5 things for Wednesday, March 1: Trump, Syria, tornadoes


So much to cover ... so little time.
Trump's message
    The most unorthodox of politicians struck a conventional presidential posture during his speech to Congress last night. Donald Trump conjured a vision of common national purpose, shifting his tone from the dark, searing approach of his previous big speeches to the nation. The question now is whether the President was previewing a new, more sober political persona or will he soon return to his combative habits?
    Trump wants Republicans and Democrats to work together on an immigration reform bill that allows undocumented immigrants to stay in the US if they paid taxes and had no serious criminal record -- a stance that runs counter to the tough-on-immigrant rhetoric that defined his campaign. He's also scrapped plans to sign a reworked travel ban planned for today, and will wait until later this week to sign the order, a senior administration official said.
    Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is under fire after describing historically black colleges and universities as "pioneers" of school choice. They're not. HBCUs arose in response to racist Jim Crow laws in the south that enforced segregation, shutting out black students from traditionally white schools.
    Gun control
    Trump signed a measure nixing a regulation aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of some severely mentally ill people.
    2. SYRIA WAR
    It was clash of the titans at the UN Security Council yesterday. Russia and China vetoed a US-backed measure to punish Syria for using chemical weapons, and the Trump administration was not amused. The resolution would have condemned use of chemical weapons in Syria and placed sanctions on 21 scientists, commanders and entities alleged to be involved in their use.
    3. GAZA WAR
    Israeli politicians took aim at one another following the release of a state report that criticizes the country's handling of the Gaza war three years ago. The report offered a strong indictment of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government, claiming it had no strategic goals when the 50-day war started.
    Tornadoes ripped through the Midwest yesterday, killing two people -- one in Missouri and a second one in Illinois. The National Weather Service reports 20 tornadoes landed in Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee and Iowa.
    One of the two women who survived a deadly small plane crash in Southern California was found in the bedroom of a home the plane crashed into and a second survivor was found near the crash scene. Three others on the plane were killed.
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    'Dancing grannies' will face the music
    Beijing's had enough of its dancing grannies. The women meet in public squares and perform synchronized dance routines with loud music. From Wednesday, the dancers in Beijing will be subject to fines.
    Time to switch channels
    Buh bye, traditional TV. Google has launched YouTube TV, which will offer a streaming TV service for people who don't want to pay for traditional cable.
    War of words
    It's safe to say the Obamas walked away into a sunset littered with dollar bills. Penguin Random House has won in a bidding war for a pair of books by Barack and Michelle Obama.
    Making history
    In its 130 years of existence, the Harvard Law Review had never elected a black woman as president. ImeIme Umana has changed that. The 24-year-old is the first black woman to lead the influential journal.