Daily Briefing: Tyre Nichols to be laid to rest

Daily Briefing: Tyre Nichols to be laid to rest

The family of Tyre Nichols plans to lay him to rest on Wednesday, three weeks after he was beaten to death by Memphis police after a traffic stop. Also in the news: The Fed is expected to announce new interest rate hikes today and severe winter weather grips air travel across the country.

🙋🏼‍♀️ I’m Nicole Fallert, Daily Briefing author. Welcome to February. Here’s how Super Bowl 57 will make a major achievement this Black History Month.

Now, here we go with Wednesday’s headlines.

Funeral for Tyre Nichols expected to draw thousands

In the three weeks since Nichols’ tragic death at the hands of law enforcement, five Memphis officers have been fired and charged with murder, and their specialized unit was disbanded. Two more officers have been suspended. Two Memphis Fire Department emergency medical workers and a lieutenant were also fired. And more disciplinary actions could be coming.

Wednesday will be about Nichols, a 29-year-old skateboarder, father, and amateur photographer who worked at FedEx, whose funeral will be held at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Memphis.

  • The Rev. Al Sharpton has said he is honored to be eulogizing Nichols, whose funeral will draw thousands, including high-profile attendees such as Vice President Kamala Harris. “Tyre will be known as one of those police brutality victims that cause the whole nation, if not the whole Western world, to stop and deal with the question of police abuse,” Sharpton said.
  • Also expected at the funeral are Breonna Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, and George Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd. Nichols’ parents are set to attend President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address next week after being invited by the Congressional Black Caucus, who are looking to meet with the president to push for police reform. 
  • All the speakers at a Tuesday press conference continued to call for true police reform. Nichols was beaten by officers on a saturation patrol unit known as SCORPION, which has been deactivated and is under investigation in the wake of his death. 

Rep. George Santos quits House committee seats amid uproar over lies

 Embattled New York Republican Rep. George Santos stepped down from his House committee seats early Tuesday as pressure mounted for him to step down from Congress. But Santos, a freshman who has defied criticism and pledged to serve his full two-year term despite calls for his removal, indicated that recusing himself from committees may be a temporary move and that he would return to his positions once his legal and ethical reviews are resolved. House Democratic Chair Pete Aguilar said Tuesday at a Democratic leadership news conference that he was “struck by the chaos” of Republicans: “I just don’t know what the play of the day is.” Read more

More news to know now

🌤 What’s the weather today? Check your local forecast here.

A smaller rate hike is expected at the Fed meeting, but many may still struggle

The Fed is predicted to boost interest rates for an eighth consecutive time on Wednesday, but only by a quarter point, down from the half-point hike in December and the four consecutive three-quarter percentage-point increases before that. The slower pace is intended to give the economy a chance to digest the Fed’s earlier string of aggressive hikes. But consumers, having already felt the impact of those rate hikes, are already reeling. Even though economists are split on whether the Fed will pause its rate hikes after this week, the central bank’s projections released in December show there’s more to come. Read more

Ukraine mourns American Daniel Swift, killed in combat

Ukrainian soldiers held a memorial ceremony Tuesday for American Daniel Swift in Lviv, Ukraine. Swift was a former member of the Navy SEALs who has been listed in official records as having deserted since March 2019. The Navy did not provide further information about his U.S. military record, but said, “We cannot speculate as to why the former Sailor was in Ukraine.” Swift was killed last week fighting against the Russian army. At least five other Americans are known to have died fighting in Ukraine, according to State Department statements and reports from individual families. Read more updates from the Ukraine-Russia crisis.

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Wednesday weather update: Ice storm warnings abound

An ice storm warning is in effect until Thursday morning in parts of central Texas as well as swaths of east Arkansas, north Mississippi and west Tennessee. Meanwhile, intense arctic air will target the Northeast later this week, AccuWeather meteorologists predicted. Temperatures in Boston are expected to drop to 10 below zero by Saturday morning. The potentially treacherous winter weather comes after more than 50 million Americans were under some kind of winter weather warning or watch Tuesday afternoon as the cold front expanded east, presaging more dangerous driving conditions through Wednesday. Read more

📷 Photo of the day: Winter storm sweeps across US with arctic blast 📷

 A winter storm warning was in effect in north Texas and western central Texas until noon on Wednesday, the National Weather Service office in Fort Worth said. The area was mostly expecting freezing rain and sleet. The Austin metro area was also under a winter storm warning until Wednesday. Click here to see more photos of the winter blast.

One more thing

Nicole Fallert is a newsletter writer at USA TODAY, sign up for the email here. Want to send Nicole a note? Shoot her an email at [email protected] or follow along with her musings on Twitter. Support journalism like this – subscribe to USA TODAY here.

Associated Press contributed reporting.

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