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A first lady's final farewell

Former first lady Rosalynn Carter was laid to rest. How to unwrap your 2023 Spotify stats. And why COVID-19 cases are running rampant right now.

👋 Hello! Laura Davis here. It’s Wednesday. Time for the news!

But first: This iceberg is on the move! 🧊 After being grounded for decades, one of the world's largest icebergs is drifting – and it’s picking up speed.

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Rosalynn Carter laid to rest 

Former first lady Rosalynn Carter was honored by her loved ones and laid to rest Wednesday in her longtime home of Plains, Georgia. The funeral service was held at Maranatha Baptist Church, where Jimmy Carter and the former first lady worshipped. As the former first lady's motorcade passed through downtown Plains, family and friends got out and walked behind the hearse carrying her casket. Her final resting place will be outside the modest ranch-style home she has shared with Jimmy Carter since they had it built in 1961. Betty Moss, 90, said the service was “as wonderful as Rosalynn.” 👉 More from Rosalynn Carter's memorial services.

Former President Jimmy Carter exits Maranatha Baptist Church following the funeral service for his wife of 77 years, former first lady Rosalynn Carter, on Wednesday, November 29, 2023 in Plains, Ga..
Former President Jimmy Carter exits Maranatha Baptist Church following the funeral service for his wife of 77 years, former first lady Rosalynn Carter, on Wednesday, November 29, 2023 in Plains, Ga..

Israel-Hamas truce nears end

Negotiators from at least five countries were working feverishly toward an extension of a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip as Hamas announced Wednesday that three Israeli hostages have died, including a 10-month-old child. The last scheduled release of hostages held by the militants − 10 Israeli citizens and two Russians − was underway Wednesday, Israel's military said. Once the release was completed, Israel was expected to free 30 Palestinian women and minors from prison. Hamas leaders are willing to extend the truce for four days and release more Israeli hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners, according to reports. Israeli officials also have expressed interest in extending the cease-fire in concert with the release of more hostages. 👉 Here's everything we know.

Palestinian citizens inspect the effects of the destruction caused by air strikes on their homes on Nov. 29, 2023, in Khan Yunis, Gaza.
Palestinian citizens inspect the effects of the destruction caused by air strikes on their homes on Nov. 29, 2023, in Khan Yunis, Gaza.

Real quick

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It's Spotify Wrapped time

Spotify Wrapped is here, making us take a good hard look at who we really are as music fans. Whether you’re shocked by your top songs or are more self-aware about your playlists, Spotify Wrapped delivers data-driven facts about users' listening habits. Users can find a full breakdown of their Spotify top artists, albums, songs and podcasts along with a slew of other information like their top genres and the cities where fans with similar tastes live. Spotify's top artist? Taylor Swift – duh – with more than 26.1 billion global streams. 🎶 Here's how to see your Spotify Wrapped.

Cases of this COVID-19 variant have tripled

Cough, cough. Incidence of a COVID-19 variant appears to have increased threefold in the U.S. in recent weeks, federal tracking showed. The BA.2.86 variant – a mutated COVID-19 strain previously thought to be uncommon – is projected to account for nearly one-tenth of circulating viruses, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Two weeks ago, the variant made up 3% of cases. Testing is considered a less reliable indicator of disease prevalence, but the increase in hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 should cause concern, experts say. 😷 Here's what to know.

A break from the news

Laura L. Davis is an Audience Editor at USA TODAY. Say hello: laura@usatoday.com. This is a compilation of stories from across the USA TODAY Network. Support quality journalism like this? Subscribe to USA TODAY here.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Rosalynn Carter memorial, Spotify Wrapped, Israel-Hamas: Wednesday's news