10 things you need to know today: February 8, 2023
Biden touts his record and calls for bipartisanship in State of the Union address, Erdogan declares emergency as earthquake death toll rises, and more
Biden defends record in State of the Union address
President Biden on Tuesday delivered his second State of the Union address — and his first since Republicans took control of the House — touting his record and calling for more bipartisan efforts to "finish the job" on restoring the economy. "To my Republican friends, if we could work together in the last Congress, there is no reason we can't work together and find consensus on important things in this Congress as well," Biden said. He urged Republicans — some of whom booed him when he said a number of conservatives in Congress want to cut Social Security and Medicare — to raise the debt ceiling and support a push for police reform in the wake of the death of Tyre Nichols, the Black man who died after a beating by five Memphis officers.
Erdogan declares state of emergency in Turkey as earthquake death toll rises
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Tuesday declared a three-month state of emergency covering the southern part of the country devastated by Monday's massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake and 7.5 magnitude aftershock. The emergency measures will give the government extraordinary powers similar to ones it had after a 2016 coup attempt. Erdogan will be able to rule by decree, bypassing parliament and regional authorities controlled by opposition parties, and his government can limit fundamental rights. The death toll from the disaster rose to more than 11,000 in Turkey and Syria. A senior World Health Organization official estimated that the final count could surpass 20,000 deaths.
Germany, Denmark, Netherlands to send Ukraine refurbished Leopard 1 tanks
Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands announced Tuesday that they will send Ukraine up to 178 refurbished, older-generation Leopard 1 battle tanks. The decision came after Germany, in a reversal, agreed to send Kyiv some of its modern Leopard 2 tanks and allow European allies to do the same. In a joint statement, the three countries' defense ministers said the older Leopard 1 tanks would help support Ukraine's effort to fight back against Russian forces and "significantly enhance Ukraine's military potential" to take back territory Russia has occupied since invading last February. The European allies said they would provide logistical support and training, and start delivering the tanks within months. Germany said the Leopard 2 tanks will start arriving in Ukraine in late March.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders slams Biden as 'unfit' in Republicans SOTU response
Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R) delivered the Republican rebuttal to President Biden's State of the Union address on Tuesday, calling Biden "unfit to serve as commander in chief" and claiming his "weakness puts our nation and the world at risk." Sanders said Biden heads an administration taken over by the "radical left." "The Biden administration seems more interested in woke fantasies than the hard reality Americans face every day," Sanders argued. She also said the nation is no longer divided between right and left, but "between normal and crazy." Sanders served as former President Donald Trump's press secretary, and won her first term in elected office when she was elected governor of her home state in November.
Powell says hiring surge might force more Fed rate hikes
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said Tuesday that the central bank would have to raise interest rates higher than currently planned if inflation accelerates again, or the labor market shows further strengthening. The remarks came after the January jobs report showed that U.S. employers added 517,000 jobs, shattering expectations. The gains pushed the unemployment rate to a 53-year low of 3.4 percent. "The reality is if we continue to get strong labor market reports or higher inflation reports, it might be the case that we have to raise rates more," Powell said in a speech at the Economic Club of Washington. He said he expects a "significant" drop in inflation this year, but warned that the country "has a long way to go."
Memphis officer snapped, shared photo of bloodied Tyre Nichols
One of the Memphis police officers who beat Tyre Nichols during a traffic stop last month took a photo of the bloodied young Black motorist and sent it to at least five people, the Memphis Police Department said in internal affairs documents released by the state on Tuesday. Sending the photograph from a personal cellphone violated department policies on confidentiality and was part of a pattern of "blatantly unprofessional" conduct by the officers that included shouting profanities at Nichols and "bragging" about hitting him, according to the documents. Nichols died three days after the incident. The five officers who were allegedly involved in the beating have been fired and charged with second-degree murder.
Report: 15 million under flood threat from melting glaciers
About 15 million people worldwide live in danger of flooding from melting glaciers, more than half of them in India, Pakistan, Peru, and China, according to a study published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications. The melting glaciers drain into nearby lakes, which sometimes overflow. Glacial lake outburst floods have always occurred, but the threat has risen significantly in recent decades due to climate change, said Tom Robinson, a co-author of the study at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. With rising temperatures melting glaciers more quickly, the number and area of the world's glacial lakes has increased by 50 percent since 1990, and flooding events can now be bigger than before. Populations also have grown, putting more people in harm's way.
U.S. trade deficit hit record $948.1 billion in 2022
The U.S. trade deficit increased by 12.2 percent last year to a record $948.1 billion, according to Commerce Department data released Tuesday. The $103 billion increase from the previous year came as Americans bought more foreign machinery, medicines, car parts, and other goods from foreign suppliers to meet rising demand. High inflation and energy prices also contributed to the increase. The data also indicated that disruptions from the coronavirus pandemic have shifted global supply chains. The trade deficit in goods exchanged with Mexico, Canada, India, South Korea, Vietnam, and Taiwan grew significantly as the U.S. government tightened rules on trade with China and businesses sought to diversify their sources.
Romney scolds embattled GOP Rep. George Santos
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) had a tense exchange with embattled Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) before President Biden's State of the Union address on Tuesday. Cameras captured the brief exchange as Romney walked past Santos, who had snagged a highly visible aisle seat. Romney appeared to have told Santos "I'd be embarrassed" three times, as well as, "I wouldn't be here." Romney told reporters later that Santos, who has acknowledged lying about his work, family, and educational history, is "a sick puppy" who had no business taking an aisle seat, and "shouldn't be in Congress" at all. Along with lying on his résumé, Santos has been accused of campaign finance violations and stealing from a fundraiser for a disabled veteran's dying dog.
LeBron James breaks Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's NBA scoring record
LeBron James broke Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's career record of 38,387 points on Tuesday, becoming the NBA's all-time leading scorer. The Los Angeles Lakers star forward needed 36 points to pull ahead, and he did it with a 14-foot fadeaway jumper near the end of the third quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The game stopped in celebration, and Abdul-Jabbar came out of the stands to congratulate James, who said the experience brought him to tears. "Tonight, I actually felt like I was sitting on top of the arena when that shot went in, and the roar from the crowd," James said. "I'm not sure if I would be able to feel that feeling again, unless it's a game-winning Finals shot."