Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: February 7, 2022

National security adviser says Russia could invade Ukraine "any day," Minneapolis protests continue over killing of Amir Locke, and more

1

National security adviser says Russia could invade Ukraine 'any day now'

President Biden's national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, warned Sunday that Russia could invade Ukraine "any day now," although he added that an attack might not start for weeks, "or Russia could choose to take the diplomatic path instead." Russia has substantially increased its military presence near the Ukraine border since December. Sullivan said on Fox News Sunday that a war would "come at an enormous human cost to Ukraine," with intelligence officials estimating up to 50,000 Ukrainian civilians could be killed or wounded in an all-out war. But Russia will pay dearly, Sullivan said, under harsh economic sanctions Biden has vowed to impose if Russia invades. Moscow calls allegations it plans to invade U.S. propaganda.

2

Minneapolis protesters demand justice after police fatally shoot Amir Locke

Hundreds of people walked and drove through the streets of Minneapolis on Saturday and Sunday to protest the fatal police shooting of Amir Locke, a 22-year-old Black man. Locke was killed by officers who stormed into a downtown Minneapolis apartment under a no-knock warrant. The warrant didn't name Locke. He wasn't a suspect in any case the police were investigating. Locke, a DoorDash delivery driver, was sleeping on a couch wrapped in a comforter when four officers opened the apartment door early Wednesday, and rushed in, shouting, "Police! Search warrant!" Locke had a gun in his hand. His family said he had recently purchased it legally for protection. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey suspended no-knock warrants in the city after the shooting.

3

Pence aid says Trump got advice from 'snake oil salesmen'

Former President Donald Trump was misled by "snake oil salesmen" who falsely told him that his vice president, Mike Pence, had the power to reverse Trump's election loss to President Biden, former Pence chief of staff Marc Short said Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press. "Unfortunately, the president had many bad advisers," Short said. His comments came two days after Pence told the conservative Federalist Society that Trump was wrong to think the vice president could overturn the result. Short was with Pence at the Capitol on Jan. 6 when a mob of Trump supporters tried to prevent Congress from certifying Biden's victory, with some of them shouting, "Hang Mike Pence!"

4

More GOP lawmakers criticize RNC for censuring Jan. 6 committee members

More Republicans spoke out Sunday against the Republican National Committee's description of the events of Jan. 6, 2021, as "legitimate political discourse" as it censured the two House Republicans on the House Jan. 6 committee — Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.). Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said on ABC's This Week that he disagreed with the RNC if it was referring to people who committed violence. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, one of seven Republican senators who voted to convict Trump in his impeachment trial on charges of inciting the violence, said on CNN's State of the Union that it was "absolutely wrong" to censure lawmakers for seeking the truth, echoing sentiments Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) expressed Friday.

5

Ottawa's mayor declares state of emergency over anti-vaccine-mandate protests

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson declared a state of emergency Sunday over the so-called Freedom Convoy by hundreds of anti-vaccine-mandate protesters using large trucks to paralyze the Canadian capital's downtown. "[This] reflects the serious danger and threat to the safety and security of residents posed by the ongoing demonstrations and highlights the need for support from other jurisdictions and levels of government," Watson said in a statement. Ottawa police officials have called the siege, which includes blaring horns and nightly fireworks, part of a "nationwide insurrection." Authorities have noted that the protesters include far-right extremists, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said he won't be intimidated by a "fringe minority."

6

Virginia Gov. Glenn Younkin's campaign attacked high schooler on Twitter

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin's (R) official campaign Twitter account deleted a post on Sunday that singled out a 17-year-old high school student, including his name and photo, 12 hours after posting the tweet. The student, Ethan Lynne, retweeted an article from Virginia Public Media on Saturday about the resignation of a historical interpreter at the Virginia governor's mansion who quit after Youngkin's team reportedly emptied out her office. The historian, Kelley Fanto Deetz, had focused on the history of enslaved people at the mansion. "Team Youngkin" replied to Lynne's tweet with a photo of him and former Gov. Ralph Northam, next to an old photo from Northam's yearbook page that included somebody in blackface.

7

Spotify CEO says company won't cancel Joe Rogan

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek responded to intensifying criticism of popular podcast host Joe Rogan's anti-vaccine comments and use of racial slurs, saying the streaming service would not drop Rogan's show. "While I strongly condemn what Joe has said and I agree with his decision to remove past episodes from our platform, I realize some will want more," Ek said in a message to employees released Sunday. But, he said, "canceling voices is a slippery slope." Rogan apologized Saturday after a compilation video showed him repeatedly using the N-word. Spotify has a lot riding on The Joe Rogan Experience. The company reportedly paid $100 million to exclusively host the show, a centerpiece of its effort to expand beyond music.

8

Navy identifies SEAL candidate who died after 'Hell Week' training

The Navy on Sunday identified the Navy SEAL candidate who died after completing "Hell Week" training as Kyle Mullen, a 24-year-old former Manalapan (New Jersey) High School and Yale football star. Mullen and another seaman became ill and were rushed to hospitals in the San Diego area hours after they successfully completed their Basic Underwater Demolition class, part of the first phase of the SEAL qualification process. The other SEAL candidate was in stable condition. "Great athlete but a better person. Everybody loved him," former Manalapan High School football coach Ed Guerreri said. Investigators could not immediately say what caused the tragedy.

9

Tennis player Peng Shuai retires, denies accusing Chinese official of sexual assault

Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai told French sports magazine L'Équipe on Sunday that the international outcry over her apparent disappearance was a "huge misunderstanding," and she announced her retirement from competition. Peng, 36, thanked international athletes and Women's Tennis Association players for expressing concern, but she said her post on Chinese microblog Weibo in November had been twisted to suggest she had been pressured into sex by a retired Chinese official, with whom she had a fraught intimate relationship. "I never said that anyone made me submit to a sexual assault," she said. "I hope that we no longer distort the meaning of this post."

10

U.S. wins its 1st medals of Beijing Winter Olympics

The United States picked up its first two medals at the Beijing Winter Olympics over the weekend, followed by its third medal on Monday. Snowboarder Julia Marino won a silver medal in slopestyle. Marino finished just behind gold winner Zoi Sadowski-Synnott of New Zealand. Skier Jaelin Kauf then took silver in the freestyle skiing women's moguls. On Monday, the United States won the silver medal in the team figure skating competition behind Russia. The Russian Olympic Committee team leads the medal count with six (two gold, two silver, three bronze), followed by Canada (one gold, one silver, one bronze), Austria (three silver, one bronze), and Italy (two silver and two bronze). Sweden has the most golds, three.

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