By Alexandra Banner, CNN
(CNN) — Cold weather is stretching across the US while parts of the East are getting walloped by lake-effect snow. This occurs when cold air blows over warmer lake water, picking up more moisture and often dumping large amounts of snow in a short period of time.
Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.
A sixth set of hostages is expected to be freed by Hamas today as diplomatic efforts are underway to maintain the pause in fighting. Over the first five days of the truce in Gaza, Hamas has released 81 hostages, primarily women and children. In exchange, Israel has freed 180 Palestinians from prison — many of whom were detained but never charged. The White House said it remains hopeful that some Americans may be released today after previously saying two women were expected to be freed as part of the deal announced last week. So far, a 4-year-old American-Israeli citizen is the only American hostage to be released since the truce began, to the deep disappointment of US officials.
2. Presidential race
The influential Koch network is throwing its money behind former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley in the Republican presidential primary, the group announced Tuesday. The decision could dramatically reshape the Republican field — roughly seven weeks before the Iowa caucuses — as Americans for Prosperity Action deploys its vast resources and standing army of conservative activists on behalf of the former US ambassador to the United Nations. The endorsement marks the latest sign that powerful Republican donors are coalescing behind Haley and bypassing former President Donald Trump. Still, Trump remains the Republican party’s front-runner in both national and early state polling, with Haley and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis each jockeying to emerge as the main Trump alternative.
3. Gas prices
Gas prices in the US have dropped for more than 60 days in a row and more relief at the pumps could be on the way. The average price for a gallon of regular gas stands at $3.25 a gallon, according to AAA. That’s down 5 cents from a week ago and 63 cents since September. Analysts also say that figure is inflated by high-cost gas states like Hawaii, Washington and California (though even California prices have dropped by 43 cents over the past month to $4.88 a gallon). It’s normal for gas prices to cool off once the summer driving season ends, but the magnitude of the current drop is significant because it comes in the face of a series of international conflicts that were expected to disrupt supply.
4. Fruit recall
Several large retailers in the US — including Publix, Walmart and Aldi — received recalled fruit, the FDA warned Tuesday. The batches of non-organic peaches, plums and nectarines have been linked with a Listeria outbreak that caused at least 11 illnesses in seven states, with 10 hospitalizations and one death, health officials said. The FDA notes that the fruit also went to companies that may have frozen or relabeled it. Anyone who has frozen peaches, plums or nectarines should throw them away if the products are or may be part of the recall. The FDA and the CDC are also investigating an ongoing salmonella outbreak linked with recalled cantaloupe products that’s caused at least 99 illnesses and two deaths in 32 states.
5. France smoking ban
France will ban smoking on beaches and public parks with an aim to create a “tobacco-free generation by 2032,” the country’s health minister Aurélien Rousseau said Tuesday. Smoking in forests and some other public spaces, including close to schools, will also be banned in the country. The minister did not give an exact timeline but hinted that people could face fines as early as next year. “The fun, leisure aspect of smoking has to go,” Rousseau said, adding that “200 preventable tobacco-related deaths per day… is a number we should not get used to.” The move comes after France announced in September it would ban disposable e-cigarettes.
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Billionaire investor Charlie Munger, the long-time friend and business partner of Warren Buffett, has died. He was 99 years old. The vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway passed away “peacefully” on Tuesday morning in a California hospital, according to a news release from the investment firm.
That’s around how much consumers spent on Cyber Monday sales this year, a more than 9% increase from 2022, according to Adobe Analytics.
“I’ve heard you loud and clear.”
— Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, announcing the state is revising its planned 2024 license plate design following hundreds of complaints. One major criticism is the color scheme, with many saying it resembled those of other states and the University of Missouri — a rival of the University of Kansas.
AND FINALLY …
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