A winter storm continues to slam parts of the U.S., lawmakers say the COVID pandemic is “over,” and Tyre Nichols is being laid to rest. These stories and more highlight the daily morning rundown for Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023.
Winter storm continues to bring ice, rain
Winter storm Mara continues to bring freezing rain and sleet to the southern Plain states. Already this morning, more than 1,400 flights have been canceled and nearly 600 delayed. Just like Tuesday, the most impacted airports are DFW and Love Field in Dallas. Three people have died and at least 185,000 people are without electricity in Texas and Arkansas. Police in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and other states are urging people to stay off the roads. There have been hundreds of accidents. And in some cases, the National Guard has come out to assist stranded motorists.
Tyre Nichols funeral today in Memphis
Tyre Nichols’ funeral is happening Wednesday. The service will be held at the Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Memphis where 2,500 attendees are expected despite the winter storm making its way through the area. Vice President Kamala Harris will be there after accepting an invitation from Nichols mother and step-father. Attorney Ben Crump will make what’s being described as a call to action. The reverend Al Sharpton will deliver the eulogy.
Nichols was beaten, tased and pepper sprayed by police on Jan. 7. He died three days later. So far, five officers have been fired and charged with murder. Three first responders were fired and two other officers were suspended. The Memphis Police Department says more disciplinary action and criminal charges are possible.
House Republicans pass Pandemic Is Over Act
House Republicans passed the Pandemic Is Over Act. If it is signed into law, it would terminate the coronavirus public health emergency. Regardless of what happens with this bill, President Joe Biden informed Congress the emergency will end May 11. But the legislation sparked debate about what ending the health emergency means for Title 42, the pandemic era order that allows the U.S. to deport immigrants who crossed the border illegally on public health grounds.
“The Biden administration and the Biden administration alone controls Title 42. That statute was written in 1944 before the authority of the public health emergency even existed. If the Biden administration chooses to end Title 42 when the public health ends, without working with us to secure the border, that’s just another one of the failures to add to the list,” Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Ky., said.
“If you truly believe the pandemic is over, then you can’t say that Title 42 is still needed at the border because of a healthcare crisis,” Rep. Lou Correa, D-Calif., countered.
The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments on a case regarding Title 42 on March 1. But the justices are only deciding whether states have standing to sue in the first place, they’re not going to make a ruling on the merits.
Pope Francis visits the Congo
Pope Francis is urging the people of the Congo to forgive those who have hurt them. He just said a mass before an estimated 1 million people who waited days to see him. The eastern side of the country has experienced decades of violence, and millions have fled. The pope said forgiving doesn’t mean pretending nothing has happened, but it does create what he called an amnesty of heart.
This is the first papal visit to the African nation since St. John Paul II went in 1985.
Artificial intelligence college essays
ChatGPT is the artificial intelligence software that can write human-like text. And one user put it to the test.
They asked ChatGPT to write an essay comparing and contrasting the theories of nationalism of Benedict Anderson and Ernest Gellner. The user then shared ChatGPT’s work.
“We’re witnessing the death of the college essay in realtime. Solid A- work in 10 seconds,” the user said.
Chat’s parent company, OpenAI, now says they’ve created a classifier to help identify human text versus AI text. They say it will help people recognize automated AI written misinformation campaigns and academic dishonesty.
But the system isn’t perfect. In a test, it correctly identified 26% of AI-written text. And it incorrectly labeled human-written text as AI-written 9% of the time.
Monarch butterfly population rebounds
Researchers say 330,000 Monarch butterflies are wintering in California and Arizona this year. That’s the highest number they’ve counted in six years and nearly 100,000 more than last year. Biologists say this is something to celebrate and shows the butterflies have a second chance. but the population in the area is still significantly below what it was in the 1980s when there were millions of the black and orange insects. Scientists say the big culprit is over development along their migration route that has destroyed their habitat, in addition to an increase in the use of pesticides and herbicides.
Get every week’s most important stories in your inbox
RAY BOGAN: AND TYRE NICHOLS IS BEING LAID TO REST.
THIS IS STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS. UNBIASED. STRAIGHT FACTS.
WINTER STORM CONTINUES TO BRING ICE, RAIN
WINTER STORM MARA CONTINUES TO BRING FREEZING RAIN AND SLEET TO THE SOUTHERN PLAIN STATES. ALREADY THIS MORNING, MORE THAN 1,400 FLIGHTS HAVE BEEN CANCELED AND NEARLY 600 DELAYED. JUST LIKE YESTERDAY, THE MOST IMPACTED AIRPORTS ARE D-F-W AND LOVE FIELD IN DALLAS. THREE PEOPLE HAVE DIED AND AT LEAST 185,000 PEOPLE ARE WITHOUT ELECTRICITY IN TEXAS AND ARKANSAS. VIDEO SHOWS THAT IN SOME AREAS IT’S NOT REALLY SNOW FALLING, IT’S MORE OF AN ICY SLUSH THAT FREEZES THE MOMENT IT HITS THE GROUND. POLICE IN TEXAS, OKLAHOMA, ARKANSAS AND OTHER STATES ARE URGING PEOPLE TO STAY OFF THE ROADS. THERE HAVE BEEN HUNDREDS OF ACCIDENTS AND IN SOME CASES, THE NATIONAL GUARD HAS COME OUT TO ASSIST STRANDED MOTORISTS.
TYRE NICHOLS FUNERAL TODAY IN MEMPHIS
TODAY IS TYRE NICHOLS FUNERAL. THE SERVICE WILL BE HELD AT THE MISSISSIPPI BOULEVARD CHRISTIAN CHURCH IN MEMPHIS. 2,500 ATTENDEES ARE EXPECTED DESPITE THE WINTER STORM MAKING IT’S WAY THROUGH THE AREA. VICE PRESIDENT KAMALA HARRIS WILL BE THERE AFTER ACCEPTING AN INVITATION FROM NICHOLS MOTHER AND STEP-FATHER, ATTORNEY BEN CRUMP WILL MAKE WHAT’S BEING DESCRIBED AS A CALL TO ACTION AND THE REVEREND AL SHARPTON WILL DELIVER THE EULOGY.
NICHOLS WAS BEATEN, TASED AND PEPPER SPRAYED BY POLICE JANUARY 7TH AND DIED THREE DAYS LATER. SO FAR, FIVE OFFICERS HAVE BEEN FIRED AND CHARGED WITH MURDER, THREE FIRST RESPONDERS WERE FIRED, TWO OTHER OFFICERS WERE SUSPENDED, AND THE MEMPHIS POLICE DEPARTMENT SAYS MORE DISCIPLINARY ACTION AND CRIMINAL CHARGES ARE POSSIBLE.
HOUSE REPUBLICANS PASS PANDEMIC IS OVER ACT
HOUSE REPUBLICANS PASSED THE PANDEMIC IS OVER ACT, WHICH IF SIGNED INTO LAW WOULD TERMINATE THE CORONAVIRUS PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY. REGARDLESS OF WHAT HAPPENS WITH THIS BILL, PRESIDENT BIDEN INFORMED CONGRESS THE EMERGENCY WILL END MAY 11TH. BUT THE LEGISLATION SPARKED DEBATE ABOUT WHAT ENDING THE HEALTH EMERGENCY MEANS FOR TITLE 42, THE PANDEMIC ERA ORDER THAT ALLOWS THE U-S TO DEPORT IMMIGRANTS WHO CROSSED THE BORDER ILLEGALLY ON PUBLIC HEALTH GROUNDS. HERE’S WHAT LAWMAKERS HAD TO SAY.
REP. BRETT GUTHRIE | R-KY: “THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION AND THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION ALONE CONTROLS TITLE 42. THAT STATUTE WAS WRITTEN IN 1944 BEFORE THE AUTHORITY OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY EVEN EXISTED. IF THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION CHOOSES TO END TITLE 42 WHEN THE PUBLIC HEALTH ENDS WITHOUT WORKING WITH US TO SECURE THE BORDER, THAT’S JUST ANOTHER ONE OF THE FAILURES TO ADD TO THE LIST.”
REP LOU CORREA | D-CA: “IF YOU TRULY BELIEVE THE PANDEMIC IS OVER THEN YOU CAN’T SAY THAT TITLE 42 IS STILL NEEDED AT THE BORDER BECAUSE OF A HEALTHCARE CRISIS.”
THE SUPREME COURT IS SCHEDULED TO HEAR ORAL ARGUMENTS ON A CASE REGARDING TITLE 42 MARCH 1ST. BUT THE JUSTICES ARE ONLY DECIDING WHETHER STATES HAVE STANDING TO SUE IN THE FIRST PLACE, THEY’RE NOT GOING TO MAKE A RULING ON THE MERITS.
POPE FRANCIS VISITS THE CONGO
POPE FRANCIS IS URGING THE PEOPLE OF THE CONGO TO FORGIVE THOSE WHO HAVE HURT THEM. HE JUST SAID A MASS BEFORE AN ESTIMATED ONE MILLION PEOPLE WHO WAITED DAYS TO SEE HIM. THE EASTERN SIDE OF THE COUNTRY HAS EXPERIENCED DECADES OF VIOLENCE, AND MILLIONS HAVE FLED. THE POPE SAID FORGIVING DOESN’T MEAN PRETENDING NOTHING HAS HAPPENED, BUT IT DOES CREATE WHAT HE CALLED AN AMNESTY OF HEART. THIS IS THE FIRST PAPAL VISIT TO THE AFRICAN NATION SINCE ST. JOHN PAUL THE SECOND WENT IN 1985.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE COLLEGE ESSAYS
HAVE YOU HEARD OF CHAT GPT? THE ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE SOFTWARE THAT CAN WRITE HUMAN LIKE TEXT.
TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA OF HOW GOOD IT IS, ONE PERSON ASKED CHAT GPT TO WRITE AN ESSAY COMPARING AND CONTRASTING THE THEORIES OF NATIONALISM OF BENEDICT ANDERSON AND ERNEST GELLNER. THE USER SHOWED CHAT GPT’S WORK AND SAID: WE’RE WITNESSING THE DEATH OF THE COLLEGE ESSAY IN REALTIME. SOLID A MINUS WORK IN 10 SECONDS. WELL CHAT’S PARENT COMPANY, OPEN AI, NOW SAYS THEY’VE CREATED A CLASSIFIER TO HELP IDENTIFY HUMAN TEXT VERSE AI TEXT. THEY SAY IT WILL HELP PEOPLE RECOGNIZE AUTOMATED AI WRITTEN MISINFORMATION CAMPAIGNS AND ACADEMIC DISHONESTY.
BUT THE SYSTEM ISN’T PERFECT. IN A TEST, IT CORRECTLY IDENTIFIED 26% OF AI-WRITTEN TEXT AND INCORRECTLY LABELED HUMAN-WRITTEN TEXT AS AI-WRITTEN 9% OF THE TIME.
MONARCH BUTTERFLY POPULATION REBOUNDS
RESEARCHERS SAY 330,000 MONARCH BUTTERFLIES ARE WINTERING IN CALIFORNIA AND ARIZONA THIS YEAR. THAT’S THE HIGHEST NUMBER THEY’VE COUNTED IN SIX YEARS AND NEARLY 100,000 MORE THAN LAST YEAR. BIOLOGISTS SAY THIS IS SOMETHING TO CELEBRATE AND SHOWS THE BUTTERFLIES HAVE A SECOND CHANCE. BUT THE POPULATION IN THE AREA IS STILL SIGNIFICANTLY BELOW WHAT IT WAS IN THE 1980’S WHEN THERE WERE MILLIONS OF THE BLACK AND ORANGE INSECTS. SCIENTISTS SAY THE BIG CULPRIT IS OVER DEVELOPMENT ALONG THEIR MIGRATION ROUTE THAT HAS DESTROYED THEIR HABITAT, IN ADDITION TO AN INCREASE IN THE USE OF PESTICIDES AND HERBICIDES.