Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: February 25, 2023

California continues to be hit with rare winter storms, First lady gives major indication that Biden will run for re-election, and more


California continues to be hit with rare winter storms

California continued to be besieged by a rare winter storm on Saturday, as snow, ice, and hail continued to be seen in some of the most unlikely areas of the Golden State. The massive winter storm system is slated to continue making its way across the West Coast through the weekend. Many parts of Northern California, particularly at higher elevations, have already seen multiple feet of snow as blizzard-like conditions move through. However, it was Southern California where nearly unheard-of weather was being seen. The Los Angeles metropolitan area has already seen a sprinkling of snow in the mountains, where even the Hollywood sign was covered with a light dusting. Saturday could bring torrential rains and more freezing conditions to the area. 


First lady gives major indication that Biden will run for re-election

First lady Dr. Jill Biden on Friday gave one of the clearest indications yet that President Biden is gearing up for a re-election bid in 2024. During an interview with The Associated Press amidst her ongoing trip to Africa, the first lady was asked if Biden intended to run for a second term. "How many times does he have to say it for you to believe it?" she said. "He says he's not done. He's not finished what he's started. And that's what's important." This sentiment was echoed by President Biden's granddaughter, Naomi, who wrote on Twitter, "Preach nana." While the president has not yet announced his candidacy, all signs seem to point to him joining the race 


Russia may send fighter jets to Iran, U.S. believes

U.S. officials are concerned that Russia may send fighter jets to Iran, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said Friday. The revelation marks a seemingly continuous evolution of cooperation between Russian and Iranian officials. "Russia has been offering a lot of unprecedented defense cooperation, including on missiles, electronics, and air defense," Kirby said, adding, "We're going to be watching this very closely to see what, if anything, actually transpires." Officials said that they believe Iran is working to obtain "billions of dollars" of military equipment from Russia. It has previously been reported that Russia has been using Iranian-made drones during its ongoing war in Ukraine. 


Nigerians head to the polls to elect new president

Nigerians on Saturday headed to the polls in a presidential and parliamentary election that could have major ripple effects for the country and Africa. Nigeria has been fraught with ongoing economic hardships and rising levels of violence, and the nation will now look to elect a successor to President Muhammadu Buhari, who is stepping down after two terms. While many are hoping that a new president will usher in a fresh era of prosperity for Africa's largest economy, there were signs Saturday morning of increasing problems at the polls. While voting booths were scheduled to open at 8:30 a.m. local time, numerous outlets reported delays and issues with voting that could throw a wrench into the electoral process.  


FDA authorizes 1st at-home flu/COVID combo test

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday authorized the first over-the-counter, at-home test that can detect both influenza and COVID-19. According to a press release from the FDA, the test is a single-use product that works via the collection of a nasal swab, and provides results in about 30 minutes. The test is meant to be used by people 14 or older, though the FDA says an adult can collect a sample from somebody that is over two years old. The FDA approval comes just days after the company that makes the test, Lucira Health, announced it was filing for bankruptcy, citing the high costs of producing the product. 


Residents in East Palestine diagnosed with bronchitis and other respiratory issues

Residents of East Palestine, Ohio, are continuing to report a variety of respiratory problems and other ailments following a train derailment of toxic chemicals in the town. The train, run by Norfolk Southern, derailed on Feb. 3, and residents have been besieged by illnesses since then that health officials believe are related to the chemicals released by the derailment. Melissa Blake, who lives within a mile of the crash site, told NBC News that she was diagnosed with "acute bronchitis due to chemical fumes" the day that she evacuated her home. "They gave me a breathing machine. They put me on oxygen. They gave me three types of steroids," she added. 


German chancellor commits to trade deal between India and EU

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Saturday that he was committed to securing a free trade deal between India and the European Union. Speaking after a meeting in New Delhi with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Scholz told reporters that "it's an important topic and I'll get personally involved." Scholz's promise comes after India and the EU restarted their negotiations on trade talks last year, with the goal of having an agreement in place by the end of 2023. A free trade agreement would benefit the EU by helping the bloc increase its connections with Asia, while India would be able to expand its economic influence in Europe. Modi said that he was committed to finding common ground with the EU. 


Pence says he is nearing decision on presidential bid

Former Vice President Mike Pence said Friday that he is close to making a decision on whether or not to run for president in 2024. In an interview with NBC News, Pence said that he would have his choice finalized "by the spring," adding that he would go onto support the eventual GOP nominee whether it was him or not. "We're listening, we're reflecting, we're talking to firms," Pence said of his family, adding that "our family expects to have a very clear sense of our calling." The former vice president also used the opportunity to slander his old boss, former President Donald Trump, saying that he believes there will be "better choices" than Trump in 2024. 


5 dead, including patient, in Nevada Care Flight crash

All five people onboard a medical service airplane died when their flight crashed in western Nevada late Friday night, officials said. The dead included the pilot, the flight nurse, and the paramedic, in addition to the patient and a family member of the patient. The plane was operated by Care Flight, an aviation service that transports patients over long distances. It is unclear what caused the plane to crash. However, authorities in Lyon County, Nevada, near the town of Stagecoach, began receiving 911 calls at about 9:15 p.m., with first responders finally locating the wreckage about two hours later. The crash is currently under investigation by the local sheriff's department. 


Warner Bros. Discovery sues Paramount over airing of ‘South Park’ episodes

Warner Bros. Discovery has filed a lawsuit against competitor Paramount Global, alleging that the latter had breached a previous contract by promoting certain episodes of South Park on its own platform. The two entertainment conglomerates had previously signed a $500 million licensing deal in 2019 that gave Warner Bros.' main streaming platform, HBO Max, rights to air South Park episodes, a property that was previously a Paramount tentpole. The lawsuit alleges that Paramount has not delivered all of the promised episodes put forth in the deal, and that HBO Max overpaid for the South Park library because new episodes are more valuable than old ones. Paramount has denied the allegations. 


LA school district in turmoil after 30,000 employees go on strike
A crowd gathers to support a strike against the LAUSD.
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LA school district in turmoil after 30,000 employees go on strike

CDC warns of deadly fungus in U.S. health facilities
Candida auris.
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CDC warns of deadly fungus in U.S. health facilities

Indicting the 'Teflon president'
Two hands in cuffs, one giving a thumbs-up and the other giving a thumbs-down
Talking point

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Biden to create 2 new national monuments in Texas and Nevada
Advocates for Castner Range National Monument near El Paso
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Biden to create 2 new national monuments in Texas and Nevada

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Russia's spring Ukraine offensive may be winding down amid heavy losses
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