5 things to know for January 18: Ukraine, House, Veterans, Covid-19, Microsoft


If you frequently find yourself stuck in a procrastination loop, there’s a good chance you’re not lazy – but rather, a perfectionist. Oftentimes, perfectionists avoid starting tasks due to a fear of failure or criticism, experts say. You can challenge those beliefs by avoiding all-or-nothing thinking and by setting achievable standards on a daily basis.

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

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Ukraine’s interior minister is among at least 16 people killed after a helicopter crashed in a Kyiv suburb today, police said. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called the crash in Brovary “a terrible tragedy” and ordered officials to “find out all the circumstances” of the incident. This comes as more than 9,000 civilians, including 453 children, have been killed in Ukraine since Russia’s invasion began last February, a senior Kyiv official said. On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated that the fastest way to end the war is “to give Ukraine a strong hand on the battlefield,” which is what the US is doing, he said. The White House also teased that an additional aid package for Ukraine could be announced “as soon as the end of this week.”

Senior House Republicans are preparing to hold hearings on the problems at the southern border, which they say could serve as a prelude to an impeachment inquiry against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. It’s exceedingly rare for a Cabinet secretary to be impeached as it has only happened once in US history in 1876. Meanwhile, House committees are forming and some of the awarded seats have drawn the ire of several Democrats. Embattled Rep. George Santos has been awarded seats on two low-level committees, though he is facing growing calls to resign for extensively lying about his resume. Republican Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar also received their committee assignments for the new Congress, after being booted from their committees by Democrats and some Republicans for their incendiary remarks. 

Military veterans can now receive free emergency mental health care, according to an announcement by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The new policy, which went into effect Tuesday, provides inpatient care for “veterans in suicidal crisis” for up to 30 days and outpatient care for up to 90 days at no cost. “This expansion of care will save Veterans’ lives, and there’s nothing more important than that,” VA Secretary for Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough said. The policy will also allow the VA to make “appropriate referrals” after a period of emergency suicide care, determine veterans’ eligibility for other services and benefits from the VA, and refer veterans who received emergency care to other VA programs and benefits.

Covid-19 has killed more than 1 million people in the US since the start of the pandemic, and life expectancy has been cut by nearly 2.5 years since 2020. While data from 2022 suggests that there were significantly fewer Covid-19 deaths in the third year of the pandemic than there were in the first two, experts say the virus will likely remain the third leading cause of death in the US in 2022 for the third year in a row, behind heart disease and cancer. CDC officials have said they are actively working to better develop and deploy rapid response measures to combat the spread of disease outbreaks. A new report, however, argues that the CDC is in “a moment of peril” and a significant reset is necessary to build a “strong, effective, and more accountable” agency.

Microsoft is set to announce thousands of job cuts today, according to multiple news reports, potentially becoming the latest tech company to shrink its workforce. Sources say the reported layoffs could affect roughly 5% of the company’s workforce and largely impact the company’s engineering divisions. Microsoft employs 221,000 people around the world, including 122,000 in the US. Multiple tech companies have made deep cuts to their workforces since the start of the year, as inflation weighs on consumer spending and rising interest rates squeeze funding. The demand for digital services during the pandemic has also waned as more people return to their offline lives.

Brian Walshe, charged with murdering his wife, is expected to appear in court today

Brian Walshe is expected to be arraigned in court today after being charged with murdering his wife Ana Walshe, a Massachusetts mother and corporate real estate manager. The case has captured widespread attention since she was reported missing by her employer at the start of the year. Brian Walshe told police he last saw his wife the morning of January 1 when she left for a work trip. However, searches have uncovered several pieces of potential evidence linking him to the alleged crime, law enforcement sources told CNN. The couple’s three children, all between the ages of 2 and 6, are now in the custody of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families.

Brian Walshe after his arrest for misleading investigators in connection with the disappearance of wife, Ana Walshe.

Documents show employer reported Ana Walshe missing, not her husband

Madonna’s star-studded tour announcement

Get ready for decades worth of Madonna’s hits and more shocking outfits, of course! The singer will stop in these cities for her upcoming global tour.

Clumsy pandas capture hearts on livestream

Click here to watch cute pandas give their handlers a giant headache. It’s quite literally panda-monium.

Actor Jeremy Renner released from hospital after snowplow accident

Fans were happy to learn that the Marvel star is now home after a snowplow accident left him in critical condition and hospitalized for weeks.

Biden welcomes the Golden State Warriors back to the White House

The 2022 NBA champions returned to the building for the first time since a high-profile clash with former President Donald Trump. See photos here.

Lisa Marie Presley’s memorial to be held at Graceland

A memorial has been planned at Graceland for Lisa Marie Presley, the only child of Elvis. The family’s estate said the public is invited to attend.

French nun Sister André, the world’s oldest known person, died on Tuesday in the southern city of Toulon, France, her spokesperson announced. She was 118. Born as Lucile Randon on February 11, 1904, Sister André dedicated most of her life to religious service and was the oldest nun to ever live, according to the Guinness World Records.

$20 million

That’s how much ousted Disney CEO Bob Chapek will receive in exit pay following a tumultuous two-year stint at the company, according to a regulatory filing Tuesday. The hefty payout is in addition to the $24 million he made last year – his $2.5 million base salary plus millions in stock options and awards. Chapek was replaced by his predecessor, Bob Iger, who retired in 2020 and returned in 2022 to retake the reins.

“This type of radicalism is a threat to our nation.”

– Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller, after a former Republican candidate for New Mexico’s legislature was arrested in connection with shootings at the homes of Democratic leaders. Solomon Peña, who lost a 2022 run for state House District 14, is accused of paying and conspiring with four men to shoot at the homes of two state legislators and two county commissioners, and trying to participate in at least one of the shootings himself, police said. He was arrested by a police SWAT team Monday.

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Inside the Museum of Illusions

Take a virtual browse through the Museum of Illusions in New York City. Your brain may be tricked by some of the interactive exhibits! (Click here to view)


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