10 things you need to know today: February 8, 2021
Tampa Bay dominates Kansas City to win the Super Bowl, Republicans rally behind Trump ahead of his impeachment trial, and more
Super Bowl LV: Buccaneers defeat Chiefs 31-9
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9 to win the Super Bowl on Sunday. Quarterback Tom Brady, in his first year with the Buccaneers, completed 21 of his 29 passes for 209 yards and three touchdowns to lead his new team to the second title in franchise history. It was a record seventh Super Bowl win for Brady, after the six he won with the New England Patriots (2002, 2004, 2005, 2015, 2017, 2019). The Chiefs were trying to become the first NFL team to win back-to-back Super Bowls since Brady and the Patriots did it in 2004 and 2005. But Brady, 43, outplayed his younger rival, 25-year-old Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who completed 26 of 49 passes for 270 yards, with two interceptions.
Republicans rally behind Trump ahead of impeachment trial
Republican senators expressed support for former President Donald Trump on Sunday ahead of the start of his impeachment trial, which is scheduled to start Tuesday. The House impeachment trial accuses Trump of inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol by a mob of his supporters. Democrats say Trump's actions, including a fiery speech calling for his backers to oppose the certification of his election loss to President Biden, made him responsible for the deadly attack against the Capitol. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Trump's call for protesters to "fight like hell" against the certification of Biden's electoral victory was "figurative" speech. Republicans also have said the impeachment proceedings are unconstitutional because Trump is out of office.
House Democrats to include $250-300 monthly child payments in stimulus
House Democrats will release legislation Monday to provide millions of U.S. families $3,600 a year for each child under 6 and $3,000 for every child age 6 to 17. The legislation, spearheaded by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.), will likely be added to President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package. Biden wants his American Rescue Plan to use an expanded child tax credit to cut the child poverty rate in half. Under the plan, the IRS would send $250-300 monthly payments to households for a year, starting in July. The White House and Senate Democrats have reviewed Neal's proposal and support it, The Washington Post reports, though it may have to be modified to meet the strict, peculiar rules of the Senate budget reconciliation process.
Yellen says those earning up to $60,000 should get full stimulus checks
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Sunday that individuals earning up to $60,000 should receive the $1,400 checks proposed in President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package. "The exact details of how it should be targeted are to be determined, but struggling middle class families need help," Yellen said on CNN's State of the Union. The White House has said that Biden won't budge on sending families another round of stimulus checks, but he is willing to negotiate on where the income cutoff should be to determine who's eligible. "He wouldn't want to see a household making over $300,000 receive these payments," Yellen said. She added that if Congress approves Biden's plan the U.S. will return to full employment in 2022.
South Africa pauses AstraZeneca vaccine drive
South Africa on Sunday halted use of the AstraZeneca-Oxford coronavirus vaccine, days after receiving a million doses for a vaccination campaign. The decision came after clinical-trial data indicated that the vaccine did not prevent mild or moderate COVID-19 in patients infected with a highly contagious virus variant first detected in South Africa. Pfizer and Moderna have said that preliminary studies suggested their vaccines were less effective against the variant, B.1.351. Novavax and Johnson & Johnson vaccines also appeared less effective with clinical trial participants in South Africa than in the United States. "These results are very much a reality check," said Shabir Madhi, a virologist at University of the Witwatersrand who ran the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine trial in South Africa.
Biden says U.S. won't lift sanctions until Iran stops enriching uranium
President Biden told CBS News in an interview aired Sunday that the United States won't lift sanctions against Iran until it stops enriching uranium. Under the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, world powers agreed to lift sanctions against Tehran if it halted advanced uranium enrichment. Former President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the deal in 2018 and reimposed sanctions. Iran resumed the enrichment work in early January, violating the terms of the deal. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Sunday that Iran would only return to the terms of the deal once the U.S. lifts sanctions. Iran's foreign minister said in November that Tehran would "automatically" meet its commitments under the accord if Biden lifts the sanctions.
Chicago's mayor announces tentative deal on resuming in-person classes
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Sunday that the city had reached a tentative deal with the Chicago Teachers Union on resuming in-person classes over the next few weeks. Union leaders said the agreement wasn't yet fixed, saying they still had to discuss the matter with rank-and-file members. Lightfoot said in-person classes would resume for some students this week. "This agreement was about making sure everyone in our school communities just aren't safe, but also that they feel safe," Lightfoot said, "and feel that their lived experiences and fears and frustrations have been heard." The teachers had refused a call to return to schools due to the danger of coronavirus infection.
Rescuers search for survivors after India glacier collapse
Rescue teams in northern India continued working early Monday to find survivors after a Himalayan glacier fell into a river, sending a wall of water and rocks down a mountain gorge and crashing through a dam. At least 19 people were killed, and at least 180 more remained missing. The flooding forced the evacuation of several villages in the state of Uttarakhand. About 2,500 people in 13 villages were trapped by the floods. About 30 workers were believed to be trapped inside a tunnel at the larger of two hydroelectric projects in the area. Rescuers drilled through more than 150 yards of the 1.5-mile-long tunnel. Twelve survivors were pulled out of a smaller tunnel.
Haiti's president defies calls to step down
Haitian President Jovenel Moise refused to step down on Sunday, the day the opposition, backed by the judiciary branch, said his five-year term ended. In a defiant speech, Moise argued that he has the right to remain in office another year, because an interim government ran the country for the first year of his term. "I am not a dictator," Moise said. "My term ends Feb. 7, 2022." The government announced that it had arrested more than 20 people, including a Supreme Court judge and one of the Caribbean nation's police general inspectors, on charges of participating in a plot to overthrow and kill Moise. Moise has ruled by decree since last year, when he suspended most of the country's lawmakers. A State Department spokesman, Ned Price, said Moise should serve until next year but cautioned him against delaying elections.
Former Secretary of State George Shultz dies at 100
George Shultz, who served as secretary of state in the Reagan administration, died Saturday at his home in California, the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, where he was affiliated, announced Sunday. He was 100. Throughout his career, Shultz held four different Cabinet positions. Former President Nixon tapped him to serve as labor secretary, director of the Office of Management and Budget, and treasury secretary at different points throughout his run (Shultz emerged unscathed from the Watergate scandal), and former President Reagan selected him to lead the State Department, which he did for six-and-a-half years until the end of the Reagan's presidency. Shultz's most notable accomplishment was pushing Reagan to develop a more constructive relationship with the Soviet Union in the final years of the Cold War.