Months after the Democratic Republic of the Congo triumphed over its latest Ebola outbreak, another case has reared its ugly head.
Here’s what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.
(You can also get “5 Things You Need to Know Today” delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)
The US has seen a dip in coronavirus cases, but experts warn we may just be in the eye of the hurricane. Medical professionals are trying to figure out how to stop the rapidly spreading UK, South Africa and Brazil variants that have already infected more than 700 people in the US, and easing of good prevention practices could make the next wave worse. South Africa is pausing some vaccine plans after a study found AstraZeneca’s vaccine is less effective against the variant first discovered there. In China, frustration and heartbreak abounds as China is discouraging hundreds of millions of people from traveling for the Lunar New Year. You may recall the massive event was a source of superspreader concern in the early days of the pandemic last year.
Former President Trump’s second impeachment trial starts tomorrow, but the outcome really isn’t in doubt. GOP Sen. Pat Toomey says it’s “very unlikely” the Senate votes to convict Trump, especially since 45 Senate Republicans previously voted to suggest the trial shouldn’t go forward. Still, how long the trial will take and what exactly will happen are details that are up for negotiation. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and their aides have been discussing the trial’s organizing resolution, which would set all of these parameters. The Senate will pass the resolution before arguments begin.
House Democrats will unveil legislation today that would give millions of families at least $3,000 per child as part of President Biden’s Covid-19 relief proposal. The Child Tax Credit bill would provide $3,600 per child under age 6 and $3,000 per child age 6 through 17 for a single year, paid in increments, up to a ceiling based on household income. The current Child Tax Credit provides up to $2,000 per child under 17, has different income thresholds and is paid in a lump sum. Some Republicans support this part of the relief bill. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says the US could get back to full employment next year if Congress passes Biden’s full $1.9 trillion stimulus package.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pleaded not guilty to one charge of bribery and three charges of fraud and breach of trust. The proceedings began back in May, and Netanyahu’s plea marks the second time he has appeared in court. He is charged in three different cases. In the most serious case, Netanyahu is accused of advancing regulatory benefits worth more than $300 million that favored a telecommunications company controlled by a millionaire friend in exchange for favorable news coverage. His trial could have even more serious implications since Israel is only six weeks away from a general election. Netanyahu’s allies want to postpone the corruption proceedings, saying the trial would interfere with the election.
At least 180 people are missing and 19 have died in India’s northern Uttarakhand state after part of a Himalayan glacier fell into a river, triggering massive flash floods. The water rolled down a mountain gorge, picking up rocks and debris before crashing through a dam. Most of the missing are workers from two hydroelectric projects in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district that were hit by the avalanche. Glaciers in the Himalayan region have been melting rapidly due to the climate crisis, and it’s not uncommon for them to become unstable. Environmentalists have warned against widespread development in the region, which can compromise rivers and other natural structures. A similar tragedy occurred in the region in 2013, when nearly 6,000 people lost their lives after a massive amount of rainfall led to flash floods.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have won the Super Bowl
That’s championship number seven for Tom Brady, in case you’ve lost count.
Cardboard cutouts of Billie Eilish, Drake and 30,000 others filled Tampa’s stadium during the game
“Wow, tough crowd.” — the players, probably
Ariana Grande just earned her 20th Guinness World Records title
There’s successful, and then there’s “set 20 musical records” successful.
A 3D-printed house is for sale in New York, and it’s the first of its kind
Start saving up: It’s almost $300,000.
12 lifestyle habits to reduce stress during a pandemic
Strict dieting? Out. Naps? In. We can live with that!
PROFILES IN PERSEVERANCE
February is Black History Month, and every day we’re highlighting Black pioneers in American history. Learn more here.
Eunice Hunton Carter, prosecutor, 1899-1970
Carter was the first African American woman in New York state to serve as assistant district attorney. She was part of the legal team that brought down notorious mob boss Charles “Lucky” Luciano, and her painstaking investigative skills led to his conviction. Later in her life, Carter chaired a committee at the United Nations.
That’s the proportion of American voters who have a positive view toward QAnon, the conspiracy theory that threaded its way through the 2020 election and its aftermath. This is according to an NBC News poll.
“Powerful things happen when people rally around something they really care about.”
An ad for Reddit that ran during the Super Bowl. The platform that was the source of the GameStop stock surge says it spent its entire marketing budget on the five-second commercial, which partially appeared as a quick blip of text on the screen.
Get your daily grains
Sometimes you need to go back to the basics, like learning how rice is made. (Click here to view.)