By Alexandra Banner, CNN
(CNN) — A multi-threat storm will traverse through the eastern half of the US this weekend, unloading heavy rain and snow across several states. Powerful wind gusts could also knock out power and disrupt travel in busy cities as the adverse weather stretches more than 1,200 miles from the Gulf Coast to the Canadian border.
Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.
The humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate in Gaza as Israeli forces expand their operations throughout the Palestinian enclave. Israel’s security cabinet this week approved a “minimal” increase in the amount of fuel entering Gaza, but global leaders and aid groups say there needs to be much more assistance entering the region. In northern Gaza, 97% of households have inadequate food consumption and approximately 83% in southern Gaza are “adopting extreme consumption strategies” to survive, the UN World Food Programme said. At least 17,177 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli attacks in Gaza since October 7, according to the Hamas-controlled health ministry, and some 46,000 people have been injured.
2. Hunter Biden
A federal grand jury has indicted Hunter Biden on nine counts in connection with a long-running Justice Department investigation into his taxes. It is the second criminal case that special counsel David Weiss has brought against President Joe Biden’s son. Prosecutors say Hunter Biden cheated on his taxes by millions of dollars to fund an “extravagant lifestyle,” according to the indictment — which also states that between 2016 and 2020 “the Defendant spent this money on drugs, escorts and girlfriends, luxury hotels and rental properties, exotic cars, clothing, and other items of a personal nature.” Hunter Biden’s attorney issued a scathing statement, saying the charges come two years after Hunter paid his taxes in full. The Justice Department said he could face a maximum of 17 years in prison if convicted.
3. Las Vegas shooting
Chilling new details are emerging about the gunman who authorities say killed three faculty members Wednesday at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The 67-year-old suspect sent letters to university personnel across the country before the shootings, authorities said. At least some of the envelopes had a white powder in them, but the substance was found to be harmless. Detectives are continuing to process the envelopes and are asking “anyone in the education world” who receives a letter with no return address to “proceed with caution,” Las Vegas Sheriff Kevin McMahill said. Police are still trying to understand the gunman’s motive, noting that he applied and was denied “numerous times” for jobs at different Nevada higher education institutions.
4. Fruit recall
The FDA has advised against eating cantaloupe products included in an ongoing recall linked to a salmonella outbreak. Since late November, there have been 230 cases of illness in 38 states, including three deaths. Canada also has confirmed 129 salmonella cases, including five deaths, from six provinces. The outbreak has been tied to whole and pre-cut cantaloupes grown in Mexico and sold under the Rudy and Malichita brands. The cut fruit products have been sold at Sprouts, Trader Joe’s, KwikTrip, RaceTrac, Aldi, Walmart and Vinyard. The CDC is urging businesses not to sell the contaminated fruit and to sanitize items that have come into contact with it.
Facebook-parent company Meta has rolled out encrypted messaging by default on the platform, providing a major boost to security and privacy, the company said. This means that the contents of users’ messages will be scrambled to everyone except the intended senders and recipients. Under the new settings, third parties — and even Meta — will be unable to see message contents, experts say. Law enforcement officials, however, have long complained that Meta’s shift toward more privacy-protecting technologies could make it harder to investigate crimes. This comes as Meta’s Oversight Board on Thursday initiated a review to assess the company’s handling of misleading and hateful content regarding the Israel-Hamas war.
New monthly jobs report to be released
The November jobs report is set to be released today, detailing the net number of jobs gained in the US last month. In October, the economy added 150,000 jobs and the unemployment rate inched up to 3.9%.
Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott donated $2.15 billion to hundreds of charities this past year
She made her donations to a wide range of causes, saying “every one of whom could use more allies.”
New details on mysterious Milky Way region called ‘The Brick’
A perplexing dust cloud, nicknamed “The Brick,” is at the center of our galaxy. An unexpected new finding may help unlock its mysteries.
Adele reveals the ‘real reason’ why she’s only released four albums
The sensational singer recently explained why she’s only released four albums in her 17-year career.
Jon Rahm planning to leave PGA Tour for LIV Golf
The reigning Masters champion, currently ranked No. 3 in the world, is leaving the PGA Tour for the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series, according to reports.
Where did the fourth Republican presidential debate take place this week?
Last week, 48% of readers who took the quiz got eight or more questions right. How will you fare?
That’s how many nights Hanukkah is observed by Jewish families around the world. This year, the holiday is celebrated from sundown on December 7 to sundown on December 15 — but many Jews are changing their festivities due to the Israel-Hamas war. Some told CNN they are afraid to light their own menorahs and show their Judaism publicly, making stances of support and solidarity all the more important.
“Stop ignoring that the fashion industry is one of the most harmful industries to the world.”
— Fashion designer Stella McCartney, calling on global leaders to introduce new tariffs on leather goods, as well as clothing items made from polluting or environmentally unsustainable materials. Fast fashion contributes to around 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions “due to its long supply chains and energy intensive production,” according to the UN Environment Program.
AND FINALLY …
See 2024’s color of the year
The Pantone Color Institute has been announcing its “Color of the Year” since 2000. Watch this video to see which “warm and cozy” shade was selected.
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