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5 things you need to know this morning: Jan. 12, 2021

Start your day off right with five things you need to know this morning.

Five things you need to know

1. Manatee found with 'TRUMP' scratched into its back

Another day, another crazy Donald Trump story. Wildlife authorities in Florida have launched an investigation after a manatee was found with the word "TRUMP" etched into its back. The animal is not seriously hurt, officials said, but the story has sparked outrage across the US. Harassing manatees in the US can result in a $50,000 fine or a year in prison.

2. Ireland's government to apologize to abused women

The Irish government is set to say sorry for the misery endured by women who were sent en masse to special institutions after becoming pregnant while unmarried. Roderic O'Gorman, a minister in the government, said the homes – which operated in the 20th and 19th centuries – show that Ireland suffered from an "oppressive and brutally misogynistic culture."

3. British PM blasts 'demented' Chinese medicine for causing COVID-19

Boris Johnson has attacked the "demented" beliefs of traditional (non-scientific) Chinese medicine. The British leader said people in China had been "grinding up pangolin scales," thereby unleashing the COVID-19 epidemic. He said the virus "originates from this collision between mankind and the natural world and we’ve got to stop it."

4. Searchers find black box from doomed Indonesian passenger plane

One of two black boxes from a Boeing 747 that crashed into the Java Sea in Indonesia on Saturday has been retrieved. All 62 people aboard died in the crash. The plane – which was 26 years old – had passed a safety inspection last month. The flight was between Jakarta and Pontianak.

5. Extreme round-the-clock curfew to last 11 days in Lebanon

People in Lebanon will be barred from leaving their homes from 5 am on Thursday. Even going to the supermarket will be prohibited, with deliveries becoming the only legal option for those needing supplies. There have been more than 200,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lebanon, with 1,629 deaths linked to the disease.

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