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5 things to know for March 29: Bridge collapse, Presidential race, Bus tragedy, Endangered species, Stocks


By Alexandra Banner, CNN

(CNN) — Pope Francis washed and kissed the feet of 12 women at a prison in Rome on Thursday during an annual ritual meant to emphasize humility. It was the first time he washed the feet of women only, and many were in tears as the 87-year-old pontiff led the ceremony from his wheelchair due to his recent mobility challenges.

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

1. Bridge collapse

Crews in Baltimore face “an incredibly complex job” as they work to clear colossal steel sections of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge after a cargo ship crashed into it this week. The federal government has given the $60 million requested by Maryland Gov. Wes Moore as a “down payment” toward cleaning up and rebuilding the bridge. Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott also said Thursday he’s hopeful the bodies of the other four men will eventually be retrieved from the debris-filled water. Authorities announced on Wednesday they were pausing search and recovery efforts for the four other workers presumed dead because debris made it unsafe for divers to continue.

2. Presidential race

President Joe Biden held a New York City fundraiser on Thursday, where he was joined by former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton at a star-studded event that was at times interrupted by protesters calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. All three presidents issued stark warnings about the threat former President Donald Trump would pose if reelected, with Biden telling supporters, “I think democracy is literally at stake.” The event raised more than $25 million, making it the most successful single political fundraiser ever in terms of dollars raised. Meanwhile, the Trump campaign is also ramping up its fundraising efforts, albeit in controversial ways. Trump announced Tuesday he is selling a patriotic copy of the Christian Bible for $59.99 during Holy Week. Some Christians say the move is preying on people’s faith for profit.

3. Bus tragedy

A bus carrying Easter worshippers plunged off a cliff in South Africa on Thursday, killing 45 people on board. The sole survivor is an eight-year-old girl who was airlifted to a hospital, the South African Broadcasting Corporation reported. The passengers were pilgrims traveling from Gaborone — the capital city of neighboring Botswana — to a church for an Easter conference, according to the SABC. Local officials said that “according to reports, the driver lost control and the bus fell onto a rocky surface, some 50 meters under the bridge and caught fire.” The cause of the crash is under investigation.

4. Endangered species

The Biden administration on Thursday strengthened protections of the Endangered Species Act, repealing Trump-era rules that had stripped safeguards for some plants and animals impacted by human development and the climate crisis. The newly finalized regulations will reinstate so-called blanket rule protections for species listed as threatened with extinction in addition to those listed as endangered. The rules are likely to be challenged by industry groups and Republican states that have mounted legal challenges to many of the Biden administration’s climate and environmental regulations.

5. Stocks

Thursday marked the final day of trading on Wall Street for the first quarter of 2024, wrapping up an outstanding start to the year for stocks. The S&P 500 closed up 0.1%, reaching a new record high. The Dow gained 47 points, also hitting a new high. The Nasdaq, however, closed 0.1% lower. Overall, investors are pleased after the S&P 500 notched 22 new highs in the first three months of 2024 alone, while the Dow is just points away from reaching the key threshold of 40,000 for the first time. This comes as tech stocks like Nvidia and the AI-craze have helped drive shares higher. Also fueling the market boom is a potential pivot by the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates in the coming months.


Beyoncé drops new album ‘Cowboy Carter’
Hold on to your horses! Houston native Beyoncé released her highly anticipated album “Act II: Cowboy Carter” on Thursday night, featuring some iconic country music legends.

See the winners of the World Nature Photography Awards
After thousands of submissions, these spectacular images received top prizes at the 2024 World Nature Photography Awards.

Welsh rugby star agrees to NFL deal
Despite never playing American football at any organized level, Louis Rees-Zammit has elected to leave the security of rugby for an opportunity to join the Kansas City Chiefs.

Scientists identify remains of George Washington’s grandnephews
DNA analysis of unmarked remains has shed light on a long-standing mystery surrounding the fates of President George Washington’s younger brother Samuel and his kin.

Italian town struggles to sell off its empty homes for one euro
Some remote towns in Italy have been unable to offload their abandoned homes — even at the enticing price of one euro.


The Supreme Court will soon decide the future of which medication?
A. Adderall
B. Ozempic
C. Paxlovid
D. Mifepristone

Take me to the quiz!

Last week, 64% of readers who took the quiz got eight or more questions right. How will you fare?


That’s roughly how many Kia vehicles were recalled this week amid concerns they can roll away while in park. All Telluride SUVs made between 2020 and 2023 and certain 2024 models are affected.


“I threw it all away. It haunts me every day.”

— Sam Bankman-Fried, reflecting on the mistakes he made as CEO of his collapsed crypto startup, FTX. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison Thursday, a year and a half after FTX practically imploded overnight and set off a massive federal investigation. Bankman-Fried was previously found guilty of stealing billions of dollars from accounts belonging to customers of his once-high-flying crypto exchange.


Check your local forecast here>>>


Easter preparations are underway
Decorating Easter eggs is a common tradition in the US and Europe. Ahead of the holiday on Sunday, watch this video to see inside one of Germany’s oldest egg-dying factories.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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