- Amazon this week released a shortlist of 20 sites for its new, second headquarters. Among the metropolitan areas on the list are Atlanta, Georgia; Indianapolis, Indiana; Toronto, Canada; and Northern Virginia. [BBC]
- President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe announced that the country will hold elections in five months. The vote will be the first in the nation since independence in which former President Robert Mugabe is not a candidate. Mugabe was forced to resign in November of last year after nearly four decades in power. [Al Jazeera]
- White House chief of staff John Kelly informed a caucus of Hispanic lawmakers Wednesday that President Trump no longer believes that building a border wall is necessary. Kelly stated that Trump had not been “fully informed” about the border situation when he pledged repeatedly on the campaign trail to build the 2,200-mile wall and get Mexico to pay for it. The President, however, tweeted Thursday that “The Wall is the Wall, it has never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it.” [NPR]
- At the Winter Olympics this year, athletes from North and South Korea will march under one flag in a show of diplomatic progress between the two nations. The single flag features a blue silhouette of the Korean peninsula and outlying islands, and has been used previously, most recently at the 2006 Winter Games. [CNN]
- The President disrupted Republican efforts to avert a government shutdown on Thursday when he announced that he opposed incorporating a long-term extension of the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program (“CHIP”) into a short-term, stopgap bill that would keep the government funded through February 16. Without the bill, a shutdown will take effect at close of business on Friday. [New York Times]
FACT OF THE WEEK: The oldest known card game, Karnöffel, originated in Bavaria in the 1420s. The name of the game translates to “hernia,” which was a rude word for a cardinal, causing the game to be banned by the church.