5 things to know for January 18: Covid, Texas synagogue, voting rights, Ukraine, 5G

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CNN

By Alexandra Meeks, CNN

Millions of people are emerging from a massive winter storm that caused widespread power outages, road closures and thousands of flight cancellations yesterday – and we could see the same later this week.

Here’s what you need to know to Level up and get on with your day.

(You can also get “5 Things You Need to Know Today” delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

1.Coronavirus

Covid-19 cases are on the rise in the United States due to the Omicron variant, but experts say it’s still too early to tell if we’re approaching the endemic phase of the virus. According to data from Johns Hopkins University, 1 in 5 Americans has been infected with Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic, with just over 680,000 daily cases recorded yesterday. Soaring infection rates are leading some people to seek a fourth dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine to boost their antibodies, but early studies show that may not be enough to protect against breakthrough infections caused by the variant. Omicron. Separately, China said tickets for the Beijing Winter Olympics will not be sold to the general public due to Covid-19.

2. Texas Synagogue

Yesterday, senior FBI and Department of Homeland Security officials warned in a letter that faith communities will likely continue to be targets of violence, urging state and local partners to assess their security measures for mass gatherings and in places of worship. According to the letter obtained by CNN. The warning comes just days after the Colleyville, Texas hostage-taking at Congregation Beth Israel, which the FBI is investigating as a terrorist incident.

3. Voting rights

The US Senate is expected to pass suffrage legislation today, a day after the family of Martin Luther King Jr. sought to position the federal holiday as a springboard for important suffrage talks. Democratic leaders are being pushed to unite to honor King’s legacy with the passage of legislation, but the senses. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema have made it clear they are against changing Senate rules to clear the way for legislation to pass by simple majority. . President Joe Biden has had conversations with both Democrats and assured the public that he is actively fighting for the right to vote, but he has previously said he is unsure if his party will be able to unify. on time.

4.Ukraine

A group of seven US senators met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky yesterday in the capital of Kiev to reaffirm US commitment to the country as the threat of a possible Russian invasion intensifies. The visit follows a series of diplomatic meetings last week that the United States and its NATO allies hoped would lead Russia to withdraw from Ukraine. But the talks yielded no breakthrough as Russia would not commit to defusing and US and NATO officials said Moscow’s main demands – including that NATO never admit the ‘Ukraine in the alliance – were not valid.

5.5G

Leaders of the nation’s largest airlines are calling on the Biden administration for “immediate intervention” in the planned deployment of 5G technology near major airports. The deployment, which is scheduled for tomorrow, would have several transportation and economic implications, the airlines said in a joint letter sent to the White House. Carriers are concerned that 5G signals will interfere with aviation technology, including the radar altimeter on board planes. The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement yesterday that it “will continue to ensure the safety of the traveling public as wireless companies deploy 5G.”

BROWSE

The NFL Wild Card Playoffs were really, really wild

The past few days have been an emotional roller coaster for NFL teams and their fans vying to make it to the Super Bowl, culminating in last night’s win for the Los Angeles Rams.

The latest discovery of the Mars rover

Aliens! Well, maybe. A new analysis of rover samples from the planet indicates the possible existence of ancient life.

Fashion designer sues Lego over leather jacket worn by minifigure

An artist says a tiny black plastic jacket worn in a Lego “Queer Eye” set is a “blatant copycat” of her fashion design. I let you be the judge of this one.

Ben & Jerry’s owner wants to buy Aquafresh and Advil

The company says it’s ditching low-performing food and drink products and instead sweetening its offerings for personal health items.

Stunning new Maldives resorts to visit in 2022

Treat yourself! Here are some options for the cozy island vacation you’re probably dreaming of.

NUMBER OF THE DAY

8

That’s the number of “John Doe” names that Ghislaine Maxwell will no longer fight to keep secret, her lawyer told a federal judge in New York in a letter last week. It means the court will decide whether to reveal the identities of eight high-profile men linked to a 2015 defamation case brought by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who claimed financier Jeffrey Epstein sexually assaulted her while she was underage and that Maxwell aided in the abuse. Maxwell faces up to 65 years in prison after being found guilty last month of five federal charges for her role in Epstein’s sexual abuse of underage girls between 1994 and 2004.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“This is a very unique type of crisis that we are facing due to the lack of communication…the biggest challenge at this stage is getting detailed information from the authorities and from Tonga.”

CEO of Save the Children Fiji, Shairana Ali said as the first images of Tonga begin to emerge. Images show widespread devastation and entire communities blanketed in a thick layer of ash following what experts say is the world’s largest volcanic eruption in more than 30 years.

TODAY’S WEATHER

Check your local forecast here>>>

AND FINALLY

Don’t look down…

Check out this incredible view from the top of Mount Everest. Warning… not for those afraid of heights. (Click here to view)

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