Tuesday, November 29

Ukraine, Herschel Walker, Oath Keepers, SCOTUS, Fat Bear Week: Daily Briefing

Russia has finalized its annexation of four Ukrainian territories amid losses to Ukrainian forces. The rising death toll of Lee County, Florida, after Hurricane Ian calls into question of officials’ response to the storm. It’s Fat Bear Week. Keep reading to take a look at the bears contending to be the chonkiest.

🙋🏼‍♀️ I’m nicole fallert, Daily Briefing author. This newsletter is a glimpse of the USA TODAY newsroom’s top reporting everyday. Want more? Subscribe to our journalism.

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Putin signs laws annexing 4 Ukrainian regions

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed laws absorbing four Ukrainian regions into Russia, a move that finalizes the annexation carried out in defiance of international law. Earlier this week, both houses of the Russian parliament ratified treaties making the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions part of Russia. The formalities followed Kremlin-orchestrated “referendums” in the four regions that Ukraine and the West have rejected as a sham. Ukraine’s counteroffensive is driving back Russian forces; More than 450 settlements in the Kharkiv region have been liberated in the past month, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said. Read more

Did officials in Lee County, Florida do enough?

As the death toll in Florida from Hurricane Ian climbed to 71 Tuesday, many continued to question whether lives could have been saved if Lee County officials had moved more quickly to evacuate barrier islands and other low-lying areas devastated by the storm. In Lee County – which includes Fort Myers and where Ian made landfall near Cayo Costa last Wednesday afternoon – officials waited until 7 am last Tuesday to order people to leave vulnerable coastal areas, while other southwest counties ordered evacuations last Monday. Of the confirmed deaths, 45 were in Lee County. Read more

Lee County Sheriff Deputy Tricia Aponte unloads supplies arriving at Pine Island, Florida, on Monday, Oct. 3, 2022.

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