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5 Things To Know On Monday, November 29, 2021

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Posted at 7:12 AM, Nov 29, 2021

While you were sleeping, we compiled the biggest stories of the day in one place. Each story has a quick and easy summary, so you're prepared for whatever the day brings. Just click on the links if you want to know more!

1. Jury selection to begin in trial of Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell
Despite his suicide, disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein will still be put on trial in a sense in the coming weeks by a proxy: his former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell.

The 59-year-old Maxwell is to go before a federal jury in Manhattan today on charges she groomed underage victims to be raped by Epstein.

Maxwell faces six charges linked to sex trafficking, conspiracy and enticing minors for Epstein. She'll also face two charges of perjury, which will be tried at a later date.

Jury selection to begin in trial of Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell

2. US suspending travel to several African nations due to omicron strain of COVID-19
The U.S. said Friday that it would restrict travel from South Africa and seven other countries amid fears that a newly-discovered COVID-19 variant could lead to a surge of worldwide cases and deaths.

Canada's first two cases of the newly identified variant of COVID-19 called "omicron" have been confirmed in Ontario.

On Friday, the World Health Organization categorized the strain that was recently detected in southern Africa as a "variant of concern." The organization said the new variant is potentially more transmissible and could cause more severe disease than other COVID-19 variants.

The latest on the omicron COVID-19 variant

3. Carrie Meek, pioneering Black former Florida congresswoman, dies
Carrie Meek, the grandchild of a slave and a sharecropper’s daughter who became one of the first Black Floridians elected to Congress since Reconstruction, died Sunday. She was 95.

Meek started her congressional career at an age when many people begin retirement. She was 66 when she easily won the 1992 Democratic congressional primary in her Miami-Dade County district.

In Congress, Meek championed affirmative action, economic opportunities for the poor and efforts to bolster democracy in and ease immigration restrictions on Haiti, the birthplace of many of her constituents.

Carrie Meek, pioneering Black former Florida congresswoman, dies

4. Gators hire Billy Napier as next football coach
Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin announced Billy Napier's hire Sunday, exactly one week after Dan Mullen was fired.

Napier, who has spent the last four seasons as head coach at Louisiana, will remain with the Ragin' Cajuns this week as they prepare to host Appalachian State in the Sun Belt Conference championship game. His introductory news conference will be held Dec. 5 in Gainesville.

The 42-year-old takes over for Mullen, who was fired after the Gators finished Southeastern Conference play with their fewest league wins since 1986 and watched seven recruits from the class of 2022 decommit since October.

University of Florida hires Billy Napier

5. Be careful while Cyber Monday shopping
The day known for bundles of online savings is also a day notoriously known for hackers trying to steal your personal information.

"Number one, never use your debit card, never give your bank for ACH information, never do anything like that," said Alan Crowetz, WPTV Cybersecurity Expert. "In addition to a credit card, you can use another lay of protection like PayPal which adds another layer of payment protection between you and whoever you're buying from."

He said the best thing to do to protect yourself is to avoid all links in ad emails. He said instead to go directly to the retailer website and try and find the same deal.

Tips to keep your information safe while Cyber Monday shopping

Today's Forecast
Highs in the low 70s, mostly sunny and low humidity

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On This Day In History
On November 29, 2001, English musician and songwriter George Harrison dies at the age of 58.

Remember, you can join Mike Trim and Ashleigh Walters every weekday on WPTV NewsChannel 5 beginning at 4:30 a.m. And you can always watch the latest news from WPTV anytime on your favorite streaming device. Just search for "WPTV."