By Alexandra Banner, CNN
(CNN) — Modern earthquakes in the US could be aftershocks from quakes in the 1800s, according to a new study. For example, researchers found that some recent tremors near the Missouri-Kentucky border are likely not new, but rather from the three major earthquakes that struck centuries ago.
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Top UN officials are warning of an “apocalyptic” situation in Gaza with “no place safe to go” for civilians as the deepening humanitarian crisis sparks international concern. Israel is expanding ground operations to the entire territory to “eliminate” Hamas and has told Palestinians to flee large swaths of southern Gaza, where many had previously sought refuge. But the war-torn region is in the midst of a near-total internet blackout as the last major telecommunications operator said services are completely cut off. This means many Palestinians are unable to communicate with one another or call for help while evacuating, and emergency workers can’t coordinate their responses.
2. Presidential debate
Four Republicans will face off in the fourth GOP presidential primary debate Wednesday in Alabama. The participating candidates include Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. It will be the smallest debate stage lineup so far this year and comes just six weeks before the Iowa caucuses open the 2024 GOP nomination calendar. Former President Donald Trump — the front-runner in the Republican presidential primary race — is skipping the debate, as he did the previous three. He will instead attend a fundraiser in Florida for a super PAC supporting his candidacy.
3. Terror plot foiled
A 16-year-old in Las Vegas has been arrested after allegedly threatening a lone wolf terrorist attack in support of ISIS. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department foiled the terror plot after investigators were made aware of the teenager’s alarming social media posts and searched his home within hours. “The search of his residence revealed numerous items of concern,” Las Vegas police said. Authorities found a handmade ISIS flag, terrorism propaganda, and recipes for how to build an explosive device. The suspect was taken into custody and is facing multiple felony charges.
4. Border policy
Republican senators warned Monday they are prepared to block a huge Ukraine-Israel aid package unless it includes major US border policy changes. It remains to be seen what can be achieved before the Senate leaves for the holidays after border talks hit an impasse over the weekend. But with time running short, one option would be for Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to move to advance an aid package without the border policy changes and dare Republicans to vote no on additional aid to Ukraine and Israel, which has been an important priority for many Senate Republicans. Schumer would need nine Republicans to overcome a procedural hurdle, something that many Republicans signaled Monday they wouldn’t help Democrats do.
Over 10 million people are under flood watches today across the Pacific Northwest as strong atmospheric rivers blast the region with heavy rain. After dumping snow on parts of Utah and Colorado on Monday, the systems may bring even more rainfall and potential flash floods to parts of Oregon’s Cascade mountains, southern Washington and far northwest California, according to the Weather Prediction Center. Meteorologists say that the exact strength and overall impact of this weather event should become clearer once this week’s atmospheric river comes to an end on Wednesday.
Indian chess siblings become first brother and sister duo to earn grandmaster title
This 22-year-old chess player became only the third woman in India to earn a grandmaster title — but she’s not the first in her family to achieve such a feat.
Robert Downey Jr. won’t be returning as Iron Man
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige confirmed there are no plans for Robert Downey Jr. to reprise his role as Tony Stark/Iron Man in the Marvel universe.
You can visit a real-life ‘Hobbit Hole’ in New Zealand
This hobbit movie set offers much to enjoy for “Lord of the Rings” fans.
‘Grand Theft Auto’ trailer reveals game’s release date
The next installment of the wildly popular and violent video game franchise is coming in 2025, according to a trailer published early by Rockstar Games after a version of it leaked online.
YouTuber gets 6 months in federal prison for staging small plane crash
A 30-year-old YouTube creator staged a small plane crash for social media clicks. He now faces time behind bars for his “daredevil” conduct.
That’s how many days that American Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich has been detained in Russia. Gershkovich was arrested in March while on a reporting trip in the country. Russian authorities accused him of trying to obtain state secrets — a charge Gershkovich, his employer and the US government have strenuously denied.
“It should, I believe, have sufficient funds to do its job on its own.”
— Richard Branson, saying he has no plans to invest more money in his space tourism company Virgin Galactic because it has “sufficient funds” already. His comments sent shares of the company plunging Monday, trading at less than $2 per share. This comes after Virgin’s November financial report revealed the company’s plans to slow down its cadence of space missions.
AND FINALLY …
Young star detected outside Milky Way
Astronomers have detected a young star outside our Milky Way galaxy that may be forming a new planet! Watch this short video to learn about this exciting discovery.
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