5 Things to know for Dec. 11: Israel, Tennessee tornadoes, Trump trial, Antisemitism, Ukraine

CNN — 

The surest way to stress less at the airport during the holidays? Arrive with time to spare, of course. At least two hours early is fine for domestic flights, according to standard Transportation Security Administration advice. A good timing strategy will be crucial if you’re among the record crowds flying during the peak 10-day travel period this month. Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.

1. Israel

Clashes between the Israeli military and Hamas are intensifying in Gaza as pressure builds for Israel to agree to a ceasefire. In an update Sunday, Israel said it struck more than 250 Hamas targets within 24 hours. Israeli forces have ordered residents in the main southern city of Khan Younis to evacuate ahead of additional strikes, but it’s unclear how many people might be aware of the instruction given the lack of communication in much of the enclave. Meanwhile, the US is facing condemnation after it vetoed a UN Security Council resolution last week demanding an immediate truce in Gaza. UN Secretary-General António Guterres says he “will not give up” calling for a ceasefire but said to “expect public order to completely break down soon.”

2. Tennessee tornadoes

Powerful tornadoes and storms tore through Tennessee over the weekend, shredding hundreds of homes and killing at least six people. More than 34,000 Tennesseans were without power early today and hundreds are facing prolonged outages due to the widespread destruction. In Nashville, a local utility estimates it may take days to restore power to some. In Clarksville near the Kentucky border, local officials say it could take weeks to get power after a tornado destroyed over 90 buildings and left at least 270 others “uninhabitable.” The same storm that spawned the deadly tornadoes will bring more severe weather to at least a dozen eastern US states today.

3. Trump trial

Former President Donald Trump was supposed to testify again in his New York civil fraud trial today, but he made a surprise announcement Sunday saying he would not appear. The GOP frontrunner’s decision to forgo testimony is the latest of his relentless attacks on the civil fraud case brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James, who is seeking $250 million in damages and to bar Trump from doing business in the state. The former president attended the civil trial last Thursday — though he didn’t have to be there — and used every opportunity to speak to TV cameras during breaks. Political experts say Trump’s trials have become part of his pitch to his base, arguing that his own plethora of legal woes is a reason voters should re-elect him.

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4. Antisemitism

University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill announced Saturday that she is stepping down after facing criticism over the school’s response to rising antisemitism. Several moments led to Magill’s resignation, including the decision to allow a Palestinian literature festival on campus with a highly controversial guest list. UPenn, Harvard University and MIT faced enormous backlash from high-profile donors after presidents from all three schools gave widely criticized testimony to the House in which they failed to condemn calls for the genocide of Jews as explicitly against campus harassment and bullying codes. Now that Magill has stepped down, the spotlight has turned to her counterpart from Harvard, Claudine Gay.

5. Ukraine

President Joe Biden will host Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the White House this week as discussions for a Ukraine aid deal remain stalled in Congress. The Senate has struggled for weeks to reach an agreement as top Republicans insist any aid package for key US allies — including Israel and Ukraine — be tied to reformed US immigration and border security policies. Lawmakers are now working against the clock to end the impasse before they leave town for the holidays next week. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have invited Zelensky to speak Tuesday at an all-senators meeting where he will call on the US to renew support of Ukraine’s defense against Russia.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Celebrities decline offers to host the Golden Globes

Nominations will be announced today, but it appears the show’s organizers are having a hard time finding someone to host.

Buckingham Palace releases this year’s Christmas card

King Charles III and Queen Camilla took a simple approach to their Christmas aesthetic this year.

Elon Musk restores the X account of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones

The move will likely impact X even further as companies distance themselves from Musk and the troubled platform.

This company wants to create ‘gas stations in space’

Currently, satellites can’t be refueled in space — meaning when they run out of fuel, they become space junk. This company wants to change that.

Army wins the 124th Army-Navy football game

The Army Black Knights defeated the Navy Midshipmen 17-11 at Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots.

IN MEMORIAM

Former NFL Pro Bowl tight end Frank Wycheck died Saturday after a falling accident, his family announced. He was 52. Wycheck was one of the key players of the “Music City Miracle,” a legendary football play that won a postseason game for the Tennessee Titans in 2000. The “Music City Miracle” was chosen in 2019 as the fourth greatest play in league history.

TODAY’S NUMBER

25%

That was ChatGPT’s accuracy when researchers posed a series of medical questions to the artificial intelligence tool in a new study. Sometimes the chatbot even furnished dangerous advice, like approving the combination of two medications that, in practice, could have serious adverse reactions.

TODAY’S QUOTE

“We are going to be a power again.”

— Javier Milei, who was sworn in as Argentina’s new president on Sunday. The political newcomer, who has drawn comparisons with former US President Donald Trump, has promised radical changes — including plans for Argentina to swap the peso for the US dollar.

 

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