Senate expected to confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson to Supreme Court
The Senate is expected to confirm Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson on Thursday, securing her place as the first Black woman on the high court and giving President Joe Biden a bipartisan endorsement for his historic pick. “It will be a joyous day,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer as he announced Thursday’s vote Wednesday night. “Joyous for the senate, joyous for the Supreme Court, joyous for America.” Three Republican senators – Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Mitt Romney of Utah – have said they will support Jackson, who would replace Justice Stephen Breyer when he retires this summer. Jackson, a 51-year-old federal appeals court judge, would be just the third Black justice, after Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas, and the sixth woman. She would join two other women, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, on the liberal side of a 6-3 conservative court.
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NATO head seeks weapons for Ukraine as US, UN weigh more Russia moves
As NATO defense ministers gathered in Brussels Thursday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg called on members of the organization to provide more weapons for Ukraine and not just defensive anti-tank and anti-craft arms. Stoltenberg said “Ukraine is fighting a defensive war, so this distinction between offensive and defensive weapons doesn’t actually have any real meaning.” Also on Thursday, the U.S. Senate will take up legislation to end normal trade relations with Russia and to ban the importation of its oil. Both bills have been bogged down, frustrating lawmakers who want to ratchet up the United States’ response to Russia’s war against Ukraine. The United Nations General Assembly is voting Thursday on a U.S.-initiated resolution to be stripped of its seat on the 47-member Human Rights Council over allegations that Russian soldiers killed civilians while retreating from the region around Ukraine’s capital. U.S. officials have called the soldiers’ actions a “troubling campaign” of brutality.
Storms continue to batter South
More severe weather is expected Thursday, forecasters said, after tornadoes and storms swept through the South Tuesday and Wednesday. Forecasts show storms expected mainly in eastern portions of North Carolina and Virginia and in central Florida throughout Thursday. Tuesday’s tornado was among powerful storms that killed at least three people. Following Tuesday’s storms, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency Wednesday, effectively freeing up state resources for storm recovery and response efforts.
Tiger Woods likely to tee off as the Masters gets underway at Augusta
Five-time winner Tiger Woods is one of 91 players scheduled to tee off Thursday morning for the opening round of the 2022 Masters at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia. The weeks leading up to the tournament have been focused on who will be on the course — and who won’t. Woods, who is a little less than 14 months removed from a devastating car crash that severely damaged his right leg and foot, said Tuesday that, “I feel like I am going to play, as of right now.” He backed that up by playing the back nine at Augusta Wednesday. Woods’ tee time Thursday is 10:34 a.m. ET. Meanwhile, three-time champion Phil Mickelson will not compete after he was embroiled in controversy for derogatory comments he made about the PGA tour, its commissioner and a rival league.
MLB Opening Day arrives after delay
Veteran pitcher Kyle Hendricks is set to deliver the first pitch of the 2022 Major League Baseball season just past 2:20 p.m. ET Thursday as the Chicago Cubs host the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field. Getting to Opening Day this year was more harrowing than most others as, after a 99-day lockout, MLB owners and the MLB players union came to an agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement in mid-March. The prolonged negotiations caused spring training to be shortened and the first week of games to be rescheduled as doubleheaders or played on teams’ mutual off days. Fans will notice significant changes right away as the National League will adopt the designated hitter for a full season for the first time ever. Seven games will be played Thursday, including the World Series champion Atlanta Braves raising a banner before hosting the Cincinnati Reds and Shohei Ohtani beginning his AL MVP defense by both pitching and hitting for the Los Angeles Angels against the Houston Astros.
Contributing: The Associated Press