7 things to know now: Winter storm closings; Sessions confirmed; nuclear plant accident

Here's a roundup of news trending across the nation and world today.

What to know now:

1. Explosion in France: Several people are reported injured after an explosion at a French nuclear power station. According to officials, the explosion happened at the EDF Flamanville nuclear plant near the port of Cherbourg on France's northwest coast. Plant officials say there is no risk of a radioactive leak. The explosion happened in a machine room, according to reports.

2. Niko set to hit: A  monster snowstorm is headed toward the Northeast Thursday, bringing with it strong winds and the possibility of a foot of snow. Schools across the region are closed and flights are being canceled as the winter storm nicknamed Niko makes its way up the coast then out to sea. The good news? It's a fast-mover.

3. Sessions is attorney general: Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions was confirmed as attorney general Wednesday evening on a 52-47 vote. Sessions faced strong opposition from Democrats during the entire confirmation process when he was attacked on his civil rights record and his stance on immigration. "Denigrating people who disagree with us, I think, is not a healthy trend for our body," Sessions said after the vote.

4. Gorsuch 'demoralized': Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal said Wednesday that President Donald Trump's nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court was "demoralized" over Trump's attack on the judges who are hearing the case challenging the travel ban. Blumenthal, (D-Conn.), said Trump nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch "expressed to me that he is disheartened by the demoralizing and abhorrent comments by President Trump about the judiciary." Gorsuch was nominated on Jan. 31 to fill the seat left vacant on the death of Justice Antonin Scalia last February.

5. Mississippi firing squad: A bill passed in the Mississippi House would change the state's method of execution by adding the options of a firing squad, electrocution or the gas chamber as means to carry out death sentences. A bill that  would add those methods to the state's existing method of execution – lethal injection – passed the House on Wednesday and is headed to the state Senate. According to legislators, the alternative methods of execution could be used to carry out death orders as the state has been unable to get the drug once used in lethal injections. There have been no executions in Mississippi since 2012, according to an Associated Press story.

And one more

Five people were injured Wednesday when they fell while practicing a high-wire circus stunt. Eight people – including Nik Wallenda, a member of the famous Wallenda aerialist family – were practicing a pyramid walk on the high-wire at a facility in Sarasota, Fla., when the group fell some 25 feet. Four people were hospitalized as trauma patients, at least one with a traumatic brain injury. Nik Wallenda was not injured, according to reports.

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