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Daily Briefing: Traveling for Thanksgiving?


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A sprawling, messy pre-Thanksgiving storm across the eastern U.S. will bring travel headaches Tuesday and Wednesday for millions. Also in the news: Health officials say premature babies evacuated from Gaza to Egypt are facing grave infections and what to know about the hunger crisis that grips many Americans.

🙋🏼‍♀️ I’m Nicole Fallert, Daily Briefing author. Here’s how to talk politics – or not – with relatives on Thanksgiving.

Here is the news to know Tuesday.

A storm may threaten Thanksgiving travel in the eastern US

Rain, thunderstorms, snow, wind, fog and ice are all in the forecast as an estimated 55.4 million Americans set out for Thanksgiving travels. The worst weather is expected Tuesday from the Great Lakes to the Northeast down to the Southeast. Heavy rain will make for “miserable” travel on the roads Tuesday in much of the I-80, I-81 and I-95 mid-Atlantic region, experts said. Temperatures will probably be cold enough to support wet snow early Tuesday over the upper Midwest, reaching eastward into interior New England by Tuesday night, forecasters said. Strong wind could be an issue for air travelers, likely causing delays because of drenching rain and poor visibility. Read more

Hamas leader says truce agreement with Israel nearing

The chief of Hamas told media Tuesday that the Palestinian militant group was near a truce agreement with Israel. Reuters said it received a statement from an aide of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh indicating that the group had delivered its response through Qatari mediators. 

The statement did not give more information. A Hamas official said negotiations were centered on how long the truce would last, arrangements for delivery of aid, and the exchange of hostages.

  • “We’re closer than we’ve ever been” to reaching a deal for the release of hostages, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby reiterated Monday. President Joe Biden also said an agreement is near, without providing specifics.
  • Twenty-eight of the 31 premature babies evacuated from Shifa Hospital in Gaza on Sunday were transported to Egyptian medical facilities Monday. The WHO has evacuated some patients and staff from embattled Shifa in recent days but said it remains gravely concerned about the safety and health needs of more than 250 patients and 20 health workers who remain.
  • “Did we die?”: Journalists are fighting for their lives while reporting from the war. USA TODAY spoke with one reporter in Gaza about trying to stay alive.

Keep reading: With more than 800 antisemitic acts since Oct. 7, Jewish student groups plead for Biden’s help.

More news to know now

What’s the weather today? Check your local forecast here.

Sam Altman to join Microsoft after OpenAI ousts him

It’s been a hectic weekend for OpenAI, the artificial intelligence company behind ChatGPT. The company’s board on Monday named a new interim CEO, three days after ousting co-founder Sam Altman from the position. Then the former CEO announced Monday that he will join Microsoft to help lead a new AI research team. Hundreds of OpenAI employees have threatened to resign over the board’s actions, leaving the future of the AI company on shaky ground. More than 500 of OpenAI’s 700-plus employees have signed a letter urging the company’s board to resign and some have threatened to join the newly-announced Microsoft subsidiary run by Altman and Greg Brockman, another OpenAI co-founder and former president who quit in solidarity. Read more

A staggering hunger crisis in America looms over Thanksgiving

As much of the country prepares to feast on Thanksgiving favorites this week, many will also face a stark reality: Hunger in America is unabating, and in 2023, safety nets meant to catch people at their most vulnerable are seeing spikes in visits compared to last year. Food bank leaders from all corners of the country tell USA TODAY their neighborhood pantries are serving more people while using less resources, as economic pressures continue to ravage the budgets of low-income Americans and service providers alike. And after pandemic-era boosts to government food aid ended earlier this year in many states, families are turning to food banks to close a gap. Read more

Keep scrolling

Philly wins Super Bowl 57 rematch against Kansas City

The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Kansas City Chiefs, 21-17, at Arrowhead Stadium on Monday night in a rematch of Super Bowl 57. The Chiefs won last season’s championship, 38-35, after scoring 17 points in the fourth quarter. This time, it was Jalen Hurts and company who came from behind to capture the victory. Hurts and D’Andre Swift scored all three of the Eagles’ touchdowns on the ground. Philadelphia was down 17-7 at halftime and the Chiefs failed to score after the break. Read our full recap of the game.

Photo of the day: President Biden pardons Liberty and Bell, two lucky turkeys

President Joe Biden pardoned two turkeys from a family farm in Minnesota − who got their names from the famous Liberty Bell in Philadelphia − as part of a long White House tradition ahead of Thanksgiving.

Nicole Fallert is a newsletter writer at USA TODAY, sign up for the email here. Want to send Nicole a note? Shoot her an email at NFallert@usatoday.com or follow along with her musings on Twitter. Support journalism like this – subscribe to USA TODAY here.

Associated Press contributed reporting.

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