Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: January 30, 2023

Thousands protest Tyre Nichols' death, McCarthy and Biden to discuss raising debt limit, and more


Protesters demand police reform after release of Tyre Nichols video

Thousands of people protested in cities across the country over the weekend demanding police reforms after Memphis police released video showing officers beating Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man who later died. A group of protesters in Milwaukee walked through the city, stopping briefly at the Wisconsin city's police department. One of the organizers, Peace Action Wisconsin, said on its website that it was "demanding justice for Nichols and all victims of police violence. We are demanding accountability and transparency from the police." Nichols was pulled over, allegedly for reckless driving, on Jan. 7. The video shows five officers, also Black, pulling him from his car, then beating and kicking him for three minutes after he tried to run away. The officers were fired, and last week they were charged with second-degree murder.


McCarthy and Biden to discuss debt ceiling, spending cuts

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Sunday he would meet with President Biden on Wednesday to discuss a "reasonable and responsible" way to raise the debt ceiling to prevent a potentially devastating default, and make spending cuts Republicans want. The Treasury Department has said the federal government has bumped into its borrowing limit and resorted to "extraordinary" accounting measures to avoid a default for about five months, buying time for Republicans and Democrats to reach an agreement. Biden has said he isn't going to "let anyone use the full faith and credit of the United States as a bargaining chip." McCarthy said he and Biden need to "sit down together, work out an agreement."


Reports: Israel behind drone attack on Iran military warehouse

The drone attack that damaged a warehouse in a military complex in the Iranian city of Isfahan on Saturday was conducted by the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times reported, citing U.S. officials and others familiar with the attack. It was not immediately clear how much damage the strike caused. Iran identified the facility as "an ammunition manufacturing plant," but independent intelligence analyst Ronen Solomon, author of the Intelli Times blog, said the blast's small size suggested the target could have been a lab or military-logistics site. Iran researches and produces missiles in Isfahan. Russia uses Iranian-made drones and has been seeking its missiles to use in Ukraine.


Erdogan suggests Turkey might let Finland join NATO, but block Sweden

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested Sunday that his country may approve Finland's bid join NATO, but block or delay neighboring Sweden's, citing recent pro-Kurdish and anti-Islam protests in Stockholm. Erdogan also complained that Sweden has yet to extradite 120 people Turkey accuses of supporting the separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which he calls "terrorists." "You will extradite these terrorists if you really want to enter NATO," Erdogan said he told Sweden. "If you don't extradite these terrorists, then sorry." Erdogan's comments came after an anti-Islam activist burned a Quran during a protest last weekend outside the Turkish Embassy in Sweden. Sweden and Finland, both traditionally nonaligned, applied jointly to join the military alliance after Russia invaded Ukraine.


At least 40 die in Pakistan bus crash

A bus plunged off a bridge and into a ravine in Pakistan, then caught on fire, killing at least 40 people, multiple news outlets reported Sunday. Three survivors were injured and transported to hospitals, Qamar Aziz, a local police official, told The Washington Post. "Forty-one burned to death," Aziz said. The bus had been traveling overnight from Quetta, the capital of Balochistan Province, to the port city of Karachi in neighboring Sindh province. Hamza Anjum, a government official, said at the site that bodies in the wreckage were burned "beyond recognition," and would have to be identified by DNA tests, according to The New York Times. Pakistan has "one of the world's worst records for deadly traffic accidents," according to the Times.


Tunisia reports 11 percent turnout in vote seen as democracy test 

Tunisian voters mostly stayed home during parliamentary elections considered a test of the North African nation's struggling democracy, with preliminary figures Sunday putting turnout at 11.3 percent, according to the national electoral commission. The data was similar to the participation level in the first round last month. The influential Islamist party Ennahdha and other opposition groups boycotted the runoffs as President Kais Saied tried to strengthen his grip on power, hoping to chasten rivals and attract lenders the country needs to rescue its struggling economy. Saied suspended the last parliament, which was led by Ennahdha, in 2021. He later disbanded it and rewrote the constitution to increase his power.


Boeing to deliver last 747 plane

Boeing will deliver its last 747 on Tuesday, ending the 53-year-run of the aircraft maker's original Jumbo Jet, Reuters reported Sunday. The company will deliver the last 747, a freighter version of the plane, to Atlas Air. The 747 was designed in the late 1960s as demand for mass travel was rising. The jet was the first with twin aisles, and its upper deck gave it its easily recognizable humped appearance, plus room for club space that added to the luxury for high-end travelers. Recently, the number of the planes sold decreased as newer aircraft with updated technology became popular. Only 44 passenger versions of the 747 remain in use, CNN reported, citing data from analytics firm Cirium.


Utah governor signs bill banning transition care for transgender minors

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox (R) signed a bill over the weekend barring transgender minors from receiving gender-transition health care. The measure is the first in what is "expected to be a wave of legislation by state lawmakers to restrict transgender rights," according to The New York Times. Cox signed the measure the day after the state's Republican-dominated Legislature sent the bill to his desk, saying it would wisely pause "these permanent and life-altering treatments for new patients until more and better research can help determine the long-term consequences." The ACLU of Utah had urged Cox to veto the bill, calling it unconstitutional and warning it would have "catastrophic effects" on people's lives.


'Avatar: The Way of Water' tops box office for 7th straight week

Avatar: The Way of Water led the domestic box office for the seventh straight weekend, bringing in $15.7 million from Friday through Sunday to lift its global gross to $2.12 billion. That was enough for the James Cameron sequel to surpass Star Wars: The Force Awakens as the fourth-highest grossing movie ever, without adjusting for inflation. Only the first Avatar ($2.9 billion), Avengers: Endgame ($2.7 billion), and Titanic ($2.2 billion) have brought in more in global ticket sales. Cameron is the only filmmaker with four films that have made more than $2 billion. The only major film making its debut over the weekend, Infinity Pool starring Alexander Skarsgård and Cleopatra Coleman, brought in $2.7 million.


Eagles, Chiefs advance to Super Bowl

The Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday won their NFL conference championship games to advance to Super Bowl LVII on Feb. 12. The Eagles dominated the San Francisco 49ers, beating them 31-7 to win the NFC championship. The Eagles rushed for all four of their touchdowns. The Chiefs beat the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 to earn their third Super Bowl appearance in five seasons. Harrison Butker kicked a 45-yard game-winning field goal with three seconds remaining after Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes led a 39-yard drive to get within range with less than 30 seconds left. The Chiefs won their only Super Bowl ever at the end of the 2017 season.


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