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NASA will make one of its biggest announcements ever this spring when it names the initial four-person crew for its Artemis II mission, set to return astronauts to the moon for the first time in 50 years. Besides the astronauts’ nationalities, details on the potential crew – and the selection process – have been shrouded in secrecy. There are, however, several qualified candidates who are generating substantial buzz. Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.
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1. Police reform
Protestors took to the streets across the US over the weekend following the publication of video footage showing the beating by Memphis police that led to the death of Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man. Demonstrators marched through New York City, Atlanta, Boston, Baltimore, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Portland, among other cities, raising signs bearing his name and calling for police reform. As the investigation continues, questions are being raised over whether there could be additional charges for the five former officers involved. The officers – who are also Black – have since been charged with murder and kidnapping in Nichols’ death. The police unit they were part of has also been disbanded. Officials “need to clean the department of bad apples,” Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen told CNN. “They need to get intensive training and make sure de-escalation comes first.”
The Federal Reserve is set to raise interest rates again on Wednesday. While it remains unclear whether it will be another half-point hike or just a quarter-point increase, analysts say the Fed may need to keep raising rates until there is further evidence the labor market is cooling off enough to push the rate of inflation even lower. Still, several job market indicators are showing the US economy is in no serious danger of a recession just yet. The number of people filing for weekly jobless claims dipped last week to 186,000, a nine-month low. Meanwhile, President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy are also set to meet Wednesday as the Treasury Department continues to take measures to keep the government paying its bills after the US hit the debt ceiling set by Congress.
More than 25 million people in the US are under winter weather alerts this morning stretching from Texas to Illinois, bringing the risk of heavy precipitation and significant icing to the region. “The interaction of an arctic air mass and moisture will set the stage for an expansive area of dangerous travel conditions early in the week,” the National Weather Service warned. The winter storm is also bringing dangerously cold air to some cities in the Central US, with possible wind chills as low as 45 degrees below zero. (The coldest wind chills can cause frostbite in as little as 10 minutes.) Showers are also forecast for parts of the Lower Mississippi, Tennessee and Ohio valleys, as well as parts of the Northeast, the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast today.
Check your local forecast here>>>
More than 7,500 migrants from Cuba, Nicaragua and Haiti have been approved to come to the US under a program set up by the Biden administration earlier this month. Administration officials are touting the program as contributing to a drop in crossings at the US-Mexico border. Democratic allies and immigrant advocates, however, are sharing mixed reviews. Many welcome a pathway for migrants, but have criticized the expansion of Title 42. Twenty states have also argued in a lawsuit that the administration didn’t go through the notice and comment rulemaking process before instituting the rule. As a result, the states are asking the courts to block the program.
5. Super Bowl
The Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs are headed to the Super Bowl following two dramatic games Sunday. In Kansas City, Missouri, quarterback Patrick Mahomes led his team to a victory in a back-and-forth game against the Cincinnati Bengals that ended in a slim 23-20 victory. Earlier in the day, the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the San Francisco 49ers 31-7 in Philadelphia, to advance to the championship game for the first time since the 2017-18 season. Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts also passed Cameron Newton for most rushing touchdowns in a single season by a QB in NFL history, according to NFL Research. (Hurts’ total currently stands at 15, to Newton’s 14.) The 2023 Super Bowl will take place at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona on February 12.
Trader Joe’s ranks its top products
View the grocery store’s current most popular items, according to a poll of more than 18,000 customers. (Spoiler alert: Mandarin Orange Chicken was knocked off the top spot this year!)
Novak Djokovic wins Australian Open
The tennis star beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets to win a 10th Australian Open title and a record-equaling 22nd grand slam. Aryna Sabalenka, meanwhile, won a thrilling match in the women’s final at the tournament.
Bug out with this anti-Valentine’s Day activity
The San Antonio Zoo will let you name a cockroach after an ex and feed it to an animal, as part of its annual “Cry Me a Cockroach” fundraiser.
15-year-old wins US figure skating title
Teenager Isabeau Levito is projected to be a future Olympian. Check out her latest major accomplishment.
Bought for $600, this rare painting sold for $3 million
The once-abandoned work by the Flemish artist Anthony van Dyck was found in a farm shed. Maybe you have valuable items collecting dust in your garage too?
Actress Annie Wersching died Sunday, her publicist told CNN, after a battle with cancer. She was 45. Wersching was best known for playing FBI agent Renee Walker in the series “24.” She also held roles in “The Vampire Diaries” and the Amazon Prime series “Bosch” and voiced the character Tess in the video game “The Last of Us.”
That’s how many domestic trips China saw during the Lunar New Year holiday, state media reported. That’s a 74% surge from last year, after the government lifted all travel curbs under its now-abandoned zero-Covid policy.
“When I hear he might run, I consider that very disloyal.”
– Former President Donald Trump, expressing disapproval over Florida’s Republican governor Ron DeSantis’ potential 2024 presidential bid. In his first major campaign swing against a possible opponent, Trump on Saturday claimed DeSantis and his team are “trying to rewrite history” over their response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Earlier this month, DeSantis called on state lawmakers to make permanent existing penalties for companies that require employees get Covid-19 vaccinations.
It’s National Croissant Day
You’ve probably enjoyed a warm croissant for breakfast before… but have you tried croissant cereal? In honor of the unofficial — but absolutely worthy — holiday, watch this minute-long video to see how mini croissant cereal is made. (Click here to view.)