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The Morning Rundown™

Morning rundown: Griner update; Lockerbie bombing suspect in custody; storm warning

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We have an update on Brittney Griner since her return to the U.S. three days ago; a bombing suspect finally in custody; and a winter storm warning. These stories and more highlight your morning rundown for Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. 

Update on Griner return, Whelan detainment

“She’s at SA getting appropriate mental and physical healthcare to make sure she’s ready to reintegrate back into American society. Our initial reports are that she is in very good spirits and in good health,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Sunday.

Kirby announced Griner is in good health as she recovers from Russian detainment before going home.

When she will be released from the medical center is still unknown. Kirby says the family and doctors will work through those details.

Kirby also clued America in on why American Marine Paul Whelan wasn’t on the plane ride home with Griner but said their work to bring wrongfully detained Americans home will continue. One report has as many as 60 Americans in prisons abroad.

“They were treating Paul very separately because of these sham espionage charges they levied against him and it kind of came together last week in the end game just a bout for Griner deal,” Kirby said. “We’re better informed with where the Russians’ expectations are and we’re just going to keep working at it.”

Zelenskyy, Biden phone call on U.S. support

On Sunday, President Joe Biden had a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The phone call revolved around the amount of support the U.S. has provided Ukraine since the invasion.

President Zelenskyy thanked Biden for the “unprecedented support.”

The U.S. has sent $20 billion to Ukraine since the start of the war. Last week the White House announced another $275 million will go toward Ukraine’s air defense. And an additional $53 million toward their power grid battered by Russian air strikes.

Winter storms stretch across the U.S.

Five feet of snow in just 48 hours. That’s what a winter storm has produced for some parts of California. New video shows some of the snowfall in nearby Reno, Nevada.

Blizzard conditions reported across the Sierras and is expected to continue today and into tomorrow.

The system is on the move, from Arizona to Montana over to Minnesota. Fourteen states, including 15 million people, are under some sort of winter weather alert today.

Snowy, windy, and icy conditions are expected for the next several days in the south and central U.S.

Suspect in Lockerbie bombing in U.S. custody

In 1988, a plane exploded over Scotland in a terrorist attack, killing all 259 people on board the flight to America, along with 11 people on the ground.

Thirty-four years later, the man suspected of making the bomb used in the explosion is now in U.S. custody.

The U.S. Justice Department confirmed his arrest. It remains the deadliest terror attack on British soil.

NASA celebrates Artemis mission success

NASA’s Artemis One mission is a success. The 25-day test flight around the moon came to an end Sunday with a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean.

While just three mannequins were on board this one, the Artemis program is aimed at putting more astronauts on the moon, which could come as early as 2024.

“The spacecraft performed so well that we were able to start looking at Artemis 2 and thinking through how else we can push the boundaries on this flight,” NASA chief flight director Emily Nelson said. 

“I think we’ve learned a lot from one, TBD if there’s changes. so that some of the work will be going through and then kind of get that final assessment on a date for two,” NASA Associate Administrator Jim Free said.

The landing of Orion comes 50 years after Apollo 17’s moon landing. The last time people walked on the moon.

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KARAH RUCKER: AN UPDATE ON BRITTNEY GRINER SINCE HER RETURN TO THE U.S. THREE DAYS AGO.
AND WHERE THE WHITE HOUSE STANDS ON FUTURE NEGOTIATIONS WITH RUSSIA. THIS IS YOUR MORNING RUNDOWN AIMED DOWN THE MIDDLE WITH STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS.

UPDATE ON GRINER RETURN, WHELAN DETAINMENT

JOHN KIRBY | NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL SPOKESPERSON: “She’s at SA getting appropriate mental and physical healthcare to make sure she’s ready to reintegrate back into American society. Our initial reports are she is in very good spirits and in good health.”

RUCKER: NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL SPOKESPERSON JOHN KIRBY IN AN INTERVIEW SUNDAY ANNOUNCED GRINER IS IN GOOD HEALTH AS SHE RECOVERS FROM RUSSIAN DETAINMENT BEFORE GOING HOME.

WHEN SHE WILL BE RELEASED FROM THE MEDICAL CENTER IS STILL UNKNOWN. KIRBY SAYS THE FAMILY AND DOCTORS WILL WORK THROUGH THOSE DETAILS.

KIRBY ALSO CLUED AMERICA IN ON WHY AMERICAN MARINE PAUL WHELAN WASN’T ON THE PLANE RIDE HOME WITH GRINER. BUT SAID THEIR WORK TO BRING WRONGFULLY DETAINED AMERICANS HOME WILL CONTINUE.

ONE REPORT HAS AS MANY AS 60 AMERICANS IN PRISONS ABROAD.

KIRBY: “They were treating Paul very separately because of these sham espionage charges they levied against him and it kind of came together last week in the end game just a bout for Griner deal. We’re better informed with where the Russians expectations are and we’re just going to keep working at it.”

ZELENSKYY, BIDEN PHONE CALL ON U.S. SUPPORT

RUCKER: ON SUNDAY, PRESIDENT BIDEN HAD A PHONE CALL WITH UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY. THE PHONE CALL REVOLVED AROUND THE AMOUNT OF SUPPORT THE U.S. HAS PROVIDED UKRAINE SINCE THE INVASION.

AND PRESIDENT ZELENSKYY THANKING BIDEN FOR THE “UNPRECEDENTED SUPPORT.”

THE U.S. HAS SENT 20 BILLION DOLLARS TO UKRAINE SINCE THE START OF THE WAR. LAST WEEK THE WHITE HOUSE ANNOUNCED ANOTHER 275 MILLION DOLLARS WILL GO TOWARD UKRAINE’S AIR DEFENSE. AND AN ADDITIONAL 53 MILLION TOWARD THEIR POWER GRID BATTERED BY RUSSIAN AIR STRIKES.

WINTER STORM STRETCHES ACROSS U.S.

FIVE FEET OF SNOW IN JUST 48 HOURS. THAT’S WHAT A WINTER STORM HAS PRODUCED FOR SOME PARTS OF CALIFORNIA…
THIS VIDEO, SHOWING SOME OF THE SNOWFALL IN NEARBY RENO NEVADA.

BLIZZARD CONDITIONS REPORTED ACROSS THE SIERRAS AND EXPECTED TO CONTINUE TODAY AND INTO TOMORROW.
THE SYSTEM IS ON THE MOVE, FROM ARIZONA TO MONTANA OVER TO MINNESOTA.

14 STATES INCLUDING 15 MILLION PEOPLE ARE UNDER SOME SORT OF WINTER WEATHER ALERT TODAY.

SNOWY, WINDY, AND ICY CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED FOR THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS IN THE SOUTH AND CENTRAL U.S.

SUSPECT IN LOCKERBIE BOMBING IN U.S. CUSTODY

IN 1988, A PLANE EXPLODED OVER SCOTLAND IN A TERRORIST ATTACK, KILLING ALL 259 PEOPLE ON BOARD THE FLIGHT TO AMERICA, ALONG WITH 11 PEOPLE ON THE GROUND.

34 YEARS LATER, THE MAN SUSPECTED OF MAKING THE BOMB USED IN THE EXPLOSION IS NOW IN U.S. CUSTODY.
THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT CONFIRMING HIS ARREST. IT REMAINS THE DEADLIEST TERROR ATTACK ON BRITISH SOIL.

NASA CELEBRATES ARTEMIS MISSION SUCCESS

ROB NAVIAS | NASA COMMENTATOR: “From tranquility base to Taurus–Littrow, to the tranquil waters of the Pacific, the latest chapter of NASA’s journey to the moon comes to a close. Orion back on earth.”

RUCKER: NASA’S ARTEMIS ONE MISSION IS A SUCCESS. THE 25 DAY TEST FLIGHT AROUND THE MOON CAME TO AN END SUNDAY WITH A SPLASHDOWN IN THE PACIFIC OCEAN.

WHILE JUST THREE MANNEQUINS WERE ON BOARD THIS ONE, THE ARTEMIS PROGRAM IS AIMED AT PUTTING MORE ASTRONAUTS ON THE MOON. WHICH COULD COME AS EARLY AS 20-24.

Emily Nelson| NASA chief flight director: “The spacecraft performed so well that we were able to start looking at Artemis 2 and thinking through how else can we push the boundaries on this flight.”

Jim Free | NASA associate administrator: “I think we’ve learned a lot from one, TBD (to be determined) if there’s changes. So that some of the work will be going through and then kind of get that final assessment on a date for two.”

RUCKER: THE LANDING OF ORION COMES 50 YEARS SINCE APOLLO 17’S MOON LANDING. THE LAST TIME PEOPLE WALKED ON THE MOON.