Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: March 5, 2023

Biden to commemorate Bloody Sunday in Alabama, Iran makes new pledge to U.N.’s nuclear watchdog, and more


Biden to commemorate Bloody Sunday in Alabama

President Biden will visit Selma, Alabama, on Sunday to mark the 58th anniversary of civil rights leaders' attempt to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The day, which has since been coined "Bloody Sunday," saw Alabama state troopers attack the civil rights protesters as they crossed the bridge, beating them with clubs, chasing them on horseback, and deploying tear gas. Bloody Sunday would become a catalyst for the enhancement of civil rights in the United States, and its anniversary is commemorated every year. Biden will participate in the re-enactment of the bridge crossing, and is also expected to give a speech on voting rights and efforts to protect access to the ballot box. 


Iran makes new pledge to U.N.’s nuclear watchdog

Iranian officials on Saturday gave new assurances to the United Nations' nuclear agency that it will assist with atomic inspections and re-install monitoring equipment at its nuclear sites. The U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency released a joint statement with Iranian foreign diplomats, saying that the inspections "will be carried out in a spirit of collaboration, and in full conformity with the competences of the IAEA and the rights and obligations of the Islamic Republic of Iran." In addition, the agency said that "Iran, on a voluntary basis, will allow the IAEA to implement further appropriate verification and monitoring activities." The pledge marks a renewed sense of cooperation between the IAEA and the often secretive Iranian nuclear program. 


U.N. agrees on treaty to protect marine life

The United Nations on Saturday reached a historic treaty to protect marine life and biodiversity in the world's oceans, a milestone in a years-long effort to pass official legislation against the destruction of oceanic habitats. The U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea was first penned in 1982 and updated again in 1994. However, efforts to re-hash the convention since then have been hindered by disagreements over funding and protections for fishermen. Saturday's update applies to all regions outside of internationally held waters, known as the high seas. The agreement applies to around half of the planet's surface, and increases the current 1.2 percent of the high seas that were already under protection. 


Second Norfolk Southern train derails in Ohio; no hazardous chemicals onboard

A cargo train operated by Norfolk Southern derailed late Saturday night near Springfield, Ohio, the second NS train in recent weeks to derail in the state. The nonpassenger train came off the tracks around 5 p.m., a Norfolk Southern spokesperson said. The cause of the derailment is still being investigated, but the company said that there were no reported injuries, and the train was not carrying any hazardous material. The derailment comes just one month after a Norfolk Southern train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, spewing toxic chemicals across the town and forcing the area's 5,000 residents to evacuate. An environmental crisis remains in the area as workers continue to clean up the massive damage from the accident. 


Trump gives rambling speech, chides DeSantis at CPAC

Former President Donald Trump spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Saturday, giving an often longwinded and rambling speech that seemed to serve as a continuing springboard for his presidential campaign. Being introduced as the "next president of the United States," Trump made references to his opponents within the GOP, chiding the old guard of the Republican Party that he said "was ruled by freaks, neocons, globalists, open border zealots, and fools." Trump added, "People are tired of RINOs and globalists. They want to see America First." He also used the opportunity to go after his likely main opposition for the Republican nomination, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is likely to launch his own presidential campaign soon. 


Ukrainian pilots being assessed for F-16 training in United States

A pair of Ukrainian pilots are currently undergoing assessments in the United States to see how long it would take them to learn the ropes of an F-16 fighter jet, sources told NBC News on Saturday. The Ukrainians' skills are currently being tested on simulators at a military base in Tucson, Arizona, sources said, and additional Ukrainian soldiers may join them soon. This is the first known time that Ukrainians have arrived in the United States to seek assistance for an American-based weapons system. However, officials stressed that this was not a training program, and that the Ukrainians would not be flying any aircraft during their time in the U.S. 


Michigan judge dismisses all lawsuits against Oxford school district

A Michigan judge on Saturday dismissed all lawsuits filed against the Oxford Community School District, saying that the district cannot be held responsible for a mass shooting that occurred at Oxford High School in 2021. Judge Mary Ellen Brennan said that the district employees have government-based immunity from any lawsuits in relation to the killing of four students at the school by a 15-year-old. Brennan wrote that the claims of the lawsuit "do not fall within any of the six recognized exceptions" for waiving the district's immunity. Rather, she wrote that the cause of the shooting was based solely on the actions of the defendant. Attorneys for the victims said they were planning to appeal the judge's decision. 


Major fire at refugee camp in Bangladesh leaves dozens homeless

A "major" fire broke out at a Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh on Sunday. The inferno destroyed several homes, officials said, although there were no reported deaths. The fire reportedly began at Camp 11 in the city of Cox's Bazar, an area where more than one million Rohingya refugees make their home. The majority of them moved to Bangladesh after fleeing persecution in Myanmar following a military junta in 2017. It is unclear how the fire started, and officials said the cause is still being investigated. However, the blaze left numerous people homeless, though the fire is now under control and no further homes are expected to be destroyed. 


Pennsylvania woman missing for 30 years found in Puerto Rico

A Pennsylvania woman who was long believed to have died was discovered this past week at a nursing home in Puerto Rico, 30 years after she vanished. Chief Brian Kohlhepp of the Ross Township Police Department said that Patricia Kopta, now 83, was found after she shared small details of her past life with workers at the nursing home. The workers were able to piece together that the dementia-stricken woman had likely disappeared from the Pittsburgh-area township in 1992, and DNA evidence was able to determine that she was, in fact, the missing woman. It is unclear what details Kopta shared with the workers, or how she made her way to Puerto Rico. 


‘Saturday Night Live’ tackles ongoing Fox News controversy

Saturday Night Live dipped into the pool of athlete hosts once again, with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce taking up the mantle for the sketch comedy show. The episode's cold-open, though, poked fun at the ongoing issues with Fox News and the revelations that they were aware of the misinformation being spread by their anchors regarding the 2020 election. The skit mocked the network's daytime tentpole show Fox and Friends, and also used the opportunity to poke fun at MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who is currently attending the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland. The skit also spoofed a number of texts that were uncovered during Fox's ongoing lawsuit against the Dominion Voting Company. 


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