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The Short List

Columbia protesters defy order to leave

Pro-Palestinian protesters at Columbia University defied orders to end their demonstration. A nasty storm system was moving across the Gulf Coast. And the feds are investigating Ford's hands-free driving system after two people died.

👋 Hey, Monday!Laura Davis here. Ready for the news? Let’s go.

But first: Where's Wally? 👀🐊 WallyGator, an emotional support alligator who gives hugs and kisses, has gone missing in Georgia.

Campus protesters defy deadline to clear out

Columbia University ordered pro-Palestinian protesters to disband their encampment Monday after school representatives and student organizers failed to negotiate a resolution of the standoff that began almost two weeks ago and fueled similar protests on campuses across the nation, but the students remained in place after the 2 p.m. EDT deadline for clearing out. 👉 Here's the latest on the developing situation.

📸 See photos:Protests erupt at universities across the nation.

University of Texas at Austin police arrest a protester at an encampment where demonstrators gathered to call attention to the war in Gaza on Monday, April 29, 2024.

Blinken pushes Hamas to accept truce proposal

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged Hamas on Monday to swiftly accept Israel's latest and "extraordinarily generous" proposal for a Gaza truce to secure a release of hostages amid a diplomatic drive to end the war between Israel and Hamas. Hamas negotiators were expected to meet Qatari and Egyptian mediators in Cairo on Monday to deliver a response to the phased truce proposal Israel presented at the weekend ahead of a threatened Israeli assault on the southern border city of Rafah. "The only thing standing between the people of Gaza and a cease-fire is Hamas," Blinken said. 👉 Here's what we know.

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Big storms batter Gulf Coast after weekend tornadoes

States along the Gulf Coast were under severe weather threats Monday as a storm system that spun up ferocious tornadoes across the central U.S. over the weekend – killing at least four people and inflicting widespread damage – moved over the region.

Heatwave hits East Coast: Elsewhere, record heat was possible along the East Coast, forecasters said, as high temperatures soared into the upper 80s and mid-90s in the mid-Atlantic, with one spot reaching a scorching 96 degrees.

More severe weather: Thunderstorms rolled across southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana into the afternoon, with damaging wind, hail, flash floods and up to 3 inches of rain falling every hour. More than 48,000 homes and businesses were without power. ⛈️ See the damage + the latest forecast.

Tornado damage in Sulphur, Okla., Sunday, April 28, 2024, after severe storms hit the area the night before.

📸See more photos:Midwest states hit by tornadoes.

Feds looking into Ford's hands-free driving tech

Federal safety regulators announced Monday they are investigating Ford’s hands-free driver assistance system, BlueCruise, on the heels of fatalities fatal crashes.

What happened? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it confirmed BlueCruise was engaged right before impact during two wrecks this year, one in Texas and one in Pennsylvania. The deaths mark the first fatalities involving the system, according to the NHTSA, and both crashes took place during "nighttime lighting conditions." 🔎 More about the investigation.

Ford's Mustang Mach-E, shown here, was the type of vehicle involved in two fatal crashes where regulators say the automaker's BlueCruise system was engaged.

A break from the news

Laura L. Davis is an Audience Editor at USA TODAY. Say hi:laura@usatoday.com. Support quality journalism like this?Subscribe to USA TODAY here.

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