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Flying saucers. Unexplained lights. Hovering objects. UFO sightings have puzzled government officials and witnesses for decades as many seek to answer the question: Are we alone? Well, we may get some answers to that burning question today. A House panel this morning is set to hold an open congressional hearing on UFOs for the first time in more than 50 years.
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Hundreds of people were evacuated yesterday from the massive Azovstal steel plant in Ukraine, the last holdout in the besieged city of Mariupol that had become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance under relentless Russian bombardment. According to a statement by Ukraine’s military, this completes the “combat mission” in Mariupol, which has been the scene of some of the most intense fighting since Russia launched its invasion in late February. Separately, Sweden’s Foreign Minister Ann Linde today signed an application declaring the country wants to join NATO. The move marks a formal step by Sweden toward joining the US-led military alliance – ending decades of military neutrality. Russian President Vladimir President Putin said the entry of both Sweden and Finland into NATO will not create a threat to Russia, but military expansion into the territory will “certainly cause our response.”
2. Baby formula
3. Buffalo shooting
The shooting death of Breonna Taylor and the killing of George Floyd are in the spotlight as trials move forward to determine the fate of the former officers involved. Brett Hankison is the only officer of three involved in the raid that led to the 2020 shooting death of Breonna Taylor who was charged with a crime – though his charges are not related to Taylor’s death. Six witnesses were called to testify yesterday and the jurors will all take a trip to view the apartment complex themselves tomorrow. Separately, a jury concluded its first day of deliberations yesterday in the civil rights case of 3 ex-officers connected to George Floyd’s killing. The trial comes about 21 months after Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, was handcuffed and pressed to the pavement as Officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck and back for more than 9 minutes, resulting in Floyd’s death. The jury is expected to resume deliberations today.
Progressive Democrats have announced they will not vote for the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill without passing the $3.5 trillion package that is aimed at enacting President Joe Biden’s economic agenda. That vote is scheduled for next week, and as it stands, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi can afford to lose only a handful of votes to get anything passed. President Biden will increase his engagement with Congressional Democrats today, including a meeting with Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, to try and get all the Democratic factions in line. Yesterday, the House also passed a bill to avoid a government shutdown and suspend the US debt limit. The bill is unlikely to pass the Senate, so the country is still approaching a possible shutdown and financial precipice in the coming weeks.
Two top prosecutors working on the Manhattan district attorney’s criminal investigation into the Trump Organization resigned yesterday, leaving the years-old probe without two key players as it appeared to have entered a crucial phase. The reasons for their departures remain unclear, but officials say the investigation will carry on. CNN reported in December that the investigation appears to be coming to a head, with prosecutors focusing on the accuracy of the Trump Organization’s financial statements when seeking financing, according to people familiar with the matter. Separately, former President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka, who also served as senior White House adviser, is now in discussions with the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection to voluntarily appear for an interview, according to her spokesperson and two sources familiar with the probe.
White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci said he would not continue to serve in his role if former President Donald Trump was elected to a second term. “Well, no,” Fauci said with a chuckle when asked during an interview Sunday on CNN if he would stay on in his post if Trump were to return to the White House. Fauci was a leading member of Trump’s White House coronavirus task force as the virus took hold in the US in 2020 – but often disagreed with the administration over its handling of the pandemic. Separately, the CDC yesterday updated its guidance for people traveling within the US. The agency now urges all domestic travelers to “consider getting tested as close to the time of departure as possible (no more than three days) before your trip.” The agency also moved up four destinations to the “high” Covid-19 risk category for travelers.
The Canadian government announced it will lift the Emergencies Act that allowed the use of the military to address trucker protests across the country over Covid-19 mitigation measures. “After careful consideration, we’re ready to confirm that the situation is no longer an emergency,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said during a news conference in Ottawa yesterday, lifting the act that was imposed 10 days ago. Trudeau said police have the tools they need to continue to deal with unlawful protesters, which are now reduced to small pockets of demonstrations across the country. As the situation calms down, a heavy police presence will remain in Ottawa’s downtown core, officials said.
President Biden has reversed some Trump policies related to Cuba, making it easier for families to visit relatives in the country. The State Department yesterday announced it will reinstate the Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program and increase consular services as well as visa processing. The Biden administration is also lifting the family remittance cap of $1,000 per quarter, which limited monetary transfers from American residents. The announced changes to Cuba policy, however, do leave in place some restrictions and maintain sanctions on certain entities. The US will still prohibit American tourism in Cuba and won’t allow individuals to travel there for educational purposes, senior administration officials said yesterday.
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The best type of therapist has fur and four legs! Not only do pets provide stress reduction, our furry (and scaly) friends also improve cognitive health.
Viola Davis plays Michelle Obama in new series “The First Lady”
The pressure! Davis said it keeps her up at night knowing the Obamas might see her work.
Yeezy Gap unveils Balenciaga collection that includes a $440 jacket
Any fashion collaboration involving Kanye West = waiting list. Most of the limited-edition styles sold out within minutes after they were posted online.
Bath & Body Works CEO to step down
Despite the change in ranks, the company remains one of the biggest pandemic winners thanks to increased demand for its sanitizers, scented candles and air fresheners from people spending more time at home.
A doghouse struck by a meteorite has sold at auction for $44,000
Fun fact: Objects hit by meteorites are actually more valuable than the meteorite itself!
That’s the price per barrel of oil that was surpassed earlier today as Russia began its attack on Ukraine. Brent crude, the global benchmark, last traded above $100 a barrel in 2014. Oil supplies are already tight and analysts have warned that any disruptions to exports from Russia, the world’s No. 2 oil producer, would drive prices even higher.
“It is extremely risky to do what they did. The only way that these things happen is if the robbers have got really good inside information.”
– Matthew Hutchins, the widower of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, on how he believes actor Alec Baldwin should be held responsible for the shooting death of his late wife. Halyna Hutchins died in October after Baldwin discharged a prop gun during a rehearsal on the set of the film “Rust.” In an interview airing today on NBC, Hutchins said “multiple responsible parties” did not follow industry standards.
A robot spy otter quietly captured adorable real otters in their natural element. (Click here to view)