Welcome to the Overnight News Digest with a crew consisting of founder Magnifico, regular editors side pocket, maggiejean, Chitown Kev, eeff, Magnifico, annetteboardman, Besame, jck, and JeremyBloom. Alumni editors include (but not limited to) Interceptor 7, Man Oh Man, wader, Neon Vincent, palantir, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse (RIP), ek hornbeck (RIP), rfall, 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. Please feel free to share your articles and stories in the comments.
Lloyd Austin: Defence secretary transfers duties to deputy while in hospital
US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin has transferred duties to his deputy while in hospital for an "emergent bladder issue", the Pentagon has said.
Mr Austin, 70, will remain at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Virginia for treatment.
The Pentagon said the White House and senior officials had been informed.
The defence secretary was under scrutiny for failing to disclose his prostate cancer diagnosis and hospital stays in December and January.
Mr Austin apologised for the incident last week.
On Sunday, at about 16:55 local time (21:55 GMT), the Pentagon released a second statement saying Mr Austin "transferred the functions and duties of the office" to Deputy Defence Secretary Kathleen Hicks.
Mr Austin is scheduled to travel to Brussels this week for a Wednesday meeting on the ongoing war in Ukraine. It is not yet clear if his hospital stay will impede those plans
Kansas City Chiefs won. Taylor Swift won.
Nato chief says Donald Trump comments 'undermine all of our security'
Donald Trump's suggestion the US would not protect Nato allies failing to spend enough on defence "undermines all of our security", the Western military alliance's chief has said.
Jens Stoltenberg also suggested it put US and European troops at greater risk.
The Republican said he had told allies he would "encourage" Russia to attack any Nato member that failed to meet the alliance's target of 2% of their GDP.
Members of Nato commit to defend any nation in the bloc that gets attacked.
President Joe Biden called Mr Trump's comments "appalling and dangerous", suggesting his predecessor intended to give Russian President Vladimir Putin "a green light for more war and violence".
Addressing crowds during a rally in South Carolina on Saturday, Mr Trump said he had made his comments about Russia during a previous meeting of leaders of Nato countries.
Kelvin Kiptum, men's marathon world record holder, dies in a car crash
The man who set the record for the fastest marathon ever, Kelvin Kiptum, died in a car crash in his native Kenya on Sunday, the sports governing body World Athletics said. He was 24.
Kiptum shocked the running world last year when he blazed through the Chicago Marathon in 2 hours and 35 seconds. World Athletics had just ratified his historic time this past week.
It was also the first time an athlete had broken 2 hours and 1 minute in a record-eligible marathon.
Kiptum died in the crash alongside his coach, Gervais Hakizimana.
"We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the devastating loss of Kelvin Kiptum and his coach, Gervais Hakizimana," World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said in a statement.
Biden warns Netanyahu against Rafah operation without ‘credible’ safety plan
In a call Sunday with Benjamin Netanyahu, Joe Biden told the Israeli prime minister that Israel should not launch a military operation in Rafah “without a credible and executable plan for ensuring the safety of and support for the more than one million people sheltering there”.
The call between the US president and Netanyahu was the first between the two leaders since Biden on Thursday used the phrase “over the top” to describe Israel’s military strikes in Gaza in response to the 7 October attack by Hamas.
Biden and officials with the United Nations have warned that an Israeli military ground offensive in Rafah, where about 1.3 million Palestinians are sheltering, would lead to a “bloodbath”. Israel’s military has appeared determined to move forward with the offensive while it remains unclear where the large number of civilians could be safely moved away from danger.
More than half of Gaza’s population has fled to Rafah, which is near Israel’s border with Egypt. And the UN has said a quarter of that population is facing starvation.
Christian Science Monitor
Arab states warn Israel against launching invasion of Rafah
Israel’s neighbors and key mediators warned Saturday of disaster and repercussions if its military launches a ground invasion in Gaza’s southern city of Rafah, where Israel says remaining Hamas strongholds are located — along with over half the besieged territory’s population.
Israeli airstrikes killed at least 44 Palestinians — including more than a dozen children — in Rafah, hours after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he asked the military to plan for the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people ahead of an invasion. He gave no details or timeline.
The announcement set off panic. More than half of Gaza’s 2.3 million people are packed into Rafah, which borders Egypt. Many fled there after following Israeli evacuation orders that now cover two-thirds of the territory following the Oct. 7 Hamas attack that sparked the war. It’s not clear where they could go next.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said any Israeli ground offensive on Rafah would have “disastrous consequences,” and asserted that Israel aims to eventually force the Palestinians out of their land.
Death toll rises to 54 in southern Philippines landslide
The death toll from a landslide that hit a gold-mining village in the southern Philippines has risen to 54 people and 63 others are missing, authorities have said.
Davao de Oro’s provincial government said in a Facebook post that 54 bodies had been recovered, raising its previous death toll of 37 earlier in the day as rescue workers found more bodies. At least 32 residents survived with injuries but 63 remained missing, it said.
Among those missing were gold miners who had been waiting in two buses to be driven home when the landslide struck and buried them.
Edward Macapili, an official from Davao de Oro, said more than 300 people were involved in the rescue, but operations were being hampered by heavy rain, thick mud and the threat of further landslides.
Ukraine aid package approval gains momentum after key US Senate vote
A narrowly divided US Senate moved closer to passing a $95.34bn aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, showing undiminished bipartisanship despite mounting opposition from Republican hardliners and former US President Donald Trump.
On Sunday, the Democratic-led Senate voted 67-27 to clear the latest procedural hurdle and moved the foreign aid measure towards an ultimate vote on passage in the coming days.
Eighteen Republicans backed the legislation after Trump, the dominant Republican White House candidate, criticised the bill on social media by saying that the foreign aid should take the form of a loan.
Democratic President Joe Biden, who has been seeking the aid for months, on Friday said Congress would be guilty of “neglect” if it failed to pass the measure.
The bill includes $61bn for Ukraine, $14bn for Israel in its war against Hamas and $4.83bn to support partners in the Indo-Pacific, including Taiwan, and deter aggression by China. It also would provide $9.15bn in humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza and the West Bank.
Crowd sets Waymo self-driving vehicle ablaze in San Francisco
Feb 11 (Reuters) - A crowd vandalized and set fire to a Waymo self-driving car using a firework in San Francisco on Saturday, the Alphabet-owned (GOOGL.O), opens new tab
company and authorities said, marking the most destructive attack so far on driverless vehicles in the U.S.
On Saturday night, a crowd surrounded a white sport utility vehicle that was moving along a street in the city's Chinatown district, a company spokesperson said.
Michael Vandi, a witness who posted videos of the incident, told Reuters that people were celebrating China's Lunar New Year by setting off fireworks. A person jumped onto the hood of the Waymo vehicle and broke its windshield. Another person also jumped on the hood 30 seconds later as some in the crowd clapped in approval, he told Reuters in an X direct message.
"That was when it went WILD," he wrote, describing people with skateboards breaking the glass and others graffitiing the car. "There were 2 groups of people. Folks who encourage it - and others who were just shocked & started filming. No one stood up - i mean there wasn’t anything you could do to stand up to dozens of people.
Japan to pledge $106 mln in aid to Ukraine -Kyodo News
TOKYO, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Japan will pledge 15.8 billion yen ($106 million) in aid to Ukraine at a conference to be held in Tokyo on Feb. 19, Kyodo News reported on Sunday, citing unidentified sources.
The funding will be used for reconstruction in seven areas, including agriculture and the disposal of rubble, Kyodo said.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal are set to attend the conference, along with government and industry representatives from both countries, national broadcaster NHK reported on Saturday.
Japan's Cabinet Secretariat was not available for comment outside of regular working hours.
Japan in December
, after it overhauled its arms export guidelines, said it would prepare to ship Patriot air defence missiles to the United States.
Japan still cannot ship weapons to countries at war, but such shipments to the U.S. could indirectly benefit Ukraine by boosting Washington's capacity to provide military aid to Kyiv.
Democrats sound alarm, take action against Biden’s third-party threats
(Ed. note: I saw the Kennedy ad on Super Bowl. No one else at the big party knew he was running)
Democratic alarm over third-party challengers spoiling President Biden’s reelection has been growing in recent weeks, prompting a new push both inside the party and among allied outside groups to step up their efforts fighting back.
The Democratic National Committee hired a new communications adviser last month to counter the third-party candidates, while outside groups working for Biden’s election have been having discussions about a new organization that could coordinate about the wide range of threats.