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School buses roll through Jay, Maine, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023. Gov. Janet Mills' plan for education, housing, child care, health care, and transportation infrastructure will be outlined in her State of the Budget address on Feb. 14. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
The funeral for Tyre Nichols is taking place Wednesday in Memphis, Tennessee, and is expected to draw family, friends and civil rights activists. The service was delayed until 1 p.m. Central Standard Time due to an ice storm affecting Memphis. Nichols was a Black man who was beaten earlier this month by Memphis police officers and later died. Five Black officers involved in the beating have been fired. Two other officers have been suspended, and two fire department emergency medical workers and a fire department lieutenant have been fired. Vice President Kamala Harris is expected to attend the celebration of life and Rev. Al Sharpton will give the eulogy.
Lawmakers in Finland have approved amendments that will make it substantially easier for people to change their legally recognized gender in the Nordic country. The amendments also abolish a provision that required transgender people to provide a medical certificate proving they were infertile or sterilized before the government would recognize their gender identity. That part of the existing law was intended to keep transgender individuals from having children. Finland’s 200-seat parliament voted 113-69 on Wednesday in favor of making the changes, which are expected to take effect as soon as possible. ll allows transgender individuals who are 18 or older in Finland to legally change their genders by self-declaration without a psychiatric assessment and medical certificate.
Republicans are declaring victory in a special election for a vacant state Senate seat in a heavily Republican district in northern Pennsylvania. The Republican candidate, state Rep. Lynda Schlegel Culver, led Democrat Patricia Lawton in preliminary returns from Tuesday’s special election by more than a two-to-one margin. Senate Republican leaders say Culver will be sworn in to the Senate in late February and bring the 50-seat chamber to a full complement with a 28-22 Republican majority. Culver is serving her seventh term in the state House of Representatives from Northumberland County. The Senate seat covers Columbia, Montour, Northumberland and Snyder counties, and part of Luzerne County. Her term would last until Nov. 30, 2024.
The release of footage showing Memphis, Tennessee, police officers violently beating Tyre Nichols has renewed calls for Congress to pass police reform legislation. The pressure to act comes nearly two years after negotiations broke down along partisan lines, pushing the issue of police brutality to the back of the line of legislative priorities. It underscores again how Congress often fails to deliver solutions even when there is broad agreement on the source of the problem. Nichols' parents are expected to attend President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address next week in an attempt to push for action from Washington.
‘Dr. Phil’ McGraw says he'll stop making new episodes of his daytime TV show after 21 years this spring. The Texas psychologist emerged from Oprah Winfrey's TV tree, spinning off his frequent appearances there to start his own show in 2002. He dealt with traditional daytime TV fodder as marriage troubles, addiction and raising children. While the show will stop making original episodes this spring, both he and ‘Dr. Phil’ won't disappear. CBS Media Ventures says it will offer stations that air his show a package of reruns to begin next fall. McGraw says he's working on an unspecified prime-time project he hopes to get off the ground next year.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez is traveling to Rabat along with 12 ministers before a meeting with Moroccan government officials. It's part of the European country’s strategy to improve historically complex relations with its neighbor across the Strait of Gibraltar. The north African country is an important partner with the European Union in fighting extremism and aiding the bloc’s irregular migration policies. Sánchez is flying to Morocco on Wednesday and will attend a forum of business leaders from both countries in Rabat. He will sit down on Thursday with Moroccan Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch.