Daily Briefing: Remembering Rosalynn Carter


Tributes to former first lady Rosalynn Carter are pouring in from all over the world, remembering a leader who championed mental health causes for decades. Also in the news: California drivers will be happy to return to Interstate 10. Taylor Swift returned to the stage after extreme heat and a fan death derailed the Brazilian leg of her Eras Tour.

🙋🏼‍♀️ I’m Nicole Fallert, Daily Briefing author. This week is your moment to snag half-off tech on Amazon.

Here are Monday’s top stories to know.

Former first lady transformed the role forever

Former first lady Rosalynn Carter, the wife of the nation’s 39th president and a devoted advocate for mental health care, has died. The former first lady and former President Jimmy Carter were married for 77 years. After her husband was elected president in 1976, Carter transformed the role of first lady into a full-time job. She was the first presidential spouse to set up an office in the East Wing and hire a full staff. Many recalled Rosalynn Carter carrying a briefcase filled with papers to the office every day. She was a trusted adviser to the president, a participant in foreign and domestic affairs and often set up weekly meetings with Jimmy Carter in the Oval Office. Read more

Hostage negotiations progress, but a deal with Hamas is uncertain

Hostage negotiations aimed at producing a multi-day cease-fire in return for the release of some of the estimated 240 people believed held by militants in Gaza were progressing Sunday but a deal remained precarious, officials said.

Reports of various deals for the release of dozens of women and children have been circulating for weeks, but thus far only four hostages have been released and one rescued. Deputy U.S. National Security Advisor Jon Finer said Sunday the talks had reached a “very sensitive” stage.

  • “Practical, logistical” points are holding up a deal at the moment, said Qatari officials who have been involved in the talks.
  • President Joe Biden pitched his plan for post-war Gaza and the West Bank in a Washington Post op-ed, saying the two Palestinian enclaves should be reunited “ultimately under a revitalized Palestinian Authority.” Israel, however, has balked at ceding security control of Gaza after the war.
  • The World Health Organization led a team into the embattled Shifa Hospital on Sunday, rescuing 31 sick premature babies and at least 16 health workers and other staff as Israel continued its devastating military campaign across northern Gaza, which has killed more than 12,000 Palestinians.

Keep reading: Israel-Hamas protests roiled campuses. Now, the feds are investigating colleges and schools.

More news to know now

What’s the weather today? Check your local forecast here.

California Interstate 10 to reopen before Monday’s commute

A key Los Angeles highway that was closed after an arson fire was scheduled to reopen Sunday night, days earlier than planned and weeks before initial estimates of the timeframe required to make repairs. A 1-mile stretch of the I-10 freeway near downtown Los Angeles has been closed since the blaze Nov. 11 scorched the road and burned nearly 100 support columns. The fire was intentionally and maliciously set, State Fire Marshall Daniel Berlant said last week. It was fueled by pallets, vehicles, construction materials and other items stored under the highway. No arrests have been made so far in the investigation. Read more

How Osama Bin Laden’s viral letter reopened a debate about a TikTok ban

Calls for a national TikTok ban have resurged among lawmakers after videos on the social media app promoted Osama Bin Laden’s “Letter to America,” a justification for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the U.S. The 2002 document, which circulated under the hashtag #lettertoamerica, condemned U.S. support for Israel and has resurfaced against the backdrop of the Israel-Hamas war. TikTok said that it had banned the hashtag. The letter was unearthed from among other documents from the 9/11 attacks on the website of the London-based Guardian newspaper. After the Guardian took down the letter, several young TikTok users began reading the letter aloud. Read more

Keep scrolling

What we learned in NFL Week 11: Is a unique playoff field brewing?

Only four teams in the league have never reached the Super Bowl: The Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans and the Jacksonville Jaguars. If the season ended today – it doesn’t – the entire quartet would qualify for the postseason. This is the first time all four of those clubs have had a winning record this late in a season. Unsurprisingly, improved quarterback play is a key component for all of these turnarounds – credit to the Browns’ rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson for recording his first NFL victory Sunday – a massive win against the division rival Pittsburgh Steelers. Read more

Photo of the day: Taylor Swift returns to Rio stage after fan death

Precautions were put in place Sunday following the death of 23-year-old Ana Clara Benevides Machado, who attended Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour in Brazil on Friday night. Fans who attended the show said they were not allowed to bring water bottles into the stadium even though Rio and most of Brazil have had record-breaking temperatures this week. During Sunday’s show, firefighters sprayed the crowd with water outside of the Nilton Santos Olympic Stadium to help fans stay cool. Read more about the show and Swift’s apparent tribute to the fan who died.

Nicole Fallert is a newsletter writer at USA TODAY, sign up for the email here. Want to send Nicole a note? Shoot her an email at NFallert@usatoday.com or follow along with her musings on Twitter. Support journalism like this – subscribe to USA TODAY here.

Associated Press contributed reporting.

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