By Melissa Chan
March 1, 2017

Good morning. These are today’s top stories:

Trump delivers a presidential speech

President Donald Trump focused on communicating a message of “unity and strength” after heralding a “new chapter of American greatness” during his first address to a joint session of Congress last night. He condemned a recent string of apparent hate crimes in the country and doubled down on plans to curb violent crimes committed by immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally. Read the full transcript of his remarks here.

Kellyanne Conway addresses couch controversy

Kellyanne Conway said in a new interview that she “meant no disrespect” by kneeling on a sofa in the Oval Office amid controversy over her casual pose. “I didn’t mean to have my feet on the couch,” she told Lou Dobbs Tonight.

French presidential candidate remains in race

Republican French presidential candidate François Fillon said he “will not withdraw” his name from the race despite calls for him to face charges for an alleged fake jobs scheme. Fillon has repeatedly denied wrongdoing amid accusations that he paid his wife for work she did not do as his assistant.

Women of NASA get their own Lego set

A group of female pioneers at NASA have inspired a new Lego set that honors their groundbreaking work in advancing space exploration. The five new figures include Katherine Johnson of Hidden Figures and Sally Ride, the first female astronaut in space.

Also:

At least two people are dead after tornadoes hit areas in the central U.S.

Twelve students were injured, four critically, when a 73-year-old driver plowed into a high school marching band in Alabama.

A French police officer accidentally fired his gun, wounding two people, while President Francois Hollande was delivering a speech.

Former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama have signed book deals with Penguin Random House.

Boston Dynamics, a Google-owned company that builds advanced robots, has revealed its latest “nightmare-inducing” creation.

Lady Gaga will headline this year’s Coachella music festival in place of Beyoncé, who dropped out.

Today is Ash Wednesday, which marks the start of Lent.

The Morning Brief is published Mondays through Fridays. Email Morning Brief writer Melissa Chan at melissa.chan@time.com.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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