Tuesday, November 28, 2023

11/28 WAKE-UP CALL: Gaza Truce Extended

Israel and Hamas agreed to a two-day extension of their truce in Gaza to allow the release of more Israeli hostages. 

The militant group freed 11 people—nine minors ages 3 to 18 and two women released with their children—as part of the initial agreement, Egyptian officials said. In return, Israel was expected to let out 33 Palestinian prisoners. The two extra days were expected to lead to the release of 20 more Israelis held by Hamas and 60 Palestinians held by Israel. Efforts to extend the pause came amid rising international pressure on Israel and a spiraling humanitarian crisis. Separately, a hacker group trying to disrupt and intimidate Israeli companies and government offices said it would pause during the ceasefire.


∎ The IDF said 200 trucks brought humanitarian aid into Gaza on Monday, including eight carrying fuel. The rest transported food, water, medical supplies and shelter equipment, to be given for distribution to aid organizations.

∎ Secretary of State Antony Blinken will make his third trip to the Middle East since the war started, traveling to Israel and the West Bank later this week, the Associated Press reported.

∎ Representatives of European Union members and Middle Eastern and north African countries gathered Monday in Barcelona to discuss diplomatic efforts to stop the Israel-Hamas war.

➤MISSILES FIRED FROM YEMEN TOWARD U.S. WARSHIP THAT RESPONDED TO ATTACK ON COMMERCIAL TANKER: Two ballistic missiles were fired from Houthi rebel-controlled Yemen at a US warship in the Gulf of Aden, following a distress call from the seized commercial tanker Central Park, carrying phosphoric acid. The US Navy, including the USS Mason, responded. According to CNN, the Pentagon noted that international maritime norms require assistance in distress situations, but three Chinese Navy vessels nearby did not respond. The incident occurred amid ongoing attacks by Iran-backed Houthi forces on US interests and Israel. Initial indications suggest the attackers, now held on the USS Mason, are Somali. Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said Monday that under international maritime norms and laws, when there is a distress signal, “all vessels in the vicinity, are required to come and help and support.”

➤SUSPECT ARRESTED IN STUDENT SHOOTINGS: Kinnan Abdalhamid's family feared for his safety where he grew up in the West Bank. So they sent him to the United States. But on Saturday, the 20-year-old and two of his friends, Hisham Awartani and Tahseen Aliahmad, were shot in Burlington, Vermont, where they had gathered for a Thanksgiving celebration. "We always thought (the West Bank) could be more of a risk in terms of safety and sending him here would be the right decision," his uncle, Radi Tamimi, said during a news conference Monday. "We feel somehow betrayed in that decision here."

Authorities arrested Jason Eaton, 48, on Sunday and identified him as the suspect in the shooting of the three young men of Palestinian descent. He is being held as authorities investigate whether it was a hate crime. Investigators from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives apprehended Eaton after they encountered him at the shooting location, police said. He pleaded not guilty to three attempted second-degree murder charges during a court appearance Monday.

➤CHILD DRIVING STOLEN CONSTRUCTION FORKLIFT LEADS ANN ARBOR POLICE ON CHASE: A 12-year-old boy driving a stolen construction vehicle led police in Michigan on an hourlong chase, striking about 10 parked vehicles in the process, the Ann Arbor Police Department said. The vehicle, a Construction Genie GTH-636 Telehandler, equipped with a forklift and weighing up to 35,000 pounds, was stolen from outside Forsythe Middle School using a key found inside the cab.

➤CYBERATTACK ON U.S. HOSPITAL OWNER DIVERTS AMBULANCES FROM EMERGENCY ROOMS IN MULTIPLE STATES: A cyberattack that diverted ambulances from hospitals in East Texas on Thanksgiving Day is more widespread than previously known and has also forced hospitals in New Jersey, New Mexico and Oklahoma to reroute ambulances. All of the affected hospitals are owned, or partly owned, by Ardent Health Services, a Tennessee-based company that owns more than two dozen hospitals in at least five states. Among the hospitals currently unable to accept ambulances are a 263-bed hospital in downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico; a 365-bed hospital in Montclair, New Jersey; and a network of several hospitals in East Texas that serve thousands of patients a year.

➤GEORGE SANTOS MAY GET TO ENJOY ALL SORTS OF EXCLUSIVE, LAWMAKERS-ONLY PERKS: New York Republican Rep George Santos has acknowledged that he expects to be expelled from the House as soon as this week. “I know I’m going to get expelled when this expulsion resolution goes to the floor,” Santos, 35, said last week in a broadcast on the X social media platform, formerly known as Twitter. In the X Space event hosted by Monica Matthews, a rightwing personality, Mr Santos said, “I have done the math over and over and it doesn’t look really good”. But he claimed that he would wear his expulsion “like a badge of honor”.

⛽DRIVERS GETTING BREAK AT THE PUMP: Gasoline prices have fallen for 60 consecutive days — the longest streak of declines in more than a year — letting American drivers pass on savings at the pump to consumer retailers during the US economy’s all-important holiday season. A gallon of gasoline now costs $3.25 on average in the US, more than 60 cents below the year’s peak in mid-September and about 30 cents cheaper than this time last year, according to data from the American Automobile Association. In 14 states, average prices are now less than $3 a gallon. 

Cheaper pump prices are welcome news for President Joe Biden, whose reelection campaign is touting “Bidenomics” as the answer for inflation-plagued consumers. The gasoline reprieve may also give retail stores a boost during the critical year-end shopping season by padding pockets with a little more cash. US consumers, whose consumption spending makes up around two-thirds of the US economy, spent a record $9.8 billion online during Black Friday.

✞MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR ROSALYN CARTER: The life and legacy of former first lady Rosalynn Carter, who died on Nov. 19 at the age of 96, will be celebrated over three days this week in a series of memorial services across Georgia, from Atlanta to her hometown of Plains. The events started Monday with a wreath-laying ceremony at her alma mater, Georgia Southwestern State University. In the evening, Rosalynn Carter will lie in repose for several hours at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum in Atlanta. After a funeral on Wednesday, the former first lady will be buried in a private ceremony at the home she's shared with her husband since they had it built in the 1960s.

Ninety-eight Christmas trees, more than 142,000 twinkling lights and nearly 34,000 ornaments deck the halls of the White House in ways that first lady Jill Biden hopes will inspire visitors to embrace their inner child and experience the "magic, wonder and joy" of the season. It's her theme for the holiday décor. The first lady held a reception Monday to formally unveil the décor and thank hundreds of designers and decorators who volunteered to spend last week transforming the executive mansion. Throughout are numerous nods to the 200th anniversary of the publication in 1823 of the poem and book "'Twas the Night Before Christmas."

🎵STREAMING SOON: TAYLOR SWIFT'S 'ERA TOUR': For her birthday, Taylor Swift has a gift for her fans. The "Eras Tour" movie is coming to a TV, phone, or tablet near you and will be available to rent next month. "Very happy to be able to tell you that the extended version of the film, including 'Wildest Dreams,' 'The Archer' and 'Long Live' will be available to rent on demand in the US, Canada & additional countries to be announced soon starting on … you guessed it, December 13," Swift posted on Instagram Monday. 

🏈NFL BEARS 12 VIKINGS 10: Cairo Santos made four field goals, including the game-winning kick with 10 seconds remaining, to lift the Chicago Bears to a 12-10 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night in Minneapolis. Santos' 30-yard field goal capped off a contest that was defined by aggressive defenses and turnover-prone offenses. Chicago (4-8) earned its first win against an NFC North opponent under coach Matt Eberflus, who entered the game 0-9 against division rivals.

Bears quarterback Justin Fields completed 27 of 37 passes for 217 yards. He rushed 12 times for 59 yards but lost two fumbles in the second half. Joshua Dobbs threw a career-high four interceptions for Minnesota (6-6). He completed 22 of 32 passes for 185 yards and one touchdown. The Bears trailed 10-9 when they took over on their own 22-yard line with no timeouts and 2:29 remaining. Fields pushed the ball bear midfield but faced third-and-10 after back-to-back incompletions.

🏈CAROLINA PANTHERS FIRE HEAD COACH FRANK REICH: Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper fired coach Frank Reich on Monday, less than 24 hours after the owner left the locker room muttering an expletive following Sunday's 17-10 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Nashville. Reich's tenure at Carolina ended with an NFL-worst 1-10 record -- including an 0-6 mark on the road. He also becomes the first NFL head coach since the 1970 merger to be fired in back-to-back seasons after last year's dismissal from the Indianapolis Colts.

🏈SOURCE: DOLPHINS TO SIGN VETERAN DE JASON PIERRE-PAUL: Veteran defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul is expected to sign with the Miami Dolphins in the wake of a season-ending Achilles injury to linebacker Jaelan Phillips. The South Florida native Pierre-Paul, who signed with the New Orleans Saints on Nov. 16, confirmed he would join the Dolphins with a post to his Instagram account Monday night.

🏈RAIDERS WAIVE MARCUS PETERS (BENCHED), RODERIC TEAMER (ARRESTED): The Las Vegas Raiders waived cornerback Marcus Peters on Monday, a day after the ninth-year veteran was benched before halftime of a 31-17 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. The team also waived safety Roderic Teamer, two days after he was arrested and charged with DUI and speeding.

⚾SOURCES: JASON HEYWARD, DODGERS REACH 1-YEAR, $9 MILLION DEAL: Outfielder Jason Heyward is returning to the Los Angeles Dodgers on a one-year deal for $9 million, sources told ESPN on Monday. The deal is pending a physical. Heyward had a bounce-back 2023 season in Los Angeles, hitting .269 with 15 homers and compiling 2.2 wins above replacement.

➤NO MORE GAMBLING: Dave Portnoy, The Barstool Sports founder and obsessed bettor announced in a social media tirade that he has quit gambling following the Buffalo Bills' overtime loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. 'I quit gambling,' Portnoy wrote on X. 'F*** Buffalo.'  It's unclear how much he actually wagered, but he did refer to a 'monster bet' he placed on Buffalo, and given Portnoy's well-documented history as a gambler, the figure could be six figures. 'Ref show in Philly,' Portnoy wrote on social media before blaming his loss on NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

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