Tobacco stocks plunged after news that the Biden administration is considering a mandate to reduce the amount of nicotine in cigarettes.
Here’s what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.
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1. Chauvin trial
The fate of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin is now in the hands of jurors. They began deliberating yesterday evening and will resume today. This tense period follows three weeks of testimony in one of the most closely watched cases of the Black Lives Matter era. Judge Peter Cahill, who is presiding over the case, courted controversy yesterday when he suggested to Chauvin’s defense team that comments made by US Rep. Maxine Waters could be grounds for appealing the verdict. Waters on Saturday night called for protesters to “stay on the street” and “get more confrontational” if Chauvin is acquitted of killing George Floyd. Some Republicans say she was inciting violence, but supporters say she was clearly referencing the civil rights movement’s history of nonviolence.
India has reported six consecutive days of more than 200,000 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total over the last week to a staggering 1.5 million. The country now has the second highest number of coronavirus cases in the world, ahead of Brazil, which reported over 13.9 million cases (the US has 31.7 million cases). However, nonstop cremations in India — the grim consequence of coronavirus deaths — have led some to believe India’s official Covid-19 data is understating the crisis. Meanwhile, the US State Department announced it will update its travel guidelines to more closely align with CDC recommendations. That means approximately 80% of countries worldwide will now fall under the highest travel advisory level, Level 4: Do Not Travel.
3. Indianapolis shooting
We’re learning more about the gunman who authorities say shot and killed eight people at a FedEx facility last week. An Indiana prosecutor says “shortcomings” in the state’s “red flag” law allowed 19-year-old Brandon Hole to legally purchase two assault rifles even though his family previously had a firearm seized by police after Hole’s mother told law enforcement she was worried he might attempt “suicide by cop.” Hole was put on an immediate mental health temporary hold and taken to a hospital for evaluation. A responding police officer said Hole had been browsing what the officer described as White supremacist websites. Officials have still not identified a motive in last week’s shooting.
China, Russia and other foreign adversaries weaponized QAnon, the false far-right conspiracy theory, in the months surrounding the January 6 Capitol riot, a new report says. The findings from the Soufan Center suggest these foreign actors are using the movement to sow discord among the American public. FBI Director Christopher Wray said last week the bureau isn’t looking into QAnon “in its own right,” but sources say federal agencies are looking into how foreign adversaries are using the movement. Those inquiries are part of a broader effort to address the threat posed by domestic extremists in the aftermath of January’s violence.
NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter has successfully completed its historic flight on Mars and safely landed back on the surface. This is a huge moment — the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. “We’ve been talking about our Wright brothers moment on another planet for so long. And now, here it is,” said MiMi Aung, an Ingenuity project manager. Images of the flight were captured by Ingenuity’s fellow traveler, the Perseverance rover. The four-pound helicopter flew for about 40 seconds and had to contend with a very different gravitational pull than here on Earth. The copter could take flight another four times during its mission. Data collected by those flights could help researchers build bigger, better extraterrestrial helicopters in the future.
Here’s where to watch all the 2021 Oscar’s Best Picture nominees
There’s still time for a big movie binge before Sunday’s soirée.
McDonald’s is releasing a BTS-themed meal
What does one of the biggest K-pop bands in the world eat? Chicken nuggets and cool sauces, apparently.
Facebook is joining the audio boom with soundbites, live rooms and podcasts
In case you forgot what it sounded like in a loud, crowded room, there are plenty of tech companies keen to remind you.
GM reveals tiny, adorable electric convertible to be sold in China
It’s named after a macaron and comes in pastel colors?! Are cars allowed to be this cute?!!
Anderson Cooper gets advice from Ken Jennings before guest-hosting ‘Jeopardy!’
Yes, our CNN buddy is at the helm for the next two weeks!
Walter Frederick “Fritz” Mondale, who served as vice president under then-President Jimmy Carter, has died at 93. Carter mourned his passing, calling Mondale a “dear friend” and “the best vice president in our country’s history.”
That’s how many US congressional districts — out of 435! — are represented by a House member who is not of the same party that the district voted for in the 2020 presidential race. These lawmakers are sometimes called “congressional unicorns.”
“Now, more than ever, we must protect the entire football community — from the top level to the grassroots — and the values of competition and fairness at its core.”
Britain’s Prince William, weighing in on soccer’s proposed European Super league. Twelve of the sport’s biggest teams have threatened to break away and form their own league, which would be one of the biggest shake-ups to ever face European club football. The plan has been met with shock and criticism by fans and soccer organizations.
Hello there, black bear
We could all use a smile, no? The story of this little baby bear — taken in, rehabbed and set free again in the wild — should do it. (Click here to view.)