By AJ Willingham, CNN
Happy Kwanzaa! The cultural holiday, which comes from the Swahili phrase “matunda ya kwanza,” meaning “first fruits,” started yesterday and lasts until January 1.
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Coronavirus outbreaks are fouling things up everywhere. Major US airlines canceled or delayed thousands of flights over the busy holiday travel weekend due to staffing issues caused by the Omicron surge, including 1,200 flights that were canceled yesterday. At sea, at least four cruise ships were turned away from US ports of call or were prohibited from letting passengers disembark because of coronavirus cases on board. Covid-19 has also thinned out the highly anticipated college football bowl season. The Military Bowl in Annapolis, Maryland, will not be played today, and neither will Wednesday’s inaugural Fenway Bowl in Boston. In total, five bowl games have been canceled or impacted by Covid-19.
The juries in two very different, high-profile trials are expected to resume deliberations this week after a holiday break. Ghislaine Maxwell faces six charges in her federal trial related to what prosecutors say were her efforts to groom and traffic underage girls to be sexually abused by her close companion Jeffrey Epstein. Four women testified during the proceedings, saying Maxwell facilitated, and sometimes participated in their abuse. Elizabeth Holmes, the former CEO and founder of blood-testing startup Theranos, faces federal criminal fraud charges over allegations that she misled investors, doctors and patients about the company’s testing abilities.
China is planning to tighten restrictions for Chinese companies that want to go public in international markets. Under a new system proposed by the China Securities Regulatory Commission, a company would have to register with the agency first, and then meet a set of government requirements. China has actively tried to discourage companies from trading in overseas markets out of concern for national security, but the government has stopped short of banning the practice altogether. Meanwhile, Evergrande, the Chinese real estate company known as the world’s most indebted property developer, says it has made progress in resuming construction on homes in an effort to dig its way out of more than $300 billion in liabilities.
At least 30 people, including women and children, were killed in eastern Myanmar during a Christmas Eve attack, according to the Karenni Human Rights Group. Two members of international humanitarian group Save the Children were also reported missing after the attack. Myanmar’s National Unity Government blamed the country’s military junta and called for an end to their violent rule. The Myanmar military, which seized power in a February coup, says it shot and killed a number of “terrorists with weapons” in the area. The Karenni National Defense Force, one of the largest of several civilian militias, said the dead were civilians seeking refuge from the conflict.
5. Los Angeles shooting
Police body camera video is set to be released today in connection with the death of a teenage girl who was shot and killed as police responded to an incident in a Los Angeles-area store last Thursday. The 14-year-old was in a dressing room with her mother when police fired at a man suspected of attacking another woman in the store. A bullet penetrated a wall and struck the girl. The LAPD said it is planning to release body cam footage, 911 calls, radio transmissions and other evidence related to the shooting. The California Department of Justice is also investigating the incident.
CNN anchors share their favorite holiday dishes
‘Tis the season to try Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s chai or Poppy Harlow’s apple crisp!
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Physically, we are here. But mentally, we are wandering the gardens of Versailles.
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What was the last one? (answer below)
A pair of eggs belonging to two internet-famous Florida bald eagles are expected to hatch soon
Ooh, we love celebrity babies!
Catherine Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, delivers surprise piano performance during Christmas celebration
Who knew she could tickle the ivories like that?
(It was “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” released in December 2019.)
That’s how many people the World Bank estimated fell into poverty in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic, living on less than $2 a day.
“He was larger than life, and for so many in South Africa and around the world his life has been a blessing. His contributions to struggles against injustice, locally and globally, are matched only by the depth of his thinking about the making of liberatory futures for human societies.”
A statement from the Nelson Mandela Foundation on the passing of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The Nobel Peace Prize-winning Anglican cleric, known for his leadership during the struggle to end apartheid in his native South Africa, died Sunday at 90.
Come play with me!
We know crows are smart, but this one also loves to play games and puzzles with its chosen human. (Click here to view)
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