U.S. completes first aid airdrop in Gaza, West Coast hit with dangerous winter storm: Weekend Rundown


Starvation intensifies in Gaza as cease-fire negotiations continue

Hamas officials arrived in Cairo on Sunday for talks on a cease-fire and hostage deal, the framework for which Israel more or less agreed to in Paris in late February. Israel is not sending a high-level delegation to Cairo talks, one Israeli official told NBC News, but is increasingly optimistic a deal can be reached by the start of Ramadan on March 10.

Any pause in fighting could also allow more aid into Gaza, amid warnings of dire humanitarian conditions.

Image: PALESTINIAN-ISRAEL-CONFLICT
Palestinians check the rubble of a house destroyed in an overnight Israeli airstrike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on March 3.SAID KHATIB / AFP – Getty Images

The U.S. completed its first airdrop of humanitarian aid into Gaza Saturday morning, with three military planes dropping 66 pallets containing 38,000 meals, officials told NBC News. But aid organizations say the airdrops fall far short of meeting needs when many are facing starvation.

A UNICEF official said at least 10 children in Gaza have died of malnutrition and dehydration, and one U.N. official has accused Israel of “intentionally starving” Palestinians in Gaza.

This week Benny Gantz, a member of Israel’s war Cabinet, will meet with Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and other U.S. officials.

Follow NBC News live coverage.

Trump wins more states ahead of Super Tuesday

Donald Trump
Former President Donald Trump arrives at a campaign rally in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday.Chris Carlson / AP

Former President Donald Trump won more Republican contests this weekend — in Michigan, Missouri and Idaho.

Confusion stemming from an ugly GOP leadership dispute and other intraparty disarray hovered over the proceedings in Michigan, but Trump easily swept the chaotic caucuses.

As he campaigned in North Carolina on Saturday, Trump likened Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson to Martin Luther King Jr., despite the gubernatorial candidate’s long history of controversial comments about homosexuality, religion and victims of sexual abuse.

Nikki Haley crisscrossed the country in the days leading up to Super Tuesday with a private pitch to donors about why they should keep giving her money. But six sources who have heard it say that plan has been missing a key element: a potential path to victory over Trump. Haley notched her first 2024 win on Sunday, taking the GOP primary in Washington, D.C., where Trump had one of his worst performances in 2016.

Meanwhile, Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski told NBC News Saturday she could not vote for Trump or President Joe Biden, urging those like her not to “quit” on Haley’s long-shot bid yet.

Blizzard brings dangerous conditions to the West Coast

A man uses a snow blower as snow piles up during a storm in California
Brooke Hess-Homeier / AP

A major winter storm in California’s Sierra Nevada caused the closure of a long stretch of Interstate 80 and residents were being asked to take shelter.

As of Saturday, the National Weather Service said more than 3 inches of snow had been falling each hour and winds were blowing over 100 mph, causing whiteout conditions that make “travel impossible through the area.”

NWS Sacramento said a blizzard warning is now in effect through Sunday evening due to conditions making it “extremely dangerous to impossible” to travel, and a winter storm warning will remain in effect until 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Meet the Press

In order to participate in primary debates hosted by the Republican National Committee last fall, every candidate was required to sign a pledge to support the eventual nominee. Former President Donald Trump decided not to sign the pledge or participate in the debates. On “Meet the Press” Sunday, Nikki Haley told Kristen Welker she no longer feels obligated to endorse Trump if he becomes the Republican nominee.

“No, I think I’ll make what decision I want to make, but that’s not something I’m thinking about,” she said, noting that “if you talk about an endorsement, you’re talking about a loss. I don’t think like that.”

She added, “When you’re in a race, you don’t think about losing. You think about continuing to go forward.”

Watch the full interview here.

Politics in brief

A housing dilemma in a ‘cowboy ski town’

Houses dot a hillside in Steamboat Springs, Colo.,
Houses dot a hillside in Steamboat Springs, Colo., on Aug. 3, 2022.Thomas Peipert / AP file

In Steamboat Springs, Colorado, a pandemic-fueled real estate boom driven by remote workers, second-home buyers and short-term rental investors has caused home prices to nearly double.

At the Steamboat hospital, doctors willing to pay more than $1 million for a home have been repeatedly outbid by all-cash, out-of-town buyers, and housing costs have caused some positions to go unfilled for more than two years.

Even the local ski resort has been leasing a hotel for its employees to live in as the homes they once rented are increasingly turned into short-term rentals for visitors.

Home ownership is largely out of reach for most people making less than $200,000 a year. But addressing the problem has created a predicament of its own.

Taking medication for opioid use disorder threatened his law career

image: Derek Scott
Derek Scott.Hannah Rappleye / NBC News

As a child, Derek Scott always dreamed about becoming a lawyer, but he never expected a prescription to prevent him from getting the job.

Scott had struggled for years with opioid addiction before enrolling in college at age 32. Buprenorphine, an FDA-approved medication that curbs withdrawal symptoms and cravings, gave him a sense of normalcy and set him on the path to law school. His future, however, would come to hinge on a choice that didn’t feel like much of a choice at all: get off the medication that protected him from relapse and attend abstinence-only treatment, or lose his chance to become a lawyer.

“I knew there were going to be questions asked,” Scott said. “But I didn’t think my medication would be the biggest hurdle.”

Discrimination against people who use medication to treat their opioid use disorder is rampant, experts say. The Justice Department is trying to change that.

Caitlin Clark makes NCAA history

Iowa Hawkeyes guard Caitlin Clark celebrates
Jeffrey Becker / USA Today Network

Iowa Hawkeyes star Caitlin Clark is now NCAA Division I basketball’s overall top scorer.

Clark went into Sunday’s game against the Ohio State Buckeyes needing 17 points to break “Pistol Pete” Maravich’s record of 3,667 career points, which stood for more than 50 years. With a second-quarter free throw, she became the top-scoring player in NCAA Division I history.

“I’m just really grateful, honestly, to be able to be here and make so many of my dreams come true,” Clark said after the history-making game.

Clark’s basketball milestone came a day after LeBron James surpassed 40,000 career points during a home game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets.

The complex battle between Black hairstylists and their clients

Photo illustration of back of woman's head and a list of salon requirements
Leila Register / NBC News; Getty Images

For some, salons are places for people to gather as a community. Now they’ve become places with lastminute cancelations, overcharging and unreasonable policies. As a result, countless Black women have taken to social media to talk about their frustrations with their hairstylists.

“This is our space of sharing ideas, gossiping, laughing,” says Najah Aziz, who runs Like the River salon in Atlanta. “Over the years it’s just become more of a toxic environment.”

Some stylists like Aziz are looking for solutions to cut down on bad experiences, while still defining their boundaries. She founded Beauty Beyond the Hair, a series of classes and workshops for licensed hairstylists. “How we can fix this is offering more professionalism and customer service,” Aziz said.

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