5 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY
President Trump talks Mexico meeting, Cabinet confirmations at GOP retreat
President Donald Trump addressed the Republican retreat in Philadelphia on Thursday, joking to the audience that it is "nice to win. It's been awhile." Trump also expressed frustration that his Cabinet nominees were not quickly being confirmed, and suggested that he and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto had mutually agreed to cancel their upcoming meeting, claiming it would have been "fruitless, and I want to go a different way." Trump also frequently called out to audience members, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan, and reiterated his economic goals. "The hour of justice for the American worker has arrived," Trump vowed.
2. Mexican president cancels meeting with Trump over border wall
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto announced Thursday that he has canceled his scheduled meeting with President Donald Trump. Peña Nieto was set to meet with Trump next Tuesday, but after Trump signed an executive order Wednesday to direct federal funds toward building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border — and reiterated his pledge to have Mexico reimburse the costs of construction — Peña Nieto said his office had informed the White House he would no longer attend the meeting. Peña Nieto's approval ratings in Mexico are nearing the single digits, and he had faced political pressure to cancel his meeting with Trump. Trump, for his part, took to Twitter on Thursday morning to say: "If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting." White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer added that the White House will "keep the lines of communication open" with Mexico.
3. State Department sees mass resignation of senior management officials
Six senior officials in charge of management at the State Department have departed their posts under the new administration of President Donald Trump, The Washington Post reports, citing four unnamed State officials. On Wednesday afternoon, nine-year State veteran Patrick Kennedy, the undersecretary for management, resigned suddenly, joined by Assistant Secretary of State for Administration Joyce Anne Barr, Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Michele Bond, and Office of Foreign Missions Director Gentry O. Smith. Additionally, Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security Gregory Starr and Bureau of Overseas Building Operations Director Lydia Muniz retired from their posts on Jan. 20, the day of Trump's inauguration. All five worked under Kennedy to manage department logistics as well as State posts overseas. "It's the single biggest simultaneous departure of institutional memory that anyone can remember," David Wade, the State Department's former chief of staff under John Kerry, told the Post.
4. Scientists create the first human-pig hybrid
On Thursday, an international team of scientists announced it has created the first successful human-animal hybrid embryo, achieving the feat with a human-pig hybrid. The scientists first experimented with growing mouse-rat hybrids, curing a mouse of diabetes by growing a mouse pancreas inside a rat and then transferring the organ back to the afflicted mouse. The team then tried to create a rat-pig hybrid, but the effort failed due to the major genetic differences between the two species. Pigs proved to be the perfect match for humans, however, because the two species have similarly sized organs, making it more likely that a pig could grow functioning human organs. These hybrids, known as chimeras, are controversial, but they could be key to the future of organ replacement by enabling human organs to be grown outside of human bodies and inside of animal ones.
5. Actress Mary Tyler Moore dies at 80
Actress Mary Tyler Moore has died of pneumonia, her longtime publicist said Wednesday. She was 80. One of the biggest stars of the '60s and '70s, Moore appeared in countless TV shows and movies, including The Dick Van Dyke Show; Ordinary People, for which she received an Oscar nomination; and the eponymous The Mary Tyler Moore Show, one of the first shows to feature a single, working woman, turning Moore into an icon for the feminist movement. She was also a producer and an advocate for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation