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FILE PHOTO: A Palestinian man cries next to bodies of her family members who died following Israeli strikes earlier, during their funeral in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip.

Ahmed Zakot / SOPA Images/Sipa USA via Reuters

Hard Numbers: Gaza death toll’s bleak milestone, UK inflation’s two-year low, California’s holiday rains, Pro-peace candidate’s race against Putin, US-Venezuela prisoner swap

20,000: Over 20,0000 Palestinians have been killed since war broke out between Israel and Hamas in early October, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Ministry of Health. The death toll in the enclave has risen at a historic rate amid Israeli airstrikes, and both Israel and Hamas face allegations of war crimes.

3.9: UK inflation cooled to 3.9% in November – down from October’s 4.6% – to its lowest rate in over two years. Economists say the surprising fall in consumer price inflation could lead the Bank of England to slash interest rates in the first half of 2024, far earlier than expected.

20 million: El Niño is gifting Californians just what they want for the holidays: intense rainfall and possible flooding and mudslides. A flood watch was in place for over 20 million people in California on Wednesday, and the National Weather Service said heavy rainfall is expected across the southern part of the Golden State through Friday, warning of a “significant flash flood risk.”

300,000: Russian Yekaterina Duntsova, a former TV journalist who’s called for peace in Ukraine, on Wednesday submitted documents to formally register for the 2024 presidential election against Vladimir Putin. Duntsova faces a few obstacles: She needs 300,000 signatures in support of her candidacy from at least 40 regions, and, well … a fair democratic process.

10: The US and Venezuela swapped prisoners on Wednesday. The South American country released 10 imprisoned Americans and extradited an ex-military contractor referred to as “Fat Leonard” – who was the heart of a major US Navy corruption scandal – in exchange for Alex Saab, a close ally of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.

The implications of Senator Feinstein's passing
Implications of Senator Feinstein's passing | US Politics In: 60 | GZERO Media

The implications of Senator Feinstein's passing

Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, DC shares his perspective on US politics:

What are the implications of the death of US Senator Dianne Feinstein?

Senator Dianne Feinstein died this week at age 90. She was the longest serving female senator in history and a former mayor of San Francisco who was a trailblazer for women in politics in the United States. She had been sick for a little while, leading to calls from fellow Democrats for her to step down from her seat and allow somebody younger to take over both the Senate seat from California and her coveted seat on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA), who announced she will not be seeking re-election, leaves the Senate floor after a vote on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 14, 2023.

REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

Sen. Dianne Feinstein dies at 90

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein passed away at age 90 late on Thursday, family members confirmed Friday. She was the oldest sitting US senator and a titan of politics in the state boasting the country’s largest economy.

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Ukraine's Deputy of Defence Minister Hanna Maliar addresses during a media briefing of the Security and Defense Forces of Ukraine in Kyiv, Ukraine on 13 April 2023, amid Russian invasion of Ukraine.

STR/NurPhoto via Reuters

Hard Numbers: Ukraine’s housecleaning continues, China outdoes itself over Taiwan, California sues Big Oil, US loses its wings, Nobody gets to see Cristiano Ronaldo play in Iran

6: The big fall cleaning at the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense continues, as President Zelensky fired six deputy ministers over the weekend. No reason was given, but the move comes just weeks after his office sacked the Defense Minister on allegations of corruption.

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Jeff Larsen, left, and Robbie Jones watch cars drive on flooded streets during Tropical Storm Hilary in Palm Springs, Calif., on Sunday.

USA TODAY NETWORK via Reuters Connect

Out of the fire and into the flood

Just two years ago, the state of California suffered a record number of wildfires, the hottest summer in its history, and severe drought. In 2023, it’s facing the opposite: a deluge of rain and flooding from the first tropical storm to slam the state in 84 years.

Tropical Storm Hilary made landfall Sunday afternoon in the Baja California peninsula of Mexico, leaving a trail of devastation and killing at least one. A man drowned when a car was swept away by floodwaters in the town of Santa Rosalia; four other people were saved.

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Ico Oliveira

The Graphic Truth: The rising (insurance) costs of climate change

State Farm, the largest homeowner insurance company in California, recently announced that it’s halting new insurance sales across the Golden State. This is part of a nationwide trend of insurers raising rates, restricting coverage, or pulling out of areas altogether. Why? Because they’re tired of losing money to natural disasters.

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Grading President Biden's first 100 days; 2020 US Census helps Sun Belt states
Grading President Biden's First 100 Days | US Census Helps Sun Belt | US Politics :60 | GZERO Media

Grading President Biden's first 100 days; 2020 US Census helps Sun Belt states

Get insights on the latest news in US politics from Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington:

How would you grade President Biden's performance in his first 100 days?

Well, Biden's done pretty well in this first 100 days. He's done a good job on what's the number one most important issue facing his administration and that's the coronavirus response. He hit his goal of 100 million vaccinations within the first month or so of his administration. And they increased that to 200 million vaccinations, which they hit on day 92. So that's a pretty successful start. They inherited a lot of that from President Trump to be fair. Operation Warp Speed set the US up for success and Biden delivered after he came into office. And of course, the second thing is his COVID relief package, which the US has taken advantage of a favorable funding environment to borrow trillions of dollars and get them into the hands of American small businesses and families and has really helped the economy through what has been a very bad year but could have been a lot worse if the government hadn't intervened. The bill has been very popular, and it set the stage for a follow on bill that Biden wants to deliver for big priorities for democrats later this year, potentially as much as $4 trillion in spending.

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The Graphic Truth: COVID deaths — US states vs countries

Back in March and April, the most severe COVID-19 outbreaks were in Europe — specifically Italy, Spain, and France — as well as the Northeastern United States. In the months since, these areas have managed to flatten their curves through strict social distancing policies, but now the epicenter of the coronavirus in the US has shifted to some Southern states that resisted lockdown measures. Consider that the United States recorded an average of 744 COVID deaths in the seven days leading up to July 16, compared to 74 in the UK and 13 in Italy during that same period. Meanwhile, Latin American countries are now also facing some of the biggest outbreaks in the world. Here's a look at where COVID-19 deaths are rising fastest, broken out as a comparison between US states and other hard-hit countries.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this graphic mistakenly labeled the y-axis as rolling 7-day average of deaths per 100,000 people. In fact, the y-axis refers to the rolling 7-day average in deaths from the coronavirus (not per 100,000 people). We regret the error.

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