By Alexandra Meeks, CNN
You can feel it as soon as you step outside nowadays — Christmas is near. This week, heavy snow will hit the West and several days of rain are forecast across the South. This comes as many regions in the US are welcoming an early start to the snow season, and meteorologists say it could have a big impact on the drought conditions that have been plaguing the country.
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1. Power grid attack
More than 30,000 customers in North Carolina remain without power this morning after two substations were damaged by gunfire over the weekend. The power outages are believed to have been caused by “intentional” and “targeted” attacks on substations that left around 40,000 customers in the dark Saturday, prompting a curfew and emergency declaration. “The person, or persons, who did this knew exactly what they were doing,” Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields said Sunday. With no suspects or motive announced, the FBI has joined the criminal investigation alongside local authorities. All schools in the county are closed today and traffic lights remain out. A few stores with generators have been able to open, but several other businesses have been forced to temporarily shut their doors.
2. Senate runoff
Georgia will hold a Senate runoff election Tuesday between Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker, a former football player. Warnock and Walker first faced each other in the November 8 general election, but neither of them received more than 50% of the vote, forcing a runoff. Warnock led with 49.4% of the vote and Walker had 48.5%. More than 1.8 million Georgians have voted so far, with about 300,000 people voting early each day last week — setting records for the largest single-day early voting turnout in state history. Even with control of the Senate already secured, the stakes are high as Democrats seek to win a majority outright instead of the 50-50 split currently in place.
3. Hawaii volcano
Lava from the ongoing Mauna Loa volcano eruption is about two miles from reaching a crucial highway on Hawaii’s Big Island, according to an update from the US Geological Survey. The lava is just miles from potentially causing major disruptions to the Daniel K. Inouye Highway, but experts say it’s unlikely any attempts will be made to redirect the lava flow due to a history of expensive failures. Some scientists and residents of Hawaii also view the lava flow as a natural phenomenon — not something that needs to be disrupted. Additionally, many people in Hawaii view the timing of Mauna Loa’s eruption as especially significant. The volcano erupted on November 28, Hawaiian Independence Day, commemorating when Hawaii was recognized as a sovereign kingdom in 1843.
Former President Donald Trump called for the termination of the Constitution to overturn the 2020 election and reinstate him to power Saturday. Trump made a post on Truth Social accusing “Big Tech” of working closely with Democrats in response to the release of internal Twitter emails showing how employees debated and temporarily suppressed a 2020 New York Post story about Hunter Biden and his laptop. Employees on Twitter’s legal, policy and communications teams discussed — and at times disagreed about — whether to restrict the article under the company’s hacked materials policy. The discussions took place weeks before the 2020 election, when Joe Biden, Hunter Biden’s father, was running against then-President Trump.
Iran’s parliament and judiciary are reviewing the country’s mandatory hijab law, Attorney General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri told a pro-reform outlet. Montazeri is also quoted as saying Iran’s feared morality police had been “abolished” but Iranian state media strongly pushed back on those comments. The wearing of a hijab in public is currently mandatory for women in Iran under strict Islamic law that is enforced by the country’s so-called morality police. The laws around the head covering sparked a nationwide protest movement after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died in police custody after being apprehended by the morality police allegedly for not wearing her hijab properly.
Best places to go for Christmas
These 15 cities are sprucing up their streets with more than just a few lights. View the photo gallery here.
Keke Palmer announces pregnancy during ‘SNL’ opening monologue
The actress is popping bottles! Baby bottles, that is. See Keke Palmer reveal her bare bump to millions of viewers on “Saturday Night Live.”
Winner of model of the year award to be announced today
The stunning list of competitors includes a refugee from South Sudan, a plus-size model and an Indigenous activist.
This tattoo removal studio will laser off your Kanye West tattoo for free
A London-based tattoo removal studio says the initiative has received “global interest” as West continues to openly promote antisemitism.
Japan aims to make World Cup history
The World Cup has been a tournament of surprises! Japan’s impressive team may have what it takes to progress to the quarterfinals for the first time.
Bob McGrath, an original cast member of the beloved children’s show “Sesame Street,” has died, according to statements from his family and Sesame Workshop. He was 90. McGrath joined the cast in 1969 and appeared in 47 seasons of the show as Bob Johnson, departing the series in 2017 but still representing it at various events in recent years.
That’s how many so-called police stations China is operating across the globe to monitor, harass, and in some cases repatriate Chinese citizens living in exile, according to a new report shared exclusively with CNN. The revelations, which Chinese officials deny, have prompted anger in some countries. “It is outrageous to think that the Chinese police would attempt to set up shop, you know, in New York, let’s say, without proper coordination,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said last month. The suggestion of widespread repression of Chinese citizens in foreign countries comes as the nation contends with its own unrest at home amid fatigue over restrictive Covid-19 policies.
“As a mother, I know no one is as broken as I am.”
— Maitlyn Presley Gandy, a Texas mother, sharing a statement after her 7-year-old daughter Athena was found dead near her home after she was kidnapped last week. A driver working for FedEx has been arrested and charged in the kidnapping and murder, police said. He was allegedly making a delivery to Athena’s home in Wise County, Texas, at the time she disappeared.
Flying hundreds of miles using balloons
This man soars over cities just like in the Pixar movie “Up.” (Click here to view)
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