01:57 - Source: CNN
'Madness': Putin addresses Ukraine during speech
CNN  — 

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    If you’re planning to enjoy the outdoors this weekend, meteorologists say proceed with caution. An unrelenting, early season heat wave will reach the eastern and southern tiers of the US over the next few days – and nearly 60% of Americans are expected see temperatures at or above 90 degrees.

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    1. Ukraine

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky yesterday said Donbas is “completely destroyed” as a result of Russia’s constant strikes. Donbas is a heartland region that blankets much of eastern Ukraine and has been at the front of the country’s conflict with Russia since 2014. “The bombing and shelling of other cities, the air and missile strikes of the Russian army – all this is not just fighting during the war,” Zelensky said. “This is a deliberate and criminal attempt to kill as many Ukrainians as possible,” he added. In the eastern Luhansk region, Ukrainian military officials said 12 civilians were killed and 60 properties were destroyed yesterday by Russian bombardments. Separately, the US Senate approved a $40 billion emergency aid package for Ukraine. The bill will be flown to South Korea, where President Joe Biden will sign it during his first trip to Asia.

    2. Abortion

    A fourth Covid-19 shot might be recommended in the US this fall, according to leading public health officials who say they are “very carefully” monitoring if Americans would need another vaccine dose. Researchers say a fourth dose does boost antibodies, but is not likely to prevent Omicron breakthrough infections. In December, Israel became the first nation to roll out a fourth dose option for adults 60 and older. More recently, Sweden announced last week that second booster doses are recommended for everyone 80 and older. In the UK, officials unveiled plans yesterday to offer an extra booster dose to their vulnerable populations in addition to carving out end dates for self-isolation rules – one day after it was announced that Queen Elizabeth II has tested positive for Covid-19. Buckingham Palace says the Queen has canceled her planned virtual engagements today as she continues to suffer from mild Covid-19 symptoms.

    01:32 - Source: CNN
    Queen Elizabeth tests positive for Covid-19

    3. Coronavirus

    Winter weather alerts covering nearly 25 million people across the US were issued yesterday, as snow, sleet and freezing rain descend on most of the northern tier of the country. One storm system is bringing frigid conditions to the northern Plains through the Great Lakes today, with another blast expected later this week. Increasing wind may lead to near blizzard conditions in Minneapolis with several inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service. Another storm system in the South is carrying in warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico and providing enough moisture to create storms and flooding. As a result, people in some parts of Mississippi and Tennessee have been instructed to stay inside and be on the lookout today.

    01:31 - Source: CNN
    Dangerously cold temperatures from Arctic expected in northern plains

    Democrats are facing a wave of exits in the House ahead of the critical midterm elections. Illinois Rep. Bobby Rush and Michigan Rep. Brenda Lawrence both announced they will not be seeking reelection in the fall, bringing the total number of Democrats planning to retire to 25. Eleven other members – six Democrats and five Republicans – are also planning to leave their posts to run for Senate or governor. Democratic leaders worry that the wave of resignations, along with redistricting efforts and low morale in the House, could bring more challenges to an already uncertain election season. Republican Devin Nunes, a close Trump ally who represented California for nearly 20 years, has just resigned from the House as well. He announced last month that he would be leaving Congress at the end of 2021 to become CEO of the Trump Media & Technology Group

    4. January 6

    Former Attorney General William Barr has “tentatively agreed to give sworn testimony behind closed doors” to the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection, according to two sources familiar with the negotiations. Barr has talked informally with the committee, but this formal request would add to several sworn testimonies the committee has sought from other Republican lawmakers as part of its probe into circumstances leading up to the storming of the US Capitol. Separately, the committee yesterday announced it has evidence that Republican Rep. Barry Loudermilk led a tour of the US Capitol complex the day before pro-Trump rioters stormed the building. The committee is now looking for more information from Loudermilk about the purpose of the tour and its participants.

    5. Saudi Arabia

    The White House is working towards a first presidential meeting with Saudi Arabia. President Biden and Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, could meet for the first time as soon as next month, multiple sources told CNN. A meeting between American and Saudi leaders would have once been considered routine, but now marks a significant shift due to the recent strain in the relationship. It would also likely spark some controversy at home for Biden, who has been highly critical of the Saudis’ record on human rights, its war in Yemen, and the role its government played in the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The Biden administration’s effort to return to better relations with Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest exporter of crude oil, comes as gasoline prices hit record highs in the US. 

    BREAKFAST BROWSE

    Winners of the Golden Globes announced 

    Is this a prelude to Brit performing on stage again? One can only hope!

    The world’s biggest cruise ship is making its debut

    It’s so big it even has different neighborhoods if you never want your cruise to end…  

    New winner named in 2021 Kentucky Derby

    The decision has been met with praise after the previous winner sparked major controversy.

    Rare fossil of giant flying reptile discovered on Scottish Island 

    Some of these creatures were as big as airplanes… *goosebumps*

    ‘Arthur’ comes to an end after 25 seasons

    What type of animal is Arthur? Most of us never knew, but one thing is very certain – our favorite PBS creature will be missed!

    IN MEMORIAM

    Jane Marczewski, a singer known by her stage name Nightbirde, who gained widespread popularity after being a contestant on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” has died after a four-year battle with cancer, her family confirmed. “You can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore before you decide to be happy,” she said during one of her performances, impressing the judges with her positive and bubbly personality.

    01:15 - Source: CNN
    Host and judges pay tribute to 'America's Got Talent' contestant who lost battle to cancer

    TODAY’S NUMBER

    That’s the amount Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev received in a federal stimulus payment. The US Attorney’s Office of Massachusetts has filed a request to have that stimulus payment and other funds in Tsarnaev’s inmate trust account turned over to his victims while he serves a life sentence in Colorado. Four people were killed and hundreds of others were injured after Tsarnaev and his brother set off two bombs near the Boston Marathon finish line in 2013.

    That’s how much Michigan head basketball coach Juwan Howard was fined for fighting on the court after an NCAA college basketball game against Wisconsin. Howard has also been suspended for the rest of the regular season. The now-viral video of the brawl shows Howard throwing a punch toward a Wisconsin coach following an argument, sparking pushing and shoving between both sets of players and staff.

    TODAY’S QUOTE

    President Joe Biden, in a fiery speech yesterday commemorating the anniversary of the January 6 insurrection. Biden thoroughly denounced participants in the riot and made the rare move of denouncing former President Donald Trump as a threat to democracy – without naming him outright.

    – Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto, sharing how a second case of coronavirus nearly killed him. In contrast to some of the loudest voices at the right-wing network, Cavuto has spoken out in favor of Covid-19 vaccines. Cavuto, a cancer survivor with multiple sclerosis who is immunocompromised, said his most recent case of Covid-19 led to pneumonia and landed him “in intensive care for quite a while.”

    TODAY’S WEATHER

    02:43 - Source: CNN
    Multiple rounds of extreme weather for the Plains

    Check your local forecast here>>>

    AND FINALLY

    You’ve made it to the finish line of the week, which is not unlike this thrilling little corgi race. (Click here to view

    Now that the Beijing Winter Olympics are over, competitors are heading home and celebrating their medals! Check out this compilation of the year’s most emotional reactions in winning moments. (Click here to view)