10 things you need to know today: January 16, 2024

Trump reinforces his grip on GOP with Iowa landslide, a Houthi missile hits a US cargo ship in the Gulf of Aden, and more

Donald Trump wins Iowa caucuses
Donald Trump wins Iowa caucuses
(Image credit: Jim Watson / AFP via Getty Images)

1. Trump wins Iowa caucuses in a landslide

Former President Donald Trump cemented his dominance in the race for the Republican presidential nomination on Monday, winning the Iowa caucuses with a record 30-percentage-point margin of victory over his nearest rivals, Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley. The Associated Press declared him the winner 31 minutes after the first votes were cast in the party's first 2024 nominating contest. Florida Gov. DeSantis came in second, narrowly ahead of Haley, a former South Carolina governor and United Nations ambassador. Vivek Ramaswamy finished fourth and dropped out of the race. The remaining candidates next compete in the Jan. 23 New Hampshire primary, where Trump holds a big lead but is expected to face a stronger challenge. Des Moines Register, The Wall Street Journal

2. Houthi missile hits US commercial ship

Houthi rebels in Yemen hit a U.S. cargo ship, the Gibraltar Eagle, with an anti-ship ballistic missile in the Gulf of Aden on Monday, U.S. Central Command said. The strike appeared to be the first successful Houthi attack on a U.S.-owned and operated vessel since the Iran-backed group began strikes in the area to show support for Palestinians after the outbreak of the Hamas-Israel war in Gaza. Eagle Bulk Shipping confirmed that its vessel, which was carrying steel products, had been hit "by an unidentified projectile" about 100 miles offshore. The damage was limited and nobody onboard was injured, and the ship continued its journey. The U.S. and the U.K. last week struck 28 Houthi sites in retaliation for previous attacks. CNN

3. Hamas video appears to show 2 dead hostages

Hamas on Monday released a video it said showed the bodies of two Israeli hostages, Yossi Sharabi and Itai Svirsky. The Palestinian militant group, which had warned Sunday that the hostages might be killed if Israel didn't stop bombing Gaza, said they were killed by Israeli strikes. Israel's military spokesperson, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, said that at least one of the hostages shown in the video, Svirsky, had not been killed by Israeli forces. "That is a Hamas lie. The building in which they were held was not a target and it was not attacked by our forces," Hagari said. Reuters

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4. Trump's second defamation trial set to start

The trial in writer E. Jean Carroll's second defamation lawsuit against former President Donald Trump starts Tuesday. A Manhattan jury will be tasked with deciding how much money Trump must pay Carroll for defaming her by calling her a liar after she accused him of raping her in a Bergdorf Goodman department store dressing room decades ago. In May, a jury awarded Carroll $2 million for the sexual assault and nearly $3 million for defamation over Trump's branding of her allegations as "a complete con job" in a 2022 statement. The new trial focuses on a 2019 statement in which Trump said Carroll's allegation was "totally false" and intended to sell copies of her book. The New York Times

5. Austin released from hospital

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was released from a hospital on Monday after treatment for complications from prostate cancer surgery in December. Austin was admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Jan. 1 and failed to notify the White House for several days, a breach of protocol that sparked investigations and widespread condemnation. Austin's doctors said he would not return immediately to the Pentagon but would work remotely as he continues his recovery. Pentagon officials have struggled to explain why Austin kept the illness secret for so long. The Washington Post

6. Navy searches for 2 Navy SEALs lost at sea off Somalia

U.S. Navy ships and planes searched the Gulf of Aden for two Navy SEALs who went missing during a mission to board and seize a vessel carrying Iranian missile components to Somalia, a U.S. defense official said Monday. The SEALs were on a small combat craft traveling from the USS Lewis B. Puller to intercept the unflagged vessel carrying the missile parts, including warheads and engines. Waves knocked one of the SEALs overboard as he boarded the boat in high seas, and the other went in after him. Both remained missing Monday. U.S. officials said the SEALs are trained for such an emergency and could survive in the warm waters of the Gulf of Aden. The Associated Press

7. Winter weather disrupts MLK Day activities in parts of South

Extreme winter weather hit much of the South with ice and snow on Monday, forcing several governors to declare states of emergency and limiting commemorations of civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday in the region. The National Civil Rights Museum, which is located at the Memphis site of King's 1968 assassination, closed and held its M.L.K. Day programming virtually. San Antonio, Texas, called off its annual walk honoring King due to "dangerously low temperatures and potentially hazardous walking conditions." Tennessee lawmakers canceled the week's legislative meetings after parts of the state got six inches of snow. The New York Times

8. Iran says it hit Israeli 'spy' site in Iraq with missile

Iran said its Revolutionary Guards had destroyed an Israeli "spy headquarters" in Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region on Monday. The Kurdistan Region Security Council said the strike killed four people and wounded six. The United States condemned Iran for what it called "a reckless and imprecise set of strikes." Iraq denounced the attack as a violation of its sovereignty. Kurdistan authorities also said they had shot down three armed drones flying over the airport in the northern city of Irbil, where U.S. and other international forces are based. The Iranian strikes fueled fears that the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza would spread to other parts of the region. BBC, The Washington Post

9. Washington sues to block Kroger-Albertsons merger

Washington state's attorney general, Bob Ferguson, filed a lawsuit on Monday seeking to block the merger of Kroger and Albertsons, the two largest U.S. supermarket chains. Ferguson said the $24.6 billion proposal to combine No. 1 grocery operator Kroger — owner of Ralphs, Harris Teeter, Fred Meyer and other chains — and No. 2 Albertsons would give shoppers "fewer choices and less competition," eventually forcing customers to pay higher prices. Kroger and Albertsons, which owns Safeway and Vons, say they need to join forces to compete with giant, nontraditional rivals such as Amazon, Costco and Walmart. NPR

10. 'The Bear,' 'Succession' win big at Emmys

"The Bear" and "Succession" led the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards on Monday night with six wins each. HBO's "Succession" won best drama and FX's "The Bear" took best comedy. The Netflix show "Beef," created and written by showrunner Lee Sung Jin, won five Emmys, including best limited/anthology series. "The Last of Us" and "Ted Lasso," among the shows with the most nominations, both came up empty on Monday, although "The Last of Us" picked up two guest acting awards in last week's Creative Arts ceremonies. Elton John won for outstanding variety special, joining the exclusive EGOT club of artists who have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony award. USA Today

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