5 things to know for January 11: Covid, Congress, Chicago, Immigration, North Korea

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Originally Published: 11 JAN 22 06:29 ET
Updated: 11 JAN 22 06:46 ET

(CNN) — The Georgia Bulldogs won their first Division I football title since the 1980 season, toppling the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide 33-18 in the College Football Playoff National Championship last night.

Here’s what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.

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1. Coronavirus

The spread of the Omicron variant is putting a strain on health care networks across the US as hospitalizations reach a level not seen since last winter. More than 141,000 Americans were hospitalized with Covid-19 as of yesterday, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services. Separately, the agency announced that health insurers must cover the cost of home Covid-19 tests starting January 15. That means most people with private health insurance can buy at-home tests online, or in stores and have them paid for at the time of purchase, or get reimbursed by submitting a claim to their insurer.

2. Congress

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy says he will remove several Democratic lawmakers from key committee assignments if Republicans win back the House in this year’s midterm elections. McCarthy told Breitbart he would strip Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell of their assignments on the House Intelligence Committee, and Rep. Ilhan Omar of her assignment on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. McCarthy said he would do so because of a “new standard” set by Democrats, who elected to remove GOP Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar from their committees last year. Gosar was censured for posting a photoshopped anime video to social media showing him appearing to kill Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and attacking President Joe Biden. Greene was stripped of her assignments because of a long history of incendiary and racist rhetoric.

3. Chicago

Chicago teachers will be back in school today and students are scheduled to return to in-person learning on tomorrow after the Chicago Teachers Union house of delegates voted to end the teachers’ work action over Covid-19 mitigation measures. More than 340,000 students in the country’s third-largest school system had missed four days of classes since teachers voted to teach remotely, citing unsafe conditions and inadequate staffing. The school district responded by canceling classes. The Chicago Teachers Union said late yesterday that it expects to open polls today for rank-and-file members to vote on the agreement.

4. Immigration

Refugee admissions to the US will restart this week after a temporary freeze put in place last year to focus on the resettlement of Afghan evacuees following the US military withdrawal from Afghanistan. About 55,000 Afghans have been resettled nationwide and around 20,500 people remain at domestic military bases as of January 6 — an influx that taxed an already-overwhelmed resettlement system. In recent months, refugee advocates and resettlement offices have been able to recoup low staff numbers and bolster volunteers to process more people. Now, refugees from around the world who have already undergone processing and checks will once again be allowed to come to the US. As of November 30, more than 2,000 refugees had been resettled in the US in the new fiscal year. The refugee cap for fiscal year 2022 is 125,000.

5. North Korea

North Korea has launched a suspected ballistic missile that was more advanced than the missile tested last week. The projectile fired from Pyongyang travelled more than 10 times the speed of sound and landed in the ocean between the Korean Peninsula and Japan. Although the test posed no threat to US or South Korean territory or military personnel, US Forces Korea said they are becoming increasingly alarmed by Kim Jong Un’s unstable military environment and weapons program. The South Korean government also expressed a “strong regret” over the launch, which breaks international law prohibiting Pyongyang from testing ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Maya Angelou becomes first Black woman to appear on US quarter

Distribution of the coin showcasing the legendary poet and activist began yesterday.

Giant ‘sea dragon’ fossil found in UK reservoir

Oh, nature… how can you be so remarkable and yet so terrifying at the same time?

Rolls-Royce and Bentley post record sales in 2021

More money, less problems. The pandemic didn’t faze these ultra-luxury car brands.

2022 is the year of modern space travel

Add “hitch a ride on a rocket ride” to your bucket list! Orbital tourism is a top priority for the space industry this year.

Arby’s new sandwich is so spicy it comes with a free milkshake

Arby’s: It’s really spicy. Me: *Proceeds to order extra hot sauce*

HAPPENING LATER

President Joe Biden will be in Atlanta today with Vice President Kamala Harris to deliver a major speech on voting rights. During his speech, Biden is also expected to put pressure on the Senate to change filibuster rules to help advance two pieces of voting rights legislation: the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.

TODAY’S NUMBER

$750 billion

That’s how much weather disasters have cost the US over the last five years. In 2021 alone, the US experienced 20 weather and climate disasters that cost at least $1 billion each, including hurricanes, tornadoes, record-shattering heat waves and a deadly deep freeze.

TODAY’S QUOTE

“We had hoped to allow them the opportunity to see Mr. Durst finally face charges for Kathleen’s murder because we know that all families never stop wanting closure, justice and accountability.”

Westchester County, New York District Attorney Miriam Roach, reacting to the death of Robert Durst. The convicted murderer and eccentric millionaire died in a California prison at age 78. In November, a grand jury in New York indicted Durst for murder in the death of Kathleen McCormack Durst. Roach and Kathleen Durst’s family had hoped Durst would appear in court for the trial.

TODAY’S WEATHER

Check your local forecast here>>>

AND FINALLY

All about that brass

College football isn’t college football without a good band, and you can’t get much better than the Southern University Human Jukebox. (Click here to view)

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