Monday, December 4, 2023

12/4 WAKE-UP CALL: Israel To Gaza Residents..'Get Out Now'

Israeli ground forces were confronting Hamas fighters across the Gaza Strip, the Israeli military said on Sunday in its clearest indication yet that a planned ground offensive in the enclave's refugee-crowded south had begun as Israeli bombing killed and wounded dozens of Palestinians. The Hamas Palestinian militant group said its fighters clashed with Israeli troops about 1 mile from the southern city of Khan Younis. Residents, many of whom had moved there to flee earlier attacks in the Israel-Palestinian conflict, said they could hear tank fire and feared a new Israeli ground offensive was building. The Israeli military earlier ordered people to evacuate some areas in and near the city, but made no announcement of any new southern ground assault. "The IDF (Israel Defence Forces) continues to extend its ground operation against Hamas centres in all of the Gaza Strip," spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari told reporters in Tel Aviv. "The forces are coming face-to-face with terrorists and killing them."

Graphics NY Post 12/4

An American warship and three commercial ships came under attack Sunday in international waters of the Red Sea, a possible escalation of the war just as Israel's bombardment of the Gaza Strip intensifies following a weeklong truce. The USS Carney shot down three drones while responding to distress calls from the vessels after they were targeted by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, the Pentagon said in a statement. 

The assaults with ballistic missiles lasted about seven hours and damaged two of the ships, according to the statement. "These attacks represent a direct threat to international commerce and maritime security,'' the U.S. Central Command said. "They have jeopardized the lives of international crews representing multiple countries around the world. ... The United States will consider all appropriate responses in full coordination with its international allies and partners.''

➤HOSTAGE NEGOTIATIONS HAVE STOPPED: Talks between Israel and Hamas to hand over hostages held in Gaza in return for a pause in fighting there have stalled, the White House said Sunday, while Israeli forces step up attacks and direct Palestinians in the enclave to move into a narrower strip of land.  “The negotiations have stopped. That said, what hasn’t stopped is our own involvement, trying to get those back on track…We would like that to happen today,” White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told NBC. He blamed Hamas for failing to provide a fresh list of civilian women and children to be released.

Israel recalled its negotiating team from Qatar on Saturday after it said talks had reached an impasse. Saleh al-Arouri, Hamas’s deputy political chief, said the militant group has only hostages who are soldiers and “civilians serving in the army,” and that it wouldn’t release more of them until Israel ends its war. Egyptian and Qatari mediators continue to seek a compromise, senior Egyptian officials said. Hamas has said it doesn’t hold the remaining civilian women and children and can’t turn them over. Israeli officials said that while this may be true, Hamas, as the dominant force in Gaza, has the power to force other factions to release their hostages.

🛫AIRLINES MERGE: Alaska Airlines announced Sunday it will acquire Hawaiian Airlines for $1.9 billion, expanding the fifth-largest airline in the U.S., putting it on track for a potential clash with the Biden administration. The company said it would keep the Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines brands "while integrating into a single operating platform" to offer passengers access to more flights and destinations across the Americas, Asia, Australia, and the South Pacific.

➤4 DEAD, 3 INJURED AND SUSPECT DEAD IN QUEENS STABBING AND FIRE: In a tragic incident in Far Rockaway, Queens, four people, including two children, were fatally stabbed on a Sunday morning. The victims, an 11-year-old girl, a 12-year-old boy, a 44-year-old woman, and a man in his 30s, are believed to be family members. The police responded to a 911 call from a young female reporting that her cousin was killing family members. Two police officers were injured, and a fire broke out at the scene. The suspect is dead, and one person is critically injured.

➤BEEF PRICES HIT RECORD HIGH: Beef prices have reached a new high of $8 per pound, surpassing the previous pandemic record, due to a severe drought in the southwestern U.S. impacting the national herd. According to The Cool Down, the U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts a 180 million-pound decrease in beef production by the end of 2023, with herds at a 61-year low. Environmental factors, including a 1,200-year dry spell, and human activities intensifying the situation, contribute to the crisis. Carbon pollution, linked to global temperature rise and extreme weather events, affects various industries, leading to higher costs for beef products. The situation underscores the need for environmental balance, and experts suggest a collective effort to address the challenges posed by climate change.

➤CALIFORNIA HAS SOME OF THE HIGHEST RATES OF FLU: California is one of ten states listed by the CDC as having some of the highest rates of influenza in the country. California, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida are all listed as having the highest rate of respiratory virus across the nation. The California Department of Public Health currently lists RSV at a 12.2% positivity rate in California, and the flu at 7.4%. Medical professionals explain, that this year the vaccine is a great match for the viruses, specifically Influenza A, which is being seen most frequently among the public.

➤FLORENCE PUGH IS HIT IN THE FACE WITH FLYING OBJECT DURING COMIC-CON IN BRAZIL: Florence Pugh is the latest famous person to have a random object thrown at her during a public event. According to Entertainment Tonight, the Don’t Worry Darling actor was hit in the face by a flying object while posing with her Dune: Part Two costars at a Comic-Con event in Brazil on Sunday. Video of the incident has been circulating on social media. 
This comes after performers such as Bebe Rexha, Harry Styles, Kelsea Ballerini, and Kid Cudi have all had similar experiences during concerts this year, according to The Hollywood Reporter
➤MARK SHEPPARD SHARES THAT HE SURVIVED HIS SIXTH HEART ATTACK: Mark Sheppard, the actor who portrays Crowley on the CW show Supernatural, revealed on Instagram Saturday (December 2nd) that he has survived his sixth heart attack. Sharing a photo of himself in a hospital bed, he wrote, “You’re not going to believe this! Was on my way to an appointment yesterday when I collapsed in my kitchen. Six massive heart attacks later, and being brought back from dead 4 times I apparently had a 100% blockage in my LAD. The Widowmaker.” The X-Files actor added, “If not for my wife, the @losangelesfiredepartment at mullholland and the incredible staff @providencecalifornia St Joseph’s - I wouldn’t be writing this. My chances of survival were virtually nil. I feel great. Humbled once more. Home tomorrow!”

:  Jordan Love showed the Kansas City Chiefs just how much he’s learned since the last time he faced them. Love connected with Christian Watson on two of his three touchdown passes and the resurgent Green Bay Packers won their third straight game, 27-19 over Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night. This marked the first time Love had faced the Chiefs since a 13-7 loss at Kansas City two years ago in his first career start, after a positive COVID-19 test sidelined Aaron Rodgers.

“Obviously I’ve had this game circled for a long time,” Love said. “This was my first start and I obviously didn’t play how I wanted to the first game. To be able to see these guys and get the victory is huge.” 

The Packers scored touchdowns on three of their first four drives and never trailed, with their defense making two big stops in the last 5 1/2 minutes. Green Bay knocked down Mahomes’ pass into the end zone on the game’s final play.

🏈NFL 49ERS 42 EAGLES 19: Deebo Samuel talked so much smack after last season’s NFC championship game, the box score almost needed a doublecheck to confirm that — yes, the 49ers did indeed lose to the Eagles. Samuel called one Eagles cornerback “trash” and blistered Philly as his “most-hated” team in the NFL. Just for good measure, Samuel and some teammates arrived Sunday dressed in black, perhaps a knowing nod to the bleak day ahead for the Eagles. Samuel backed up his big mouth with a blockbuster performance that showed the 49ers have plenty of room left to chase the No. 1 seed in the NFC. 

Brock Purdy threw for 314 yards and four touchdowns, Samuel scored three TDs and Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts was checked for a concussion in San Francisco’s 42-19 win over Philadelphia.

🏈FSU SNUBBED: Michigan, Washington, Texas and Alabama were selected Sunday and Florida State became the first unbeaten Power Five conference champion to be excluded from the field. Michigan will face Alabama in the Rose Bowl, Washington will play Texas in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1 and the winners will meet for the national championship Jan. 8 in Houston. Before the CFP grows to 12 next year — an expansion that was delayed by a year because of infighting among the conference commissioners who manage the postseason system — the selection committee faced the toughest decision in the 10-year history of the format.

“Florida State is a different team than they were through the first 11 weeks,” explained Boo Corrigan, the selection committee chairman who is also the athletic director at North Carolina State, Florida State’s Atlantic Coast Conference rival. The Seminoles (13-0) lost star quarterback Jordan Travis to a season-ending injury two weeks ago, but continued to win with a backup and then a third-string quarterback. The committee, though, is instructed to judge teams for what they are heading into the playoff and decided FSU without Travis is not among the best four in the country. “I am disgusted and infuriated with the committee’s decision today to have what was earned on the field taken away because a small group of people decided they knew better than the results of the games. What is the point of playing games?” Florida State coach Mike Norvell said.

⚾LEYLAND RERACHES HALL:  With his gray hair and mustache, his crusty countenance and his penchant for sneaking cigarettes during games, Jim Leyland long looked the part of the venerable, veteran skipper. But he also played the part well, racking up the 18th-highest win total in history, eight postseason appearances, three league pennants, a World Series championship with the 1997 Marlins and three Manager of the Year honors. Now, Leyland, one of the game’s more beloved and respected leaders, will have his indelible image on a National Baseball Hall of Fame plaque next summer.

➤THE WEST IS STORMY: A series of back-to-back atmospheric rivers are set to bring intense gusts and up to ten inches of rain to parts of the West Coast - with unrelenting storms expected until Wednesday.  More than half a dozen states are under winter weather alerts, as the atmospheric river brings up to 12 inches of snow and rain to parts of Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, northwestern California and Utah.  The heaviest rainfall is likely to occur in western Washington State.

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