Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer plans to retire, giving President Joe Biden a chance to make his mark. And bundle up, y'all. A big snowstorm is headed to the Northeast.
👋 Heyo! Laura here, with Wednesday's biggest news.
But first, no more stuck pup! 🙌 A dog wandering with a bucket on its head launched a rescue effort. Here's how he finally got home.
Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to step down
Breyer is planning to step down by the end of this term after nearly three decades on the high court, a source with knowledge of his plans said Wednesday, handing Biden his first opportunity to nominate a jurist whose influence could be felt for decades. Breyer's announcement, which several outlets citing unnamed sources said would occur at the end of the court's term in the summer, will kick off a frenzied process of naming and confirming a successor, typically a monthslong ordeal that in this case is expected to end with a groundbreaking nominee: Biden had promised during his presidential campaign to name a Black woman to the Supreme Court for the first time in American history.
Associate Justice Stephen Breyer's Supreme Court career in photos.
Republicans could delay, but not block Biden's Supreme Court pick if all Democrats back nominee.
Body found, situation 'dire' for 38 missing off Florida coast
A body was found and the search was continuing Wednesday across a swath of the Atlantic Ocean the size of New Jersey for 38 people missing from a boat that capsized off the Florida coast. The search began early Tuesday after a man clinging to a capsized boat was found by sailors on a passing ship, Coast Guard Cap. Jo-Ann Burdian said Wednesday. The man, who was being treated for dehydration and sun exposure, told authorities the 25-foot boat encountered severe weather after sailing Saturday night from Bimini in the Bahamas, bound for Florida. Burdian said human smuggling was suspected and that no one aboard had a life jacket.
What everyone's talking about
Police officer delivers DoorDash order after the driver was arrested in viral TikTok.
Two years after Kobe's death, Vanessa Bryant's pain remains at issue in court.
As seen on TV: Heart attacks while riding the Peloton. Should you be concerned?
👑 The Cavinder twins are on the verge of making $1 million from college sports endorsements.
Kid Rock releases political track 'We the People' slamming Joe Biden and Anthony Fauci.
The Short List is free, but several stories we link to are subscriber-only. Consider supporting our journalism and become a USA TODAY digital subscriber today.
Pumping the brakes on inflation
In a bid to fight a historic surge in inflation, the Federal Reserve held its key interest rate near zero Wednesday but said it will “soon be appropriate” to raise it, hinting that a rate hike in March is all but certain. The increase would be the first in more than three years and kick off what’s likely to be a flurry of three or more quarter-point increases this year aimed at reining in sharply rising consumer prices. The Fed's short-term rate has been locked near zero since the pandemic began in 2020, which has fueled borrowing and spending by consumers and businesses – but also inflation, now rising at the fastest pace in nearly four decades. The Fed now faces a delicate balancing act as it aims to curtail inflation without stalling the recovery.
Wall Street stocks plummet after somber Federal Reserve report signaling rate hike 'soon'.
'Spending more, getting less': How inflation takes a financial toll on families.
Omicron's weird cousin is here
Yes, a cousin of omicron is spreading in at least four continents, and it has reached at least four states – California, Texas, Washington and New Mexico. But no, it shouldn't be a cause for panic, scientists say. Omicron BA.2, which could be a new variant or a sublineage of the troublesome omicron variant – now also known as BA.1 – is expected to remain relatively mild. While coronavirus cases have begun to decline in places like Massachusetts, where omicron hit hard late last year, cases of BA.2 – sometimes referred to as "stealth omicron'' – are on the rise in the Philippines, India, Denmark and South Africa. It's not clear yet whether BA.2 is pushing out BA.1, which replaced delta as the dominant strain in the U.S. Dr. Jeremy Luban, a professor of molecular medicine, biochemistry and molecular pharmacology at University of Massachusetts Medical School, said scientists still know very little about the transmissibility of BA.2 compared to BA.1.
Free coronavirus home tests for everyone? Here's why Medicare, veterans' insurance are excluded.
Goldie Hawn: We're failing a generation of kids suffering from trauma.
High levels of chemicals with cancer link found in New Jersey drinking water systems.
California city becomes first to pass measure requiring gun owners to carry insurance.
Potent 'bomb cyclone' to lash Northeast this weekend with heavy snow, howling winds.
Goodbye Bally's, hello Horseshoe: Las Vegas hotel-casino to undergo multimillion renovations.
A weekend nor'easter? ❄️
Brrrrr. Looks like it. Bust out the electric blankets! A storm with the potential to grow into a powerful nor'easter is forecast to strike the Northeast this weekend, bringing with it the possibility of heavy snow, strong winds and coastal flooding. The storm is forecast to develop off the coast of the Carolinas, but not for another few days, leaving its exact path and potential impact subject to change. Coastal areas in the Northeast are most likely to experience heavy snow, with Portland, Maine, and Boston forecast for a 70%-90% chance of at least 3 inches on Saturday into Saturday night, according to the National Weather Service.
What is a Nor'easter? These storms can batter the East Coast and impact millions of people.
A break from the news
😷 You maskin'? We tested N95 and KN95 masks on Amazon. These 7 options are your best bets.
🥶 No need to hit the store: Things you can use from around the house to clear snow and ice after a storm.
✌️ Done with Amazon? This is how you delete your account permanently.
🥇 Olympics countdown: 9 days to opening ceremonies, and today I've got something really exciting for you! Meet Alex Ptachick. Alex is a USA TODAY editor and overall Olympics genius who is headed to Beijing for the Games. She'll be keeping us in the loop via text on everything happening at the Winter Olympics! 👉 Wanna sign up for texts? (It's free!) Go here to subscribe.
This is a compilation of stories from across the USA TODAY Network. Want this news roundup in your inbox every night? Sign up for The Short List newsletter here.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Federal Reserve, omicron, nor'easter forecast. It's Wednesday's news.