1/ The Senate approved $95 billion in aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan by a 70-29 vote. Despite efforts by Trump, hard-right Republicans, and House Speaker Mike Johnson to kill the legislation, Senate Republican support for the deal increased overnight, with 22 Republican senators voting in favor of the package. Hours before the vote, Johnson preemptively rejected the legislation and said he would not bring the Senate package to the House floor for a vote. Further, many hard-right Republicans have threatened to oust Johnson if he brings the legislation up in the House. Democrats, however, are limited in their options to bring the legislation to the floor: It would require a bipartisan group of lawmakers getting 218 members to sign on to a discharge petition to circumvent Republican leadership and force a floor vote. Discharge petitions rarely succeed. Biden, meanwhile, called for House Republicans to pass the aid package, saying: “Supporting this bill is standing up to Putin. We can’t walk away now. That’s what Putin is betting on.” (Politico / Washington Post / New York Times / NPR / Associated Press / NBC News / CNN / Bloomberg)

2/ The Supreme Court gave special counsel Jack Smith one week to respond to Trump’s request to delay his federal criminal election subversion trial. Trump is appealing a court ruling that unanimously rejected his claim that he’s absolutely immune from criminal charges for actions he took while in office. Smith, however, has already urged the Supreme Court to resolve the immunity dispute quickly so that Trump’s trial, originally set for March 4, can begin later this year, but the court’s timing suggests that it might take its time reviewing the broader questions related to the issue of immunity. (Politico / New York Times / CNBC / Bloomberg)

  • All 4 of Trump’s criminal cases reach inflection points this week: “In Trump’s New York case, a judge is slated to finalize the timetable for his trial on charges that he falsified business records to cover up an affair with a porn star; In his Washington, D.C., case, the Supreme Court may signal whether it will quickly resolve Trump’s claim that he is “immune” from federal charges; In his Georgia case, where Trump is also facing state charges related to the 2020 election, a judge has scheduled a Thursday hearing to examine an effort by Trump and several co-defendants to disqualify the prosecutors; And in his Florida case, a judge is weighing Trump’s latest motion to postpone key deadlines.” (Politico)

3/ Inflation eased in January, slowing from 3.4% to 3.1% on a 12-month basis. Excluding food and fuel, “core” prices were flat at 3.9% compared with December. On a monthly basis, CPI rose by 0.3% from December to January, up from a 0.2% increase the previous month. Economists, however, were expecting inflation to ease to 0.2% from December (2.9% annually). The report puts pressure on the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates higher for longer as officials wait for further evidence that inflation is headed back to their 2% target. (Axios / Associated Press / Politico / Washington Post / New York Times / CNN / NBC News / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal / CNBC)

4/ More than 125 million Americans will be exposed to unhealthy levels of air pollution by 2054 as a result of climate change, according to a new report. After decades of success reining in pollution from smokestacks and tailpipes thanks to regulations like the 1970 Clean Air Act, climate change-related events are expected to cause a steady deterioration in U.S. air quality through 2054. The study finds that extreme heat, drought, and wildfires are increasing the prevalence of both tropospheric ozone and particulate matter, commonly referred to as PM2.5. Currently, about 83 million Americans – 1 in 4! – are already exposed to “unhealthy” air quality every year. But, by 2054 more than 125 million Americans will be exposed to at least one day of “unhealthy” air quality each year, 11 million will face at least one day of “very unhealthy” air quality, and two million will be exposed to at least one day of “hazardous” air quality. (The Verge / Axios / New York Times / CBS News)

5/ The Atlantic Ocean’s currents are heading towards a “tipping point” that would be “bad news for the climate system and humanity.” The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation carries warm water from the tropics to the North Atlantic, where it cools, becomes saltier and sinks deep into the ocean, before sending the colder water south along the ocean floor. But, as human-caused global heating melts the Greenland ice sheet, fresh water is released into the North Atlantic, diluting the dense and salty sea, which slows the AMOC. The research suggests that once the system passes its tipping point, Western Europe would start to cool down by as much as 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit every decade, sea levels in the North Atlantic would surge by around 3.3 feet, the southern hemisphere would become warmer, the bottom of the ocean would run short on oxygen, and the Amazon’s wet and dry seasons could flip (potentially pushing the already weakened rainforest past its own tipping point). The AMOC has declined 15% since 1950 and is in its weakest state in more than a millennium, according to past research. “The temperature, sea level and precipitation changes will severely affect society, and the climate shifts are unstoppable on human time scales,” the authors of the latest study warn. “What surprised us was the rate at which tipping occurs. It will be devastating.” (CNN / The Guardian / Scientific American / Washington Post / Common Dreams)