5 things to know for Feb. 28: Presidential race, Texas wildfires, Immigration, Middle East, IVF treatments

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A few years ago, NASA intentionally crashed a spacecraft into an asteroid to see if the impact would change its direction. The celestial object now appears to be a “very different body” akin to a giant debris plume of floating material, according to a new study.

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

1. Presidential race

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump won their respective parties’ primaries in Michigan on Tuesday as they continue marching toward a likely rematch in November. However, their victories carried some warning signs for both candidates. Biden faced organized resistance led by Arab and Muslim Americans over his administration’s handling of Israel’s war in Gaza, with hundreds in Michigan campaigning to convince Democratic voters to cast protest ballots for “uncommitted.” On the GOP side, Trump’s win also failed to conceal the division in his party. Roughly 68% of Republicans voted for Trump while 27% voted for former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley — indicating a sizable group of Republicans are either firmly opposed to him or still to be won over.

2. Texas wildfires

At least five uncontrolled wildfires are threatening Texas Panhandle towns and forcing residents to evacuate. The Smokehouse Creek Fire, which ignited Monday afternoon, has scorched more than 370,000 acres of land, according to the Texas A&M Forest Service. Meanwhile, several other wildfires are burning nearby, fueled by high winds and dry air. The threat has sparked evacuation orders for several communities in northern Texas and some bordering Oklahoma towns. Local authorities have received reports of burned structures and charred farms, where some ranchers told CNN they had no time to evacuate their livestock.

3. Immigration

the same day this week. During Biden’s visit Thursday, the president is expected to meet with border patrol agents, law enforcement and local leaders in Brownsville, Texas, to discuss the need for a border agreement. Sources say Biden is considering sweeping executive action to restrict the ability of migrants to seek asylum at the border if they cross illegally. At the same time, Trump is expected to give remarks in Eagle Pass, Texas, after recently receiving the endorsement of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who has taken steps to undermine Biden’s authority on border policy.

4. Middle East

Israel, Hamas, and Qatar have cautioned against President Biden’s optimism that a ceasefire in Gaza could be reached by the end of this week. Biden said Monday that he hoped there would be a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict by “next Monday,” as the death toll in Gaza approaches 30,000. But an Israeli official told CNN Tuesday that Israel was “surprised that he [Biden] used the word Monday and that he used the word ceasefire.” Basem Naim, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, told CNN Tuesday that the group was unaware of any ceasefire agreement that could be brokered by next Monday. “There is nothing,” Naim said. Qatar, which along with the US is a key mediator in negotiations between Israel and Hamas, has also hinted at a different timeline.

5. IVF treatments

Alabama’s Senate and House proposed bills on Tuesday to protect anyone who provides in vitro fertilization treatments in the state. The proposed legislation follows the Alabama Supreme Court ruling that frozen embryos are children — an unprecedented decision that said those who destroy frozen embryos can be held liable for wrongful death. Since the ruling, at least three fertility treatment facilities in Alabama have halted certain IVF treatment programs amid concerns their medical personnel could be at legal risk. Separately, a proposed bill in Florida that would define a fetus as an “unborn child” and expand liability for wrongful death lawsuits for unborn children has stalled indefinitely in the wake of the Alabama ruling.


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That’s how many Toyota Tacoma pickup trucks have been recalled because bolts in the axles could loosen and fall off. The trucks involved are model year 2022 and 2023, Toyota said, adding letters will be sent out to owners of the affected vehicles by late April.


“There is a lot of work ahead, but this is an important, positive step.”

— Starbucks, announcing Tuesday that it will begin talks with the Workers United union to discuss bargaining agreements and union organizing. This comes after thousands of Starbucks workers went on strike in November, citing the lack of progress on negotiating their first labor contract despite a nearly two-year organizing drive.


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Popular ski resort has no snow this year
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