5 things to know for February 17: winter weather, Biden, Covid-19, Trump, China

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1. Winter climate

The winter climate continues to wreak havoc in the U.S., with forecasts predicting more ice and low temperatures in the most affected states. Texas, which rarely gets so cold, was hit particularly hard. Cold temperatures have increased energy demand and have frozen or overburdened energy sources, leaving millions of people in the dark and struggling to stay warm. The situation could have far-reaching implications as the US energy industry tries to reduce carbon emissions in response to the climate crisis. Another consequence of bad weather: many cities and states have stopped vaccination efforts. The winter storm caused at least 26 deaths.

2. Joe Biden

President Joe Biden set a new deadline at CNN City Hall last night: by the end of July, the United States will have enough doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to vaccinate all Americans. He also said the country could hope to return to normal next Christmas, adding that he did not want to promise too much. These questions were among several that Biden addressed in his first city hall as president. He also clarified confusion about the reopening of schools, defended a request for a minimum wage increase and insisted that the country was not divided. If you missed it, CNN’s Chris Cillizza has some topics on what matters most. Overall, Biden showed that “the days of denial of the presidential pandemic and indifference to America’s suffering are over,” writes Stephen Collinson of CNN.

3. Coronavirus

New York Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo was announced as the classic example of crisis leadership last year, with his clear instructions on the coronavirus and passionate appeals to the federal government for more medical supplies. He even wrote a book offering lessons on leadership. Now, all of that is in question. Cuomo is at the center of a controversy over Covid-19 deaths in nursing homes, how they were counted and how his government handled data requests. A senior aide told state lawmakers earlier this month that his government delayed the release of data from the nursing home because of concerns over a possible federal investigation by the Trump administration. Cuomo admitted some flaw this week, but ended up defending the decision to postpone the release of death data. Lawmakers on both sides called for an investigation and limitations on their executive powers.

4. Trump

The rush over Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial continues. The former president on Tuesday went after Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, who made a strong criticism of Trump shortly after voting to absolve him. The insults launched by Trump against McConnell come as the Republican Party in general is struggling over whether to continue in Trump’s image or open a path that deviates from the former president’s legacy. In other news, Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, is not currently representing the former president on any legal issues, a consultant said. Trump is facing several criminal investigations, civil status inquiries and defamation lawsuits by two women who accuse him of sexual assault.

5. China

A US Navy warship sailed through islands claimed by China in the South China Sea. It is the second such trip in two weeks, and occurs when the Biden government increases the US military presence in disputed waters. Vietnam, Taiwan and the Philippines also have claims on the Spratly Islands, where the U.S. guided-missile destroyer came close. Since taking office, the Biden government has reaffirmed its commitment to US allies and partners in the region, as well as to the protection of a free and open Indo-Pacific. China claims that US naval operations in the South China Sea ignite tensions and violate its sovereignty.


Rihanna posed topless wearing a pendant representing the Hindu god Ganesha and some people are not happy

Some Hindus accuse the singer of cultural appropriation and religious insensitivity.

Johnny Pacheco, who popularized salsa in the United States, dies at 85

His contributions to the genre earned him the title of “godfather of salsa”.

Slavery reparations could have reduced Covid-19 transmission and deaths in the U.S., says Harvard study

It is another powerful argument in the case of repairs.

California condors at the Oregon Zoo laid nine eggs – a much needed boost for endangered species

Fingers crossed, they are all born in beautiful chicks.

Tourists taking selfies may be spreading Covid-19 to endangered gorillas

A friendly reminder for all visitors to the zoo: please wear a mask.


Dozens of students are feared to be kidnapped after armed men broke into a school in Nigeria

At least one person died in the attack, a witness told CNN.


February is the month of black history, and every day we highlight black pioneers in American history. Find out more here.

Marsha P. Johnson, gay and transgender rights activist, 1945-1992

When the police raided the New York gay bar known as the Stonewall Inn in 1969, Johnson was considered one of the first to resist them. The following year, she marched in the city’s first Gay Pride event. She helped open a shelter for LGBTQ youth and advocated for sex workers and people with HIV / AIDS. Her activism has made her a small celebrity among Lower Manhattan artists and outcasts.


$ 500 million

This is how much Citibank was trying to recover after mistakenly transferring a very large sum to the creditors of the cosmetics company Revlon last year. On Tuesday, a judge ruled that the bank could not get the money back.


“I am a hostage.”

Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum, the daughter of Dubai’s billionaire ruler, who appears on secret recordings claiming she is being held in a villa turned into a prison without access to medical aid, according to a BBC documentary.


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50 states, 50 accents

Whether we like it or not, we all have an accent. Did these people understand your condition well? (Click here to view.)