The National Weather Service warned a powerful winter storm will continue across the West while “developing into a possible blizzard” in the coming days. Also in the news: Opening arguments begin today in a second trial against members of the far-right Oath Keepers group. A look at the teams in the 2022 World Cup semis.
🙋🏼♀️ I’m Nicole Fallert, Daily Briefing author. Holiday gift shopping? These are the most searched products of 2022, according to Google.
Now, here we go with Monday’s news.
Powerful winter storm dumps snow across US
A powerful winter storm will continue across the West while “developing into a possible blizzard” in coming days, the National Weather Service warned. The system was forecast to sweep across a wide swath of the nation from Colorado to Minnesota on Monday through Wednesday, with driving snow, high winds and freezing rain. The storm already crashed across the West on Sunday and slammed parts of Southern California with more than 7 inches of rain and promised to snarl travel with feet of snow in some areas from the mountains of the Golden State through the Midwest. The weather service warned “travel could become impossible.” Read more
Will the second Oath Keepers trial bring more conspiracy convictions?
Opening statements are expected Monday in the second seditious conspiracy trial against members of the far-right Oath Keepers group charged in the Capitol attack on Jan. 6, 2021. The trial comes less than two weeks after Stewart Rhodes, the Oath Keepers founder, and Kelly Meggs, who led its Florida chapter, were convicted of seditious conspiracy for what prosecutors described as a violent plot to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory.
One thing to know: The question in the next trial is whether prosecutors will be able to convince jurors to convict lower-level defendants of that charge.
- What happened in the last trial? The militia members argued that there was no plan to invade the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, suggesting the government had mischaracterized them throughout the lengthy proceeding.
- And what prosecutors said: The government pointed to messages filled with violent rhetoric leading up to and after the Capitol riot as evidence that the Oath Keepers’ words weren’t just hyperbole.
- What is seditious conspiracy? The charge involves people “conspiring” to overthrow the government, but it’s rare for federal prosecutors to charge someone with seditious conspiracy, let alone to win a conviction.
More news to know now
🌤 Will the heavy snow impact your area? Check your local forecast here.
Kansas oil spill biggest in Keystone pipeline’s history
A ruptured pipe dumped enough oil in recent days into a northeastern Kansas creek to nearly fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool, becoming the largest onshore crude pipeline spill in nine years and surpassing all the previous ones on the same pipeline system combined, according to federal data. The spill raised questions for environmentalists and safety advocates about whether TC Energy should keep a federal government permit that has allowed the pressure inside parts of its Keystone system — including the stretch through Kansas — to exceed the typical maximum permitted levels. Read more
82,000 Ukrainians now living in the US
More than 82,000 Ukrainians and their immediate family members have been “paroled” into the United States under the “U4U” – United for Ukraine – program, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services reports. The program allows Ukrainians to stay in the U.S. for two years. According to the United Nations, nearly 8 million Ukrainians, or 20% of the population, have fled since Russia invaded in February. Most have settled, at least temporarily, in Poland and other European countries. Read more
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Messi carries Argentina into World Cup semis
Lionel Messi, the 35-year-old Argentina playmaker, has carried his team to the semifinals at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Now in Argentina’s way is Croatia, and the teams go head to head at Lusail Stadium Tuesday. Argentina might have been expected to be in this position. The team arrived at the World Cup as the Copa America champion, on a 36-match unbeaten run and with Messi back in sublime form for Paris Saint-Germain. There was much less noise around the Croatians, yet they keep on surprising just like four years ago when their run to the final included a 3-0 victory over Argentina in the group stage. Also in the semis: France and Morocco face off on Wednesday. Read more
📷 Photo of the day: 10 best ski towns in North America 📷
Beyond fresh snow and convenient access to the slopes, what makes the best ski town? For some, it’s having access to fantastic restaurants, bars and shops. For others, it’s about great accommodation options, a small-town vibe or a historic atmosphere. 10Best asked readers to vote, and the results are in. These are the 10 best ski towns in North America for the season.
One more thing
Nicole Fallert is a newsletter writer at USA TODAY, sign up for the email here. Want to send Nicole a note, shoot her an email at NFallert@usatoday.com or follow along with her musings on Twitter. Support journalism like this – subscribe to USA TODAY here.
Associated Press contributed reporting.