Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: February 13, 2023

Military jets shoot down a fourth flying object, Kansas City Chiefs beat Philadelphia Eagles to win the Super Bowl, and more


U.S. fighter jets shoot down unidentified object over Lake Huron

U.S. military jets on Sunday shot down a flying "object" over Lake Huron — the fourth such incident in the last week. The first was a Chinese surveillance balloon downed off the coast of the Carolinas last week after it crossed the United States. On Friday and Saturday, U.S. fighter jets downed objects in remote areas off the northern coast of Alaska and over Canada's Yukon territory. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said national security officials believed those unidentified objects were balloons, but smaller than the first one. A Pentagon spokesperson said the other objects "did not closely resemble" the massive first balloon. Another Pentagon official said there was "no indication of aliens or extraterrestrial activity with these recent takedowns."


Kansas City beats Philadelphia to win Super Bowl 

The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Philadelphia Eagles 38-35 on Sunday night to win Super Bowl LVII, the team's second title in four seasons. Quarterback and MVP Patrick Mahomes led the Chiefs, who were down by 10 points at halftime, in a comeback victory capped with a 27-yard field goal by Harrison Butker with just eight seconds left. Mahomes threw three touchdown passes, each to a different receiver, and became the first player since 1999 to be named MVP in the regular season and the Super Bowl. Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts had a standout performance, too. He became the second player in NFL history to rush for three or more touchdowns in a championship game, and threw for a fourth touchdown.


Turkey, Syria earthquake death toll keeps rising

The death toll from last week's earthquakes that hit southern Turkey and neighboring Syria rose to more than 36,000 on Monday. Survivors and building experts blamed poor construction for the extent of the destruction and the number of fatalities. The government has responded by arresting builders tied to collapsed buildings in an expanding response to the outcry. Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said Sunday the government had detained or issued warrants for 134 people. But construction experts said public officials who signed off on inferior work should be held accountable. "The true culprits are the current government and the previous governments," said Taner Yuzgec, a former president of the Chamber of Construction Engineers.


Russia says its forces advanced on front in Ukraine's east

Russia said Monday its forces had advanced more than a mile in parts of the front lines in Ukrainian regions in the south and the east. Ukraine's military, which has been preparing to counter a major Russian offensive near the anniversary of Russia's invasion in late February, reported heavy shelling, with the most intense attacks coming near the besieged eastern city of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region. The city remained under Ukraine's control after a battle that has lasted months. Ukraine's military said it had repelled attacks near Bakhmut, and in the Kharkiv, Luhansk, and Zaporizhzhia regions. European defense officials are expected to discuss Ukraine's appeals for fighter jets and other advanced military aid in meetings in Brussels this week.


Israel's president says judicial reform plan could trigger constitutional 'collapse'

Israeli President Isaac Herzog said Sunday he had urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's hardline conservative government to delay its controversial judicial overhaul, warning that the polarizing plan had pushed the country to "the brink of constitutional and social collapse." Herzog called for Netanyahu's administration to seek a compromise with the opposition, saying that without one, "we will all lose, the state of Israel will lose." He said in a prime-time address that the controversial overhaul, which would give the government control over appointing judges and sharply reduce the top court's power to overturn legislation, could lead to violence. "The powder keg is about to explode," he said. Tens of thousands of Israelis have protested in the streets in recent weeks.


Biden administration to allow using Medicaid money for food purchases

The Biden administration has started letting states use Medicaid money to pay for beneficiaries' groceries and nutritional counseling, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday. The approvals of states' requests are part of an effort to see whether "food as medicine" programs can keep people healthier, reducing medical care costs. "A growing body of research suggests that addressing food insecurity can improve health as well as deliver savings by reducing medical visits, the need for medication, or by helping control serious illness," the Journal reported. "This is something that is building momentum," said Rachel Nuzum, senior vice president for federal and state health policy at the Commonwealth Fund, a health-care philanthropy.


Cyclone Gabrielle lashes New Zealand with strong winds, heavy rains

Cyclone Gabrielle knocked out power to tens of thousands of homes in New Zealand's upper North Island on Monday. The storm brought powerful winds and heavy rain to Auckland and nearby regions as it approached. "The impact of Gabrielle is still in its early stages and further serious and severe weather is still expected for Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland), later today into Tuesday morning," said Rachel Kelleher, deputy controller of Auckland Emergency Management. "Now is not the time for complacency." Gabrielle hit the Channel Islands off the coast of Auckland with winds up to 100 miles per hour. Schools and government facilities were closed across Auckland.


OSHA fines Mars Wrigley over chocolate factory accident

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined a Mars Wrigley factory in Pennsylvania over a June 2022 incident in which two contractors fell into a vat of chocolate. More than two dozen rescuers rushed to pull the two workers out. One had to be transported by helicopter to a hospital. The two workers had been hired to clean tanks used to mix ingredients for Dove chocolate. OSHA said they did not received proper training, and fined the company more than $14,500. Mars Wrigley said it appreciated OSHA's effort to work with the company to review what happened. "The safety of our associates and outside contractors is a top priority for our business," a company spokesperson said.


Super Bowl ads aim to make viewers feel good in tense times

With a possible recession looming and the war in Ukraine escalating global tensions, Super Bowl advertisers avoided "edgy humor or experimentation" in this year's closely watched commercials during the championship football game, and focused on positive themes, with light humor, celebrities, and "plenty of dogs," according to The Associated Press. "This year's ads took a very light touch and focused on being fun and making the viewer feel good," said Charles Taylor, marketing professor at Villanova University. Dunkin' Donuts' ad featured Ben Affleck taking drive-through orders, including one from Jennifer Lopez. General Motors and Netflix had Will Ferrell tout their deal to show more electric vehicles in Netflix shows. The ads cost up to $7 million per 30-second spot, and reach 100 million viewers.


De La Soul rapper David Jude Jolicoeur, aka Trugoy the Dove, dies at 54

David Jude Jolicoeur of iconic rap trio De La Soul has died, the group's publicist confirmed Sunday. He was 54. Jolicoeur, who performed under the stage name Trugoy the Dove, is "widely considered to be one of the most influential hip-hop artists of the 1980s and 1990s to produce music in the genre that reflected a gentler tone," according to CNN. He and De La Soul members Vincent Manson, known as Pasemaster Mase, and Kelvin Mercer, known as Posdnuos, attended high school together in Amityville, New York, and formed the group in 1988. Their debut album 3 Feet High and Rising, released in 1989, included the hit "Me, Myself and I," and spent 17 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.


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