This week’s weather could get gnarly in many states. Britney Spears shared some big news. And we’re down to the last three Kmart stores.
👋 It’s Laura. It’s Monday. Here’s the news you need to know.
But first, sugar gliders, bearded dragons and hamsters – oh my! 🐹 We raised possums, squirrels and chickens when I was growing up, so these animals seem exotic to me. In honor of National Pet Day, see each state’s favorite pet (other than cats and dogs).
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Biden announces measures targeting ghost guns
Calling them “basic common sense,” President Biden took steps Monday to rein in the use of untraceable firearms known as ghost guns that law enforcement officers said turn up frequently at crime scenes. Biden announced federal regulations targeting privately made firearms that can be assembled from do-it-yourself kits purchased online or in a store. The weapons lack serial numbers, which makes it difficult to trace the owner. The rules, which have been in the works for nearly a year, will clarify that the unfinished parts sold in the gun kits, such as the frame of a handgun or the receiver of a long gun, will qualify as firearms under federal law.
8-mile-long Russian convoy headed to eastern Ukraine
Russia is resupplying and reinforcing its invasion force in eastern Ukraine with a long convoy of vehicles heading to the region, indicating a new phase of the war is likely to occur there, according to a senior Pentagon official. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned of an impending Russian offensive in his country’s east and civilians to flee the region. The convoy, seen in satellite imagery, stretches about 8 miles and appears to contain vehicles to command and supply infantry units and possibly helicopters, said the official, who provided intelligence assessments on the condition of anonymity.
👉 More news: Mariupol mayor says the city’s death toll could exceed 20,000; Austria’s leader had “direct, open and tough” in-person talks with Putin – but they yielded few results. Monday’s latest updates.
What everyone’s talking about
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Baby, one more time
Oh baby, baby! Looks like congratulations are in order. Pop superstar Britney Spears is pregnant with her third child, she announced Monday. Spears, 40, shared the news in an Instagram post alongside a photo of a cup of tea surrounded by flowers, writing that she “got a pregnancy test… and uhhhhh well… I am having a baby.” She explained she was confused as to what was going on with her body when she “lost so much weight to go on my Maui trip only to gain it back,” adding her fiancé, Sam Asghari, suggested it was a food baby. Not quite, Sam! The couple have been engaged since September, just before Spears’ 14-year-long conservatorship ended in November. The singer shares sons Sean, 15, and Jayden, 14, with ex-husband Kevin Federline.
Blizzard, fires, thunderstorms and tornadoes all a threat this week
Brace yourselves: Parts of the northern and central USA could see some seriously gnarly weather in the week ahead. Starting Monday, a huge storm will bring blizzard conditions to portions of the northern Plains over the next few days, as well as the chance for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes over a large chunk of the central USA. Wildfires are possible across the southern Plains. The heaviest snow is expected in Montana, Wyoming and especially the Dakotas from late Monday into Wednesday, AccuWeather said. Through Thursday, forecasters said, at least 18 states in the central USA could be affected by a multiday outbreak of severe weather, including hail, wind and tornadoes. Check out the full forecast and updates here.
⛈ Weather check: Should you stock up on milk and bread (or beer and charcoal)? Find out what the weather is doing in your neck of the woods with a local forecast here.
Soon, only 3 Kmarts will remain
As a person whose first words were rumored to be “Attention, Kmart shoppers,” (thanks, Dad), I took this news personally: Soon there will be only three open Kmart stores in the whole country. The Kmart store in Avenel, New Jersey, 15 miles south of New York City, is the latest store scheduled to permanently close. After it shutters on Saturday, the number of Kmarts – which once exceeded 2,000 – will be down to three in the continental USA and a handful of stores elsewhere, according to multiple reports, in a retail world dominated by Walmart, Target and Amazon. Sears and Kmart were owned by Sears Holdings, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2018 and narrowly escaped liquidation in early 2019. Together, Sears and Kmart have closed more than 3,500 stores and cut about 250,000 jobs in the past 15 years.
A break from the news
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