World Health Organization to convene over coronavirus outbreak
The director general of the World Health Organization announced that he would reconvene the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee on Thursday to advise him on whether the deadly coronavirus outbreak constitutes a public health emergency of international concern, or PHEIC. Last week, the committee found it was too soon to make such a declaration. A flight carrying 195 passengers fleeing the source of the outbreak – the Chinese city of Wuhan – landed in California on Wednesday after an emotional stopover in Alaska. All those passengers voluntarily agreed to remain at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, California, for monitoring, health authorities said. The death toll in China rose to at least 170 on Thursday.
President Trump plans show of GOP strength in Iowa
President Donald Trump will hold a rally in Des Moines, Iowa, Thursday night on the eve of a key vote in the Senate impeachment trial. The Trump campaign sees the event as a show of the president’s power over the GOP as Senate Republicans prepare to vote Friday on whether to end his impeachment trial or extend it by hearing from witnesses. The rally is also designed to steal Democrats’ thunder as they prepare to select a presidential candidate in the Iowa causes Monday. Trump’s campaign plans to follow up his visit by sending an armada of Republican heavyweights to the state.
So long, Spitzer Space Telescope. Thanks for the pictures.
NASA is pulling the plug on one of its most successful missions Thursday: After more than 16 “extraordinary years of exploration,” NASA’s infrared Spitzer Space Telescope will be “turned off” and put into hibernation in space. NASA credits the telescope with discoveries that include “exoplanets” – planets outside our solar system – and galaxies that formed close to the beginning of the universe. Altogether, Spitzer observed 800,000 celestial targets and churned out more than 36 million raw images as part of its $1.4 billion mission. Taking Spitzer’s place will be the new James Webb Space Telescope, expected to launch in 2021.
Pompeo to begin overseas trip amid impeachment trial, controversy
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to arrive in Ukraine — the country at the center of President Donald Trump’s impeachment — on Thursday. Last week, Pompeo unloaded on National Public Radio host Mary Louise Kelly after an interview in which she questioned him on Ukraine and Iran, among other issues. According to NPR, Pompeo used the “F-word” and other expletives— Pompeo responded by calling Kelly a liar and suggesting she was unable to point out Ukraine on an unmarked map. The State Department, which barred an NPR reporter from the trip, said Pompeo is going to Kyiv to “highlight U.S. support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Final episode of NBC’s ‘The Good Place’ to air
It’s time to say goodbye to “The Good Place.” The show will round its goofy and creative exploration into some of life’s most complex questions with a one-hour season finale Thursday at 8:30 EST/PST. For many the show has been a “unique half-hour of American network television.” Namely because “The Good Place” has never shied away from making shocking, genre-defying story choices and stayed true to the message that anyone can be good, and nobody is broken beyond repair. The finale will be followed by a Seth Meyers-hosted special featuring the cast and creator Michael Schur.