March for Life, Biden-Japan PM meeting, Meat Loaf dies: 5 things to know Friday

·5 min read

March for Life 2022 expected to bring crowd to National Mall

Anti-abortion activists 6597357001will take to downtown Washington D.C. Friday for the 49th annual March for Life event, held every year on the anniversary of the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade. The rally will begin at noon on the National Mall including a live concert and remarks from speakers, followed by a 1 p.m. march from Constitution Avenue to the U.S. Supreme Court building. Speakers at this year's event include actor Kirk Cameron, best known for his role on the sitcom Growing Pains; Rep. Julia Letlow, R-La.; Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J.; Toni McFadden, founder of Relationship Matters, a youth education program, and Lisa Robertson of the reality show "Duck Dynasty," among others.

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Biden, new Japanese prime minister to meet virtually

President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will hold their first formal talks on Friday as the two leaders face fresh concerns about North Korea's nuclear program and China's growing military assertiveness. The virtual meeting comes after North Korea earlier this week suggested it might resume nuclear and long-range missile testing that has been paused for more than three years. Kishida was elected in November – the two leaders will be meeting for the first time. In April, Biden met in person with then-Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who traveled to Washington.

Rock superstar Meat Loaf dies at age 74

Meat Loaf, the rock superstar loved by millions for his "Bat Out of Hell" album and for such theatrical, dark-hearted anthems as "Paradise by the Dashboard Light," "Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad," and "I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)," has died. He was 74. The singer born Marvin Lee Aday passed away Thursday, according to a family statement posted on his official Facebook page. No cause or other details were given, but Aday had numerous health scares over the years. "Our hearts are broken to announce that the incomparable Meat Loaf passed away tonight," the statement said. "We know how much he meant to so many of you and we truly appreciate all of the love and support as we move through this time of grief in losing such an inspiring artist and beautiful man... From his heart to your souls…don’t ever stop rocking!" He is survived by Deborah Gillespie, his wife since 2007, and by daughters Pearl and Amanda Aday.

Meat Loaf performs on stage in the Netherlands in May 2013.
Meat Loaf performs on stage in the Netherlands in May 2013.

Blinken meets with Russian Foreign Minister in person

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is meeting with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, in Geneva on Friday. It follows a trip to Ukraine, where Blinken met with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and other officials in the capital of Kyiv, stating that the U.S. and its allies were steadfast in backing the country and its democratic aspirations amid growing fears of a potentially imminent Russian invasion. Blinken's meeting with Lavrov is aimed at testing Russia's willingness to resolve the crisis diplomatically, officials said. Blinken spoke to the Russian foreign minister by phone on Tuesday, when Lavrov reaffirmed that Russia expects a written response this week from the U.S. and its allies to Moscow's request for binding guarantees that NATO will not embrace Ukraine or any other ex-Soviet countries or station its forces and weapons there. Blinken underscored to Lavrov on Tuesday that any discussion of European security "must include NATO Allies and European partners, including Ukraine," the State Department said.

Parts of Southeast await a blast of winter weather

Several schools have canceled classes in coastal areas of the Carolinas and Virginia and authorities are urging drivers to stay off potentially icy roads amid forecasts of snow, sleet and freezing rain. The governors of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia declared states of emergency ahead of the latest winter storm system sweeping into the region Thursday and a round of snow expected to follow Friday night into Saturday. The wintry blast could ice over a large swath of eastern North Carolina and the northeastern corner of South Carolina, while dumping snow around Norfolk, Virginia, the National Weather Service said. Much of the region has been slammed by a series of snow and ice events in the last three weeks, sometimes dumping more than a foot of snow in areas that often don't see that much all year. Winter storm warnings and advisories remained in effect for more than 25 million Americans, the vast majority in the South.

Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: March for Life, Meat Loaf dies: 5 things to know Friday