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Wednesday, Feb 01st

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Ukraine's drones watch as Russia throws waves of men at battle for Bakhmut

Battle for Bakhmut The city of Bakhmut was home to around 70,000 people before it found itself on the front line of Russian President Vladimir Putin's unprovoked war to seize Ukrainian territory. Almost 12 months of war have left Bakhmut barely recognizable.

Once renowned for sparkling wine, the small city has been reduced to a hollowed-out shell of its former self. But Bakhmut, and the Ukrainian forces defending it, have hung on. "Bakhmut holds" has even become a battle cry for the nation as it fights back against the Russian invaders. But it's only just holding on.

Even a quick trip to see the central square must be undertaken with one eye on the clock, and the other vigilantly surveilling the sky. The barrage of artillery fire is constant. The sound of shells, incoming and outgoing, fills the air, punctuated by bursts of small arms fire.

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Look up! You can see a bright green comet making a rare trip across the Earth's sky

Green Comet

It's prime time to see the comet known as C/2022 E3, marked by its bright green nucleus and long faint ion tail. The comet has been visible for some time with telescopes and binoculars — but the best chance of seeing it with the naked eye is coming up on Wednesday, Feb. 1.

This marks possibly the first time ever — or at least for thousands of years — that the comet has streaked across our sky.

"If C/2022 E3 has ever passed through the solar system before, it would have last been seen in the sky more than 10,000 years ago," Jon Giorgini, a senior analyst at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, told NPR.

Astronomers first spotted the brightening outburst in March 2022 at the Zwicky Transient Facility on Palomar Mountain in California. At the time, the comet was inside the orbit of Jupiter.

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An ice storm is unleashing treacherous conditions across parts of the Southern U.S.

Ice Storm moving across US

A major winter storm battering the Southern U.S. has created dangerous travel conditions and disrupted thousands of flights. At least one person died in a car crash in Texas, authorities said.

The ice storm stretching from Texas to Tennessee will continue through at least Thursday morning, with expected ice accumulation affecting travel and possibly spurring scattered power outages, the National Weather Service reported. Heavy rains and scattered flash floods are also possible, forecasters said.

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Trump-DeSantis rivalry approaches boiling point

Trump v DiSantis

The long-simmering tensions between former President Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) are nearing a boiling point amid signs that DeSantis and his team are actively moving toward a 2024 presidential run.

DeSantis’s national ambitions have long irked Trump, who sees himself as the Florida governor’s political benefactor and the GOP’s presumptive 2024 nominee. But Trump’s frustration became more apparent over the weekend, when he called out DeSantis during his first major campaign swing.

“If he runs, that’s fine. I’m way up in the polls. He’s going to have to do what he wants to do, but he may run,” Trump told The Associated Press in an interview after a campaign appearance in South Carolina on Saturday. “I do think it would be a great act of disloyalty because, you know, I got him in. He had no chance. His political life was over.”

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‘They come to me’: Jane Roberts’ legal recruiting work involved officials whose agencies had cases before the Supreme Court

John and Jane Roberts

Jane Roberts, the wife of Chief Justice John Roberts, acknowledges having represented a wide variety of public officials — including senior Justice Department officials and Cabinet members — as they transitioned to jobs in the private sector, according to testimony in an arbitration hearing to resolve a lawsuit filed by an ex-colleague against her former legal recruiting business.

A partial transcript of that testimony was included in a complaint submitted to the House, Senate and Justice Department filed in December on behalf of the former colleague.

The complaint, a copy of which was obtained by POLITICO, accuses the chief justice of failing to acknowledge the full extent of his wife’s work in his ethical disclosures, presenting her as a salaried employee of her firm rather than one who receives commissions from law firms, some of which have cases before the Supreme Court.

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Omar, now a Dem unifier, faces down her GOP critics

Omar, now a Dem unifier

Ilhan Omar, at times a lightning rod for House Democrats, is now a unifying force in her party’s quest to frustrate the GOP at every turn.

The member of the so-called progressive “squad” knew even before starting her third term in Congress that she’d face Republicans’ long-promised threat to remove her from the Foreign Affairs Committee. And the Minnesota lawmaker is seemingly daring them to try.

On Tuesday, in a subtle stiff-arm of a GOP eviction attempt that her party has blamed on politically motivated revenge, her office announced the formation of a “U.S.-Africa Policy Working Group” aimed at fostering dialogue on Africa-related policy. The move carried a fatalistic air, given that the Somali immigrant would become the top Democrat on the Foreign Affairs subpanel overseeing Africa — if the GOP let her stay.

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Trump pleaded the fifth more than 400 times in fraud deposition, video shows

Trump took Fifth 400 times

Questioned about his financial affairs, the former president repeatedly invoked his fifth-amendment right against self-incrimination – part of a refusal to answer he repeated more than 400 times.

“Anyone in my position not taking the fifth amendment would be a fool, an absolute fool,” Trump said.

On the advice of counsel, Trump said, he “respectfully decline[d] to answer the questions under the rights and privileges afforded to every citizen under the United States constitution”.

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    'Laverne & Shirley' Star Cindy Williams Dies at 75: 'A Glittering Spirit That Everyone Loved'

    Cyndi Williams dies at 75

    Williams was best known for her role on Laverne & Shirley, which ran from 1976 to 1983 and was one of ABC's most popular sitcoms at the time.

    The series was born out of an episode of Happy Days in 1975, in which Williams portrayed Shirley and Penny Marshall played Laverne DeFazio. Their characters were so popular, ABC hired the two for their own spin-off show, which debuted on the air the following year.

    The show focused on Laverne and Shirley, two roommates that struggled to make ends meet while trying to find Mr. Right.

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    ‘Is This 2023?’ Miami Herald Expresses Disbelief At Florida GOP ‘Fashion Police’

    Florida House dress codeThe Florida House, not content with creating an election police force, banning books in schools or regulating women’s bodies when it comes to pregnancy, has apparently taken on yet another enforcement role: fashion police.

    Women, say goodbye to your sleeveless tops “when members are in the building.” The sight of your upper arms is too much for the hallowed halls of the Legislature to bear, it seems. And short skirts? We can’t believe you even asked.

    A flyer circulating in the Capitol shows, complete with helpful photographs, what a person can and cannot wear. Some items are labeled as “NEVER work appropriate.” No “dress or skirt more than one inch above the knee.” No “low cut blouses or dresses.” No shoes without socks — that one, refreshingly, is aimed at men.

    TVNL Comment: Don't you hope all the women in the Florida House get together and report to work in bikinis?

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