Happening Today: Senate, ICE, Dog Flu, Neil Diamond, Oscar Nominations

What to Know

  • An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 8.2 struck off Alaska's Kodiak Island, prompting a tsunami warning and watches
  • A recent cluster of canine influenza cases in San Francisco has triggered unsubstantiated reports that the dog flu has spread nationwide
  • Just days before his 77th birthday, Neil Diamond is retiring from touring after he says he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease

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Alaska Earthquake Prompts Tsunami Warning

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 8.2 struck off Alaska's Kodiak Island, prompting a tsunami warning for a large swath of coastal Alaska and Canada's British Columbia while the remainder of the U.S. West Coast was under a watch. The strong earthquake hit at 12:32 a.m. and was recorded about 175 miles southeast of Kodiak Island. Warnings from the National Weather Service sent to cellphones in Alaska warned: "Emergency Alert. Tsunami danger on the coast. Go to high ground or move inland." Kodiak officials warned residents to evacuate if they lived in low-lying areas. About two hours after the quake, the city of Kodiak, which was projected to see the first wave at about 1:45 a.m., still had no reports of a wave hitting. Officials were telling people to hold fast at evacuation centers until further notice.

Senators Strike a Deal Re-Opening Government After 69 Hours

President Trump signed a bill reopening the government, ending a 69-hour display of partisan dysfunction after Democrats reluctantly voted to temporarily pay for resumed operations. They relented in return for Republican assurances that the Senate will soon take up the plight of young immigrant "dreamers" and other contentious issues. The vote set the stage for hundreds of thousands of federal workers to return on Tuesday, cutting short what could have become a messy and costly impasse. The House approved the measure shortly thereafter, and President Donald Trump later signed it behind closed doors at the White House. But by relenting, the Democrats prompted a backlash from immigration activists and liberal base supporters who wanted them to fight longer and harder for legislation to protect from deportation the 700,000 or so younger immigrants who were brought to the country as children and now are here illegally. Democrats climbed onboard after two days of negotiations that ended with new assurances from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that the Senate would consider immigration proposals in the coming weeks. But there were deep divides in the Democratic caucus over strategy, as red-state lawmakers fighting for their survival broke with progressives looking to satisfy liberals' and immigrants' demands. Under the agreement, Democrats provided enough votes to pass the stopgap spending measure keeping the government open until Feb. 8.

Doctor Who Came to US as Child Jailed by Immigration Agents

A Michigan doctor who came to the U.S. from Poland as a young child is in jail, nearly a week after immigration agents arrested him at his home. It's not clear why Lukasz Niec, 43, was taken into custody. Niec is a legal U.S. resident who works at Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo. He has two misdemeanor convictions from high school and an impaired driving conviction from 2008 that was later dismissed. His wife, Rachelle Burkart-Niec, said he pleaded guilty in high school to malicious destruction of property and receiving stolen goods and was told the convictions wouldn't be used in a deportation. Kalamazoo County court records show he pleaded guilty to an impaired driving offense in 2008. After completing probation, the conviction was set aside and case was dismissed as part of a plea agreement. A jury also acquitted him of a 2013 domestic violence charge, MLive reported. Niec came to the Detroit area when he was about 5 with his parents and sister.

Dog Flu Has Not Spread Nationwide, Experts Say

A recent cluster of canine influenza cases in San Francisco has triggered unsubstantiated reports that the dog flu has spread nationwide. The dog flu is real, but there's no evidence that it's spreading across the country, according to experts at the American Veterinary Medical Association and Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. "We don’t have the (dog flu) virus spreading across the country like the human flu, where everyone gets infected. The virus infects dogs in a city and tends to die out over a few months," said Colin Parrish, a professor in canine virology at Cornell. The dog flu reportedly first showed up in the early 2000s in the United States. Parrish recounted that in 2015 a cluster of dog flu spread in Chicago from Korean rescue dogs. Last year, there were multiple outbreaks connected to a strain that surfaced in Georgia, Northern Florida, Kentucky, Texas and Minnesota. The dog flu is not seasonal like human flu.

Neil Diamond Says He Has Parkinson's, Retires From Touring

Neil Diamond is retiring from touring after he says he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Days shy of his 77th birthday, the rock legend is canceling his tour dates in Australia and New Zealand for March. He was on his 50th anniversary tour. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer offered his "sincerest apologies" to those who planned to go to his shows and says he plans to still write, record and work on other projects "for a long time to come." Diamond's numerous hits include "Sweet Caroline," ''America," ''Love on the Rocks" and "Hello Again." Diamond turns 77 on Wednesday and will get the lifetime achievement award at Sunday's Grammy awards.

Del Toro's 'Shape of Water' Poised to Lead Oscar Nominations

Guillermo del Toro's lavish monster romance "The Shape of Water" will vie for the most Oscar nominations, but just as much attention may be focused on categories where women could make history. Nominations for the 90th annual Academy Awards will begin Tuesday. The announcement will also be live-streamed at and Tiffany Haddish and Andy Serkis will join John Bailey, president of the film academy, to announce the nominees from Beverly Hills, California. While this year's Oscar race has been unusually wide-open, "The Shape of Water" has a chance to tie "All About Eve," ''Titanic" and "La La Land" with a record 14 nominations. Yet many will be watching the best director category more closely. "Lady Bird" filmmaker Greta Gerwig is expected to be just the fifth woman nominated in the category, and the first since Kathryn Bigelow was in 2010. "Mudbound" cinematographer Rachel Morrison could also become the first woman ever nominated for best cinematography.

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