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1. Oh Shoot! It Won’t Re-Boot!



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What You Need to Know:

Once again, the friendly skies did not live up to its old-school reputation. Twice within the last month, air travel for many came to a standstill, only this time, it wasn’t weather-related. An overnight computer outage that started Tuesday, grounded all departing flights nationwide Wednesday. FlightAware, the flight tracking platform, reported that more than 8,000 flights within, to, and out of the United States Wednesday morning were delayed. By Wednesday afternoon, nearly 2,000 flights were canceled.

The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) stated its Notice to Air Missions, or NOTAM, system failed. The NOTAM system, required reading for pilots and other aviation officials, provides information that ranges from problems in the airspace to equipment outages. Without this information, pilots cannot take leave the ground.

2. Come On In. The Water’s Hotter Than Ever!


Windsurfer at sunny windy day against the backdrop of coastal cliffs

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What You Need to Know:

The world’s oceans were the hottest ever recorded in 2022, demonstrating the profound and pervasive changes that human-caused emissions have made to the planet’s climate.

More than 90% of the excess heat trapped by greenhouse gas emissions is absorbed in the oceans. The records, starting in 1958, show an inexorable rise in ocean temperature, with an acceleration in warming after 1990.

Sea surface temperatures are a major influence on the world’s weather. Hotter oceans help supercharge extreme weather, leading to more intense hurricanes and typhoons and more moisture in the air, which brings more intense rains and flooding. Warmer water also expands, pushing up sea levels and endangering coastal cities.

3. Pentagon Drops COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate For Troops


Aerial View United States Pentagon Department Of Defense Arlington, Virginia, Arlington Cemetery

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What You Need to Know:

The Pentagon formally dropped its COVID-19 vaccination mandate Tuesday, but a new memo signed by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin also gives commanders some discretion in how or whether to deploy troops who are not vaccinated.

Austin’s memo has been widely anticipated ever since legislation signed into law on Dec. 23 gave him 30 days to rescind the mandate. The Defense Department had already stopped all related personnel actions, such as discharging troops who refused the shot.

“The Department will continue to promote and encourage COVID-19 vaccination for all service members,” Austin said in the memo. “Vaccination enhances operational readiness and protects the force.”

4. Officer Fatally Shoots Black Man in the Back As He Drove Away


Bullet casing

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What You Need to Know:

Eric Holmes, a Black father of three, was fatally shot by a Clayton County, Georgia police officer (CCP) last November.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) will be securing body-camera video of the incident and offered to sit with the family during the investigation.

“You didn’t have to kill him,” the man’s mother, Vakelvion Holmes, said. “I just want to know why he killed my baby.”

According to a statement by the GBI, Officer Justin Stephens arrived at IGM Surfaces, LLC in the Atlanta suburb of Morrow, Georgia to investigate a stolen vehicle parked outside. Holmes approached the officer and engaged him in a nonconfrontational conversation “but gave no indication of his connection to the stolen vehicle.”

5. Experts Raise Alarm Over TikTok’s Impact on Mental Health


In this photo illustration a TikTok logo seen displayed on a...

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What You Need to Know:

In just five years, TikTok has amassed more than 1 billion global users.

Eyeballs around the world are glued to the endless content and viral videos, citing concerns of a potential risk – social media’s impact on mental health, particularly among Gen Z.

“Teen depression started to rise after 2012, so did self-harm and suicide,” said San Diego State University psychologist Dr. Jean Twenge.

He says that as smartphones and social media grew, so did the rate of depression among teens, nearly doubling between 2004 and 2019.