Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: January 12, 2023

Biden aides find second batch of classified documents, FAA alert-system glitch disrupts U.S. flights, and more

1

Report: Biden aides find second set of classified papers

Aides to President Biden have found more classified papers in a location separate from the private Washington office where his personal lawyers found the first set of 10 documents with classified markings, NBC News reported Wednesday, citing a person familiar with the matter. Biden aides have been searching for more classified material ever since the first batch was discovered in November at an office Biden used after his vice presidency, according to NBC. Further details about the second discovery were not immediately available, including the number and location of the papers, and how sensitive the documents were. Attorney General Merrick Garland has asked a U.S. attorney appointed by former President Donald Trump to review the discoveries.

2

FAA alert-system glitch delays U.S. flights

Airlines were forced to delay more than 9,000 flights into, out of, or within the United States on Wednesday due to a temporary outage on a critical Federal Aviation Administration pilot-alert system. More than 1,300 flights were canceled. The White House said there was no evidence the problem was caused by a cyberattack. The glitch prevented planes from taking off, stranding passengers for hours. Airlines said they hoped to return to normal operations on Thursday, but 511 U.S. flights had been delayed and 63 canceled as of early Thursday morning, according to flight-tracking site FlightAware. Industry officials compared the disruption to the shutdown of air traffic after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

3

Russia replaces its military commander in Ukraine

Russia's defense ministry announced Wednesday that it was replacing its military commander in Ukraine, putting army chief Valery Gerasimov in charge and making former commander Gen. Sergei Surovikin his deputy. The ministry said the shakeup would help address the "need to organize closer interaction" between branches of Russia's armed forces, and improve "command and control." Britain's military intelligence said in an update that the shakeup marked "a significant development in Russian President Vladimir Putin's approach to managing the war." Surovikin was appointed in October as Russian forces suffered setbacks, which have continued. The update said Russian military bloggers would likely be unhappy about the change, as they increasingly blame Gerasimov "for the poor execution of the war."

4

N.Y. county Republicans call for Santos to resign

Nassau County, New York, GOP officials on Wednesday called for newly sworn-in Rep. George Santos (R) to resign over false claims about his qualifications and personal history he made during his campaign. "He's disgraced the House of Representatives and we do not consider him one of our congresspeople," Nassau County Republican Party Chairman Joseph Cairo said at a press conference. Santos said he would not step down, sticking to the defiance he showed after others urged him to quit. Two New York Democrats this week asked the House Ethics Committee to investigate whether Santos violated campaign finance laws. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Santos shouldn't sit on any key committees.

5

7th atmospheric river storm increases damage in California

The seventh atmospheric river storm to hit California since Christmas drenched Northern California with more torrential rains on Wednesday, adding to damage already caused by flooding, mudslides, and downed trees and power lines, the Los Angeles Times reported. The storm-related death toll rose to at least 19 after Sonoma County sheriff's officials announced a person had been found dead in a submerged car. A 5-year-old boy swept away by floodwaters Monday was still missing in San Luis Obispo County. Zack Taylor, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center, said another storm this weekend is expected to hit the state with another atmospheric river — essentially rivers in the sky that can carry 15 times the volume of the Mississippi.

6

Illinois becomes 9th state to ban assault rifles

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) on Wednesday signed a state law prohibiting the "sale, manufacturing, or delivery" of assault rifles, making his state the ninth to ban the military-style weapons, Axios reported. "For a long time now, I and many other leaders in the Illinois General Assembly have prioritized getting the most dangerous weapons off our state's streets," Pritzker said in a statement. The push to remove assault weapons intensified last year after a gunman killed seven people with one of the guns at a Fourth of July parade in a Chicago suburb. Jeff Regnier, owner of Kee Firearms and Training in New Lenox, Illinois, said most of the weapons he has in stock are now illegal. "It's devastating," he said.

7

Jill Biden 'feeling well' after having 2 cancerous lesions removed

First lady Jill Biden had two cancerous lesions — one above her right eye and another on her chest — removed on Wednesday at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. In a report released Wednesday, President Biden's physician, Dr. Kevin O'Connor, said the lesions were confirmed to be basal cell carcinoma. Biden, 71, also had a third lesion above her left eyelid, which was removed and "sent for standard microscopic examination." The lesion above Biden's right eye was found during a recent skin cancer screening. Jill Biden, who is expected to return to the White House on Wednesday night, is "experiencing some facial swelling and bruising," O'Connor said, but is "in good spirits and is feeling well."

8

Islamic State claims responsibility for deadly suicide bomb near Afghan foreign ministry

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed at least five people outside the Afghan foreign ministry on Wednesday. The Islamist militant group's Amaq News Agency said in an affiliated Telegram channel that the blast killed and wounded dozens of people, including diplomats, in the heavily fortified area. Workers at a nearby hospital put the number of wounded at 40. The Islamic State has become a major security threat to the Taliban, which returned to power in Afghanistan after U.S. and allied forces withdrew in August 2021. The attack was the first this year, but Islamic State militants have targeted foreigners at the Russian and Pakistani embassies, and other sites, including a hotel used by Chinese business executives.

9

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin discharged from hospital

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin was released from a Buffalo, New York, hospital on Wednesday, nine days after his heart stopped during an NFL game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Medical workers revived him on the field, and he underwent several days of intensive care before being transferred to Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute, where he received more care, evaluations, and cardiac, neurological, and vascular testing on Tuesday. "We have completed a series of tests and evaluations, and in consultation with the team physicians, we are confident that Damar can be safely discharged to continue his rehabilitation at home and with the Bills," said Dr. Jamie Nadler, critical care physician and chief quality officer at Kaleida Health, which runs Buffalo General.

10

Guitar virtuoso Jeff Beck dies at 78

Guitar legend Jeff Beck, a two-time inductee in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, has died at age 78. His representatives said he died Tuesday after "suddenly contracting bacterial meningitis." Beck "pushed the boundaries of blues, jazz, and rock 'n' roll, influencing generations of shredders," the Los Angeles Times said. He made his name as a member of the Yardbirds before launching a varied solo career, and was recognized in the rock Hall of Fame for both. "Jeff Beck is the best guitar player on the planet," Aerosmith lead guitarist Joe Perry told The New York Times in 2010, adding that Beck had "the kind of talent that appears only once every generation or two."

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