Sayfullo Saipov, who killed eight people in a 2017 terrorist truck attack on a Hudson River bike path, has been sentenced to life in prison after a Manhattan federal jury deadlocked as they decided his fate. On Monday, jurors told Judge Vernon S. Broderick that they could not agree on whether to impose the death penalty, as the government had sought. Under the law, a unanimous verdict was required for capital punishment. The verdict followed a two-month trial during which Mr. Saipov, 35, was convicted on Jan. 26 of all 28 counts he faced, including nine that carried a maximum sentence of death. The trial was the first federal death penalty trial during the administration of President Biden, who had campaigned against capital punishment. Prosecutors, in seeking the death penalty, had cited such factors as Mr. Saipov’s premeditation and planning, his lack of remorse, the danger they said he would pose in prison and that he carried out the attack to further the ideological goals of the Islamic State. The last state execution was in 1963 in New York, where executions are even rarer, and the last federal executions were in the early 1950s. The families of the slain victims and those who survived the attack “Their pain and grief endures,” Damian Williams, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement.


Queens City Councilwoman Vickie Paladino, a Republican representing Whitestone, has been removed from the Committee on Mental Health, Disabilities, and Addiction by a full vote of the Council for her opposition to Drag Queen Story Hour. Paladino has referred to the city-funded programs that bring drag queens into public schools and libraries to read to and socialize with children, often without parental consent or knowledge, as “cultural indoctrination” and “child grooming.” Paladino claims that her removal from the committee was a retaliation and that Council Speaker Adrienne Adams gave in to pressure from progressives. Paladino expressed sympathy for Adams, whom she described as a “lovely lady,” but suggested that she was being bullied and intimidated by the progressive left. Paladino, a freshman lawmaker who is 68 years old, is known for her conservative views and her willingness to speak out against what she sees as liberal excesses.


Governor Kathy Hochul has scrapped plans for an AirTrain to La Guardia Airport after a review revealed that the project’s costs had ballooned to $2.4 billion, more than five times the original estimates. Former Governor Andrew Cuomo had initially announced the project in 2015 and placed the cost at $450 million. Following opposition from elected officials and community groups, Hochul halted the project and ordered a review. The panel of transportation experts has recommended increasing public bus service to La Guardia and adding a shuttle between the airport and subway stations in northern Queens to reduce air travelers’ dependence on taxis and private cars. In response to the panel’s recommendation, Governor Hochul stated that she accepts the report’s recommendations and looks forward to its immediate implementation by the Port Authority in close coordination with the MTA, city, and federal government.

New York state regulators closed down Signature Bank on Sunday as part of an effort to prevent a spreading banking crisis. The bank is a significant lender in the cryptocurrency industry, and its closure is one of many moves made by regulators recently in response to the industry’s rapid growth. The move follows the recent shuttering of Silicon Valley Bank, which was seized by regulators on Friday after reporting that it was struggling financially. Signature Bank is one of the primary banks used by the cryptocurrency industry and has a market value of $4.4 billion. As of December 31, 2021, the bank had $110.4 billion in total assets and $88.6 billion in total deposits, according to a securities filing. However, the regulators have assured depositors that they will have full access to their funds and that “no losses will be borne by the taxpayer.”

 Former President Donald Trump’s attorney, Joe Tacopina, has called for an investigation into the Manhattan district attorney’s office as they consider a potential indictment of Trump for a 2016 “hush money” payment to an adult film star. Tacopina accused Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg and his predecessor, Cyrus Vance Jr., along with several prosecutors on their staff, of engaging in a “politically motivated investigation” and “weaponizing” their office to scour every aspect of Trump’s personal and business affairs. Bragg declined to comment, but Vance responded by saying that it is hard to argue the previous investigations were politically motivated, as the United States Supreme Court twice rejected Trump’s argument. Vance added that the investigation previously led to the indictment and conviction of the Trump Organization’s former CFO and two of its companies. Tacopina’s letter was sent days after Trump was invited to testify before a grand jury investigating the $130,000 wire payment. Tacopina stated that Trump will not be participating in the proceeding, which he and most election law experts believe is without legal merit.





Silicon Valley Bank, the largest bank in Silicon Valley and 16th largest in the US, has collapsed after facing heavy losses from the liquidation of a $21 billion bond portfolio and struggling to maintain a strong balance sheet in the startup sector. The announcement of a $1.75 billion share sale on Wednesday led to concerns among venture capital firms and startups with ties to the bank about the safety of their assets, triggering a run on deposits. The bank was closed by the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation on Friday, making it the largest bank failure since Washington Mutual collapsed in late 2008. Depositors with insurance will have access to their funds by Monday morning, while uninsured depositors can expect an advance dividend in the coming week. The implosion of the bank has also raised concerns about contagion in the broader financial sector, with shares for First Republic Bank, JPMorgan Chase, and Bank of America declining. The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank is a significant blow to the tech-focused institution that lends to nearly half of publicly traded venture-backed technology and healthcare companies.

 House lawmakers unanimously voted 419-0 for the Biden administration to declassify all intelligence related to the Wuhan Institute of Virology and possible links to the origins of the Covid-19 virus. The director of national intelligence would be required to release the information 90 days after the bill is signed into law. The vote followed assessments from the Department of Energy and the FBI, which suggested that a lab leak in China was the most likely source of the pandemic. Republicans on the House floor made it clear that they believed classified information points to the Wuhan lab as the source of Covid-19. House Permanent Select Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner said the American public deserves answers to every aspect of the pandemic, including how the virus was created and whether it was a natural occurrence or the result of a lab-related event. Additionally, Rep. Greg Murphy accused Dr. Anthony Fauci, former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, of knowing that Covid-19 came from the Wuhan lab and trying to cover it up.


Bezalel Smotrich, the Israeli Finance Minister, apologized for his comments calling for the IDF to destroy the West Bank Palestinian town of Huwara during a public speech he delivered to the Israel Bonds organization in Washington, DC. During the event on Sunday evening, Smotrich acknowledged the controversy his comments had caused, saying that his words about Huwara created a completely mistaken impression. He reiterated his commitment to the security of Israel and their shared values, expressing his regret for any offense his statements might have caused. The Finance Minister sparked an international diplomatic scandal for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new government when he made the initial comments at a conference by The Marker, a business news organization, just days after a vigilante settler attack against the town in which a Palestinian man was killed and dozens of homes and cars were torched.


Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has been discharged from the hospital after being admitted last week for a concussion and a minor rib fracture following a fall at a reception and dinner for the Senate Leadership Fund at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Washington, D.C. In a statement from McConnell’s office, it was noted that his concussion recovery is going well, but he will undergo physical therapy at an inpatient rehabilitation facility before returning home. The statement expressed the Leader’s gratitude for the skilled medical care, prayers, and kindness he received. McConnell is a polio survivor who has suffered several injuries related to his balance issues; he previously fractured his shoulder four years ago in a fall at his home in Kentucky. “Leader McConnell’s concussion recovery is proceeding well and the Leader was discharged from the hospital today,” a statement from McConnell’s office said. “At the advice of his physician, the next step will be a period of physical therapy at an inpatient rehabilitation facility before he returns home.”

 Pharmaceutical company Pfizer is set to acquire Seagen, formerly known as Seattle Genetics, for $43 billion. Pfizer has expressed its intent to allow Seagen to maintain its innovative work in cancer treatment while providing additional resources to the company. The acquisition includes a commitment to keep Seagen’s facilities in the Seattle area and south San Francisco, as well as a new 270,000-square-foot manufacturing facility set to open in Everett in 2024. Seagen specializes in antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) technology, using lab-made proteins to deliver cancer-killing drugs directly to cancer cells, minimizing harm to surrounding tissue. The company employs 1,800 people in the Seattle area and 1,500 elsewhere. Seagen CEO David Epstein expressed approval of the acquisition, stating that it is the “right next step” for Seagen, which was founded in 1997 and became publicly listed in 2001.

In February, American employers added 311,000 jobs, a lower figure than January’s gains but still enough to maintain the Federal Reserve’s pressure to raise interest rates to combat inflation. Although the unemployment rate rose slightly to 3.6% from January’s 3.4%, the job market remains healthy, with many employers looking to hire. A strong job market could lead to higher labor costs for businesses, which could be passed on to customers through higher prices. This sizable job growth indicates that hiring is strengthening in 2023 after easing at the end of 2022. The average monthly job gain was 284,000 from October through December, but it has surged to 351,000 for the past three months.





Hundreds of Venezuelan migrants gathered at the entrance of a bridge that connects Mexico’s Ciudad Juarez to El Paso, Texas, after hearing a rumor that they would be allowed to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. Frustrated by the delays and difficulties in applying for asylum in the United States after traveling thousands of miles through Central America and Mexico, some migrants thought they would be allowed entry due to a supposed “day of the migrant” celebration. However, they encountered barbed wire, orange barricades, and police with shields, and US border guards moved to close the bridge. Images on social media showed a large crowd, mainly composed of women and children, running towards the border, shouting “to the USA.” Despite the closure of the bridge, some migrants still managed to cross into the United States through unauthorized crossing points.

 Kyiv’s military announced on Sunday that Ukrainian troops killed over 1,000 Russian soldiers on Saturday, marking what could be the deadliest day of fighting in more than a year since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. A spokesperson for the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine shared a video claiming that the Ukrainian forces killed 1,090 Russian troops and destroyed eight tanks, seven armored fighting vehicles, and four artillery systems. This latest report surpasses Kyiv’s previous record for the highest number of fatalities, which was on Feb. 7, when 1,030 Russian soldiers were killed overnight. Additionally, a Ukrainian military spokesperson reported that an extra 239 Russian soldiers were killed on the front line near Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast. The fighting between the two countries has lasted for over a year and remains ongoing.

 China mediated a diplomatic breakthrough between Saudi Arabia and Iran, marking a significant shift in the Middle East’s geopolitical landscape, as old rivalries fade and outside powers like Russia and China vie for influence in the region. With the US increasingly focused on Ukraine and Asia, the region is moving past its divisions, resolving conflicts and easing tensions.  China’s mediation of a diplomatic breakthrough between Saudi Arabia and Iran marks a significant shift in the Middle East’s geopolitical landscape, as old rivalries fade and outside powers like Russia and China vie for influence in the region.


Xi Jinping has secured a third term as president of China, with all 3,000 members of the National People’s Congress (NPC) voting unanimously for him. The election had no other candidates, and Xi used the parliamentary session to tighten his control over China’s economy as it recovers from COVID-19 and faces growing diplomatic challenges. Xi, who has taken China on a more authoritarian path since taking control a decade ago, has extended his tenure for another five years amidst increasingly adversarial relations with the US and its allies over issues such as Taiwan, Beijing’s support for Russia, trade, and human rights.

 HSBC has acquired the British arm of failed lender Silicon Valley Bank for just one pound, as the parent company’s assets and liabilities were not included in the deal. The acquisition is a significant step toward resolving the failure of the California-based bank, which was announced on Friday after customers sought to withdraw funds due to concerns about its balance sheet and difficulties in the startup sector. HSBC CEO Noel Quinn said the acquisition “strengthens our commercial banking franchise and enhances our ability to serve innovative and fast-growing firms, including in the technology and life-science sectors, in the UK and internationally”. The British subsidiary’s assets and liabilities were not immediately disclosed. PNC Financial Services and Royal Bank of Canada had both previously stated that they were not interested in acquiring Silicon Valley Bank.