Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: January 15, 2023

Dozens dead after plane crashes in Nepal, At least 23 dead after Russian strike on Ukrainian apartments, and more


Dozens dead after plane crashes in Nepal

At least 68 people are confirmed dead after a plane crash in Nepal on Sunday, according to the country's Civil Aviation Authority. Nepalese officials said the plane, a regional passenger craft with 72 people onboard, crashed in the resort town of Pokhara while attempting to land at a newly opened airport. Details of what caused the crash are still under investigation, but witnesses said the plane crashed into a steep gorge on the edge of the airport. Rescuers could be seen climbing into the deep gorge and ravine to try and rescue anyone still alive. The crash was the deadliest in Nepal since 1992, when the crash of a Pakistan International Airlines flight landing in Kathmandu killed all 167 people onboard. 


At least 23 dead after Russian strike on Ukrainian apartments

The death toll from a Russian strike on a Ukrainian apartment building rose to 23 on Sunday, government officials said, as rescue workers continued to pull remains from the rubble. The nine-story apartment block, located in the city of Dnipro, bore the worst of a series of Russian missile attacks on Saturday, with the vast majority of the building being leveled. The attack on Dnipro was just one of a series of attacks launched by Russia after a period of relative calm, and coincided with the Orthodox New Year. While Gen. Valeriy Zaluzhny, the commander of the Ukrainian forces, said 21 out of 33 missiles were shot down, the rest reached their target. 


Biden declares emergencies in California, Alabama after natural disasters

President Biden over the weekend approved emergency declarations for both California and Alabama, as the two states struggle to come to grips with national disasters that have put them in serious binds. The president's declarations make federal funding and assistance available to affected individuals in three California counties and two Alabama counties. California is continuing to come to grips with a series of winter rainstorms that have caused flooding, mudslides, and power outages in wide swaths of the state, where at least 19 people have died. Central Alabama saw at least five tornadoes touch down last week, killing nine and causing a path of destruction through the southeast United States. 


WHO asks China to release additional info on COVID-19 after wave of deaths

The World Health Organization on Saturday asked China to release additional information and statistics about its battle with COVID-19 after recent data revealed a country in crisis over the pandemic. The WHO said that China's transparency would allow "for a better understanding of the epidemiological situation." Following a series of complaints from NGOs that China was failing to inform the world about the true scale of its sick, Chinese officials revealed that the country had seen at least 60,000 deaths from the virus since last December. The deaths came in part due to China reversing anti-virus restrictions despite a large uptick in hospitalizations from COVID. 


Peru declares state of emergency over continued protests

The Peruvian government on Saturday declared a state of emergency following weeks of continued protests and unrest against President Dina Boluarte. The violence has claimed at least 42 lives, and the 30-day emergency measure will allow the Peruvian military to intervene where necessary to try and keep order. It also suspends a number of constitutional rights, such as the freedom of movement and assembly, until the situation is resolved. Massive protests have been ongoing in Peru since the previous president, Pedro Castillo, was removed from office and jailed for allegedly organizing a self-coup by attempting to dissolve the Peruvian Congress.  


China, Hong Kong resume high-speed rail travel for 1st time since pandemic began

China and Hong Kong are linking back up again, as the Chinese mainland resumed high-speed rail service to the city on Sunday for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic three years ago. The decision by Chinese officials to re-engage the rail lines comes after China had removed a quarantine requirement for incoming Hong Kong residents last week. While a number of passengers expressed relief and admiration and being able to ride the trains between the two locales once again, the rail opening comes as China continues to battle waves of new COVID-19 infections, where at least 60,000 people have died since last December. 


Biden to pay tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. with sermon at his church

President Biden on Sunday will pay tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. to mark the national holiday honoring the late civil rights leader. On what would be King's 94th birthday, Biden is set to deliver the sermon at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, speaking from the pulpit where King preached until his assassination in 1968. "[President Biden] will deliver remarks reflecting on Dr. King's life and legacy, and the way that we can go forward together," the White House said in a statement. The current pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church is Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), who will help mark Biden's speech — the first time a sitting president has spoken at the church.


Archeologists uncover ancient royal tomb in Egypt

Egyptian officials announced Saturday that archeologists had unearthed a royal tomb in the ancient city of Luxor. Found on the city's West Bank — the site of many previous archeological discoveries — the tomb is thought to date back to the time of the pharaohs. While it remains unclear who the tomb belonged to, experts said that the owner was likely from the 18th Dynasty of Pharaonic Egypt, which spanned from 1550 BC to 1292 BC. The tomb was discovered by a joint British-Egyptian team conducting digs in the Valley of the Kings and Queens, where the iconic tomb of the pharaoh Tutankhamun was discovered a century ago. 


Romanian police seize millions of Andrew Tate's assets

Romanian police on Saturday seized several million dollars worth of assets from detained social media influencer Andrew Tate's compound. The authorities confiscated several luxury cars, including a BMW, Rolls-Royce, and Mercedes-Benz from Tate's garage, and prosecutors had previously said they'd seized 15 total vehicles and more than 10 properties from Tate as part of an investigation. A self-described misogynist and kickboxer, Tate has garnered controversy online for some of his takes on women's rights and similar issues. Tate, along with his brother Tristian and a pair of Romanian women, were arrested in December on suspicion of human trafficking, though both men have denied these allegations. 


Jaguars come back from 27-0 deficit to stun Chargers in playoffs

The Jacksonville Jaguars stunned the sports world on Saturday night when they came back from a 27-0 deficit to defeat the Los Angeles Chargers 31-30 in a wild-card game to advance to the next round of the NFL playoffs. Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence got off to an abysmal start, throwing four interceptions in the first half and allowing the Chargers to dominate the field. However, by the second half, the Jaguars had found their footing, and Lawrence would throw for 211 yards in the last two quarters, including three touchdowns, to help Jacksonville upset the Chargers in the third-largest comeback in playoff history. 


Trump says he has been indicted in classified documents probe
Donald Trump leaving Trump Tower in May

Trump says he has been indicted in classified documents probe

Does Biden's age matter?
President Joe Biden

Does Biden's age matter?

Is protected land really protected?
Grand Canyon.

Is protected land really protected?

Regions around the world are adapting to climate change in real time
Flooded cemetery in Jakarta
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Regions around the world are adapting to climate change in real time

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Ban the Bible?
Holy Bible.

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What is Mike Pence thinking?
Former Vice President Mike Pence on a motorcycle
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What is Mike Pence thinking?

CNN CEO Chris Licht steps down
Chris Licht
so long

CNN CEO Chris Licht steps down