10 things you need to know today: November 26, 2023

US citizen expected to be among third round of hostages released by Hamas, Israeli oil tanker reportedly seized off Yemen’s coast, and more

A truck carrying released Hamas hostages
American officials are hopeful that a 4-year-old girl is among the next round of hostages released by Hamas.
(Image credit: Ahmad Hasaballah/Getty Images)

1. US citizen expected to be among third round of hostages released by Hamas

Hamas is expected to release a third round of hostages on Sunday, and U.S. officials said an American captive is likely to be among those freed. White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told NBC's "Meet the Press" that there was "reason to believe" one of the American hostages will be released by Hamas. Sullivan seemed to insinuate that the hostage in question was Abigail Edan, a 4-year-old Israeli-American girl who lost her parents in the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas. While Sullivan wouldn't specifically confirm that Edan was the hostage in question, he said it was "long past time that this little girl ... is back home." NBC News, The Times of Israel

2. Israeli oil tanker reportedly seized off Yemen’s coast

An oil tanker linked to an Israeli company was seized Sunday off the coast of Yemen, reports said. Attackers boarded and took charge of the Central Park in the Gulf of Aden, according to a report from the maritime security firm Ambrey. The ship is registered to Zodiac Maritime, which is in turn owned by Israeli magnate Eyal Ofer's Zodiac Group. The allegiance of the attackers wasn't immediately clear, and no group has taken credit for taking the ship. Zodiac said the seizure was "a suspected piracy incident," adding that the ship had a multinational crew and was carrying a supply of phosphoric acid. U.S. officials in the area said they were monitoring the situation. The Associated Press, Bloomberg

3. US and China accuse each other of South China Sea violations

The United States and China exchanged accusations over the weekend, as the two adversaries charged each other with violations in the disputed South China Sea. U.S. officials accused China of illegally driving an American ship from the region by deploying naval and air forces, even though the U.S. claimed the ship was in the area on a routine peacekeeping region. China countered back, as military officials said the United States was "the biggest disruptor of peace" in the South China Sea. Chinese officials added that the U.S. had illegally entered its waters and was a "security risk creator." The sovereignty of the South China Sea is disputed by several countries, notably China and Taiwan. South China Morning Post, Reuters

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4. Trump draws cheers and boos in Nikki Haley’s South Carolina

Former President Donald Trump descended on South Carolina for a campaign stop in the backyard of his presidential primary rival, Nikki Haley. Trump appeared in Columbia, South Carolina, on Saturday, where he attended a college football game between the University of South Carolina and Clemson University. The annual, high-profile game is a major event in South Carolina, and the former president elicited both cheers and boos when he appeared at the contest. Trump used the visit to try and upstage Haley, the former governor of South Carolina and UN ambassador. Despite Haley being from the state, Trump maintains a wide lead in South Carolina, which will host its GOP primary in February. USA Today, The Hill

5. China working to combat surge in respiratory illness

Hospitals across China are working to combat a surge in respiratory illnesses as the country prepares to enter its first winter after relaxing its Covid-19 guidelines. Hundreds of patients are lining up at children's hospitals in major cities, as the illness appears to mostly be afflicting the young. The Beijing Children’s Hospital said this week that they were seeing an average of more than 7,000 patients daily, which "far exceeds" the hospital's capacity. While reports circulated that a novel pathogen was the cause of the outbreak, China's health officials said Sunday that this was not the case, and that influenza was believed to be the primary illness among the sick children. CNN, Bloomberg

6. 14 million Americans under winter weather advisories

An estimated 14 million Americans are under a winter weather advisory on Sunday, as frigid temperatures and snowfall are expected to usher in the holiday season across much of the country. Lower-than-normal temperatures were expected from New Mexico to Kansas and from Oklahoma across most of the Midwest. These regions could see temperatures plummet anywhere from 5 to 30 degrees below normal, reports said. And as millions of people prepare to travel home after Thanksgiving, 11 states remain under winter weather alerts, as heavy snow is expected to create accumulations ranging from 2 to 4 inches. Kansas may get hit the hardest and could see up to 8 inches of snow Sunday. NBC News, ABC News

7. Sierra Leone declares nationwide curfew after attack on military

Sierra Leone's president declared a nationwide curfew on Sunday after gunmen attacked a series of military barracks in the country's primary city. "A nationwide curfew has been declared and citizens are encouraged to stay indoors," President Julius Maada Bio wrote on X, formerly Twitter, though he noted that "calm has been restored." Bio's curfew declaration came hours after a group of unidentified gunmen created a "breach of security" at military barracks in Freetown, Sierra Leone's capital. The affiliation of the gunmen remains unknown. Sierra Leone, a small country on the African coast, has been relatively calm over the years in a region dominated by instability. The New York Times, The Associated Press

8. Online shopping sees record boom ahead of Cyber Monday

Retailers are preparing for Cyber Monday by slashing prices across their digital platforms, while consumers are getting ahead of the action with record clicks at online stores. While retail Black Friday spending was muted, online shopping was up 7.5% from 2022, according to a report from Adobe Analytics. This marks a new record for online shopping on Black Friday. Adobe reported total online sales in the U.S. on Black Friday to be $9.8 billion, while Salesforce reported an even higher figure of $16.4 billion. Whatever the exact figure, companies are getting in on the continuing action by discounting nearly 30% on average across U.S. platforms, Salesforce said. CNBC, Reuters

9. World’s largest iceberg drifting for the first time in decades

The world's largest iceberg is on the move in Antarctica after lying dormant for more than three decades. The iceberg, known as A23a, split from the main Antarctic shelf in 1986. Since then, though, the iceberg has been mostly stuck on the ocean floor and has remained in place in the frigid Weddell Sea. However, scientists from the British Antarctic Survey said Friday that A23a had begun drifting again this year and was expected to move beyond the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. A23a is about three times the size of New York City, measuring around 1,500 square miles. The Associated Press

10. Arch Manning, third generation of iconic football family, makes debut

Arch Manning, the third generation of the venerated Manning family dynasty, made his long-awaited college football debut Saturday. Manning came in at quarterback for the Texas Longhorns as they easily dispatched rival Texas Tech, 57-7. The 18-year-old freshman entered the game in the third quarter and went 2-for-5 passing for 30 yards. He also added a 7-yard run to his stat line. Manning is the nephew of Peyton and Eli Manning, who won a combined four Super Bowls and were both the top picks in their NFL draft classes. He is considered one of the most highly watched prospects in the country. The Athletic

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