10 things you need to know today: March 12, 2023
Pence says ‘history will hold Donald Trump accountable’ for Jan. 6 in strong rebuke, Companies scrambling to secure finances after SVB collapse, and more
Pence says ‘history will hold Donald Trump accountable’ for Jan. 6 in strong rebuke
Former Vice President Mike Pence on Saturday delivered another strong criticism of his old boss, former President Donald Trump, for the latter's role in the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Speaking in Washington, D.C., at the annual Gridiron Club dinner, Pence said that Trump "was wrong" in his assessment of his abilities to overturn the results of the 2020 election. "I had no right to overturn the election and [Trump's] reckless words endangered my family and everyone at the Capitol that day," Pence said, adding, "I know that history will hold Donald Trump accountable." The former vice president, who has had rumors about a presidential bid swirling around him, also dismissed those who downplayed the attack.
Companies scrambling to secure finances after SVB collapse
Companies across the world are feeling the ill effects of the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and the potential loss of billions in uninsured assets. The California-based bank was reclaimed by the FDIC after a massive run by investors resulted in its demise. SVB was known as a tech-based corporation and investment bank for startups, and companies from the Golden State to Europe are now trying to figure out ways to manage their finances. The FDIC is trying to find a buyer for the bank in hopes of securing additional funds for clients that were uninsured, and California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has been in contact with the White House to "stabilize the situation as quickly as possible."
2023 Academy Awards prepare to honor the biggest names in movies
Entertainment's biggest event has arrived, as Hollywood prepares for the 2023 Academy Awards on Sunday night. Host Jimmy Kimmel will take the reigns of the show amidst the backdrop of the Will Smith slap of Chris Rock in 2022, and will likely use the much-talked-about event to his advantage during the monologue. Experts are saying that it is likely the year of Everything Everywhere All at Once. The film, directed by duo Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, has already won the four major prizes at the other Hollywood guild awards, and is nominated for a leading 11 prizes. This includes Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress for star Michelle Yeoh.
Northern California community forced to evacuate after floodwaters breach levee
A levee failure in the northern California area of Monterey County caused massive flooding and triggered hundreds of evacuations among residents scrambling to get to dry land. The levee, located three miles upstream from the town of Pajaro, breached Friday night and caused massive flooding in the area throughout Saturday. The failure is at least 100 feet wide, officials said, and the town of Pajaro, which has some 1,700 residents, is currently underwater. Residents were urged to leave, and at least 90 rescues were performed by first responders of people trapped by the raging rapids. No deaths have been reported from the breach.
French Senate passes unpopular pension reforms despite mass protests
The French Senate on Saturday passed a controversial reform to the country's pensions, that would raise the retirement age in France from 62 to 64. The motion passed in the Senate by a margin of 195 to 112, and the reforms will now undergo a final draft by a Senate committee in preparation for a final vote in both houses of Parliament. The reforms moved one step closer to becoming law despite a wave of protests that have befallen the country over the massively unpopular choice to raise the retirement age. Demonstrations and strikes were seen for a seventh straight day in cities across France over the weekend, though French President Emmanuel Macron has continually lauded the reforms.
SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule brings 4 astronauts back to Earth
Four astronauts returned safely to Earth on Saturday evening after being brought back by the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, ending their five-month mission in space. The capsule disembarked from the International Space Station at approximately 2:20 a.m. ET, and splashed down off the coast of Tampa, Florida, about seven hours later. The four crew members were comprised of a pair of NASA astronauts, along with an astronaut from Japanese aerospace agency JAXA and a cosmonaut from Russia's Roscosmos. The crew had blasted off to the ISS this past October, and have been carrying out a wide variety of research experiments as well as helping to maintain the station.
Israeli forces kill trio of Palestinian gunmen
A group of Israeli troops killed three Palestinian gunmen on Sunday after the latter opened fire on the soldiers, military officials said. The Palestinian health ministry confirmed that the three people were killed near the city of Nablus, though additional details were not provided. The deaths come as violence between Israeli and Palestinian forces reaches a peak level not seen in years. Beginning last year after a series of Palestinian attacks resulted in retaliation by Israel. Since then, Israeli military raids against Palestinian insurgents have been ramping up constantly, and at least 80 Palestinians have been killed since the start of the year. Palestine has also killed 14 Israelis during these violent months.
Rishi Sunak comes to United States to finalize AUKUS agreement
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will fly to the United States on Sunday to rubberstamp a multinational defense pact for the Pacific region. Sunak will arrive in California to meet with President Biden and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to finalize details of the AUKUS agreement. This pact, first signed between the U.S., U.K., and Australia in 2021, will serve to shore up Australian defenses and help protect Western interests in the Pacific, particularly as national security experts feel the threat from China continues to climb. The deal will involve the U.S. and U.K. helping Australia build up a fleet of nuclear submarines for patrol in the South China Sea.
Scientists backtrack, say Hawaii’s Kilauea is not erupting
The U.S. Geological Survey has reneged on a previous assessment that the Hawaiian volcano of Kilauea was erupting. In a statement late Saturday, the agency said that the volcano had "returned to background levels, ground deformation has stabilized, and no lava has been observed at the surface." This is a reversal from the survey's assessment last week that Hawaii's second-largest volcano was primed to erupt. Scientists had concluded that they had seen a " resumption of eruptive activity at Kilauea summit is likely imminent," though this no longer appears to be the case. However, the updated statement still cautioned that the threat level of a Kilauea eruption could change at any moment.
Berlin to let women swim topless in pools in move toward gender equality
Officials in Berlin have announced that women will be allowed to swim topless in the city's public swimming pools. Authorities made the decision after a female swimmer filed a complaint with the city after she was allegedly kicked out of a pool for swimming without a top on last year. Officials in Berlin agreed that she had been discriminated against on the basis of gender, and made the decision to allow women and non-binary people to go topless at their pools if they so choose. The move is in line with recent legislation to enact further gender equality laws in Germany, and shouldn't come as much of a surprise in a country that already has a long history with public nudity.