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Taylor Swift celebrates Super Bowl win with Travis Kelce, and Lloyd Austin admitted to critical care: Morning Rundown

Taylor Swift celebrates Super Bowl win with Travis Kelce, and Lloyd Austin admitted to critical care: Morning Rundown

Biden vents about Benjamin Netanyahu behind closed doors. A young boy is in critical condition after a shooting at Joel Osteen’s church. And the Chiefs defeat the 49ers in a nail-biting Super Bowl matchup.

Here’s what to know today.

Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty Images

Biden disparages Netanyahu in private but hasn’t changed U.S. policy toward Israel President Joe Biden has been frustrated in recent private conversations, some of them with campaign donors, over his inability to persuade Israel to change its military tactics in Gaza, and he has named Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the primary obstacle, according to five people directly familiar with his comments. 

Biden has spoken privately about Netanyahu with a candor that has surprised those on the receiving end of his comments. Biden has stated he’s trying to get Israel to agree to a cease-fire, but Netanyahu is “giving him hell” and is impossible to deal with, said the people familiar with Biden’s comments, who all asked not to be named. His descriptions of their dealings are peppered with contemptuous references to Netanyahu as “this guy,” these people said and, in at least three instances, he has referred to the prime minister as an “asshole.” 

Biden has been displeased with the high Palestinian civilian death toll in Gaza, now at a reported 28,000, and Netanyahu’s reluctance to pursue to a long-term peace deal. 

Israel is planning a ground assault on Rafah, a city in southern Gaza where more than a million displaced Palestinians are sheltering. Netanyahu has pledged to press ahead with the operation even though U.S. officials have repeatedly expressed their public opposition to it, unless Israel provides safe passage to civilians. 

The bluntness of Biden’s private, unfiltered reflections on Netanyahu, as well as the Israeli premier’s failure to shift tactics in the Gaza Strip, suggest that the dynamic between the two leaders could be nearing an inflection point.

Read more coverage of the Israel-Hamas war

  • Israeli forces say they rescued two hostages, Fernando Merman and Luis Har, who were being held in the city of Rafah early this morning. Airstrikes the IDF says were used in the operation to disengage troops and hit Hamas targets killed dozens of Gazans, including women and children, Palestinian health officials said. Follow live updates.
  • The mother of Hind Rajab, the 6-year-old girl who was found dead in Gaza City almost two weeks after she was last heard pleading with emergency dispatchers to rescue her from a car trapped by Israeli fire, described her devastation in an interview with NBC News.

Kansas City Chiefs score winning touchdown to beat 49ers, 25-22, in rare overtime

Ashley Landis / AP

The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the San Francisco 49ers, capping off a thriller in Las Vegas that saw several lead changes in the second half before ending in just the second Super Bowl to go to overtime.

“What a game, right? It could have gone either way,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid told reporters. “I feel fortunate to have been on the positive side.”

The Chiefs will bring home the Vince Lombardi Trophy for the second year in a row and the third time in five years after quarterback Patrick Mahomes rallied his team, which had been dominated by San Francisco in the first half.

The Chiefs’ win cemented coach Reid and Mahomes’ team as the NFL’s new dynasty. 

 Read more on the Super Bowl LVIII: 

  • Taylor Swift did, in fact, make it to the Super Bowl — just in time to cheer Travis Kelce to victory and share a game-winning kiss on the field to celebrate.
  •  Beyoncé announced a new album and dropped two singles moments after she hinted that new music was coming in a Super Bowl ad. 
  • Usher was joined by Lil Jon, Alicia Keys, Ludacris and others during the halftime show. 
John Locher / AP

Child and man wounded, suspected shooter dead in incident at Joel Osteen’s church in Houston

A child and a man were injured, and a woman was killed after opening fire at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Houston, police said. The woman entered the church, accompanied by the boy believed to be about 5 years old, and started shooting. 

Two off-duty law enforcement officers who were at the church shot and killed the woman after she opened fire. The woman had a long rifle, a backpack and was wearing a trench coat when she entered the church from a parking lot. The child was in critical condition and a man was being treated for an injury to his leg. Police believe the shooting was an isolated incident and there’s no further danger to the public.

The shooting happened between services as people were arriving for a Spanish-language service. A livestream of the day’s events was interrupted by gunfire and went offline. 

Trump draws backlash after saying he’d let Russia attack NATO countries he deems ‘delinquent’

Julia Nikhinson / AFP – Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump said he would encourage Russia to “do whatever the hell they want” if it attacked a NATO country that didnt pay enough for defense.

His comments drew backlash from some Republicans, the White House and leading Western officials, with the head of the trans-Atlantic alliance suggesting they could put the lives of American and European soldiers at greater risk. The White House said Trump’s latest comments were “appalling and unhinged.” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance “remains ready and able to defend all allies. Any attack on NATO will be met with a united and forceful response.” 

The comments will do little to ease concerns in Europe about U.S. dependability, with military aid that Ukraine needs held up in Congress and the front-runner for the GOP nomination reiterating his long-standing skepticism of America’s historical commitments to its allies.

13,000 migrants face mass evictions from Chicago shelters

Sebastian Hidalgo for NBC News

Thousands of migrants in Chicago are facing mass evictions from city-operated shelters in the coming weeks, as officials struggle to conserve the budget and make room for newcomers. Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson has put a 60-day cap on how long people can stay in temporary shelters as officials struggle to keep up with the demand for housing and social services, amid an influx of migrants from the southern border as part of a busing campaign by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

Advocates fear that some will end up homeless or will need to reapply for access to another shelter, as it is almost impossible for the newest arrivals to get rental assistance and quick access to work permits.

In interviews with more than a dozen migrants, many who spoke to NBC News expressed fear that they won’t find homes and work before that deadline.  

Politics in Brief

Election 2024: Sen. Tim Scott is rising up the ranks of possibilities to be Trump’s vice president, according to Republicans with whom NBC News spoke about the former president’s veepstakes. A Trump ally who’s spoken with both men about the matter says it’s “a real possibility.” 

Austin’s health: Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was admitted to a critical care unit after being hospitalized for a bladder issue. Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks will assume his functions and duties. 

Trump’s team: Trump’s fixation on loyalty appears to be growing as he contemplates a second term in the White House. He has repeatedly brought up the issue of loyalty in his public remarks and former appointees say his success in a second term will hinge on bringing in people who are committed to his agenda. 

George Santos’ seat: The high-stakes special election taking place Tuesday to replace expelled congressman George Santos is pitting Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi against Republican Nassau County legislator Mazi Pilip and could further shrink the Republican majority

Staff Pick: Drug cartels target America’s ‘last best place’

Chelsea Stahl / NBC News; Photography by Aaron Agosto for NBC News

While reporting a story last fall, I heard from both tribal leaders and federal law enforcement officials that Mexican cartels were increasingly operating on Indian reservations in Montana — over a thousand miles from the southern border. We began looking into what was fueling the expanded cartel presence and what the everyday consequences were for the Indigenous communities. Over several months, we reviewed hundreds of pages of court documents and interviewed more than a dozen state and federal law enforcement officials as well as tribal leaders and public health officials to find out.  — Lia Cavazuti, NBC News national security producer

In Case You Missed It

Select: Online Shopping, Simplified

Cycling shoes are made to get the most out of your ride, whether that’s on an indoor exercise bike or riding through dirt roads. Select put together a list that focuses on some of the best cycling shoes to choose for different activities. 

Sign up to The Selection newsletter for exclusive reviews and shopping content from NBC Select.

Thanks for reading today’s Morning Rundown. Today’s newsletter was curated for you by Elizabeth Both. If you’re a fan, please send a link to your family and friends. They can sign-up here.

Elizabeth Both

Elizabeth Both is an associate platforms editor for NBC News, based in New York. 

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