Daily Politics News Magazine

5 things to know for February 23: SCOTUS, White House, Covid-19, US police, Australia

Here’s what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.

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2. White House 

Confirmation battles are brewing over President Biden’s remaining Cabinet picks, underscoring the razor-thin power balance in the Senate. The confirmation of Neera Tanden, Biden’s pick to lead the Office of Management and Budget, is in jeopardy after Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, said he wouldn’t support her. Interior secretary nominee Deb Haaland’s confirmation hearing starts today, and her opposition to fossil fuels has made her persona non grata among Republicans and possibly some moderate Democrats. Xavier Becerra, chosen by the President to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, has emerged as a lightning rod over his stance on the ever-divisive issues of abortion and Obamacare. 

3. Coronavirus 

Flags around the US are flying at half-staff to mark the more than 500,000 people who have died on American soil as a result of Covid-19. Dr. Anthony Fauci addressed the travesty plainly, saying, “We’ve done worse than most any other country.” Meanwhile, as England prepares to reopen, its chief medical officer said Covid-19 will likely be a problem “for the next few winters.” It’s a reminder that, like the flu, Covid-19 will still threaten even with widespread vaccinations. There are other health risks to consider as well: Japan has appointed a minister for loneliness to combat a rising suicide rate amid the pandemic. And in the US, clinics are springing up to treat sufferers of “long Covid,” whose symptoms linger long after the infection has cleared. 

4. Police violence 

Police in Aurora, Colorado, involved in the 2019 death of Elijah McClain had no legal basis to stop or detain him. This is the conclusion of an independent investigative report that criticizes officers and medical responders at the scene. McClain, a Black man, died three days after he was stopped by Aurora police, put in a carotid hold and injected with ketamine. No charges were brought against the officers because prosecutors said they couldn’t prove they caused McClain’s death or used unjustified force. Meanwhile, police are investigating the arrest of a Baton Rouge teenager last weekend after video posted online showed an officer pinning the 13-year-old to the ground with his arm under the boy’s neck. The Louisiana city and police department have petitioned to allow the full body-worn camera video to be made public.

5. Australia

Facebook and the Australian government have been at odds for months over proposed legislation that would force tech platforms to pay publishers for news content. As a result, last week Facebook barred Australians from finding or sharing news on its service. The decision appeared to be the most restrictive move the company has ever taken against content publishers and forced the pages of media organizations and even some unrelated essential services to go dark. Now, Facebook will restore news pages after the government agreed to change the planned media code, allowing Facebook to retain greater control over what appears on its platform.


Taylor Swift rerecorded her 2008 hit, ‘Love Story,’ and now it’s topping the country charts again 

She’s a little bit country, a little bit pop.

Peloton is releasing a cheaper treadmill

And “cheaper” here means … $2,500

Daft Punk is splitting up after 28 years

Let’s bow our helmets for a moment of silence. 

Taco Bell is getting in on the chicken sandwich wars 

It’s a taco? It’s a chicken sandwich? There’s bread? A … tacowich

A tiny message in Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’ was, in fact, written by the artist himself

“Can only have been painted by a madman.” Well, it’s good to know thyself.


February is Black History Month, and every day we’re highlighting Black pioneers in American history. Learn more here.

Audre Lorde, poet, 1934-1992


Read More: 5 things to know for February 23: SCOTUS, White House, Covid-19, US police, Australia

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