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Daily Briefing

10 things you need to know today: January 23, 2016

Julie Kliegman
Manuel Balce Ceneta/Associated Press
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1.

Major snowstorm blankets East Coast

Snow blanketed the East Coast starting Friday night and extending into Saturday, with Washington, D.C., and the surrounding area getting hit hardest. So far, the nation's capital has seen about a foot of snow, with much more on the way. Should the city surpass 28 inches — just over what meteorologists are predicting — it would mark D.C.'s largest snowfall on record. Nine states declared a state of emergency, with D.C. and New York City also issuing weather emergency declarations.

2.

National Review loses presidential debate partnership over anti-Trump issue

National Review is paying the price for its special edition anti-Trump issue out Friday, "Against Trump Symposium." The Republican National Committee reportedly "disinvited" the conservative magazine from participating in the upcoming Feb. 25 presidential debate after it posted 22 essays from conservative thinkers explaining why Donald Trump should not become the Republican presidential nominee. "We expected this was coming," National Review publisher Jack Fowler said of the RNC snub. "Small price to pay for speaking the truth about The Donald."

3.

The Academy vows to double representation of women, minorities by 2020

In response to the outcry over the lack of minorities represented in the Oscar nominations, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Friday that it will be doubling the number of women and minority members by 2020. "The Academy is going to lead and not wait for the industry to catch up," Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs said in a statement. 2016 was the second year in a row that only white actors were nominated for the highest cinematic honor.

4.

4 dead in Canada school shooting

Four people were reportedly shot dead Friday at La Loche Community School in an aboriginal community in northern Saskatchewan, Canada. Police arrested a suspect at the school and seized his weapon. "Words cannot express my shock and sorrow at the horrific events today in La Loche," Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall wrote on Facebook. "My thoughts and prayers are with all the victims, their families and friends and all the people of the community."

5.

UVA student reportedly arrested in North Korea for 'hostile acts'

North Korea said Friday that it arrested University of Virginia student Otto Frederick Warmbier, 21, at Pyongyang airport on Jan. 2 for allegedly committing a "hostile act" against the state. Though the isolated nation didn't elaborate further on the alleged act, it did say that Warmbier entered as a tourist intending "to destroy the country's unity," and that the U.S. government had "tolerated and manipulated him." Warmbier is the third known Westerner to be held in North Korea.

6.

State department delays release of Clinton emails over impending blizzard

The State Department has asked for an additional month to review Hillary Clinton's private emails, having "overlooked" the need to send them to other agencies for review. However, there is a little dent in their plans — D.C. is getting slammed by a massive winter storm, making it unrealistic to ask other agencies to review 7,000 pages of emails. The department proposed delaying the release until Feb. 29, a month after the original date ordered by the judge.

7.

China, Iran pledge to improve relations

Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Iran on Friday night, becoming the first world leader to do so since international sanctions were lifted from the country Jan. 16 in accordance with the nuclear deal. On Saturday, Xi met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and was also set to talk to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. "China is seeking to improve bilateral ties with Iran to start a new season of comprehensive, long-term, and sustainable relations with the Islamic Republic," Xi said.

8.

Amid criticism, Chris Christie returns home for snowstorm

Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) headed home for the snowstorm after originally planning to continue his presidential campaign trip. Christie cut short a New Hampshire trip that was supposed to end Monday. The New Jersey governor initially planned to deal with the blizzard from afar, only returning if "circumstances warranted." But his remote management plans didn't go over well. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio slammed him Friday morning for putting politics ahead of his state.

9.

Haiti postpones presidential election due to violence

Haiti canceled its presidential election runoff, set for Sunday, amid widespread violent protests claiming the election has been tied to fraud. The Provisional Electoral Council didn't set a new date for the vote. It's unclear whether President Michel Martelly will leave office Feb. 7, when his term expires. Jude Célestin, the candidate opposing a successor to Martelly that many believe was hand-picked by the president, has said he'd boycott the election due to alleged fraud, but his name remained on the ballot.

10.

Steven Moffat to leave Doctor Who in 2017

Doctor Who lead writer and executive producer Steven Moffat will leave the storied sci-fi series in 2017, the BBC announced Friday. "Feels odd to be talking about leaving when I'm just starting work on the scripts for season 10, but the fact is my timey-wimey is running out," Moffat said. He will be replaced by Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall.