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5 things to know for Dec. 29: Trump, Gaza, Ukraine, California waves, SpaceX


By Alexandra Banner, CNN

(CNN) — As 2024 approaches, you may find yourself in ample reflection and perhaps developing a mantra for the New Year. Scientists have discovered a host of techniques that can help you nail your resolutions if you enjoy setting goals each January 1. Speaking of which, thank you for striving to stay informed with the news this past year! We appreciate your loyal readership to 5 Things and look forward to returning to your inbox on January 2.

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

1. Trump

Maine’s top election official has removed former President Donald Trump from the state’s 2024 primary ballot based on the 14th Amendment’s “insurrectionist ban.” The decision makes Maine the second state to disqualify Trump from office, after the Colorado Supreme Court handed down its own stunning ruling that removed him from the ballot earlier this month. Trump’s team said they intend to file an appeal. The development is a victory for Trump’s critics, who believe his role in the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, violated the 14th Amendment. Ratified after the Civil War, the 14th Amendment says American officials who “engage in” insurrection can’t hold future office. Most legal experts believe the US Supreme Court will weigh in on the issue for the entire country in the coming months.

2. Gaza

The United Nations said that around 150,000 people in central Gaza have “nowhere to go” after Israeli forces warned residents that they must urgently leave. This comes as Israel’s military is expanding its operations in southern Gaza and is battling Hamas with snipers and tank fire in the Khan Younis area. Meanwhile, in a rare acknowledgment of fault, Israel’s military said it regretted causing “unintended harm” to civilians as a result of air strikes in central Gaza on December 24. About 70 people were killed in the strikes, according to the Hamas-controlled Health Ministry. The number of people killed in Gaza since October 7 has surpassed 21,300, with nearly 60,000 people injured, the Health Ministry said.

3. Ukraine

Russia launched its biggest air attack on Ukraine since the beginning of its full-scale invasion, the Ukrainian military said, with a barrage of strikes reported across the country today. The wave of attacks began overnight and struck nationwide, with blasts reported in the capital Kyiv, the central city of Dnipro, the eastern city of Kharkiv, the southeastern port of Odesa, and the western city of Lviv — far from the frontlines. At least 12 people were killed and dozens more were injured, Ukrainian officials said. The massive overnight assault comes just days after Ukraine struck a Russian Navy landing ship in Crimea, causing severe damage to the vessel in another blow to Moscow’s Black Sea fleet.

4. California waves

A powerful offshore storm is driving towering waves into the California coastline, triggering flooding and warnings of damaging swells after several people were injured by a wave along Ventura Beach on Thursday. At least one large wave crashed over a barrier and pummeled cars as drivers tried to speed away. Nearly 20 people were briefly swept away in the incident and eight people were taken to the hospital, Ventura officials said. Much of the West Coast is under flood warnings and high-surf alerts through the weekend due to the likelihood of high water and dangerous rip currents.

5. SpaceX

SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket lifted off Thursday from Florida carrying a mysterious spacecraft for the US military. The uncrewed X-37B space plane will potentially venture deep into the cosmos, where it is set to carry out cutting-edge research. Among the studies on board this mission is a NASA experiment that aims to find ways to sustain astronauts on future deep-space missions, including how to grow food in harsh and soilless environments. This could be crucial for astronauts on lengthy missions to the moon or beyond — places where it’s difficult to deliver fresh supplies.


How much to tip this holiday
Tipping culture has changed a lot over the last few years, and many Americans are confused about how much to tip. While there are no hard and fast rules, here are a few suggestions for tipping during the holiday season.

The hidden meaning behind this royal scarf
Several members of the British royal family were seen wearing the same scarf to church at Christmas. Read why.

Bill to require some Chick-fil-A’s to open on Sundays has sparked a cultural flashpoint
New York lawmakers want to require some Chick-fil-A locations to open on Sundays. This is sparking backlash as the fast-food chain long associated with Christian conservatism closes on Sundays for religious reasons.

L’Oreal heiress is the first woman with a $100B fortune
Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, the L’Oreal heiress and richest woman in the world, has become the first woman to hold a $100 billion fortune, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire’s Index.

Detroit Pistons tie NBA record with 28 straight losses
The Pistons continued their losing streak Thursday with an overtime loss to the Boston Celtics. It unfortunately marked 28 consecutive losses.


A lot happened in 2023, from wars to wildfires to mass shootings. But not all of the headlines were bad. We had big moments in music, movies and sports to provide a little levity and much-needed distraction. Take CNN’s Year in Review Quiz to find out how well you paid attention to this year’s news!


That’s how many Boeing 737 Max jets are being inspected for a potential missing piece. The inspection comes after an unnamed international airline found a missing bolt in an aircraft’s rudder system — and found another bolt that wasn’t properly tightened in a yet-to-be-delivered plane. An airplane’s rudder is used to control and stabilize the aircraft while in flight. Boeing said the issue has been remedied, but it wants to ensure all of its 737 Max jets in service worldwide are checked for similar problems.


“The fact that it’s being discontinued is going to be a huge shock to the system for patients, for families and for doctors.”

— Dr. Robyn Cohen, a pulmonologist at Boston Medical Center, reacting to a major asthma inhaler switch coming to the US next month. The popular branded inhaler Flovent will disappear from pharmacy shelves on January 1, and doctors are concerned patients may have delays switching to alternatives and getting them covered by insurance.


Check your local forecast here>>>


New Year’s Eve ball drop explained
The Times Square ball drop has been a New York tradition since 1907! Watch this short video to learn a few additional facts about the eye-catching ritual set for Sunday night!

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