10 things you need to know today: March 11, 2023
Silicon Valley Bank fails in second-largest bank collapse in U.S. history, Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen to testify in hush-money probe, and more
Silicon Valley Bank fails in second-largest bank collapse in U.S. history
Silicon Valley Bank was shuttered on Friday in the second-largest banking collapse in the history of the United States. At one time the 16th-largest financial institution in the country, SVB, which was known for its work with tech companies and startups, was taken over by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). The agency took control of the bank's deposits, though it was reported that up to 85 percent of SVB's financials were uninsured, spelling a potential nightmare for its customers. The collapse began this past Wednesday after a run on the bank by venture capital firms, after SVB announced that it had to raise more than $2 billion after a recent massive loss.
Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen to testify in hush-money probe
Michael Cohen, the onetime lawyer for former President Donald Trump, is set to testify this coming Monday before a grand jury in Manhattan, sources familiar with the matter reported. While details of Cohen's upcoming testimony are unclear, the Manhattan probe is investigating a series of hush-money payments allegedly made by the former president to porn star Stormy Daniels and model Karen McDougal. While Trump himself has always denied any affairs occurred, Cohen served time in prison after pleading guilty in 2018 to campaign finance charges for arranging the payments. Prosecutors have signaled that Trump is likely to face an indictment in the case, which would make him the first former American president to be charged with a crime.
Heavy rain and flooding continue to batter California
A renewed round of heavy rain and flooding continued to batter much of California heading into the weekend, with up to 15 million people in the Golden State under severe flood watches. The warnings stretched across a large swath of the state and extended into a portion of northwest Nevada. However, while the flooding is likely to continue driving people from their homes in certain northern areas of California, the rain is forecasted to let up Saturday, at least giving a slight reprieve to a state that has seen bouts of rare winter weather all year. In a rare move, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said the collected floodwater would be used to soak some of the drought-depleted areas in the San Joaquin Valley.
West Virginia’s GOP-led Senate passes bill to limit transgender care
The Republican-controlled West Virginia state Senate on Friday passed a bill that would ban certain gender-affirming treatments for transgender youths. The controversial bill passed by a 30-2 count. However, unlike many other pieces of anti-trans legislation in GOP-led states, the West Virginia bill allows for a number of exceptions for mental health treatment, and would let some transgender children continue to receive gender-affirming care and hormone therapy if they are believed to be at risk of suicide. The bill is facing significant opposition in the West Virginia state House of Delegates, which previously passed a ban on transgender care that did not allow for any mental health exceptions.
France sees 7th straight day of protests against pension reform plans
France on Saturday prepared for a seventh-straight day of nationwide protests against a proposed pension reform plan. Cities across the country, including Paris, Nice, and Toulouse, were faced with demonstrations in opposition to the reforms, which would raise the age of retirement in France from 62 to 64. Up to one million people are expected to take place in 200 individual marches, with numerous industries also striking in anger over the reforms. The plan was originally proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron, who finally addressed the protests on Friday, saying he was "not underestimating ... the concerns expressed by many French people worried about never having a pension." However, Macron reportedly refused to meet with the heads of a number of large labor unions.
Authorities say 3 women went missing in Mexico in February
U.S. officials said Friday that a trio of Texas women had gone missing in Mexico last month after crossing the border. The FBI announced that two sisters from Peñitas, a small border city in Texas near McAllen, had gone missing along with their friend. Officials indentified the missing women as Maritza Trinidad Perez Rios, 47; Marina Perez Rios, 48; and Dora Alicia Cervantes Saenz, 53, and said that they were in contact with the women's families. According to officials, the three women had reportedly crossed over the border in order to sell clothes at a flea market when they went missing. Their disappearance comes after two Americans were recently killed by a Mexican cartel in the city of Matamoros.
Indonesian volcano erupts, covers local area in ash
The Merapi volcano in Indonesia erupted on Saturday, sending a massive cloud of hot embers up to 4.3 miles in the air and covering the surrounding area in a blanket of ash. The volcano, located in the country's Yogyakarta region, erupted around noon local time, and a lava flow more than a mile wide was observed by local authorities. All residents in the area have been advised to stop working along the base of the volcano, though no evacuations have been announced yet. Merapi was already one of the most active volcanoes in Indonesia and was at a high alert level for eruptions. No deaths have been reported from the event.
Man convicted of killing college student Kristen Smart sentenced to prison
The man convicted of murdering college student Kristen Smart in 1996 was sentenced to prison on Friday. Paul Flores, 46, was sentenced to 25 years to life behind bars for killing Smart. While he is not eligible for probation, he will be eligible for parole in 15 years, though he could be denied this privilege by a parole board. Flores, a former classmate of Smart's at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, was arrested in April 2021 and charged with her murder. While her body has never been found, prosecutors alleged that he "with malice aforethought murder[ed] Kristin Smart" and also raped her. Flores was found guilty by a jury this past October.
Mikaela Shiffrin sets record for most World Cup victories
Skiier Mikaela Shiffrin on Saturday became the all-time winningest World Cup athlete. The 27-year-old won her 87th victory during a slalom in Are, Sweden, breaking the previous record held by Ingemar Stenmark. Shiffrin had tied Stenmark's 86 wins just one day prior, and shattered a record that had stood for the past 34 years. Shiffrin built up a massive lead in the run right out of the starting gate, and never looked back during her aggressive race to history. The win was Shiffrin's 13th of the ski season, which is just second to her 17 wins that she accrued in 2019.
Disney lowers prices for commercials during Oscars
It won't cost quite as much this year for companies to buy advertisements during the biggest night in entertainment. It was reported Friday that The Walt Disney Company is lowering the price of a 30-second commercial during the 2023 Academy Awards, which are slated to take place on Sunday. The Awards, which will be televised by Disney subsidiary ABC Television, are often used to premiere new film and TV trailers. It was reported that Disney is asking $1.6 to $2.1 million for a 30-second spot, slightly lower than last year, when a price tag of $1.7 to $2.2 million was attached. Millions of advertising dollars are often pulled in during the awards show.