Welcome to the Overnight News Digest with a crew consisting of founder Magnifico, regular editors side pocket, maggiejean, Chitown Kev, eeff, Magnifico, annetteboardman, Besame, Rise above the swamp, and jck. Alumni editors include (but not limited to) Man Oh Man, wader, Neon Vincent, palantir, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse (RIP), ek hornbook (RIP), ScottyUrb, Doctor RJ, BentLiberal, Oke (RIP) and jlms qkw.
OND is a regular community feature on Daily Kos, consisting of news stories from around the world, sometimes coupled with a daily theme, original research or commentary. Editors of OND impart their own presentation styles and content choices, typically publishing each day near 12:00 AM Eastern Time.
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Texas Republicans will use federal funds to help pay exorbitant energy bills hitting ordinary Texans after a deep freeze crippled the state this week, a senior congressman said on Sunday.
Millions were subject to blackouts as the cold weather overwhelmed an unprepared state grid, by design independent of federal oversight. The outages contributed to dozens of deaths and a crisis over safe access to water that continued as temperatures rose.
On Saturday, Joe Biden declared a major disaster, releasing funding to help. On Sunday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told ABC’s This Week the president was “eager to go down to Texas and show his support” but would be careful not to disrupt relief.
It was always during the night when things went wrong for Jasmine Harrison, the youngest woman to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Like the time her boat hurtled into a huge wave at 19.2 knots and capsized, leaving her with a badly injured elbow.
“I was basically thrown at a wall at 20-odd miles an hour. That’s going to hurt, especially in the middle of your sleep,” she said. “Everything happened when I was asleep.”
But the 21-year-old swimming teacher from Thirsk in North Yorkshire, took her 70-day journey in her stride, relishing the freedom and independence of life at sea.
She was determined to make the journey, part of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, on her own terms, opting to do it solo rather than as part of a team. “I’ve been quite independent my entire life anyway. I just thought: I want to do this, so I’m going to do it. I love the feeling that you get from doing something by yourself, it’s just so freeing to me,” she said.
Merrick Garland Heads For Confirmation Hearing, 5 Years After He Was Denied A Vote
Most people know Judge Merrick Garland for what didn't happen to him. Five years ago, the Senate never acted on his nomination to the Supreme Court.
This week, that will change, as a new chapter begins in Garland's lifelong commitment to public service. Garland, 68, will appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday as President Biden's pick to serve as attorney general. This time, few obstacles stand in his path to confirmation. But the institution he's likely to join operates largely in a state of shock.
The Justice Department is still reeling from political scandals from the Trump years — and racing to neutralize the threat from homegrown, violent extremists who participated in the attack on the U.S. Capitol. Over a legal career that spans 44 years, Garland has confronted those kinds of problems before. It's one of the many reasons the White House selected him to serve as the nation's top law enforcement officer.
How will this go? ^
Mediterranean Oil Spill Injures Wildlife, Closes Israel's Beaches
A suspected oil tanker leak off the coast of Israel last week has led to Israel's biggest maritime ecological disaster in many years, with authorities closing the country's beaches and beginning a massive cleanup effort.
Chunks of sticky, black tar began washing up late last week. On Sunday, Israel's Environmental Protection Ministry warned people to avoid going to beaches from the country's northern border with Lebanon all the way to the south near the Gaza Strip. Tar exposure can make people sick and irritate the skin.
More than 4,000 volunteers from the Israeli nonprofit group EcoOcean have helped remove tar from beaches so far, according to the ministry.
The Israel Nature and Parks Authority warned that the "consequences will be seen for years to come."
China calls for reset in Sino-U.S. relations
BEIJING (Reuters) - Senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi said on Monday the United States and China could work together on issues like climate change and the coronavirus pandemic if they repaired their damaged bilateral relationship.
Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.
Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.
Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.
Thousands flee homes as storm Dujuan hits southern Philippines
More than 5,000 people have fled to temporary shelters in the southern Philippines as tropical storm Dujuan brought heavy rains, submerging dozens of villages, the country’s disaster risk reduction and management agency said.
Two regions were hit by the storm, including the country’s nickel mining hub of Caraga, with floods damaging some houses and bridges in the province of Surigao del Sur, according to the agency’s initial report.
Dujuan was packing maximum winds of up to 65 kilometres per hour (40 miles per hour) and gusts of up to 80km/h (50mph) as it moved northwest over the southern Philippines, the weather bureau said.
Dujuan was forecast “to maintain its strength in the next 12 hours”, the weather bureau said in a bulletin. “However, the likelihood of weakening into a tropical depression before it makes landfall is not yet ruled out.”
Raw Story (Beyond insane) (Too much cocaine)
Larry Kudlow: Texas power outages are 'the consequences' of electing Joe Biden
Former White House adviser Larry Kudlow suggested over the weekend that massive power outages in Texas are "the consequences" of electing President Joe Biden, who has only been in office a month.
During an interview on Sunday, Kudlow spoke to Fox News host Howard Kurtz about his new Fox Business program.
"I think they've moved very rapidly toward the progressive left position on a lot of these issues," Kudlow said of the Biden administration. "He tried to temper it with talk about unity. There was some talk about moving to the center, that there would be more balance, there wouldn't be a far-left progressive agenda." Kudlow did not immediately explain what Biden had done to cause the power outages.
Pangong Lake: India and China complete pull-back of forces
India and China have completed the pull-back of troops from part of their disputed Himalayan border, a joint statement issued by the Indian defence ministry says.
Soldiers completed their withdrawal from the Pangong Tso Lake area on Saturday, according to the communiqué.
Clashes on the poorly marked border led to the deaths of 24 troops last June.
Both sides say they will work to cut tensions on other parts of the border, or Line of Actual Control.
China and India announced their intention to withdraw forces from the lake area on 11 February, and commanders met on Saturday to assess how the operation was going.
"The two sides positively appraised the smooth completion of disengagement of frontline troops in the Pangong Lake area noting that it was a significant step forward that provided a good basis for resolution of other remaining issues along the LAC in Western Sector," Sunday's statement said.