Important state and national stories, market and business news, sports and entertainment, delivered in quick-hit fashion to start your day informed.
1. FBI says bomb threat at Mississippi Jewish synagogue “non-credible”
The largest Jewish synagogue in Mississippi received a bomb threat over the weekend prompting the closure of the facility as gatherers prepared to attend Sunday morning activities.
According to a statement from the synagogue’s leadership, Beth Israel Congregation, located in Jackson, received an emailed bomb threat. Out of an abundance of caution, synagogue leadership decided to cancel Sunday’s on-site programming.
“Since we received the threat we have been in constant communication with local and federal law enforcement, whose current assessment is that this threat is non-credible,” the statement continued. “We’re grateful to them for their swift action in ensuring our community’s safety.”
The “hoax incident,” as the FBI has described such threats, also occurred at other Mississippi Jewish sites last week, including in Columbus and Tupelo. Both incidents were not credible threats, according to the FBI.
Since Hamas attacked Israel in October and the Jewish nation responded, declaring war on the terrorists, the world has seen a rise in threats against Jewish communities, even in the U.S., Israel’s closest ally.
2. USM Nurse Anesthesia Program Earns Prestigious Accreditation
The University of Southern Mississippi’s Nurse Anesthesia Program has received a huge honor, earning a maximum 10-year accreditation by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthetists.
According to USM, the maximum accreditation signifies the stamp of a high-quality program. USM’s program is the only one offered in Mississippi.
The university says since its inception in January 2013, the doctoral program has graduated approximately 153 students. Many graduates have become Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) with the University’s clinical partners throughout the state and beyond. Currently, 67 students are enrolled, with 19 set to graduate this month. Graduation is held only once per year. A new class of 25 students is scheduled to begin coursework in January.
National News & Foreign Policy
1. CBS Poll: Haley gaining on Trump in New Hampshire
A new poll from CBS News shows former U.S. Ambassador and South Carlina Governor Nikki Haley gaining on former President Donald Trump in the early voting state of New Hampshire. The poll, conducted between December 8-15, shows Haley at 29% and Trump at 44%, following by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at 11%.
According to those polled in New Hampshire, Haley is viewed as the most likeable and most reasonable in the GOP field and comes in second to Trump as the most prepared.
However, Trump is far ahead of the pack in the first state to cast votes in the 2024 Republican Presidential Primary. Polling ahead of the Iowa caucuses shows Trump at 58% with Desantis at 22% and Haley at 13%.
2. Still no agreement on border security as negotiations stall in U.S. Senate
Negotiations in the U.S. Senate to address the southern border have reportedly again been unfruitful, according to the Wall Street Journal. On Sunday, talks between Democratic and Republican Senators, along with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, to tighten border security resulted in a stalemate.
“The lack of a breakthrough by the self-imposed weekend deadline underscored the difficulties facing the Senate talks, even after the Biden administration signaled it was prepared to make significant concessions on immigration policy,” the WSJ reported. “Many Republicans not involved in the discussions have expressed skepticism in recent days about any deal, while progressive Democrats have raised concerns that the White House was bowing to conservative demands.”
The two sides will resume their talks on Monday. However, given the late date in the year, some Senators are urging talks to cease ahead of the holiday and resume when members return from the Christmas break the second week of January.
Sports & Entertainment
1. Dallas Cowboys make history
On Sunday, the Dallas Cowboys made NFL history by securing a playoff spot for the 36th time in franchise history, breaking the tie with the Green Bay Packers with the most playoff appearances by any team.
The Packers can still mathematically make the playoffs, but their chances are dimming at 6-8.
Dallas, led by former Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott, is now 10-4 on the season heading down the stretch with three games remaining in the regular season. Prescott is among a handful of players being touted at possible MVP candidates for the 2023 season.
The San Fransico 49ers sit atop the NFC at 11-3 while the Baltimore Ravens lead the AFC also at 11-3.
2. Alabama tops Mississippi in annual MS-AL All Star Game
The final high school football game of the season ended in Mississippi’s all stars losing to their Alabama counterparts on Saturday by a score of 26-17 in the 37th annual Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Classic. This year’s game was held at Southern Miss at M.M. Roberts Stadium.
Alabama has now won three in row over Mississippi and now leads the series 26-11.
Starkville’s quarterback Trey Petty as named MVP for the Mississippi squad, going 13 for 20 through the air for 160 yards and scoring two touchdowns, one passing and one rushing. He is an Illinois commit.
3. Will Rogers transferring to Washington
Mississippi State quarterback Will Rogers is transferring to Washington.
Rogers, who has spent four years in Starkville, has one year of eligibility left.
He leaves the Bulldogs and the Southeastern Conference behind as the number two all-time career passing yards leader in the conference.
Markets & Business
Futures rise to start the week
Monday stock futures were higher to open the day after the Dow, S&P and Nasdaq all have reached seven consecutive weeks of gains.
According to CNBC:
The winning streak for the S&P 500 marked its longest string of weekly gains since 2017. The broad market index is up by 3.3% for the month, while the Dow and Nasdaq are 3.8% and 4.1% higher, respectively. The Dow also posted an intraday record on Friday, and the Nasdaq-100 had a new closing high.
This the final full trading week of 2023.