10 things you need to know today: February 14, 2023

A gunman kills 3 at Michigan State University, the White House says 3 downed flying objects were less advanced than suspected China spy balloon, and more

Police officers at a crime scene in East Lansing
(Image credit: Rey Del Rio for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

1. Michigan State University shootings leave 3 dead

A gunman killed three people and wounded five others Monday night at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, police said. The 43-year-old suspect was found off campus, dead from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound, MSU Police Interim Deputy Chief Chris Rozman said. Authorities had imposed a campus-wide shelter-in-place order, and lifted it shortly after midnight Tuesday. "This truly has been a nightmare that we are living tonight," Rozman said at a 12:30 a.m. press conference. The suspect was a 43-year-old male who was not affiliated with MSU, Rozman said. "We have no idea why he came to campus to do this," Rozman said. "That is part of our ongoing investigation."

The Detroit News

2. Recently downed flying objects less advanced than China's spy balloon

The White House said Monday that the three flying objects shot down over Alaska, Canada, and Michigan since Friday did not appear to be as sophisticated as the suspected Chinese surveillance balloon downed earlier this month off the South Carolina coast. The three objects spotted in recent days were smaller, lacked communications signals, and flew at lower altitudes than the Chinese balloon. Many countries "operate objects at these altitudes for purposes that are not nefarious at all," National Security Council coordinator John Kirby said. Tensions continued to escalate between the U.S. and China over the surveillance balloon. China accused the U.S. of sending 10 balloons illegally into Chinese airspace since last year, prompting a swift denial from the White House.

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The Washington Post The New York Times

3. Turkey rescuers pull several survivors from earthquake rubble

Emergency crews in Turkey rescued several children from collapsed buildings on Monday, a week after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake and a powerful aftershock struck southern Turkey and neighboring Syria. Hopes of finding more survivors still trapped in the rubble in freezing weather have dimmed every day. In the war-torn Syrian city of Aleppo, United Nations aid chief Martin Griffiths said rescue operations were "coming to a close" and the focus of the humanitarian effort was shifting to feeding, sheltering, and providing schooling for the tens of thousands of people whose homes were destroyed by the quakes. The combined death toll in the two countries has surpassed 37,000, with most of the deaths in Turkey.

Reuters

4. Moldova says Russia plotting to overthrow its government

Moldova's president, Maia Sandu, on Monday described an alleged plot by Russia to use external saboteurs to topple her country's government. She said the goal was to put Moldova "at the disposal" of the Kremlin, and keep it from ever joining the European Union. "The plan for the next period involves actions with the involvement of diversionists with military training, camouflaged in civilian clothes, who will undertake violent actions, attack some state buildings, and even take hostages," Sandu said during a briefing with reporters. Her comments came a week after President Volodymyr Zelensky of neighboring Ukraine said his country's intelligence officials had intercepted plans developed by Russia's secret services to bring down Moldova's government.

The Associated Press

5. U.S. Embassy in Russia urges Americans to leave country

The U.S. Embassy in Russia is urging Americans in the country to "depart immediately," citing concerns they could be targeted for harassment by Moscow as tensions escalate over Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The embassy warned that Russia could refuse to acknowledge the U.S. citizenship of dual nationals, and "deny their access to U.S. consular assistance" or draft them to fight in Ukraine. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said the Biden administration wants everyone to be aware of the danger Russia's attacks on Ukraine could "get more vicious" as spring nears, and Russia marks the anniversary of its Ukraine invasion. President Biden will travel to nearby Poland on Feb. 20 to discuss bilateral cooperation and support for Ukraine.

CBS News

6. Thousands protest Netanyahu's plan to overhaul Israel's judiciary

About 100,000 people from across Israel gathered in Jerusalem on Monday to protest a judicial overhaul planned by the hardline conservative government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Demonstrators filled the streets outside Parliament in one of the largest protests the city has seen. The judicial reforms the government is pushing would give Netanyahu's administration greater power in the selection of judges, and sharply reduce the ability of the country's Supreme Court to overturn laws. Israel's mostly ceremonial president, Isaac Herzog, on Sunday night warned that the crisis was pushing the country to the "brink of constitutional and social collapse," and could lead to a "violent clash."

The New York Times Haaretz

7. Georgia judge orders release of partial Trump grand jury report

Fulton County, Georgia, Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney said Monday that parts of the report by the special grand jury that investigated former President Donald Trump's efforts to overturn Georgia's 2020 presidential election results were "ripe for publication" and would be released. He said in a written order that the excerpts would be made public on Feb. 16. McBurney said the "unquestionable value" of the information and the "importance of transparency" justified the release. The sections include one in which the grand jury "discusses its concern that some witnesses may have lied under oath," the judge said. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has been investigating the actions of Trump and his allies since early 2021. Trump calls the investigation a partisan witch hunt.

The Wall Street Journal The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

8. 8 injured in New York City when U-Haul truck hits pedestrians

A man drove a U-Haul box truck erratically through the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, New York, on Monday, hitting pedestrians and injuring at least eight people. The driver fled in the truck, hitting more people before police arrested the suspect near a tunnel entrance. The injured, including one police officer and seven civilians, were taken to hospitals. Two were in critical condition. Police did not immediately identify the driver or release a suspected motive. Justin Brannan, a City Council member who represents the area, said his office received calls from people saying someone was "driving violently" through the area like a "maniac." "This driver knew what he was doing, knew that he was hitting people," Brannan told NY1.

The New York Times New York Daily News

9. Biden fires Architect of the Capitol accused of abuses of office

President Biden on Monday fired U.S. Architect of the Capitol J. Brett Blanton after reviewing a report from an internal watchdog accusing him of abuses of office, including misusing government vehicles and impersonating a police officer. Blanton has denied the charges, and was not immediately available for comment, The Wall Street Journal reported. Blanton was appointed by former President Donald Trump, but there was broad bipartisan support for his dismissal. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) joined those calling for his exit on Monday. The Architect of the Capitol manages operations and preservation of the Capitol building and grounds, Supreme Court, and Library of Congress, overseeing about 2,400 workers. The architect also sits on the board of the Capitol Police.

CNN The Wall Street Journal

10. CDC: Teen girls facing record levels of violence, mental health challenges

Nearly 1 in 3 teen girls reported that they seriously considered suicide, up almost 60 percent from 2011, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Monday. The report said about 20 percent of teen girls reported experiencing rape or other sexual violence in the previous year, an increase of 27 percent over two years. Almost 3 in 5 girls said they felt persistent sadness or hopelessness that interfered with their regular activities, and more girls than boys reported being bullied online or via text messaging. "These data make it clear that young people in the U.S. are collectively experiencing a level of distress that calls on us to act," the CDC said.

USA Today

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