Texans Try To Stay Warm After Widespread Power Outages for Third Straight Day & More in Today’s News

Lead Photo: The Texas Capitol is surrounded by snow in on February 15, 2021 in Austin, Texas. Photo by Montinique Monroe/Getty Images
The Texas Capitol is surrounded by snow in on February 15, 2021 in Austin, Texas. Photo by Montinique Monroe/Getty Images
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Las Notis is a daily news column that gets you up to speed on the political, media + other going ons in Latin America and the diaspora—all in one quick digest.

    Here’s your glimpse at what’s going on today:
  • President Joe Biden will hold a nationally televised town hall meeting on Tuesday (Feb. 16) to focus on the pandemic and the $1.9 trillion relief bill he has been working to push through Congress, despite objections from Republicans. The meeting comes as former president Donald Trump was acquitted in his second impeachment trial. Coronavirus numbers have been falling steadily in the country, but experts are worried about new strains of the virus that have surfaced in several states. [NYT]
  • Republicans may have acquitted Donald Trump of inciting a riot at the Capitol, but the NAACP is trying to hold the former president and his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani accountable by filing a federal lawsuit against them. The lawsuit says that they violated the Ku Klux Klan Act, a 19th-century statute that includes protections against violent conspiracies that interfere with Congress’s duties. [NYT]
  • Texans are finding ways to stay warm after freezing temperatures resulted in widespread power outages across the state for the third straight day. Many residents have been resorting to sleeping in their cars, looking for fireplaces, or checking into shelters or hotels to find warmth as temperatures have continued to dip. [CNN]
  • Senators Cory Booker and Alex Padilla each made history with appointments to two seperate Senate subcommittees this week. Booker will chair the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on criminal justice and counterterrorism, becoming the first Black chair of a Senate Judiciary subcommittee. Padilla will become the first Latino to chair the subcommittee on immigration, citizenship and border safety. [HuffPo]
  • Puerto Rico’s Governor Pedro Pierluisi said in an interview on Sunday (Feb. 14) that he expects the House to propose legislation for the island’s statehood by mid-March and that Congress is “morally obligated” to act since a slight majority of Puerto Ricans voted in favor of statehood. [The Hill]
  • Peru’s foreign minister Elizabeth Astete has stepped down amid an uproar over government officials being vaccinated against the coronavirus before health care workers. The country’s President Francisco Sagasti has said an investigation is underway to examine senior public officials who received early doses of the vaccine. [CNN]
  • The Spanish-speaking music world continues to honor Johnny Pacheco, the Dominican salsa legend who co-founded Fania Records and helped shape salsa as we know it today. Pacheco died on Monday (Feb. 15) in Teaneck, N.J., at the age of 85. [NYT]