On this version of Hot off the Wire:
» Five fired Memphis police officers have been charged with murder and other crimes in the killing of Tyre Nichols, a Black motorist who died three days after a confrontation with the officers during a traffic stop. Video of the Jan. 7 traffic stop will be released to the public sometime Friday evening.
» An investigation by the global chemical weapons watchdog established there are “reasonable grounds to believe” Syria’s air force dropped two cylinders containing chlorine gas on the city of Douma in April 2018, killing 43 people.
» The U.S. is poised to make COVID-19 vaccinations more like a yearly flu shot. The Food and Drug Administration's scientific advisers are helping to decide if most Americans may need once-a-year boosters — and how and when to periodically update the shots’ recipe.
» Public water agencies in California will be getting more water from the state because of recent heavy rain. State water officials on Thursday said public water agencies will be getting 30% of what they asked for. That’s up from the 5% state officials had announced in December.
» Among Thursday's sports highlights, it was down to the wire in Tampa Bay and Washington and a big upset in the NBA.
From the original version of Hot off the Wire:
» The National Archives has asked former presidents and vice presidents to recheck their personal records for any classified documents following the news that President Joe Biden and former Vice President Mike Pence had documents in the possession after they left office.
» The U.S. economy expanded at a 2.9% annual pace from October through December, ending 2022 with momentum despite the pressure of high interest rates and widespread fears of a looming recession.
» Five fired Memphis police officers each face charges of second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression.
» A federal grand jury in Los Angeles is gathering evidence in a criminal investigation of Goodyear recreational vehicle tires that the government blames for crashes that killed eight people.
» Palestinian officials say Israeli forces have killed at least nine Palestinians and wounded several others during a raid in a flashpoint area of the occupied West Bank.
» Emergency officials in Ukraine say Russia’s latest widespread barrage of drone and missile attacks has killed 11 people and wounded 11 more. The attacks came a day after Germany and the United States announced they would send advanced battle tanks to Ukraine.
» The second consecutive quarter of economic growth that the government reported Thursday underscored that the nation isn’t in a recession despite high inflation and the Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest rate hikes.
» An asteroid the size of a delivery truck will whip past Earth on Thursday night, one of the closest encounters ever recorded. NASA insists it will be a near miss.
» The Biden administration is expanding sanctions against Russia's Wagner Group and related companies and individuals for their role in the war in Ukraine and mercenary activities, including human rights abuses, in Africa.
» The U.S. consul general in Hong Kong says about 20% of the Americans living in the city have left over the past two years.
Her study looked at not just the storms but the problems that back-to-back hurricanes caused to people. In both situations, the frequency of back-to-back storms increased dramatically from current expectations. The study looked heavily at the impacts of storms more than just the storms themselves. But Lin said it’s just the nastier nature and size that increases the likelihood of back-to-back storms hitting roughly the same area. Some, including Corbosiero, say it is hard to say for sure that the back-to-back trend is already happening.26 days ago Fremont Tribune
But most experts have seen no indication of mass deaths or famine in North Korea. It’s unclear whether North Korea will take any significant steps to address food shortages. But North Korea rarely comes up with such measures,” said Nam Sung-wook, a professor at Korea University in South Korea. North Korea needs about 5.5 million tons of grain to feed its 25 million people annually, so it’s short about 1 million tons this year. Efforts by North Korean authorities to tighten controls and restrict market activities have also worsened the situation, he said.26 days ago Fremont Tribune
“Dilbert” creator Scott Adams experienced possibly the biggest repercussion of recent racist comments when a major comics syndicator, which also operates the GoComics website, announced Sunday it would no longer work with the cartoonist. Andrews McMeel Universal said in a statement that the syndication company was “severing" their relationship with Adams. In a YouTube episode released Monday, Scott Adams said that new “Dilbert” strips will only be available on his subscription service on the Locals platform. Adams, who is white, repeatedly referred to people who are Black as members of a “hate group” or a “racist hate group” and said he would no longer “help Black Americans." "But you should also avoid any group that doesn’t respect you, even if there are people within the group who are fine,” Adams said.26 days ago Fremont Tribune
They’re more likely to occur from May through August, particularly during periods of high heat — making the December derecho so uncommon. A 2009 storm dubbed a Super Derecho by the National Weather Service traveled from western Kansas to eastern Kentucky. A 2003 derecho traveled from Arkansas through several southern states, including Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. The weather service said a progressive derecho is fueled by a hot and moist environment with relatively strong winds aloft. They sweep across an area both long and wide, driven by the presence of very strong winds in the atmosphere.26 days ago Fremont Tribune
Speed around a French village in the video game Gran Turismo and you might spot a Corvette behind you trying to catch your slipstream. But in some instances, they are also trying to learn how to get smarter in the real world. “It’s probably not going to be one big breakthrough and that everything is going to be shifted to the real world,” Volz said. Japanese electronics giant Sony launched its own AI research division in 2020 with entertainment in mind, but it's nonetheless attracted broader academic attention. Peter Wurman, director of Sony AI America and project lead on GT Sophy, said it takes about two weeks for AI agents to train on 20 PlayStations.26 days ago Fremont Tribune
Instead, Universal Pictures' “Cocaine Bear” rampaged through multiplexes, scoring notably above expectations. Made for about $35 million and directed by Elizabeth Banks, “Cocaine Bear” stirred up plenty of buzz just from its title and its made-to-go-viral trailer. "Snakes on a Plane," a movie many compared to “Cocaine Bear,” opened with $13.9 million in 2006. In just about the epitome of counterprogramming to “Cocaine Bear,” Lionsgate's “Jesus Revolution” also debuted strongly. “Cocaine Bear,” $23.1 million.26 days ago Fremont Tribune
The SAG Awards, often an Oscar preview, threw some curve balls into the Oscars race in a ceremony streamed live on Netflix's YouTube page from Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles. “This is not just for me," said Yeoh, the first Asian actress to win the SAG Award for female lead. He's also the first Asian to win best male supporting actor at the SAG Awards. The SAG Awards are considered one of the most reliable Oscar bellwethers. After the SAG Awards, presented by the film and television acting guild SAG-AFTRA, lost their broadcast home at TNT/TBS, Netflix signed on to stream Sunday's ceremony.26 days ago Fremont Tribune
FONTANA, Calif. — Most of NASCAR's Cup Series drivers feel like they're saying their final goodbye to a dear old friend this weekend. Fontana won't host a NASCAR weekend in 2024, and the new setup might not be ready until 2026 — if it happens at all. "And here's the part that makes me feel a little better about it: Yes, the racing here is spectacular. No problemGiven their familiarity with this circuit, the drivers aren't concerned after the weather kept them off the track Saturday. "It would be a different question if this was last year and we had a brand-new racing car."28 days ago Fremont Tribune