Skip to Content

5 things to know for Feb. 29: Gaza, Texas wildfires, Supreme Court, Immigration, Bitcoin


By Alexandra Banner, CNN

(CNN) — Today is February 29, a leap day that occurs every four years to keep our calendar in sync with the seasons. Without the extra days, the summer we generally experience in June would eventually arrive in December after several centuries.

Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.

1. Gaza

Gaza has surpassed the grim milestone of 30,000 deaths since Israel’s war with Hamas began in October, according to the health ministry in the besieged enclave. The towering figure underscores the horrific ordeal for Palestinians in the territory, during which Israel’s bombing and ground campaigns have displaced the vast majority of the population and put more than 2 million people at “imminent risk” of famine, the United Nations said. The US is now looking into possible airdrops of aid into Gaza as the dire humanitarian crisis worsens. Earlier this week, Jordan, Egypt, the UAE, Qatar and France airdropped relief aid in various areas of the Gaza Strip — a sign of how desperate the situation has become.

2. Texas wildfires

A sudden shift of wind direction in the Texas Panhandle this week contributed to the explosion in size of the Smokehouse Creek wildfire, which has burned at least 850,000 acres in Texas and another 31,000 acres in Oklahoma. It is now the second-largest fire in Texas state history, exceeding the size of Rhode Island. The blaze has burned dozens of structures and killed at least one person since igniting on Monday. It is still just 3% contained, according to state forest services. Calmer winds helped firefighters’ efforts on Wednesday, but forecasts show poor weather conditions could ramp up Friday and fan the flames again over the weekend.

3. Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Wednesday said it will decide whether Donald Trump can be shielded from criminal prosecution, further delaying his federal trial. The court expedited the case and will hear arguments the week of April 22, but it remains unclear whether a trial would take place before the November election. The high court Wednesday agreed to decide a relatively narrow question, but one with sweeping implications: Whether a former president enjoys immunity from criminal prosecution for acts taken while in office. Trump argued that presidents might be hesitant to act if they were concerned about the prospect of criminal charges after they leave the White House. His criminal indictment in the 2020 election interference probe, if allowed to stand, would have a “chilling effect” on future administrations, he said.

4. Immigration

President Joe Biden and former president Donald Trump will visit different sectors of the southern US border today, setting up a split screen between the likely 2024 candidates as they spell out dueling arguments on the migrant crisis. Biden, who’s been on the defensive over the border for much of his term, will meet with US Border Patrol agents in Brownsville, Texas. Trump is expected to make remarks in Eagle Pass, the scene of a border showdown where authorities have seen a high number of migrant crossings. He is also set to meet with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who has boasted about busing tens of thousands of migrants to Democratic-led cities over the past two years.

5. Bitcoin

Bitcoin, the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, is nearing its all-time high of around $69,000 set in November 2021. The value currently stands at just under $63,000, data shows. It is up a whopping 20% in just five days, partly driven by billions of dollars flowing into the crypto industry after the US Securities and Exchange Commission approved bitcoin exchange-traded funds last month. The other major factor at play is the upcoming “halving” of bitcoin, which reduces the rate of new coins entering circulation. It takes place roughly every four years and, in theory, pushes the price of bitcoin higher because it creates more scarcity of an already finite currency.


New images share unprecedented view of how Odysseus spacecraft landed on the moon
View photos of the spacecraft directly after its harrowing touchdown on the lunar surface last week.

Willy Wonka-inspired experience sparks outrage
Its website promised “optical marvels” and “extraordinary props,” but this pricey Willy Wonka-inspired event offered little more than some lemonade and a few jelly beans.

Oscars announce slate of performers and presenters
Ryan Gosling, Jon Batiste and Billie Eilish are among some of the stars scheduled to perform at the 96th Oscars on March 10.

Wendy’s says it won’t use surge pricing
Customers were unhappy this week when Wendy’s announced it would introduce Uber-like surge pricing on its menu. The fast food chain is now saying it will no longer test raising prices during peak demand.

Meta accused of ‘massive, illegal’ data collection operation in Europe
European consumer rights groups are accusing Meta of collecting data from hundreds of millions of its users in the region.


Comedian and actor Richard Lewis, who starred in the popular shows “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Anything but Love,” has died. He was 76. The entertainer passed away at his home in Los Angeles on Tuesday night after suffering a heart attack, his publicist told CNN.


That’s how many eye products were recalled in the US this week. The FDA warned that some of the popular ointments sold at CVS and Walmart may not be sterile.


“I still have enough gas in my tank to thoroughly disappoint my critics, and I intend to do so with all the enthusiasm with which they’ve become accustomed.”

— Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, announcing he will step down as GOP leader in November, setting up a high-stakes race for his successor. The Kentucky Republican said Wednesday that he will continue to serve in the Senate but will allow “the next generation of leadership” to take the helm of the Senate Republican Conference.


Check your local forecast here>>>


Couple marries in hospital delivery room
You may kiss the bride — and baby! A Missouri woman in labor got married in a wedding gown made of the hospital’s “finest sheets!” Watch the video here.

™ & © 2024 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - Entertainment

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo



KVIA ABC 7 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content