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5 things to know for April 29: Presidential race, Severe weather, Middle East, College protests, Kenya


By Alexandra Banner, CNN

(CNN) — A billionaire is building Titanic II — a replica of the ill-fated ship that sank in 1912. Early designs reveal the boat will accommodate around 2,300 passengers on trips reminiscent of the original Titanic, without the tragic ending, that is.

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

1. Presidential race

Former President Donald Trump continues to hold an advantage over President Joe Biden as their campaigns — and Trump’s criminal trial — move forward, according to a new CNN poll. Trump’s support in the poll among registered voters holds steady at 49% compared to Biden at 43%. The poll, which was conducted among 1,200 random adults, also revealed most respondents felt Trump’s term as president was a success, while a broad majority says Biden’s has so far been a failure. In an effort to reach potential voters, Biden poked fun at his own age Saturday at the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner and took jabs at his predecessor. Biden last week also offered his most robust commitment to the general election debates, saying in an interview that he would be “happy to” debate Trump.

2. Severe weather

Millions of people in the central US are under severe weather alerts today as storms threaten tornadoes, heavy rain and large hail across several states. The same weather system has killed at least four people, including an infant, following a devastating tornado outbreak in Oklahoma. Forecasts show that unsettled weather is expected to continue across the midsection of the country through the week. Cities including Dallas and Austin in Texas, Oklahoma City and Tulsa in Oklahoma, Wichita and Topeka in Kansas and the Kansas City metropolitan area are under severe weather watches as storms push eastward across the southern Plains.

3. Middle East

President Joe Biden spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by phone on Sunday to discuss the release of hostages in Gaza. Biden reiterated his “clear position” on a potential Israeli invasion of Rafah, where more than 1 million displaced Palestinians are sheltering, a source told CNN. The Biden administration has told its Israeli counterparts that it wants to see a clear and actionable plan on how they would protect civilians in the region. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will also visit the Middle East this week to discuss with leaders the ceasefire and hostage talks between Israel and Hamas that remain stalled despite months of mediation by Qatar and Egypt.

4. College protests

US colleges have been using law enforcement — along with academic suspensions and, for at least one school, expulsion — to warn against participating in violent pro-Palestinian demonstrations. A central demand of many protests is that the universities divest their funds from Israel-linked companies and support a ceasefire in Gaza. So far, many universities have refused to budge, and some experts doubt the effectiveness of such a campaign. Also over the weekend, students and children staged a display of solidarity at a demonstration in southern Gaza to express gratitude for the support seen on US college campuses in recent weeks.

5. Kenya

Dozens were killed after a dam burst in southern Kenya today, sweeping away homes and vehicles as the country grapples with weeks of heavy rains and flash floods. Rescue crews are digging through the mud and debris hoping to find survivors near Mai Mahiu, in Kenya’s Nakuru County, Gov. Susan Kihika told CNN. Images and video from Nairobi, which has been badly impacted, show people stranded on rooftops or salvaging what they can from destroyed homes. More than 130,000 people have been affected as floods swept through almost half of Kenya in recent months, local officials said.


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That’s how many measles cases have been reported in the US this year, according to the latest data from the CDC. Measles was declared eliminated in the US in 2000, but the rapid rise in cases poses a threat to that disease elimination status, the agency says.


“The world needs artists.”

— Pope Francis, sharing remarks during a historic visit to Venice’s contemporary art festival. Despite his recent health concerns, the trip saw the pontiff leave Rome to visit a female prison and rehabilitate the reputation of a Catholic nun artist known for making politically charged art.


Check your local forecast here>>>


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