5 things to know for March 1: Migrant crisis, Extreme weather, Government shutdown, Gaza, Covid-19

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The Nasdaq and S&P 500 hit record highs on Thursday as fresh data showed progress on inflation and as shares of chipmakers and artificial intelligence stocks soared. Bitcoin also edged closer to an all-time high as the popular cryptocurrency teeters near levels last seen in 2021.

Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.

1. Migrant crisis

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump visited different sectors of the US-Mexico border Thursday as the migrant crisis becomes a dominant issue in the 2024 presidential race. Trump spoke about his border security priorities from Eagle Pass, Texas, while Biden met border agents and spoke from Brownsville. Trump tore into Biden’s handling of illegal immigration and leaned into his scare tactics over the border, falsely claiming the US is being “overrun” by a “new form” of crime he called “Biden migrant crime.” On the other hand, Biden made remarks urging lawmakers to reconsider a bipartisan border package that failed earlier this month, in large part due to opposition from Trump. The president called out Trump’s meddling but also called on the former president to work with him on migration.

2. Extreme weather

A blockbuster California storm is set to unload up to 10 feet of snow and blizzard conditions in parts of the state through the weekend. The storm will bury California under its biggest snowfall of the year and create treacherous travel conditions, with up to 5 inches of snow an hour expected along the Sierra Nevada mountains. The most extreme conditions will unfold at the highest elevations in the Sierra, with wind gusts in excess of 100 mph. Meanwhile, Texas is bracing for more dry air and ferocious winds today and into the weekend — likely fueling the flames of several wildfires in the region. The deadly Smokehouse Creek Fire has torched more than 1 million acres in Texas alone, making it the largest fire on record in the state.

3. Government shutdown

The House and Senate both passed a stopgap bill on Thursday to avert a partial government shutdown. The bill now goes to President Joe Biden’s desk for his signature. Congress had been confronting a pair of shutdown deadlines on March 1 and March 8. This stopgap bill will shift the deadlines to March 8 and March 22 to give lawmakers more time to pass full-year appropriations bills. At the end of the day today, funding would have expired for several key government agencies if lawmakers did not pass the stopgap measure before that time. Deep GOP divisions remain, but sources in the room told CNN that House Speaker Mike Johnson said he was forced into a position to cut the deal with Democrats on government funding.

4. Gaza

At least 112 people were killed and hundreds of others were injured in Gaza Thursday after Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinians who were waiting for food, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza. Israel’s military confirmed its forces fired on people but gave starkly different accounts of the events, saying the crowds had threatened their troops. Aid deliveries have dwindled since Israel launched its ground offensive in Gaza, leaving many in the enclave on the brink of starvation. Drone footage taken by Israeli forces showed thousands of Palestinians desperately swarming the aid trucks. UN Secretary-General António Guterres said he was “appalled” by the carnage. He also reiterated calls for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and unconditional release of all Israeli hostages in Gaza.

5. Covid-19

Around 98% of the US population has some kind of immunity to Covid-19, whether from infection, vaccination, or both, according to the CDC. But health experts say this only gives some protection against infection or severe disease. In response, the CDC this week recommended people age 65 and older should get an additional dose of the current Covid-19 vaccine. The current Covid-19 vaccine, which was updated last fall, is considered highly effective and may cut the chances of getting a symptomatic infection by half. This comes as the CDC is considering a shift to its Covid-19 isolation guidance to say that people no longer need to isolate once they have been fever-free for 24 hours and their symptoms are mild or improving.


Funeral for Alexey Navalny begins in Moscow
Hundreds of people are gathering in Moscow to pay their final respects to Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny at his funeral today. The outspoken Kremlin critic died on February 16 in a penal colony in Siberia where he was serving a 19-year sentence for various charges he denied and claimed were politically motivated. The cause of his death remains unclear, though some Western leaders have pinned the blame on Russian President Vladimir Putin.


Celebrities and tycoons jet to Indian billionaire heir’s pre-wedding bash
Those invited to Anant Ambani’s lavish pre-wedding celebrations received an elaborate schedule of events, including chartered jets for guests and a performance by Rihanna. Just imagine what the wedding will look like …

Iowa’s Caitlin Clark declares for the 2024 WNBA Draft
University of Iowa Hawkeyes basketball star Caitlin Clark announced she has decided to declare for the 2024 WNBA Draft. She’s also on the precipice of becoming college basketball’s all-time leading scorer.

MLB superstar Shohei Ohtani announces marriage in surprise social media post
LA Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani revealed on Thursday that he is now married. But to maintain privacy, he shared little details about his wife’s identity.

Oprah is leaving WeightWatchers’ board
Oprah Winfrey is leaving the board of WeightWatchers, ending a nearly decade-long stint as a director of the beleaguered company that has faced sudden competition from Ozempic.

Should you care about what the cat (or dog) dragged in?
Learn about some precautions animal lovers should take to keep themselves and their pets healthy, according to a doctor’s advice.


Fresh vegetables are starting to come at a premium at US grocery stores. Which vegetable notched a significant price increase this year?
A. Carrots
B. Mushrooms
C. Peas
D. Tomatoes

Take me to the quiz!

Last week, 63% of readers who took the quiz got eight or more questions right. How will you fare?


Canada’s former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney died “peacefully, surrounded by family,” his daughter Caroline Mulroney shared in a social media post. He was 84. Mulroney served as Canada’s prime minister from 1984 through 1993 — a tenure that notably included the signing of the Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement with former US President Ronald Reagan in the late 1980s.


That’s roughly how many days Boeing has to produce a plan detailing how it will fix serious quality and safety issues. On Thursday, the Justice Department also announced that the American plane maker faces yet another federal probe over its 737 Max door plug blowout, which could expose the company to criminal liability.


“It will cut down search and rescue time in the event of an accident.”

— Rakesh Gurung, director of Nepal’s Department of Tourism, announcing that all Mount Everest climbers will be required to use tracking chips on their journey moving forward. Last year, Nepal gave out a record 478 climbing permits to experienced mountaineers interested in ascending some of the highest peaks in the world. Twelve climbers were confirmed to have died on the mountain, while another five remain officially missing.


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Lights out: Lunar lander Odysseus sends final photo
Watch this video to see the parting shot from lunar lander Odysseus, the first American spacecraft to touch down on the moon in more than 50 years before it ran out of power on Thursday.

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