10 things you need to know today: December 3, 2023

Gaza residents flee as Israel continues bombardment, Trump tells supporters to 'guard the vote' in Democratic cities, and more

Smoke billows over Gaza
Smoke billows over the Gaza Strip on Dec. 3
(Image credit: Jack Guez / AFP via Getty Images)

1. Gaza residents flee as Israel continues bombardment

Palestinians throughout the Gaza Strip sought shelter Sunday night as Israel's bombing of the territory continued. Top Israeli officials ordered more evacuations in areas around the Gazan city of Khan Younis, where the fighting has been some of the heaviest. Israel has notably shifted its offensive to the area surrounding the city — which Israeli forces claim is where many of Hamas' top leaders are hiding. Those remaining in Gaza are seeing their safe haven continue to shrink as Israel widens its bombardment. The renewal of warfare between Israel and Hamas comes following the end of a week-long cease-fire that saw the release of Hamas-held hostages and Israeli-held prisoners. The Associated Press, Reuters

2. Trump tells supporters to 'guard the vote' in Democratic cities

Former President Donald Trump told supporters on Saturday that they should "guard the vote" in Democrat-run cities during the 2024 election. "The most important part of what's coming up is to guard the vote. And you should go into Detroit and you should go into Philadelphia and you should go into some of these places, Atlanta," Trump said during a speech in Ankeny, Iowa. The former president's call to arms comes as he is facing federal charges related to alleged attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, culminating in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. Trump's speech also saw him repeat unfounded claims of voter fraud. Reuters, The Messenger

3. Head of Florida Republican Party accused of rape

The leader of the Florida Republican Party, Christian Ziegler, came under fire over the weekend as details emerged regarding an allegation of rape. Ziegler has not been charged, but a search warrant affidavit shows that he is currently under investigation for allegedly raping a woman that Ziegler and his wife agreed to have a three-way sexual encounter with. The woman told police that Ziegler showed up to her apartment and raped her after his wife backed out, according to the affidavit. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) called on Ziegler to step down amid the allegations. "I don’t see how he can continue with that investigation ongoing," DeSantis told reporters. The Washington Post, The Hill

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4. Mexico practically ensured to elect its first woman president

A third-party candidate announced Saturday that he was dropping out of Mexico's 2024 presidential election, all but guaranteeing that the country will elect its first female president. Samuel García, the governor of the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, withdrew from the race amid consistently low poll numbers. This leaves just two major candidates remaining in the election: Claudia Sheinbaum from Mexico's ruling Morena Party and Xóchitl Gálvez, the candidate from a three-party opposition coalition. García had been backed by sitting Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, but critics of the president say he was supporting García only in an effort to split the vote between the two female candidates. The Associated Press, Bloomberg

5. North Korea reportedly begins satellite reconnaissance operations

North Korea said Sunday that it had begun a reconnaissance mission, less than three weeks after the hermit country launched a spy satellite into orbit. The satellite will help North Korea's nuclear program obtain a "more solid readiness posture," state-run media agency KCNA said. The satellite will additionally report information to North Korea's army and other military units, KCNA said. The launch of the spy satellite on Nov. 21, which was overseen by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, drew international condemnation for violating peace treaties. The U.S., Japan and South Korea have all confirmed that the satellite is orbiting Earth but have raised doubts about its capabilities. The Independent

6. About 190 migrants rescued from English Channel

Around 190 migrants were rescued from stranded ships in the English Channel, French authorities said Saturday. The migrants, who were attempting to cross the Channel toward the United Kingdom, became stuck on dinghies off the coast of Calais following a series of strong currents, authorities said. It is unclear where the migrants had come from or what their ethnicities were. The rescuing of migrants has become a common occurrence in the English Channel, which is often plagued by strong riptides and busy shipping lanes that can spell danger for those attempting to cross. Human trafficking and modern-day slavery is also common across the waterway. Reuters

7. Suspected terrorist bombing kills 4 in the Philippines

A bomb that killed four people in the southern Philippines on Sunday was "perpetrated by foreign terrorists," Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said. The explosion occurred during a Catholic mass inside a gymnasium at Mindanao State University. The college is located about 500 miles from Manila in a majority Muslim city. Marcos wrote on X, formerly Twitter, that he condemned with the "strongest possible terms the senseless and most heinous acts," adding that "extremists who wield violence against the innocent will always be regarded as enemies to our society." The region where the blast occurred has historically been a powder keg of violence. Insurgent groups continue to fight for control in much of the southern Philippines. The Washington Post, BBC

8. Palestinian student shot in Vermont is paralyzed, mother says

A Palestinian student shot in Vermont over Thanksgiving weekend is paralyzed from the chest down, his mother said. Hisham Awartani was walking with a pair of friends last Saturday in Burlington when the trio was shot, according to law enforcement. Awartani's mother, Elizabeth Price, told CNN on Sunday that a bullet lodged in her son's spinal cord, rendering him paralyzed. Awartani's family has started a GoFundMe to help the 20-year-old recover. "We believe that Hisham will meet this challenge with the same determination I’ve witnessed this week," Price said. A suspect, 48-year-old Jason Eaton, was arrested the day after the shooting by Burlington Police. CNN

9. Alabama upsets Georgia to win SEC championship

The Alabama Crimson Tide is consistently a college football powerhouse but came into Saturday's SEC Championship game as the underdogs. But this didn't stop them from knocking off the top team in the country, as Alabama defeated the Georgia Bulldogs, 27-24, to claim its ninth SEC title. Alabama started the game strong but allowed Georgia to get back into the mix after gaining just 36 yards on their first four drives of the second half. The Crimson Tide's fortunes then changed, though, as quarterback Jalen Milroe helmed a 75-yard drive with just over five minutes left to seal the deal for Alabama. USA Today

10. 'Saturday Night Live' bids farewell to George Santos

"Saturday Night Live" bid farewell to ousted GOP Rep. George Santos (N.Y.) on Saturday, giving the audience a final look at the former congressman. Santos, portrayed by cast member Bowen Yang, spoofed Elton John with a rendition of "Candle in the Wind," at one point pulling out a fake baby and describing himself as a "Latina queen." Santos has been the butt of jokes for months following his admission that he fabricated large parts of his life and background. After the recent release of a House Ethics Committee investigation, Santos was expelled from Congress. Yang recently portrayed Santos in a number of other "SNL" episodes, including a sketch on Weekend Update. Variety

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