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5 things to know for Jan. 31: Ukraine, SCOTUS, Spotify, North Korea, Australian Open


By Alexandra Meeks, CNN

Anything is possible! The Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals are heading to Super Bowl LVI after yesterday’s thrilling NFL conference championship games. The Bengals have zero Super Bowl wins in the history of the franchise, but never doubt an underdog! They may have what it takes to shock the world yet again.

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.)

1. Ukraine

The two top senators on the Foreign Relations Committee say they are confident they will get a bipartisan deal on Russian sanctions when the Senate comes back from recess, despite some sticking points. Some sanctions on the table could happen upfront, while others would go into effect if Russia were to invade Ukraine. Russia, meanwhile, is questioning the framing of NATO as a “defensive” alliance, complaining that the bloc’s “line of defense” continues to move east toward the county. British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said yesterday this is a clear sign that Russia will “highly likely” invade Ukraine. The White House has also warned that a Russian invasion into Ukraine is “imminent.” President Joe Biden said Friday he will move US troops to NATO allies in Eastern Europe in the “near term,” marking a new phase in the US response to Russia’s escalation on the Ukrainian border.

2. Supreme Court

The Senate Judiciary Committee will move quickly with the confirmation process once President Joe Biden announces his pick to replace Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, the panel’s chair said yesterday. The comments from Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin come days after Breyer, the senior liberal on the high court, announced he would be retiring at the end of the court’s term. The White House has begun its search for his potential replacement, assuring the pick will be a Black woman. Across the aisle, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham lavishly praised one of Biden’s possible contenders, South Carolina US District Judge J. Michelle Childs, as “qualified by every measure” and “one of the most decent people I’ve ever met.” Graham, who represents South Carolina, sits on the Judiciary Committee.

3. Spotify

Spotify announced it is adding a content advisory to any podcast episode that includes discussion about Covid-19. This comes after the streaming service received a flurry of criticism from a number of prominent artists who said they will leave the platform if it continues to host comedian Joe Rogan, whose podcast has spread misleading and inaccurate claims about vaccines and the virus. Spotify’s new advisory will direct listeners to a Covid-19 hub that will include links to trusted sources. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are among a growing list of prominent people who have expressed their concerns to Spotify over Covid-19 misinformation — a move sparked by musician Neil Young. Earlier this month, a group of more than 250 scientists, doctors and nurses penned an open letter to Spotify condemning the streamer for hosting Rogan after he suggested that healthy young people should not necessarily get vaccinated against Covid-19.

4. North Korea

North Korea fired its most powerful ballistic missile in years over the weekend, an escalation of its weapons program and a possible sign of larger tests to come. A senior US official says the launch — the latest in a string of provocations from North Korea — could be designed to extract concessions from the US ahead of potential negotiations. The Biden administration has long sought to restart diplomacy with Pyongyang, extending the invitation for talks without any preconditions. While there has been “no serious discussion internally” of a meeting between President Joe Biden and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, officials are eager for talks at a lower level “anytime, any place.”

5. Australian Open

Rafael Nadal fell to his knees yesterday after winning a record-breaking 21st grand slam men’s singles title in the Australian Open final. After rallying from two sets down, the No. 6 seed Nadal defeated World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev of Russia in an epic match that lasted more than five hours. This is Nadal’s second Australian Open crown (2009), and it follows an emotional series of events in the competition. Novak Djokovic, the world No. 1, was initially favored to take home the win, but he was denied entry into the country after having his visa revoked for being unvaccinated against Covid-19. On the women’s side, Ashleigh Barty beat Danielle Collins to become the first home Australian Open singles champion since 1978. Djokovic congratulated both Nadal and Barty on their wins via Twitter.


Tom Brady retirement rumors

Still no official announcement from the GOAT, but let’s face it — seven Super Bowl rings are sitting pretty in his display case. That’s legendary either way.

$426 million lottery ticket sold in Woodland Hills, California

Maybe this is your sign to go buy a ticket… or to put your money right back in your pocket.

Why are CVS receipts are so long?

Here’s an explanation why your CVS receipt is as long as a roll of toilet paper.

Cold weather in Miami is causing a lot of falling iguanas

Don’t worry! They may look lifeless for now, but these reptiles usually rejuvenate when it gets warm again.

Learn about the first 3 billion years of life on our planet

This paleontologist can help answer all your questions.


Howard Hesseman, the actor best known as disc jockey Dr. Johnny Fever on the sitcom “WKRP in Cincinnati” has died from complications related to colon surgery, according to his manager. He was 81. Hesseman earned two Emmy nominations for his role on “WKRP,” and also appeared on “Head of the Class” and “One Day at a Time,” along with guest appearances on “That 70’s Show,” among others.



That’s how much Elon Musk offered a 19-year-old to delete his Twitter account that tracks the billionaire’s private jet. Jack Sweeney, the college freshman who runs the @ElonJet account, countered Musk’s offer at $50,000, saying he could use the money for college and maybe a Tesla Model 3.


“Her great light was one that inspired others around the world with her beauty and strength. She cared, she loved, she laughed and she shined.”

— A statement from the family of Cheslie Kryst, who died after jumping from a building in Manhattan yesterday, according to the New York City Police Department. Kryst was crowned Miss USA in 2019 and worked as an attorney and as a correspondent for entertainment news site ExtraTV. She was 30.


Check your local forecast here>>>


Baby elephant overcomes fear of water

I challenge you to conquer one of your fears today! If you need a little extra nudge, check out this little elephant who overcame his fear of water.

(Click here to view)

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