks, and it comes as the Biden administration intensifies the US military presence in the disputed waters. Vietnam, Taiwan and the Philippines also have claims in the Spratly Islands, where the US guided missile destroyer approached. Since taking office, the Biden administration has reaffirmed its commitment to America’s allies and partners in the region, as well as to protecting a free and open Indo-Pacific. China claims that US naval operations in the South China Sea inflame tensions and violate its sovereignty.

BREAKFAST SAIL

Rihanna posed topless with a pendant representing the Hindu god Ganesha and some people are not happy

Some Hindus accuse the singer of cultural appropriation and religious insensitivity.

Johnny Pacheco, who popularized salsa in the United States, dies at 85

His contributions to the genre earned him the title of “godfather of salsa.”

Slavery Reparations Could Have Reduced Covid-19 Transmission And Deaths In The US, According To A Harvard Study

It’s another powerful argument in the case of reparations.

California condors at the Oregon Zoo have laid nine eggs, a much-needed boost for endangered species

Fingers crossed, they are all born into sweet chicks.

Tourists taking selfies could be spreading Covid-19 to endangered gorillas

A friendly reminder to all zoo visitors: wear a mask.

THIS JUST ARRIVED

Dozens of students are feared to have been abducted after gunmen raided a school in Nigeria

At least one person was killed in the attack, a witness told CNN.

PROFILES IN PERSEVERANCE

February is Black History Month, and every day we highlight black pioneers in American history. Learn more here.

Marsha P. Johnson, gay and transgender rights activist, 1945-1992

When police raided the New York gay bar known as Stonewall Inn in 1969, Johnson was said to have been one of the first to resist them. The following year, he marched in the city’s first Gay Pride event. She helped open a shelter for LGBTQ youth and advocated for sex workers and people with HIV / AIDS. Her activism made her a minor celebrity among Lower Manhattan artists and outcasts.

TODAY’S NUMBER

$ 500 million

That is what Citibank had been trying to recoup after mistakenly transferring a very large sum to the lenders of the Revlon cosmetics company last year. On Tuesday, a judge ruled that the bank could not get the money back.

TODAY’S APPOINTMENT

“I am a hostage.”

Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum, daughter of the billionaire ruler of Dubai, who appears in secret recordings claiming that she is being held in a villa-turned-prison without access to medical help, according to a BBC documentary.

TODAY’S TIME

Check your local forecast here >>>

AND FINALLY

50 states, 50 accents

Whether we want to admit it or not, we all have an accent. Did these people understand your condition well? (Click here to see.)

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