Monday, November 27, 2023

11/27 WAKE-UP CALL: Truce Holds During Hostage Exchanges

President Joe Biden said he hoped the temporary truce between Israel and Hamas can go on as long as hostages are being released, after the militant group freed 17 more people, including a 4-year-old Israeli-American girl. Hamas said it wanted to extend the pause in fighting, which will enter its fourth day and final agreed day on Monday, if serious efforts were made to increase the number of Palestinian detainees released by Israel.

Thirty-nine teenage Palestinian prisoners were released by Israel on Sunday, taking the total since the truce began to 117. Hamas said it had handed over 13 Israelis, three Thais and one with Russian citizenship, and the International Committee of the Red Cross confirmed it had successfully transferred them from Gaza on Sunday. Biden said the 4-year-old hostage, Abigail Edan, had witnessed her parents being killed by Hamas fighters during their Oct. 7 rampage into Israel and had been held since then.

➤AID ARRIVES FOR GAUNT RESIDENTS: A U.N. official who took part in a humanitarian aid convoy to northern Gaza said on Sunday aid groups were on track to deliver the biggest shipment in over a month, describing thin, gaunt residents slaking their thirst as soon as water arrived. Before a four-day truce between Israel and Hamas got underway on Friday, U.N. agencies had voiced fears of disease and dehydration in the north, cut off from outside aid for weeks in a siege within a siege. The UN previously said it could not get safe passage and medical groups who remained active like the International Red Cross came under fire there.

"People are so desperate and you can see in adults' eyes they haven't eaten, you can see the children are getting thinner," the U.N. children's agency's James Elder told Reuters by video link from southern Gaza after returning from Gaza City. "There's just this immense relief. Literally people as they get water start drinking the water immediately," he said. "They're thirsty. They've been thirsty for days."

➤REBELS FIRE AT U-S DESTROYER: Iran-backed Houthi rebels fired missiles at a US Navy destroyer off the coast of Yemen in a 'significant escalation,' according to defense sources. The USS Mason had earlier freed an Israeli-linked chemical tanker, the Central Park, from a raid by the jihadists. Two senior US officials said the Houthi forces fired two ballistic missiles at the USS Mason after the Navy arrested the hijackers. The missiles fell short and landed in the water.

➤FRANCE..6 TEENS ON TRIAL FOR BEHEADING: Six teenagers go on trial behind closed doors on Monday, accused of involvement in the beheading of French history teacher Samuel Paty by a suspected Islamist in 2020 in an attack that struck at the heart of the country's secular values. The teacher had shown his pupils cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in a class on freedom of expression, angering a number of Muslim parents. Muslims believe that any depiction of the Prophet is blasphemous.

➤PALESTINIAN STUDENTS WOUNDED: Three top Palestinian college students were shot Saturday while walking to a family dinner in Vermont — the victims of a horrific bias attack, according to Palestinian and Arab-American officials. All three men, including Harvard and Brown University students, were wearing traditional Keffiyeh scarves when they were wounded, said Husam Zomlot, head of the Palestinian mission in the United Kingdom, in a post on X on Sunday.

“Three young Palestinian men, Hiham Awartani, Tahseen Ali and Kenan Abdulhamid, students at Yale and other universities, were shot Saturday night on their way to a family dinner in Burlington,” Zomlot wrote. “Their crime? Wearing the Palestinian keffiyeh,” he said. “They are critically injured.” The Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee said the victims are all 20 years old and identified Awartani as a student at Brown, Abdalhamid at Harvard, and Ali, whom they identified by the last name Ahmed, at Trinity University. “All three victims survived the initial shooting, however, two of them are currently in ICU and one of the students has sustained very critical and serious injuries,” the ADC said in a statement.

➤AID DEADLINE FOR ISRAEL LOOMS: Congress is aiming to pass a foreign aid package by the end of this year to provide what lawmakers say is critically needed assistance for key U.S. allies, including Israel and Ukraine. How members craft a bipartisan deal with only three weeks left on the legislative calendar, is an open question. Despite the urgency that gripped Capitol Hill following Hamas’ terrorist attack on Israel in early October and longstanding bipartisan support for Ukraine, President Joe Biden's emergency request for foreign aid has met hurdles in the House and Senate over how to move forward. Both houses are wrangling over issues including Israel's war in Gaza, funding sources for the requested aid, and immigration reform, with no clear path to an agreement.

💸BLACK FRIDAY CYBER HITS RECORD: Shoppers spent more on Black Friday than expected, and that comes ahead of Cyber Monday, which is expected to be the year's biggest online shopping day. Consumers spent a record $9.8 billion shopping online on Friday, according to Adobe Analytics, which tracks more than 85% of the top 100 U.S. online retailers. That's an increase of 7.5% over last year's record-setting mark of $9.12 billion. Adobe Analytics had estimated this year’s Black Friday sales at $9.6 billion. More than half (54%) of Black Friday online sales were made over smartphones – up from about 48% in 2022 – accounting for $5.3 billion, according to Adobe Analytics. This is the first shopping season in which mobile sales could overtake sales made over desktop computers, the firm estimates.

➤ANOTHER BAD POLL FOR BIDEN: President Joe Biden’s poll numbers keep getting worse. November started with New York Times/Siena College polls showing Trump ahead in four of the six swing states, but more indicators of Biden’s electoral peril soon followed. The president’s standing in head-to-head matchups with Trump is falling: Among the latest surveys this month from 13 separate pollsters, Biden’s position is worse than their previous polls in all but two of them.

MOM ARRESTED AT MALL AFTER 9-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER FOUND DEAD IN CALIFORNIA HOME: Police in Southern California have arrested the mother of a 9-year-old girl who was found dead inside her home. A concerned family member had contacted officers to conduct the welfare check, according to the Westminster Police Department. The officers eventually forced their way into the home and discovered a young girl with “obvious signs of trauma,” police said. There was no one else inside the residence at the time. Investigators later identified the girl’s mother, 32-year-old Khadiyjah Pendergraph, as a person of interest in her murder.

➤NORTH CAROLINA SHOOTING LEAVES 4 DEAD AT HOMELESS CAMP IN SUSPECTED MURDER-SUICIDE: An Autryville, North Carolina homeless encampment turned into a crime scene on Sunday after a quadruple shooting that left four people dead, in what law enforcement officials say appeared to be a murder-suicide. The Sampson County Sheriff’s Office said it received reports of shots being fired at about 9:20 a.m. on Sunday, just outside Autryville, North Carolina.

🏈NFL EAGLES 37 BILLS 34: Jalen Hurts rushed for a 12-yard touchdown in overtime to lift the Philadelphia Eagles to a thrilling 37-34 win against the visiting Buffalo Bills on Sunday afternoon. Hurts' final score capped off an incredible performance in which he passed for three touchdowns and rushed for two more. DeVonta Smith finished with seven catches for 106 yards and a touchdown for Philadelphia (10-1). 

Josh Allen threw two touchdowns and rushed for two scores for Buffalo (6-6). Gabe Davis had six catches for 105 yards and a touchdown, but he miscommunicated with Allen on a potential game-winning score in overtime that gave the Eagles a chance to come back. 

Tyler Bass hit a 40-yard field goal to put the Bills ahead 34-31 with 5:52 to go in overtime. Hurts led the game-winning drive with his feet and his arm, as he did throughout the contest. He scrambled for 27 yards, including the 12-yard touchdown, and he found Smith for gains of 17 yards and 11 yards as the Buffalo defense struggled to keep pace. Philadelphia seized a 28-24 lead with 11:07 remaining in the fourth quarter. Hurts scrambled left, set his feet and lofted a perfect pass to Olamide Zaccheaus in the back of the end zone for a 29-yard score. That was set up by James Bradberry's interception of Allen, returned to the Buffalo 24.

🏈NFL RAVENS 20 CHARGERS 10:  Lamar Jackson became the fastest quarterback to reach 5,000 rushing yards and the Baltimore Ravens forced four turnovers while recording a 20-10 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday night at Inglewood, Calif. Zay Flowers caught a touchdown pass and also ran for one for Baltimore (9-3), which won for the sixth time in the past seven games. The Ravens possess the top record in the AFC heading into next week's bye.

Justin Herbert completed 29 of 44 passes for 217 yards with one touchdown and one interception for the Chargers (4-7), who lost their third straight game. Keenan Allen caught 14 passes for 106 yards and Gerald Everett had a scoring reception for Los Angeles Jackson was 18-of-32 passing for 177 yards with a touchdown, and rushed for 39 yards on 11 carries. He has 5,011 career rushing yards in 82 games.

🏈SUSPENDED HARBAUGH STILL EARNS HEFTY BONUS: Even though Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh was serving the third game of a three-game suspension Saturday, he will get a $500,000 bonus for the Wolverines defeating Ohio State 30-24 for the Big Ten Conference East Division title and a place in the conference championship game, his contract with the school shows. The Big Ten suspended Harbaugh for the remainder of the regular season on Nov. 10 for his role in the program's sign-stealing scandal. The conference found Michigan “in violation of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Policy for conducting an impermissible, in-person scouting operation over multiple years, resulting in an unfair competitive advantage that compromised the integrity of competition.” In addition to Saturday’s, Harbaugh was not allowed to attend Michigan’s games at Penn State and at Maryland. But he was able to attend practices and be involved in preparations.

🏈BILLS DE SHAQ LAWSON CONFRONTS, APPEARS TO SHOVE EAGLES FAN: Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson confronted Eagles fans and appeared to shove one of them during Buffalo's loss to Philadelphia on Sunday night. Lawson, defensive tackle Jordan Phillips and other Bills players walked from the sideline toward the front row of stands at Lincoln Financial Field and started jawing at Eagles fans. Phillips got close to one fan's face before Lawson walked up and seemingly made physical contact with the spectator, according to video circulating on social media. Security eventually intervened and the fan continued to shout toward the Buffalo players. Defensive end Leonard Floyd tried to defuse the situation and walked the players back to the sideline.

🏈MISSISSIPPI STATE HIRES JEFF LEBBY AS NEXT COACH: Oklahoma offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby will be the new coach at Mississippi State, the school announced on Sunday. Lebby has been the offensive coordinator at OU, Ole Miss and UCF, with high-tempo and prolific offenses his hallmark. Since 2019, he's been coordinator of an offense that's scored 50 or more points 14 times, leading all active offensive coordinators.

  It's beginning to look a lot like − winter. And that could be bad news for Americans heading home from the Thanksgiving holiday. Below-average temperatures are likely to saturate most of the country to start the workweek, the National Weather Service said Sunday.

One of the biggest trouble spots is expected in the Great Lakes region, where some of the chilliest air of the season will trigger lake-effect snow, forecasters say, and travel could be treacherous from portions of the Midwest to the Northeast. About 1-3 inches of snowfall rates per hour, power outages and whiteout conditions were possible in some of those areas from Sunday night into late Tuesday, according to Accuweather.

"Travel headaches will abound along I-90 from just south of Buffalo, New York, all the way to Cleveland during the first half of the week due to heavy snow coming off the lake," AccuWeather meteorologist Jake Sojda said.

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