Here is your look at some of the top stories making news around the world.
(CNN) — Today is the Lunar New Year and people around the world are celebrating China’s biggest holiday with family, festivities and fun. Sending best wishes to all our readers who are welcoming the Year of the Tiger!
Here’s what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.
1. Capitol riot
Advisers to former President Donald Trump drafted two versions of executive orders to seize voting machines in the aftermath of the 2020 election, multiple sources tell CNN. The orders tasked the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security to seize machines in states that Trump lost as part of a broader effort to undermine the presidential election results. It is unclear who drafted the executive orders, and neither was issued. At least one of the orders has been handed over by the National Archives to the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection. The committee is also reviewing some Trump White House documents that had to be taped back together because they had been ripped up, the agency said. Separately, former Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff quietly testified before the committee last week in response to a subpoena, a significant sign that Pence’s team is cooperating with the probe.
US and Russian ambassadors faced off during a UN Security Council meeting yesterday on the ongoing Ukraine crisis. US officials have repeatedly urged Moscow to take a diplomatic path forward, warning that an invasion of Ukraine would result in swift and significant sanctions — a message reiterated by President Joe Biden yesterday while the meeting was underway. A US ambassador confirmed very little was accomplished during the conversation and Russia “didn’t give the answers they hoped that they would provide.” Moscow sent a written response ahead of a phone call scheduled for later today between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. A senior US State Department official did not share the contents of the written response, adding it would be “unproductive to negotiate in public.”
Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine has received full approval from the US Food and Drug Administration for use in people ages 18 and older. The vaccine, named Spikevax, is the second coronavirus vaccine to receive full approval from the FDA behind Pfizer’s Comirnaty vaccine. There’s no difference between the newly approved vaccine and the vaccine previously available through emergency use authorization. Meanwhile, some nations — including Denmark and the United Kingdom — are lifting Covid-19 restrictions and mask requirements. This has spurred public health experts to question whether some cities and counties in the US are ready to ease their guidance on mask-wearing and social distancing as well.
4. Boris Johnson
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was condemned in a scathing report by senior civil servant Sue Gray yesterday, which detailed multiple parties, a culture of excessive drinking and a “failure of leadership” in his government while the rest of the country was living under strict Covid-19 lockdown rules. The long-awaited report called Johnson’s actions “a serious failure” and said a string of mass gatherings were “difficult to justify.” It also revealed that police are investigating at least 12 events — including at least two that Johnson attended, and a third held in his residence that he previously told lawmakers did not happen. Johnson apologized for the lockdown parties in an address before Parliament yesterday, where he was skewered by lawmakers from all sides. Johnson’s ability to survive the scandal remains in doubt. If enough Conservative MPs trigger a vote of no-confidence, they will have the chance to oust him from office.
At least 24 people have died since Friday after heavy rain battered São Paulo, triggering floods and landslides across the Brazilian state. More than 1,500 families have also been displaced, according to a statement released by the State Civil Defense, which also said that at least eight children were among the dead. Images from the region showed parts of major roads submerged, while others showed rescue workers digging through debris in search of survivors after a landslide destroyed homes. The southern part of Brazil has been experiencing an increase in average rainfall, as well as extreme rain events since the 1960s, partly due to increases in global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Rihanna and rapper A$AP Rocky are expecting a baby
It’s 100% guaranteed that this duo will have the coolest, most fashionable child ever.
Tom Brady says he hasn’t made decision yet on retiring from the NFL
Don’t call it comeback! Brady says he’s “still going through the process” of deciding his plan for next season.
Record-breaking megaflash lightning
Imagine seeing a huge 17-second-long lightning flash. Would you stare, run or hide? (I’m hiding.)
Guess what the No. 1 song in America is right now
It’s probably not what you’re thinking. The song is actually from a popular Disney movie.
See what it’s like to fly into Beijing’s Olympic ‘bubble’
Beijing isn’t playing games when it comes to Covid-19. All of the airport workers are wearing hazmat suits.
That’s roughly how many cargo ships are sitting off the California Coast due to the supply-chain crisis. The ships are waiting to unload goods worth billions of dollars but are facing delays caused by a massive worker shortage. As a result, prices at grocery stores and retailers are rising due to increased costs for labor, fuel, ingredients, packaging, and transportation.
“We were especially thrilled to see the plane land with one extra, especially beautiful, customer onboard.”
— United Airlines said in a statement to CNN, after a woman gave birth during a flight from Africa to the US over the weekend. The woman went into labor during the 11-hour trip over the Atlantic Ocean, and luckily for the mother, there were several medical professionals onboard to help successfully deliver the baby.
February is Black History Month In Th US
Check out this cool short video of the most searched Black American achievements on Google. (Click here to view)
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