10 things you need to know today: February 11, 2023


U.S. shoots down object flying off Alaska coast

The White House Friday that the Pentagon had shot down a ‘high-altitude’ object flying over Alaskan airspace. National Security Council official John Kirby said the unidentified object had been downed “out of an abundance of caution and at the recommendation of the Pentagon,” and had been destroyed on the orders of President Biden. Details about the object remain slim, however, it was reported that it was flying at an altitude of 40,000 feet, which could have posed a threat to aircraft in the area. The incident comes just days after the Pentagon shot down a Chinese spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina, but Kirby would not confirm if the two incidents were related. 

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Trump team has reportedly turned over more classified documents and laptop

Lawyers for former President Donald Trump have reportedly turned over a series of additional classified documents to federal investigators in recent months, as well as a laptop used by a Trump aide. A source close to the situation to The Associated Press on Friday that an empty folder marked ‘classified’ was also given to the Justice Department, though it is unclear what this folder was supposed to contain. The full scale of the turnover remains unclear, however, it comes as the Justice Department continues its investigation of hundreds of classified documents found at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida. The most recent documents were reportedly found in a box containing thousands of papers. 

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Biden will not conduct Super Bowl interview with Fox, White House says

President Biden will not conduct an interview with Fox prior to the Super Bowl, the White House said Friday, settling a previous back-and-forth between the administration and the network on the president’s intentions. While Biden had previously been slated to hold an interview with Fox Soul, a live-streaming service aimed at African-Americans, the White House later said the interview had been canceled. This was contradicted by Fox, saying the sit-down had simply been rescheduled. However, a White House spokesperson later confirmed, “We had arranged an interview with…the president ahead of the Super Bowl and Fox Corp had the interview canceled. Fox has since put out a statement indicating the interview was rescheduled, which is inaccurate.”

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Russia attacks power grid across Ukraine in ongoing offensive

Russia launched a barrage of missile attacks across Ukraine on Saturday, the latter’s Air Force said, unleashing a wave of new attacks against key infrastructure in a move that caused serious damage to the country’s already crippled power grid. The attack was the first heavy assault in weeks by Russia, and comes as part of what experts say is a continuing strategy to try and lower morale in Ukraine by keeping the country dark and in the cold. Ukrainian officials said the attack came as Russian soldiers were mounting an effort to push even further into the country to try and seize control of the eastern region of Donbas. It is unclear if anyone was killed in the attacks. 

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Biden to visit Poland for anniversary of war in Ukraine

President Biden will visit Poland in the coming weeks to mark the one-year anniversary of the Russian war in Ukraine, the White House said Friday. The president is planning on visiting Poland from Feb. 20 to 22, where he will meet with Polish President Andrzej Duda and other world leaders from the region. He will then deliver a speech ahead of the official one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion on Feb. 24. While in Poland, Biden will “talk about the importance of the international community’s resolve and unity in supporting Ukraine for now going on a year,” a White House official said. Biden previously visited Poland in March 2022, soon after the outbreak of the war. 



People protest across France over government attempts to raise pension age

Thousands of people took to the streets in France on Saturday, in a widespread protest against the government’s plan to overhaul the French pension program, which would raise the full retirement age from 62 to 64. At least three days of nationwide strikes have been seen since the start of the year, the largest of which saw more than one million people come out in support of keeping the pension lower. However, union officials said the protest numbers had begun to dip as workers could no longer afford repeated strikes. However, they remained optimistic that the thousands of marchers would be able to send a message to French President Emmanuel Macron to not touch the program. 

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Investigators subpoena American Airlines crew involved in near-miss incident

U.S. federal investigators have subpoenaed the crew of an American Airlines flight that was involved in a near-miss incident earlier this year, after the crew refused to be interviewed regarding the event, the National Transportation Safety Board said Friday. The subpoena comes after the Jan. 13 incident at JFK International Airport in New York City, during which the American Airlines flight crossed the runway without clearance, forcing a Delta Airlines flight to abort its takeoff from that same runway. The NTSB is investigating the incident, and said that while there were no injuries, the two aircraft came within 1,400 feet of each other. The NTSB said the flight crew refused to be interviewed because they did not want the transcript recorded. 

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George Santos seemingly called out on lie by Kyrsten Sinema

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) is calling out Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) for allegedly making up an encounter he says the pair had during the State of the Union address last Tuesday. Santos told Newsmax that Sinema told him to “hang in there, buddy,” as the two passed each other during the speech. However, a statement released by Sinema’s office said, “This is a lie,” with a spokesperson for Sinema saying the senator never talked to Santos. Video from the speech appears to show Santos saying something to Sinema as she walks past him, however, it does not appear that Sinema says anything back to the freshman congressman, who has been caught in a series of fabrications about his personal life. 

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Last Communist leader of East Germany dies at 95

Hans Modrow, the last Communist prime minister of East Germany who paved the way for the reunification of the German state, died Saturday at the age of 95. In a statement, the German far-left Die Linke party, successor to Modrow’s East German Communist Party, said, “Last night, Hans Modrow left us at the age of 95. With this, our party loses an important personality.” Modrow became prime minister of East Germany in 1989, and while he would remain in office only until April of the next year, his reforms opened the door for the eventual fall of the Berlin Wall. He additionally oversaw the only free and fair elections to take place in East Germany in March 1990. 

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‘Days of Our Lives’ actor Cody Longo dead at 34

Cody Longo, an actor best known for his role on the soap opera Days of Our Lives, has passed away at the age of 34. In a statement, Longo’s wife Stephanie, with whom he had three children, confirmed his death. “Cody was our whole world. The kids and I are shattered and beyond devastated. He was the best dad and best father. We will always and forever miss you and love you.” Longo’s manager, Alex Gittelson, also released a statement, saying his “heart breaks for his beautiful family,” and adding that “Cody was such a loyal, loving and talented person and he will be greatly missed.” A cause of death has not been released. 

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