10 things you need to know today: January 14, 2024

Israel and Hamas mark 100th day of war, GOP candidates campaign on final day before Iowa caucuses, and more

Groups mark the 100th day of the Israel-Hamas war
People in Tel Aviv commemorate the 100th day of the war between Israel and Hamas
(Image credit: Amir Levy/Getty Images)

1. Israel and Hamas mark 100th day of war

Sunday marks the 100th day of the war between Israel and Hamas, with no end in sight and the violence ramping up on a continuing basis. Thousands in Israel commemorated the events of Oct. 7, in which Hamas launched a terrorist attack against the country that left more than 1,000 people dead and hundreds as hostages of Hamas. Protests were also seen throughout the Middle East in response to Israel's ongoing bombardment of Gaza, which has killed more than 23,000. Israeli leadership, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has claimed that Hamas has been severely weakened by the ongoing attack and has pledged to continue the fight until the terrorist group is destroyed. The New York Times, BBC

2. GOP candidates campaign on final day before frigid Iowa caucuses

Republican presidential candidates on Sunday participated in the last full day of campaigning before voting begins in the Iowa caucuses. A highly anticipated Des Moines Register/NBC News poll released yesterday shows former President Donald Trump with 48% support, far ahead of all other contenders. Nikki Haley appeared to seize the second place spot from Ron DeSantis, with the former South Carolina governor now polling at 20%. This could prove to be the final blow for those looking in from the outside, including DeSantis and Vivek Ramaswamy. The jostling comes as voters in Iowa will face record-low temperatures in what is expected to be the coldest caucus day ever in the state. The Washington Post, Des Moines Register

3. Winter storms cause plummeting temperatures and snowfall

Winter storms continued to blanket large portions of the United States on Sunday, bringing snowfall and deadly low temperatures along with them. The Arctic chill led to more than 44 million people being placed under a winter weather advisory as of Saturday evening, with a further wind chill warning affecting 29 million people, according to the National Weather Service. Southern states were also bracing for their first winter weather of the season, as more than 250 cold records could be broken this week from Oregon to Mississippi. Temperatures in southern cities such as Atlanta, Dallas and Nashville are expected to reach the teens. Many of these cities are expected to see extended cold streaks throughout the coming week. CNN, NBC News

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4. Denmark proclaims new king as Queen Margarethe abdicates

Denmark's Queen Margarethe II signed her instrument of abdication on Sunday as her son acceded to the throne as King Frederik X. The 83-year-old Margarethe, who had served as the queen of Denmark for more than half a century, became the first Danish ruler in 900 years to voluntarily step down from the throne. In Copenhagen, crowds gathered outside of the royal palace, hoping to catch a glimpse of the new king and his family. Frederik's wife, born in Australia, will become Queen Mary, while his son, 18-year-old Christian, becomes heir to the throne as Denmark's new crown prince. Margarethe had announced her intention to abdicate last year on New Year's Eve, citing health concerns. Reuters, The Associated Press

5. North Korea reportedly launches mid-range ballistic missile

North Korea launched a suspected mid-range ballistic missile into the sea on Sunday, officials from Japan and South Korea said. Officials said the weapon was apparently fired from North Korea's capital, Pyongyang, toward the East Sea around 3 p.m. local time. It traveled about 621 miles before hitting the water, officials said. South Korean officials were monitoring the missile's metrics along with Japan and the United States. The South Korean military decried the launch in a statement, saying it "seriously threatens peace and stability." The test comes as North Korea in recent weeks has pledged to ramp up its nuclear capabilities against its southern counterpart and the West. ABC News, Reuters

6. 2 Navy SEALs missing after nighttime mission off Somalia

Search-and-rescue operations were underway Saturday for a pair of Navy SEALs that went missing following a mission off the coast of Somalia. The incident occurred last week when the two SEALs fell into the ocean while attempting to board a ship. The SEALs were reportedly operating in rough seas and fell off a ladder, officials told The Washington Post. It is unclear why the SEALs were attempting to board the ship, and no details about the mission were given. It was reported that the vessel had been marked as suspicious by the Navy and was being boarded for further inspection. The missing SEALs have not been identified. The Washington Post, The New York Times

7. Diplomats meet in Davos to discuss Ukraine’s path to peace

Representatives from 81 countries and international groups met in Davos, Switzerland, on Sunday in an attempt to rehash Ukraine's path to peace against Russia. The meeting came prior to the start of the World Economic Forum, and featured national security advisers and top officials. Many of them were from countries in the Global South, an area that has been less supportive of Ukraine's efforts than northern countries. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is expected to attend the meetings and give a headlining speech. The meetings are also expected to address Ukraine's potential reconstruction after the war as well as the use of any frozen Russian assets. Bloomberg

8. John Kerry stepping down as US climate envoy

John Kerry, the U.S. special envoy on climate, will step down from his role in the Biden administration to help the president's reelection campaign, it was reported Saturday. An exact timeline hasn't been set, but he is expected to step down in the coming months. The 80-year-old Kerry reportedly wants to ensure Biden's victory because it is the "single biggest" difference that can be made in terms of the global climate this year, an administration official told Axios. Kerry, who previously served as secretary of state and was the Democratic nominee for president in 2004, is reportedly planning to channel environmental causes for the campaign, as well as the ongoing threat of global warming. Axios, Business Insider

9. Texans, Chiefs emerge victorious in NFL wild card games

The wild card round of the NFL playoffs began Saturday with a pair of raucous games. The reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, who have at times struggled this season under quarterback Patrick Mahomes, defeated the Miami Dolphins 26-7 in one of the coldest NFL games ever. Meanwhile, the Houston Texans, led by rookie quarterback sensation CJ Stroud, dispatched the Cleveland Browns 45-14. Stroud's three touchdown passes in the first half tied the league's rookie record, and he also became the youngest quarterback to earn a postseason victory. The remaining four wild card games will be played on Sunday and Monday. USA Today

10. Bill Hayes, star of 'Days of Our Lives,' dies at 98

Bill Hayes, a star of the NBC soap opera "Days of Our Lives," died Friday at the age of 98. Hayes was best known for playing Doug Williams on the show since his debut in 1970, and would become famous over the next five decades for portraying the character. "I have known Bill for most of my life and he embodied the heart and soul of ‘Days of our Lives,'" executive producer Ken Corday said in a statement. Hayes met his wife, Susan Seaforth, on the set of "Days of Our Lives," and like the real-life couple, their characters on the show would also get married. Variety

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