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5 things to know for May 29: Severe storms, Trump trial, Gaza, Bird flu, South Africa election


By Alexandra Banner, CNN

(CNN) — The White House has announced new actions to modernize America’s electrical grid, paving the way for clean energy and fewer outages. This comes as weather-related power blackouts are rising thanks to stronger storms putting more pressure on the nation’s outdated infrastructure.

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

1. Severe storms

Hundreds of thousands of people in the southern and central US are now contending with widespread power outages after enduring an unrelenting series of storms. Around 500,000 utility customers in Texas were without electricity early today, including more than 240,000 in Dallas County. At least eight people have been killed in the state since Saturday as severe weather pummeled the region over Memorial Day weekend. After a brief reprieve today, another round of powerful storms will rumble back into the same area Thursday, the National Weather Service said. Forecasts show threats of large hail, damaging winds and localized flooding to the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

2. Trump trial

The 12-person jury in former President Donald Trump’s criminal hush money trial will begin deliberations today, moving them one step closer to deciding Trump’s legal fate. During closing arguments on Tuesday, the defense and prosecution delivered diametrically opposed stories about the hush money payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels in 2016 and the subsequent reimbursement to Trump’s ex-lawyer Michael Cohen the following year. Trump has pleaded not guilty to the 34 felony counts for falsifying business records and denied the affair with Daniels. A felony conviction of a former president, and presumptive 2024 Republican nominee, would be unprecedented.

3. Gaza

President Joe Biden is not altering his policy toward Israel following the recent Israeli strike that killed more than 45 people at a displacement camp in Rafah, the White House said Tuesday. Despite international outrage over the strike, the White House indicated that the attack did not cross a red line that would affect US support. Notably, munitions made in the US were used in the deadly strike, a CNN analysis has found. Also on Tuesday, the temporary pier constructed by the US military to transport aid into Gaza broke apart in heavy seas, the Pentagon said. The repairs will take more than a week, further delaying efforts to get the maritime corridor fully operating.

4. Bird flu

A group of alpacas on a farm in Idaho recently tested positive for H5N1 bird flu for the first time, according to the USDA. The gene sequence of viruses isolated from the alpacas shows it is closely related to the H5N1 viruses currently circulating in dairy cattle. For more than two decades, H5N1 has primarily affected birds. In the past two years, however, the virus has been infecting a wider variety of wild and farmed mammals, raising concern that it could be moving closer to becoming a pathogen that can transmit easily between people. Human cases have been reported sporadically around the globe over the years, including three in the US, but no person-to-person transmission has been reported in the ongoing US cattle outbreak.

5. South Africa election

Millions of South Africans will cast their votes today in what is expected to be the most pivotal general election since the end of apartheid. For months, polls have shown the ruling African National Congress party could lose its majority for the first time since Nelson Mandela led it to power in 1994. If support for the ANC drops below 50%, the party will be forced to enter into a coalition government. Almost 28 million people are registered to vote — the highest number to date, according to the Independent Electoral Commission.


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Check your local forecast here>>>


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