5 things to know for Dec. 8: Marriage bill, Ukraine, Power grid, Immigration, Covid

5 things to know for Dec. 8: Marriage bill, Ukraine, Power grid, Immigration, Covid

Updated: 1 month, 25 days, 3 hours, 3 minutes, 57 seconds ago

By Alexandra Meeks, CNN

More Americans are moving to places where extreme weather events are commonplace, a new study found. Hurricane-prone Florida and states in the drought-stricken West have seen exceptional population increases in recent decades, researchers say, signaling climate risks are not at the top of people’s minds when it comes to relocating. Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.

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1. Marriage bill

The House is expected to vote and pass legislation today that would protect same-sex and interracial marriage. The Respect for Marriage Act, which the Senate passed last week in a bipartisan vote, needs to be approved by the House before sending it to President Joe Biden’s desk to be signed into law. The bill would not set a national requirement that all states must legalize same-sex marriage, but it would require individual states to recognize another state’s legal marriage. In a sign of how much support has grown in recent years for same-sex marriage, the bill found backing from 12 Republican senators last week, including those in deeply red states.

2. Ukraine

The invasion of Ukraine is “going to take a while,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday as he warned of the “increasing” threat of nuclear war. Putin said he viewed the Russian nuclear arsenal as a deterrent rather than a provocation — but has not dismissed the idea of using nuclear weapons outright. “We have not gone crazy. We are aware of what nuclear weapons are,” Putin said. “We have these means… but we are not going to brandish these weapons like a razor, running around the world.” His comments come as the Biden administration is weighing Ukrainian requests for access to the US stockpile of controversial cluster munitions. These types of scatter weapons are imprecise by design and are banned by more than 100 countries. Still, Russia is using them to devastating effect inside Ukraine.

3. Power grid attacks

Electricity for thousands of residents in North Carolina has been restored after a dayslong outage caused by targeted gun attacks on power substations. Police say the motive behind the attacks in Moore County remains unknown and no suspects have been announced. However, investigators are zeroing in on two possible threads centered around extremist behavior: writings by extremists on online forums encouraging attacks on critical infrastructure, and a series of recent disruptions of LGBTQ events across the nation by domestic extremists. Approximately 45,000 homes and businesses initially lost power when the outages occurred on Saturday, leaving residents without heat, running refrigerators or traffic lights for about four days.

4. Immigration

The Biden administration has appealed a federal court decision that blocked the use of Title 42 — a controversial Trump-era policy allowing for the swift removal of migrants at the US-Mexico border. The authority has been heavily criticized by public health experts and immigrant advocates, and has largely barred asylum at the US-Mexico border. While its origins were in the Trump administration, Title 42 has become a key tool for the Biden administration as it faces mass migration in the Western hemisphere. Officials have been bracing for an influx of migrants when the authority lifts on December 21. The Department of Homeland Security is projecting up to 14,000 migrants may attempt to cross the US southern border per day when the policy is lifted.

5. Covid-19

Covid-19 hospitalizations are on the rise in the US, with more than 34,000 new admissions last week — but millions of vaccine doses and antiviral treatments remain unused. The federal government has spent more than $30 billion so far on Covid-19 vaccines and the Biden administration has said it cannot afford to continue this level of spending unless Congress provides it with more funds. As a result, the administration has started to prepare for the transition of the vaccines to the commercial market. Pfizer and Moderna have already announced that the commercial prices of their Covid-19 vaccines will likely be between $82 and $130 per dose — or about three to four times what the federal government has paid.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Harry and Meghan Netflix documentary released today

Everyone has been waiting for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to spill the royal tea. Well, part one of the documentary dropped today — and it’s causing anxiety within the walls of Buckingham Palace.

Watch golden retriever trigger a fire alarm at her doggie daycare

If you have a minute, paws what you’re doing and watch this cute accident.

Yankees and Aaron Judge reportedly agree on deal worth $360 million

After a historic season with the Yankees, sources say Judge has agreed to stay with the team for the next nine years in exchange for a hefty sum.

This was the most-searched term on Google in 2022

No hints! Take a guess and click here to see if you’re correct.

These are the world’s fastest trains

Looking to travel quickly between cities? Some of these trains shuttle passengers at speeds of 200 mph or more.

TODAY’S NUMBER

1,100

That’s how many journalists at the New York Times are expected to strike today after management and the union representing staffers failed to reach an agreement on a new contract after more than a year and a half of negotiations. The walkout is aimed at applying pressure to management to offer additional concessions, including wage increases.

TODAY’S QUOTE

“My first task is to fight corruption, in all forms.”

— Dina Boluarte, after being sworn in Wednesday as the new President of Peru. She is the first female president in the country’s history. On the same day, her predecessor, Pedro Castillo, was removed from office and arrested for unconstitutionally declaring the temporary closure of Congress, according to several constitutional analysts in the country.

TODAY’S WEATHER

Check your local forecast here

AND FINALLY

Artist sculpts mini pencil figures

Watch this artist intricately create tiny sculptures of famous landmarks and movie characters. It’s quite impressive. (Click here to view)

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