Russia says it’s on a collision course with the U.S. and NATO, TikTok’s CEO is set to appear before Congress, and Smokey Robinson has a new album coming out. These stories and more highlight your midday rundown for Monday, Jan. 30, 2023.
Russia calls U.S. tanks extremely destructive
Last week, the U.S. announced it will send Abrams tanks to Ukraine, but they could take months to get there. Now, Russia’s deputy foreign minister says his country is on the verge of a direct collision with the U.S. and NATO. He also called the Biden administration’s decision to send 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine an extremely destructive step.
Russia is warning that it’s possible there will be no nuclear arms control treaty between the U.S. and Russia, because Washington wants to inflict strategic defeat on Moscow.
Germany and other European countries are sending Leopard tanks to Ukraine.
“Tanks also provide the ability to move efficiently around a battlefield, but of course they have much more fire power. So, it’s perfectly understandable why President Zelenskyy, facing what he’s facing in the Donbas, and expecting to face those same threats going forward in coming weeks would want some tanks some additional tanks. It’s not like he doesn’t have any, but additional tanks to support his offensive and defensive operations in that particular part of the country,” National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said.
100,000 chickens die in fire
As many as 100,000 chickens are dead after a fire broke out at Hillandale Farms in Connecticut. It took 21 fire crews eight hours to battle the blaze. Officials said a 400-by-50-foot coop was lost but 13 other coops were saved.
This fire will not help the already struggling chicken population. The cost of a dozen eggs more than doubled last year, in part, because the bird flu led to the death of 44 million hens. That population decrease came at the same time as rising feed, fuel and labor costs, which created a perfect storm for a price increase. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average price for a dozen eggs was $4.25 in December. A year prior, the price was $1.79.
TikTok CEO testifies to Congress
TikTok’s CEO will testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on March 23. It will be Shou Zi Chew’s first appearance before Congress. Committee Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers said Chew will testify on his company’s consumer privacy and data security practices, the platform’s impact on kids, and their relationship with the Chinese Communist Party.
“Big tech has increasingly become a destructive force in American society. Americans deserve to know how these actions impact their privacy and data security, as well as what actions TikTok is taking to keep our kids safe from online and offline harms,” said Chairwoman Rodgers in a statement.
TikTok has been under increased scrutiny in Washington. Next month, the House Foreign Affairs Committee will vote on a bill. If signed into law, it would block the app entirely in the United States.
At least 34 dead, 150 wounded in Pakistan bombing
At least 34 people are dead and 150 people are wounded after a suicide bombing in Pakistan. The attack took place at a mosque inside a police compound and officials say most of the victims are members of law enforcement.
The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility.
The attacker snuck inside the walled compound which is located inside a high security zone with government buildings. 300 worshippers were in attendance when the attacker set off an explosive vest. Many were injured when the roof collapsed.
The country has experienced an increase in militant attacks since November when the Pakistani Taliban ended a cease-fire with government forces.
Avatar surpasses Star Wars
“Avatar 2: The Way of Water” has officially surpassed “Star Wars The Force Awakens” at the box office, making an estimated $2.1 billion worldwide. The success of Avatar’s sequel has given director James Cameron three of the four highest grossing films of all time.
Here are the top four films: Avatar, Avengers: Endgame, Titanic and Avatar: The Way of Water. James Cameron’s Titanic, Avatar and Avatar: The Way of Water have made more than $7.2 billion.
Smokey Robinson releases new music
Smokey Robinson, the “King of Motown,” is scheduled to release his first solo album in nearly a decade. It’s titled Gasms and it’s coming out April 28. The album will have nine tracks, and was written and produced by Robinson himself. One of the album’s singles “If We Don’t Have Each Other” is already available to stream.
The 82-year-old is also going on tour. The tour starts March 3, 2023, in Atlantic city, New Jersey and includes stops in the D.C. area, Las Vegas, and California.