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Gaza truce on the brink

The truce between Israel and Hamas faces another grim deadline. Rep. George Santos is facing a vote to kick him out of Congress. And what area of the country experienced the most population growth last year?

👋 Hello, Thursday! Laura Davis here. It’s time for the news, y’all.

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A fragile truce

Negotiators from several countries faced another grim deadline to extend the fragile truce between Israel and Hamas on Thursday as both sides expressed a readiness to restart the violence that has killed thousands and left much of the Gaza Strip in ruins. Representatives of Qatar, Egypt and the U.S. have toiled for weeks trying to bring calm to the region, helping create a four-day truce that has now lasted a week. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was in Jerusalem on Thursday for meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli War Cabinet. The Biden administration has been steadfast in its support of the Israeli military's offensive, prompted by the stunning Oct. 7 Hamas attack in Israel. But Netanyahu and the U.S. have faced increasing global criticism as the Palestinian death toll mounts. 👉 Follow our live coverage.

Palestinians fleeing the north walk along the Salaheddine road in the Zeitoun district on the southern outskirts of Gaza City on November 26, 2023.
Palestinians fleeing the north walk along the Salaheddine road in the Zeitoun district on the southern outskirts of Gaza City on November 26, 2023.

George Santos remains defiant in face of expulsion

Republican Santos remained defiant in the face of his likely expulsion at a press conference Thursday, arguing his detractors were "bullying" him out of Congress and denying a scathing House Ethics Committee report that accused him of wrongdoing. Santos has refused to resign and has promised to take his expulsion in stride: “If I leave, they win," he said Thursday. Santos has argued his expulsion would break precedent in the House as he faces federal charges but has yet to be convicted. The House is expected to vote on Santos’ expulsion on Friday. 🗳️ Here's what we know.

Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., speaks to reporters at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday in Washington.
Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., speaks to reporters at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday in Washington.

Real quick

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More people are migrating to the South

Warm winters, Southern hospitality, Publix subs ... Why not? More than 1.3 million people moved to Southern states last year, making the South the fastest-growing region in the U.S., according to U.S. Census Bureau data. The South experienced a population growth of 1.1% in 2021. During the same period, northeastern states lost around 219,000 residents to other states and the Midwest lost about 49,000. Meanwhile, the West was the only other region to see population growth, though it was modest: It gained about 153,000 residents, a 0.2% increase. 🗺️ Here's which states grew the most + why people moved.

Sale pending at a home for sale in West Palm Beach, Fla., on June 30, 2022.
Sale pending at a home for sale in West Palm Beach, Fla., on June 30, 2022.

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger dies

Henry Kissinger, a German-born American diplomat who shaped U.S. foreign policy in the second half of the 20th century and won a Nobel Prize for brokering an end to the Vietnam War, has died at 100. One of the most celebrated U.S. statesmen in modern times, Kissinger was also an intensely controversial figure and a lightning rod for critics of Nixon’s foreign policy, particularly in the conduct of the Vietnam War and its expansion into Cambodia, which was followed by the rise of the genocidal Khmer Rouge. Kissinger became national security adviser when Nixon took office in 1969, and in 1973, became secretary of state. He continued in the Cabinet post under former President Gerald Ford after Nixon resigned office over the Watergate scandal. 👉 More about his life and legacy.

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: Israel-Hamas war, Rep. George Santos, Henry Kissinger: Thursday's news