New questions about Cindy Hyde-Smith's embrace of Confederate figures

Democrats hope for a stunning upset in Mississippi's run-off Senate vote on Tuesday, after Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith made comments her critics call racially insensitive.

Posted: Nov 26, 2018 7:30 AM
Updated: Nov 26, 2018 7:47 AM

Today is Cyber Monday, and it just might be the biggest one ever. Here's what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door. (You can also get "5 Things You Need to Know Today" delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

1. US-Mexico border

The border crossing in San Diego is back open this morning. It had been closed for several hours yesterday after a group of about 500 migrants rushed the border from the Mexican side, leading Border Patrol agents to fire tear gas at them. US Customs and Border Protection said the migrants threw projectiles that struck several agents. The incident marks an escalation of tensions that have been mounting since groups of Central American migrants began arriving in Tijuana a few weeks ago on their journey to try to gain entry to the US. Mexico says it will deport the migrants who attempted to rush the border. Click here for more photos.

2. Ukraine and Russia

There's an escalating standoff going on right now between Ukraine and Russia. Ukraine says Russian boats opened fire on Ukrainian ships near Crimea, seizing three of them in the Kerch Strait. That's a key waterway of strategic interest for both countries. Later today, Ukrainian lawmakers will vote on whether to declare martial law, and the United Nations Security Council will hold an emergency meeting. The Kerch Strait is a vital economic lifeline for Ukraine, as it allows ships leaving the port city of Mariupol to access the Black Sea. It's also the closest point of access for Russia to Crimea, a peninsula Moscow annexed -- with much controversy -- in 2014.

3. California wildfires

The Camp Fire in Northern California is now 100% contained, but the death toll continues to rise. Crews found three more bodies over the holiday weekend, putting the number of dead at 85. About 249 people are still missing. Complete containment doesn't mean the fire is out. It means a fire line has been cut around the blaze, cutting it off from trees and other fuel. Since it started more than two weeks ago, the fire has destroyed almost 14,000 homes, 514 businesses and 4,265 other buildings. It's burned an area roughly the size of Chicago.

4. Yemen

Five of the biggest international aid organizations in the world have a message for the US: Stop supporting Saudi Arabia in its war in Yemen or bear the blame for the widespread famine there. The agencies -- OXFAM, Care, International Rescue Committee, Save the Children and The Norwegian Refugee Council -- are all operating in Yemen right now. They say 14 million people are at risk of starving to death in Yemen unless the violence ends. A coalition led by the Saudis, with military support from the US, has battled Houthi rebels backed by Iran in Yemen for almost four years. The conflict has killed about 57,000 people. Peace talks are due to take place in Sweden in the next few weeks.

5. Weather

More than 10 million people are under a blizzard warning this morning as a big winter storm moves from the Midwest up to the Great Lakes. The storm forced the cancellation or delay of thousands of flights, just as millions of people were headed home after the Thanksgiving holiday. Whiteout conditions closed multiple roads in Kansas, while residents in Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa dealt with high winds. All of that snow and wicked wind will torment the Great Lakes region before moving on to the Northeast.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

People are talking about these. Read up. Join in.

Phone-free pool

Tired of people playing with their phones by the pool? Then check out the resort in Bali that bans them.

Morning Joe (and Mika)

Congrats to Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski. The MSNBC hosts tied the knot this weekend in DC.

Making moves

Prince Harry and Meghan will trade in the city for the suburbs early next year, as they move from Kensington Palace to Windsor before the baby is born.

Unbreakable rings?

Porcelain that's stronger than steel? A master jeweler from Hong Kong says he's created just that.

Goodbye, Bernardo

Director Bernardo Bertolucci, the Oscar-winning director best known for "Last Tango in Paris" and "The Last Emperor" has died of cancer at age 77.

HAPPENING LATER

Republican rallies

President Trump holds two campaign rallies today in Mississippi for Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith, a day before a runoff election against Democrat Mike Espy for the Magnolia State's Senate seat.

Charlottesville trial

The trial of the man charged with fatally running down counterprotester Heather Heyer at a white nationalist rally last year begins today.

Mission to Mars

NASA's Mars InSight Lander is set to land on the Red Planet this afternoon. InSight will explore the planet's interior.

THIS JUST IN

Pardon power

The UAE pardoned Matthew Hedges, a British academic, who had been convicted of spying. Hedges had originally been sentenced to life in prison after a five-minute hearing last week.

AND FINALLY ...

Rock on

Wanna join a rock band? You can probably get into this one, which has more than 1,000 members. (Click to view)

ONE MORE THING

Content By: CNN Underscored

Today marks Cyber Monday, which means the online sales are just getting started. To help you navigate the best deals happening during Cyber Week, be sure to head over to CNN Underscored. There, you'll find information on which retailers are offering sales on must-have tech, travel, health and lifestyle products. From a comprehensive list of A to Z of Cyber Monday sales to Amazon's best Cyber Monday markdowns, and Cyber Monday's top fashion deals, you'll surely find whatever it is you're looking for at an amazing price. When you make a purchase, CNN Underscored receives revenue.

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