Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day
Israel resumed combat operations in Gaza today after a seven-day truce with Hamas broke down. The Israeli military began launching airstrikes on the region hours ago after accusing Hamas of firing toward Israel and violating the truce agreement — which allowed for the release of hostages. Sirens warning of incoming rockets sounded in communities surrounding the Gaza Strip and the city of Ashkelon this morning as the fighting picked back up. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed his deep regret about the strikes resuming in Gaza, calling it a “war on children.” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken separately said Israel needs to make further efforts to protect civilians in Gaza as Israel resumes its military campaign.
Former President Donald Trump’s attorneys in the Georgia election subversion case will appear in a Fulton County courtroom for the first time today to defend their client, though Trump won’t be with them. The historic indictment of Trump and 18 co-defendants in August, which includes felony racketeering charges, is one of several legal cases facing the former president. In Georgia, Trump and his alleged co-conspirators face a combined 41 state charges of trying to overturn legitimate election results in the 2020 presidential election. Fulton County prosecutors want Trump’s trial to begin in August 2024, which would be in the middle of his presidential election campaign if he wins the Republican nomination. However, it remains up to the judge overseeing the case to set a trial date.
3. Lead pipes
The EPA is proposing a requirement to remove lead pipes from US water systems within 10 years. The move by the Biden administration would replace millions of lead service lines, regardless of the lead levels in tap or other drinking water samples. Data shows lead exposure is linked to significant health and developmental problems, especially in children — and experts agree that no amount of lead exposure is safe. “For millions of homes, for millions of children, their water has been delivered by a poisonous straw,” said Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, a pediatrician and clean water advocate. New lead pipes have been banned since the 1980s, but there are still 9.2 million lead service lines in the US, according to estimates from the EPA.
Global delegates at the COP28 climate summit in Dubai formally adopted a damage fund for countries to help nations hit hardest by the climate crisis. Several countries pledged millions of dollars to the fund, but the US is receiving criticism for contributing an “embarrassing” amount of money — less than a fifth of the United Arab Emirates’ contribution. The UAE pledged $100 million, as did Germany. The UK announced £60 million, while the US committed $17.5 million and Japan contributed $10 million. Climate experts and advocacy groups largely praised the rich nations for their contributions, but they also said it was just a first step on a long road to ensuring the countries hit hardest by the climate crisis are fully supported.
5. TikTok ban
A federal judge on Thursday blocked Montana’s statewide TikTok ban which was set to go into effect on January 1. The judge said, in part, that TikTok had shown that the law likely violated the First Amendment and would cut off streams of income that users rely on. The order is the latest blow to US officials and critics of the app who have expressed fears that the Chinese government could potentially access US data via TikTok for spying purposes, though there is so far no evidence that China has ever accessed the personal information of US-based TikTok users. Montana’s law, which was the first of its kind in the nation, prohibited the app from operating within state lines and outlined fines of $10,000 per day for violators.