Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: November 27, 2022

Chinese protests over COVID lockdowns reach boiling point, Ukraine sees power outages and freezing temperatures, and more

1

Chinese protests over COVID lockdowns reach boiling point in Beijing, Shanghai

Protests continued on Sunday afternoon in several Chinese cities over the country's strict COVID-19 lockdowns. Initially spurred by an apartment fire in the city of Urumqi that was set to have been unnecessarily deadly due to lockdowns delaying rescue efforts, massive crowds were seen filing into the streets in Shanghai, Beijing, and other major metropolises. In an unprecedented show of dissidence against their government, many of these protests were heard openly chanting for Chinese President Xi Jinping to step down as the country's leader. Some protesters reportedly also harkened back to the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests against the ruling Communist Party. 

2

Snowfall blankets Kyiv as Ukraine sees power outages, freezing temperatures

Kyiv was subject to significant snowfall and temperatures around freezing on Sunday, and millions of people in the Ukrainian capital were forced to endure the wintery conditions without electricity or heating due to continued Russian shelling. Ukraine's power grid company, Ukrenergo, said the frigid conditions were continuing to cause stress on the country's resources as individuals began to need more energy. While repair workers are in the midst of fixing much of Ukraine's damaged power infrastructure, there are still many areas across the country where the lights remain off. As a result, Ukrainian officials have been forced to implement rolling blackouts to conserve electricity. 

3

Severe storms could affect more than 25 million people in southern U.S.

Meteorologists are predicting that a "significant severe-weather event" is likely to occur across portions of the southern United States this coming week. The National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center has issued an early forecast warning for portions of the Mississippi River Valley, which will likely produce thunderstorms, hail, and tornadoes. However, a larger storm system is estimated to affect more than 25 million people across a large swath of the country, from eastern Texas to southern Indiana. While the storm warning is currently marked by the NWS as a Level 3 out of 5, experts said "a categorical upgrade will be possible in later outlooks," meaning the threat level of severe weather is likely to increase. 

4

U.S. gives green light to Chevron to pump oil in Venezuela

The Biden administration said Saturday that it had granted petroleum company Chevron a license to resume pumping oil in Venezuela. Chevron is the only remaining active U.S. oil company in that country, and the new license will allow the oil conglomerate to resume pumping in a joint venture with Venezuela's national oil company. This will mark the first time in years that Chevron will be allowed to resume production in Venezuela, as the company has been barred from working in the country's oil fields due to sanctions against Venezuela's authoritarian government. However, the Treasury Department agreed to grant Chevron a new license after Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro pledged to implement a $3 billion humanitarian program.

5

Kim Jong Un says he wants world's strongest nuclear arsenal

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un wants his country to have "the world's most powerful" nuclear arsenal, the state-run news agency KCNA reported Sunday. During remarks made during a military order, Kim said the goal behind North Korea's nuclear program was to build an "absolute force, unprecedented in the century." Kim also praised North Korean scientists for the development and launch of the intercontinental ballistic missile Hwaseong-17, calling it "the world's strongest strategic weapon" and saying it represented a "wonderful leap forward" in ballistic nuclear technology. The missile, which North Korean officials said was recently tested, is theoretically capable of reaching the U.S. mainland. 

6

Elon Musk reportedly hiring at Twitter following job cuts

Twitter CEO Elon Musk notably laid off a large percentage of staffers upon taking over the company a few weeks ago. However, it seems he may now be under the impression that this was a mistake, as slides from a company talk reportedly showed that Twitter was looking to hire new employees. The presentation was shared by Musk on Twitter, and the first slide of the talk simply had the words "We're recruiting," though no further details were shared. Musk did not provide any further commentary on the potential for job openings at Twitter, and his efforts to cut a large portion of the company had initially slashed Twitter's employee count in half. 

7

Death toll rises to at least 5 in Italian mudslide after girl's body recovered

A young girl's body was recovered from the rubble of her home on Sunday following a mudslide on the Italian island of Ischia, bringing the death toll in the disaster to at least five. Search teams were able to pull the girl's remains from her family home as they continued to dig through the mud. The girl, whose age has not been released, was the second confirmed death from the disaster after a 31-year-old woman's body was recovered on Saturday, with additional bodies, including a newborn, reportedly found after that. Numerous people remain missing on the island, and officials feared that they would continue to find more dead bodies as the search efforts continued. 

8

U.S. briefly displays Iranian flag without emblem of Islamic Republic

The U.S. Soccer Federation shared an image of the Iranian flag on social media Saturday that did not include the emblem of the Islamic Republic. The emblem, which is seen on the country's official flag, was not included on an image of the flag shared by the U.S. ahead of the team's matchup with Iran on Monday. While Iranian officials accused the United States of removing the name of God from their national flag, the U.S. Soccer Federation said it made the decision to withhold the emblem in solidarity with women fighting for human rights in Iran.

9

At least 1 killed, 5 others injured during shooting near popular Atlanta shopping district

At least one person was killed and five others were injured in a shooting Saturday night near one of Atlanta's most popular shopping centers. The shooting occurred near Atlantic Station, one of the city's most high-traffic commercial and residential areas. Atlanta Police said the incident began when a group of people was escorted off the Atlantic Station property by off-duty police officers. What events transpired remains unclear, however, witnesses said several shots were heard adjacent to Atlantic Station. The investigation was in the preliminary stages, but police said those involved were likely between 15 and 21. No suspects have been identified. 

10

More than $9 billion seen in Black Friday online sales, setting new record

As Americans shied away from in-person shopping this Black Friday, online shopping set a new record, with more than $9 billion in transactions taking place over the web. According to Adobe, which tracks online retail markets, the day's overall sales were up 2.3 percent from last year. Online sales in electronics became a major contributor to the boosted sales, as online tech purchases surged 221 percent from October. Toys and exercise equipment were also popular categories, up 285 percent and 218 percent, respectively. Record mobile orders were also seen, with 48 percent of sales being made on smartphones.

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