The Morning Brief: President Trump’s Phone Calls, Groundhog Day and Beyoncé

3 minute read

Good morning. These are today’s top stories:

Trump responds aggressively to world leaders

President Donald Trump had a series of confrontational encounters with world leaders over the past few days. He said Wednesday that he has formally put Iran “on notice” after a ballistic missile test. Then he called a refugee agreement between the U.S. and Australia a “dumb deal,” after blasting the Obama administration’s decision to accept 1,250 refugees from Australian-run detention centers in a reportedly hostile phone call with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. He also warned Mexico’s leader that he’s prepared to send U.S. troops across the border to stop “bad hombres down there.”

Philippine factory fire injures dozens

A massive fire broke out in a large factory near Manila, injuring more than 100 people, some critically. At least three people are reported missing.

Accused baby snatcher heads to court

A court hearing is scheduled for Gloria Williams, who is accused of stealing a newborn from a Florida hospital and raising the baby girl as her own for 18 years. Williams is facing kidnapping charges.

Groundhog predicts more winter

Punxsutawney Phil, a world-famous and fickle groundhog in Pennsylvania, saw his own shadow this morning, indicating there’s no early spring in the forecast. The prediction means Americans will have to brace for six more weeks of cold weather.

Beyoncé is pregnant with twins

Beyoncé is expecting twins with her husband Jay Z. The superstar announced the news on Instagram, sharing a photo with fans. “Our family will be growing by two,” she wrote. The post is reportedly the most liked picture ever on Instagram.


Trump apparently threatened to pull federal funding from the University of California at Berkeley after violent protests forced the school to cancel an event with Milo Yiannopoulos, a right-wing Breitbart News editor.

Former Vice President Joe Biden has launched a nonprofit foundation that aims to protect civil rights.

Hillary Clinton will release a new book of personal essays this year that include her experiences during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Former President George H. W. Bush, who was recently hospitalized for pneumonia, will perform the pre-game coin toss at the Super Bowl.

Some monkeys in the Netherlands are basically using Tinder to find mates for a study.

The Morning Brief is published Mondays through Fridays. Email Morning Brief writer Melissa Chan at

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