By AJ Willingham, CNN
The Biden administration is expected to announce a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Olympics this week. The move would send a strong message to China while still allowing American athletes to compete. Here’s what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.
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1. Michigan shooting
The parents of Ethan Crumbley, the 15-year-old accused of fatally shooting four classmates and injuring several others at a Michigan high school last week, have been arrested and jailed after spending part of the weekend on the run. James and Jennifer Crumbley were charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter, which were brought forth as prosecutors alleged the parents provided unrestricted access to the gun their son is accused of using. Ethan Crumbley is being charged as an adult with terrorism, first degree murder and other counts. Democratic legislators are calling for bipartisan cooperation to create meaningful gun legislation that they hope would prevent such tragedies. Connecticut Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy suggested universal background checks and a safe storage policy for guns as solution that could garner support from across the aisle.
The US is averaging more than 100,000 new Covid-19 cases a day, the first time the country has crossed that threshold in two months. Deaths are also on the rise, with an average of 1,651 people dying from Covid-19 each day over the past seven days. Thanksgiving gatherings are likely one cause of the uptick. The vast majority of new US cases are from the Delta variant. Delta is still the dominant strain across the world, showing up in about 99.9% of coronavirus cases. But the Omicron variant has now been detected in at least 16 states, and has the potential to become the dominant strain nationwide. All of this is especially frustrating and concerning as the holiday season rolls on and scientists scramble to determine whether Omicron is more transmissible and more virulent than other strains.
Unrest is brewing in the House as two Republican representatives — Lauren Boebert of Colorado and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia — continue to double down on racist and divisive rhetoric. Boebert has unleashed a string of anti-Muslim remarks against Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, implying she could be a terrorist or terrorist sympathizer, and calling her and the other lone Muslim representative the “jihad squad.” After a contentious phone call with Boebert last week, Omar says she’s “very confident” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will take action against Boebert, which could include punishments like stripping her of her committee assignments. When Republican Rep. Nancy Mace criticized Boebert for her remarks, Rep. Greene, who regularly courts controversy with inflammatory comments, called Mace “trash” and vowed to support a primary challenge against her.
US officials are closely eyeing China’s advancements in both military might and space capabilities. It’s no secret the two countries are highly competitive, and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said the US isn’t afraid to address China’s military rise. The country recently tested a hypersonic weapon system, and is rapidly building up its nuclear arsenal, aiming to bring it to at least 1,000 warheads by 2030. Currently, Washington and Beijing are at odds over Taiwan, which has been the target of several displays of escalating Chinese military force. Meanwhile, Gen. David Thompson, vice chief of space operations for the US Space Force, says China is developing its space capabilities at “twice the rate” of the US, and could overtake the US by the end of the decade.
The US is growing increasingly concerned over the potential for Russian aggression against Ukraine. Russia has rapidly escalated its military presence along the countries’ shared border, amassing up to 175,000 troops there. New US intelligence findings estimate Russia could begin an invasion of Ukraine in a matter of months. In addition to the military buildup, the intelligence suggests a Russian influence campaign meant to denigrate Ukraine’s leaders. President Joe Biden has warned that Russian military action against Ukraine would result in severe consequences. The buildup has led to a planned video call on Tuesday between Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Russia has denied it has any plans to attack Ukraine, but has also demanded a pledge from Western countries to keep Ukraine from joining NATO.
The College Football Playoff will feature Alabama v. Cincinnati and Michigan v. Georgia
Taylor Swift sends flowers to Don McLean after ‘All Too Well’ becomes longest song to top the Billboard 100, a record previously held by ‘American Pie’
You could cook a whole meal and eat it by the time both of these songs played out.
How to tell if it’s time for a ‘sleep divorce’ for better shut-eye
Henry Winkler is auctioning off his Fonz jacket and more ‘Happy Days’ memorabilia
A North Carolina man accidentally bought 2 identical lottery tickets — and won 2 jackpots
Bob Dole, Republican Party stalwart, three-time presidential candidate, has died at the age of 98. Dole served in the Senate for 27 years. President Biden called Dole “an American statesman like few in our history” and “a war hero … among the greatest of the Greatest Generation.”
That’s how much money was stolen from a safe at pastor Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas in 2014. A plumber doing repair work at the church recently uncovered hundreds of envelopes of cash and checks hidden behind a wall, and police believe the money is tied to that 7-year-old theft.
Please let us stop this shipwreck of civilization!
Pope Francis, decrying the loss of life in the Mediterranean and countries that close their borders to refugees. This weekend, the Pope met with refugees on the Greek island of Lesbos, a location that has become a symbol of the migrant crisis in the region.
How are glass ornaments made? Very carefully!
No wonder every delicate glass ornament comes pre-supplied with a lifetime fear of breaking it. (Click here to view)
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