Officials in the Philippines urged nearly 450,000 people to evacuate as fears grew a volcano near the country's capital was primed for a violent eruption. Close to 300 minor earthquakes have been measured in the area since the Taal Volcano, 50 miles south of Manila, began spewing ash and lava Sunday (see video). The seismic activity prompted scientists to place the warning alert at a level of four out of five, meaning an eruption could happen any moment. While the activity may fizzle, experts say the most-dire scenario could be far worse than just an eruption. The volcano is part of a larger cauldron structure that sits underneath Lake Taal, and an eruption could trigger a base surge (where rocks and debris burst outward from the base) and a tsunami-like surge onto towns around the lakeshore.
The danger didn't stop one couple, who were determined to tie the knot (with photos).
Arrests in Downing of Flight 752
Iranian officials said yesterday a number of people had been arrested for their role in the downing of a Ukrainian Airlines flight last week, an incident that has rekindled internal anti-government protests across the country. Details on how many people were detained and their identities were not provided. The move follows a weekend admission its military had mistakenly shot down the craft, which took off hours after the country launched a series of missiles at US targets in Iraq, believing it to be a cruise missile headed toward a sensitive site. All 176 people on board were killed, including 82 Iranians and a number of Canadians who held dual citizenship with Iran. Ongoing protests over fuel prices and a stagnant economy - youth unemployment is near 30% - had paused in a moment of national unity following a US strike Jan. 3 that killed general Qassem Soleimani. Meanwhile, new video ($$, NYT) surfaced capturing two separate missiles hitting the aircraft 30 seconds apart.
Next Stop, the Senate
The House is expected to vote to formally send articles of impeachment to the Senate today, initiating the second phase of the monthslong impeachment process against President Trump. The package will include two articles: one accusing the president of abusing his power for soliciting the interference of a foreign government for personal gain, and one for allegedly obstructing Congress (full text). House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D, CA-12) is said to be considering Reps. Jerry Nadler (D, NY-10) and Adam Schiff (D, CA-28) as impeachment managers, high-profile roles similar to prosecuting attorneys. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) appears set to begin the trial without any agreement on new witnesses - at least four Republicans would need to join 47 Democrats in a motion to call witnesses - broadly following the rules in the Clinton impeachment trial. McConnell said a trial is likely to begin Tuesday.
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In the Know
Sports, Entertainment, & Culture
> Spike Lee becomes first African American president of the Cannes Film Festival jury; Lee will oversee the competition of the 73rd edition of the festival (More)
> WNBA reaches collective bargaining agreement with players union that raises salaries and other cash compensation; the agreement will run through 2027 season (More)
> Ken Jennings wins "Jeopardy! Greatest of All Time" title and $1M prize; Jennings defeated past champions James Holzhauer and Brad Rutter who both took home $250K (More)
Science & Technology
> A naturally-produced protein known as Sestrin appears to mimic the benefits of exercise in flies and mice, possibly offering a route to combating muscle loss from aging and other diseases (More)
> Study finds magnetic storms, caused by solar wind disrupting the Earth's magnetic field, can originate much closer to Earth than previously thought; may potentially damage near-Earth orbiting satellites (More)
> Microsoft releases patch for an undisclosed serious vulnerability in its Windows operating system reportedly uncovered by the National Security Agency (More)
Business & Markets
> Phase one US-China trade deal expected to be signed today in Washington, DC (More)
> World's largest asset manager BlackRock to make sustainability a pillar of strategy, vows to divest from thermal coal (More)
> Earnings season kicks off with shares of bank stocks JPMorgan and Citi shares increasing on strong earnings (More)
Politics & World Affairs
>Election 2020: Democrats hold seventh round of presidential primary debates, the final debate before Iowa caucuses; Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT) denies saying a woman couldn't win a presidential election (More)
> At least 56 children and adults injured after Delta jet dumps fuel over Los Angeles schools during emergency landing (More)
> Britain, France, and Germany trigger dispute mechanism in 2015 Iran nuclear deal; The US pulled out in 2018, while Iran has been increasingly noncompliant over past 18 months (More)
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