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December 27, 2023
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December 27, 2023

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December 27, 2023

On foot and by donkey cart, thousands flee widening Israeli assault in central Gaza

DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — Thousands of Palestinian families are fleeing from the brunt of Israel’s expanding ground offensive into Gaza’s few remaining, overcrowded refuges. The movement comes as the military launches heavy strikes across the center and south of the territory. Palestinian health officials say dozens of people have been killed. The fleeing families arrive on foot or riding donkey carts loaded with belongings. A stream of people flowed into Deir al-Balah — a town that normally has a population of around 75,000. It has been overwhelmed by several hundred thousand people driven from northern Gaza as the region was pounded to rubble.

Michigan Supreme Court will keep Trump on 2024 primary ballot

Michigan’s Supreme Court is keeping former President Donald Trump on the state’s primary election ballot. The court said Wednesday it will not hear an appeal of a lower court’s ruling from groups seeking to keep Trump from appearing on the ballot. Wednesday’s ruling follows a Dec. 19 decision by a divided Colorado Supreme Court, which said Trump is ineligible to be president after his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. Michigan’s high court says it is “not persuaded that the questions presented should be reviewed by this court.” Trump hailed the order, calling attempts to keep him off the ballot a “pathetic gambit.”

Nikki Haley has bet her 2024 bid on South Carolina. But much of her home state leans toward Trump

GILBERT, S.C. (AP) — Nikki Haley is betting her 2024 candidacy on winning South Carolina. But the politics of Haley’s home state have shifted far to the right since she was governor. That threatens her ability to tap into her local roots to notch the victory she has promised. In 2016, she endorsed Florida Sen. Marco Rubio while her lieutenant governor endorsed Donald Trump. Trump won South Carolina and eventually the presidency. Today, almost every state official is backing Trump and he continues to draw huge crowds and interest in the state. But Haley still retains many supporters in the state before the Feb. 24 primary, which has often voted for the eventual GOP nominee.

Social media companies made $11 billion in US ad revenue from minors, Harvard study finds

A study from Harvard says social media companies collectively made over $11 billion in U.S. advertising revenue from minors last year. The researchers say the findings show a need for government regulation of social media since the companies that stand to make money from children who use their platforms have failed to meaningfully self-regulate. They also note such regulations, as well greater transparency from tech companies, could help alleviate harms to youth mental health. And curtail potentially harmful advertising practices that target children and adolescents. The platforms themselves don’t make public how much money they make from minors.

The New York Times sues OpenAI, Microsoft over the use of its stories to train chatbots

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Times is suing OpenAI and Microsoft, trying to end the practice of using its stories to train chatbots. In the federal suit filed Wednesday in Manhattan federal court, the Times said OpenAI and Microsoft are advancing their technology through the “unlawful use of The Times’s work to create artificial intelligence products that compete with it” and “threatens The Times’s ability to provide that service.” OpenAI and Microsoft did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Deported by US, arrested in Venezuela: One family’s saga highlights Biden’s migration challenge

MIAMI (AP) — The Venezuelan diaspora is one of the most vexing migration challenges facing the U.S. secretary of state and the homeland security secretary when they meet Mexico’s president Wednesday to discuss unprecedented arrivals at the border. Venezuelans topped all nationalities in border arrests in September. That was just before the U.S. resumed deportation flights to Venezuela. The travails of one family offer a window into how those deportation flights are playing out: Pedro Naranjo is in Venezuelan military prison. His father waits in U.S. immigration detention. They have been separated by the overstretched U.S. immigration system.

Americans sour on the primary election process and major political parties, an AP-NORC poll says

WASHINGTON (AP) — With the Republican primaries around the corner, a new poll finds that party members aren’t sure votes in the presidential nominating contest will be counted accurately. Only about one-third of Republicans say they’re confident that tallies in the primary will be accurate. That’s according to a new AP-NORC poll. The skepticism comes after years of former President Donald Trump blaming prior losses on voter fraud, including in the 2020 election. It also comes as Americans express pessimism about both political parties. About half of adults are pessimistic about the future of the GOP and just under half are similarly down on the Democratic party.

Comedian Tom Smothers, one-half of the Smothers Brothers, dies at 86

Tom Smothers, half of the Smothers Brothers and the co-host of one of the most socially conscious and groundbreaking television shows in the history of the medium, has died at 86. The National Comedy Center, on behalf of his family, said in a statement Wednesday that Smothers died Tuesday following a cancer battle. “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” debuted on CBS in the fall of 1967 with a mix of music and comedy that included satirical sketches lampooning the Establishment and railing against the Vietnam War. The show, though popular with viewers, drew the ire of network censors who constantly battled the brothers over its content. In 1970, CBS abruptly canceled the show.

She died weeks after fleeing the Maui wildfire. Her family fought to have her listed as a victim.

LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) — A wildfire that tore through the heart of the Hawaii island of Maui this summer showed how older residents are at particular risk from disasters. Sixty of the 100 people killed in the Maui fire this summer were 65 or older. Many relatives are now facing grief and anger or feeling robbed of final years with their elders. As climate change has intensified natural disasters including wildfires and hurricanes, the number of people exposed to such hazards has increased. Studies around the world have suggested that wildfire disproportionately affects socially vulnerable people, such as those who are older and might have a diminished capacity to respond to danger, or those who are disabled or low-income.

A lifestyle and enduring relationship with horses lends to the popularity of rodeo in Indian Country

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Born out of necessity and in mastering skills that came as horses transformed hunting, travel and warfare, rodeo has remained popular in Native American communities. Grandstands often play host to mini family reunions while Native cowboys and cowgirls show off their skills roping, riding and wrestling livestock. It’s a lifestyle that’s connected to nature and community — values that Oglala Lakota citizen Jessica White Plume says run deep in tribal culture. With each competition, Native Americans make it decidedly theirs. Ornate regalia, blessings bestowed by tribal elders and tribes’ versions of flag songs are as much staples as big buckles and cowboy hats.