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The hotly contested State of the Union address is tonight. (image: Pexels)

The big story...

Trump to Give State of the Union Address Tonight

Tonight President Trump will be giving his second annual State of the Union address in front of Congress. Following the longest government shutdown in U.S. history and a public back and forth between Pelosi and Trump, this year's address is as highly anticipated as they come. Although we don't know exactly what Trump will be telling the country just yet, we do know who will be there, what Trump said last year, and what he's likely to say tonight. Also, watch out for the Democratic response by Stacey Abrams and, apparently, Bernie Sanders.

Don't forget to tune in tonight for the rest. And if you don't feel like sitting in front of the TV, follow us on Twitter where we''ll be live tweeting the event.

In national news...

Hawaii to Vote on Bill to Change Legal Age for Buying Cigarettes to 100

A new bill was introduced into Hawaii’s state House that would implement a phased ban that would make it illegal to purchase cigarettes under 100 by 2024. CNN reports, “Hawaii has some of the most restrictive cigarette laws in the nation. In 2016, it became the first state to raise the age to buy cigarettes to 21. Now, its new bill calls for raising the cigarette-buying age to 30 by next year, up to 40, 50 and 60 in each subsequent year, and up to 100 by 2024.” This bill would clear Hawaii’s store shelves of cigarettes – and would apply to e-cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco as well – however, tourists could still bring them in.

In global news...

El Salvador Moves to the Right in Presidential Election

On Sunday, February 3, the Central American country of El Salvador held its presidential election to replace its outgoing head, former guerilla leader Salvador Sánchez Cerén of the leftist Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN). 37-year-old former San Salvador Mayor Nayib Bukele of the new conservative Grand Alliance for National Unity party avoided a runoff election with conservative businessman Carlos Calleja from the right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) party by winning more than 53% of the popular vote. Read more in Duane Paul Murphy's report for CMN.

In politics...

The U.S. Government Is Now Globally Perceived as More Corrupt

The U.S. is not the least corrupt country in the world any longer according to the recent 2018 annual Corruption Perceptions Index from Transparency International. Out of the 180 independent sovereign countries measured in the study, the index puts the U.S. in 22nd place behind its European ally France and ahead of the United Arab Emirates in the Middle East. Countries perceived to be the least corrupt, most of them from the developed world, include Denmark, New Zealand, Finland, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Netherlands, Canada, and Luxembourg. Read more in Duane Paul Murphy's report for CMN.

In music...

Ariana Grande Tour Kicks Off March 18

It’s official, Ariana Grande is heading back out on tour. The superstar announced 42 dates across North America for the first leg of the “Sweetener World Tour,” set to kick off March 18th, 2019 in Albany, NY and finishing off on October 13th, 2019 at Hallenstadion in Zurich, Switzerland. Read more in Robyn McDonald's report for CMN.

Trending today...

Puppy Snuggles

Almost better than the Puppy Bowl.
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Last but not least...

Sad Emo Circa 2007: A List of the Saddest Mayday Parade Songs

2007. Has it really been over a decade? Unfortunately, yes. I can (sadly) prove how old Mayday Parade is. While doing research for this article, I found some information on a website called Oldies.com. That was a great shot to my little heart and probably anyone else in their mid-20s. Read more in Deni Wray's piece for CMN.
Today's Morning Scoop was made possible by Natalia Kolenko, Robyn McDonald, Duane Paul Murphy, Deni Wray, and the CMN Staff. Happy Lunar New Year! P.S. Was this newsletter forwarded by a friend? Subscribe here to get the Morning Scoop straight to your inbox every day.
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