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5 things to know for Jan. 18: Winter storms, Middle East, School safety, Border battle, Royal family


By Alexandra Banner, CNN

(CNN) — Bank customers in the US are often surprised by $35 overdraft fees, and those who can least afford them are charged the most frequently. That could change, however, after the Biden administration proposed a rule Wednesday that could save consumers more than $3 billion a year in bank fees.

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

1. Winter storms

As a brutal Arctic blast wraps up in the eastern US, a new winter storm system is bringing freezing rain and precarious conditions to the Pacific Northwest. At least 40 people have died in the dangerous winter weather across nine states since January 12. Fatalities have been reported in Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Mississippi, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Wisconsin. Back-to-back storms are now delivering a deadly “one-two punch” to the Northwest with freezing rain and ice in Oregon and Washington and heavy snow through the region’s interior through the end of the week, the National Weather Service said. Meteorologists warn that the icy roadways and downed power lines are triggering road closures and power outages impacting tens of thousands of people.

2. Middle East

The US military carried out another round of strikes against the Houthis in Yemen, marking the fourth time the US has struck the Iran-backed rebel group in less than a week. Hours earlier, the Houthis struck a US-owned and operated cargo vessel for the second time this week. The attacks have had consequences for the global economy as they have effectively closed off the Red Sea — one of the main trade routes for container ships. Meanwhile, Iran is embroiled in an escalating spat with its southeastern neighbor Pakistan, which targeted locations inside Iran a day after deadly Iranian strikes on separatists in Pakistani territory. The new strikes mean both countries have now taken the extraordinary step of attacking militants on each other’s soil at a time of expanding conflict in the Middle East and the wider region.

3. School safety

The Justice Department is expected to release a review today of the failed law enforcement response to the 2022 Uvalde school shooting. More than a year after the tragedy — which left 19 children and two teachers dead — the Texas community is still grappling with why it took 77 minutes for law enforcement to stop the gunman. Surveillance video shows more than 370 officers gathered at the scene as the shooter roamed two adjoining classrooms, raising questions about whether lives could have been saved if authorities had acted sooner. The victims’ families met with Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday to be briefed on the report ahead of its release today, although some told CNN that many questions remain about what is being done to bolster security in schools across the US.

4. Border battle

The Biden administration gave Texas until the end of Wednesday to stop blocking the US Border Patrol’s access to several miles along the US-Mexico border following the drowning deaths of a woman and two children last week. State authorities had barred federal agents from the zone — according to a Department of Homeland Security letter exclusively obtained by CNN— preventing Border Patrol from attempting an emergency rescue. The Department of Homeland Security warned it will “refer the matter to the Department of Justice for appropriate action and consider all other options available to restore Border Patrol’s access to the border.” Texas Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton doubled down on the state’s actions Wednesday, saying, “Texas will not surrender,” in a statement issued by his office.

5. Royal family

Catherine, Princess of Wales, will spend up to two weeks in the hospital after undergoing abdominal surgery, Kensington Palace announced in a statement Wednesday. The operation was successful and Catherine — known by many as Kate — is expected to recover at her home in Windsor after she is discharged. It is unclear what the surgery was for, but a royal source told CNN that the 42-year-old’s condition was non-cancerous. Shortly after Kate’s hospitalization was made public Wednesday, Buckingham Palace revealed that King Charles III will also be going to the hospital next week for treatment for an enlarged prostate. Buckingham Palace said the 75-year-old would undergo a “corrective procedure” and described his condition as “benign.”


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“As Americans, we expect the United States, the greatest superpower in the history of the world, to use its full power to secure the hostages’ release.”

— Jon Polin, the father of Hersch Goldberg-Polin — an American citizen held hostage in Gaza — speaking at a news conference on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. Several families of American hostages are in Washington, DC, this week around the 100-day mark of their loved ones being taken when Hamas attacked Israel on October 7. The families are scheduled to meet with White House officials today to discuss the government’s efforts to bring their relatives home.


Check your local forecast here>>>


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