10 things you need to know today: December 2, 2023

Death toll climbs in Gaza as airstrikes intensify, George Santos expelled from the House of Representatives, and more

George Santos leaves the Capitol
George Santos has become just the sixth congressman in history to be expelled from the House
(Image credit: Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

1. Gaza airstrikes intensify as death toll reportedly passes 15,000

The death toll in Gaza has passed 15,000 since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war, Gaza's Health Ministry said Saturday. The ministry added that there were more than 40,000 people wounded and that 70% of those who had been killed were women and children. The reported increase in deaths comes following Israel's renewed bombing campaign after its truce with Hamas came to an end on Friday morning. Israel began firing rockets minutes after the pact ended, accusing Hamas of breaking the cease-fire early. Foreign organizations and Western countries are continuing to push for humanitarian aid to be brought into Gaza. French President Emmanuel Macron called for "stepped-up efforts" to reach a long-term cease-fire. The Washington Post, The Associated Press

2. George Santos expelled from the House of Representatives

GOP Rep. George Santos was expelled from the House of Representatives on Friday, becoming just the sixth congressman in United States history to be booted from the chamber. The New Yorker was expelled following a bipartisan 311-114 vote as 105 Republicans joined all but four Democrats in voting to oust Santos. The move to expel Santos came after a report from the House Ethics Committee found that he "sought to fraudulently exploit every aspect of his House candidacy for his own personal financial profit." Santos has also been federally charged with allegations of Covid-19-related fraud, and made national headlines for admittedly fabricating large parts of his personal life, education and work experience. CNN, The Hill

3. Israel reportedly promises not to target Hamas leaders in Qatar

Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have reportedly promised not to target Hamas officials living in Qatar. Netanyahu previously ordered Israel's foreign intelligence service, Mossad, to go after top Hamas operatives, and The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that the agency is planning to target Hamas around the world. However, this may not include those in Qatar, which helped to broker the temporary cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. Reports emerged that Netanyahu had promised Qatar that Mossad would not target anyone from Hamas who was hiding in the country. While Netanyahu has denied this, Israel has reportedly made at least some commitments to Qatar not to perform assassinations within the country. The Jerusalem Post, The Wall Street Journal

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4. Judge denies bid from Trump to dismiss 2020 election lawsuit

A federal judge on Friday rejected a bid from former President Donald Trump to dismiss the federal case charging him with interference in the 2020 presidential election. Judge Tanya Chutkan ruled that Trump was not immune to prosecution based on presidential immunity, something that his attorneys had made as their primary argument. While Trump has long claimed that presidents can't be charged with crimes, Chutkan noted that the office "does not confer a lifelong 'get-out-of-jail-free' pass." Chutkan added that Trump had attempted to "usurp the reins of government" in allegedly trying to overturn the results of the election. The former president has been charged with four federal crimes in the case. CBS News, The New York Times

5. EPA introduces new regulations targeting methane emissions

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Saturday that it was approving new regulations to eliminate methane production from the oil and gas industries. In a statement, released to coincide with the COP28 climate conference in Dubai, EPA Administrator Michael Regan said the regulations were part of a "historic action to reduce climate pollution, protecting people and the planet." The new rule will slash methane emissions to 80% of what their original projections, according to the EPA, while also preventing 58 million tons of methane waste. The regulations are seen as a major victory for President Joe Biden, whose administration has pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by the next decade. NPR, Politico

6. Trump and DeSantis to hold campaign events in Iowa

Former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will go head-to-head in Iowa on Saturday during a pair of dueling campaign events. The former president, who is enjoying a steady lead with the state's crucial caucuses just six weeks away, is set to take the stage in Cedar Rapids in an effort to shore up support. The Florida governor, meanwhile, will appear at an event in Newton. The pair have been at each other throats throughout the campaign with Trump maintaining double-digit leads in the polls. However, DeSantis recently received a key endorsement from Iowa's GOP governor, Kim Reynolds. The Associated Press, CNN

7. Inmate charged with murder after allegedly stabbing Derek Chauvin

A federal prison inmate has been charged with stabbing Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who murdered George Floyd. The Justice Department (DOJ) said in a statement that John Turscak, 52, had stabbed Chauvin at least 22 times. He was charged with attempted murder, assault with intent to commit murder, assault with a dangerous weapon and assault resulting in serious bodily injury, the DOJ said. Chauvin was stabbed last week in a federal facility in Tucson, Arizona. Prosecutors alleged that Turscak attacked him on Black Friday as a symbolic gesture toward the Black Lives Matter movement. Prison officials said that Chauvin is expected to survive his injuries. Time, Business Insider

8. Police raid gay clubs in Moscow after anti-LGBTQ+ court ruling

Law enforcement raided gay clubs and bars across the city of Moscow on Friday night, one day after Russia's Supreme Court issued a ruling against LGBTQ+ people. Police burst into LGBTQ+-friendly locations throughout the city and detained an unspecified number of people, according to local media. "It was an established scheme, this is how they closed similar clubs in St. Petersburg. Someone was panicking," one eyewitness said. The raids came after the Supreme Court declared the "international LGBT movement" to be an "extremist organization." It is unclear what the court was referring to, as there is no formal group called the "LGBT movement." The Moscow Times

9. Bangladesh hit by 5.5-magnitude earthquake

Bangladesh was hit Saturday morning by a 5.5-magnitude earthquake that sent shockwaves across the country. The temblor began around 9:35 a.m. local time, according to a report from the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The earthquake's epicenter was at a depth of 6 miles, striking about 5 miles east of the city of Ramganj. Many people throughout the South Asian country reportedly took to social media to document the earthquake. No deaths or injuries were immediately reported, according to local news outlets. The country has experienced several large earthquakes this year, including a major one this August. The Associated Press

10. SpaceX launches first South Korean spy satellite

South Korea launched its first-ever spy satellite on Friday, carried into orbit on the back of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The satellite was launched from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, and the successful orbiting comes days after North Korea claimed to have launched a spy satellite of its own. The device "successfully established communication with an overseas ground station" a little over an hour after the launch, according to South Korea's defense ministry. South Korea has a contract with SpaceX to launch five spy satellites by 2025 in an effort to ramp up surveillance on North Korea and its surrounding territories. Reuters

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