Kherson, Nicole, student debt relief, Washington Commanders, Black Panther: Daily Briefing – USA TODAY

The Kremlin remained defiant Friday that its retreat from the Ukrainian city of Kherson in no way represented an embarrassment for Russian President Vladimir Putin. Also in the news: Several races remain uncalled in the 2022 midterm elections. Another legal block to President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan.

🙋🏼‍♀️ I’m Nicole Fallert, Daily Briefing author. Here’s how to honor those who have served for Veterans Day.

Happy Friday. Here’s the news.

Russia claims all troops gone from city in southern Ukraine

The Russian Defense Ministry says it has finished pulling out its troops from the western bank of the Dnieper River in Ukraine’s southern Kherson region. In a statement carried by Russia’s state news agencies, the ministry said the withdrawal was completed at 5 a.m. local time on Friday, and not a single unit of military equipment was left behind. The retreat announced earlier this week marks another setback for Moscow’s war in Ukraine. Areas the Russian military withdrew from included the city of Kherson, the only regional capital Moscow seized during its 8 1/2-month invasion of Ukraine. Read more 

  • George W. Bush will hold a virtual conversation with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
  • More world news: Biden to meet with China’s Xi amid increasing tensions over trade and Taiwan.

A hurricane and a blizzard

In a rarity for November, people in separate regions of the United States were battling both tropical storm and blizzard conditions Thursday. As Nicole made landfall over South Florida early Thursday as a Category 1 hurricane, the north-central United States braced for strong wind gusts, whiteout conditions and snowfall of up to 18 inches as the 2022-23 season’s first winter storm blew through the region. Read more

📷 Photo of the day: The aftermath of Nicole 📷

Tropical Depression Nicole was moving through Georgia Friday morning after a day of causing havoc as it churned through Florida as a hurricane and then a tropical storm, leaving tens of thousands of homes and businesses without power. Read more

Click here to see more photos of Nicole’s trail through Florida.

More news to know now

🌤 What’s the weather this weekend? Check your local forecast here.

Several races remain undecided

Three days after polls closed in the 2022 midterm elections, some of the nation’s most consequential races have not yet been decided. Arizona and Nevada, in particular, had thousands of ballots left to process. Read more

One thing to know: Though Republicans and pundits predicted a “red tsunami,” control of the U.S. House and Senate are still up for grabs.

👉 Check out USA TODAY’s live Election Day results tracker.

US judge in Texas blocks President Biden’s student debt forgiveness plan

A U.S. District Court in Texas on Thursday night blocked President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness program on the grounds that the administration didn’t have the authority to act. The fresh injunction is in addition to a block from the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which put the program on hold nearly three weeks ago while it considered a separate lawsuit brought by six states challenging the program and the president’s authority to act. At least 26 million people have applied for one-time student loan debt relief, under a plan the president announced in August. Read more

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82 schools have removed their racist namesakes since 2020

As part of the global racial reckoning after the murder of George Floyd, dozens of schools across the U.S. removed racist namesakes, many of them deciding to honor Black, Hispanic or Indigenous individuals instead. USA TODAY analyzed federal data and found at least 82 schools that changed their names because of the former honorees’ controversial legacies. Search our database to see what schools in your area changed their names. Read more

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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 or follow along with her musings on Twitter. Support journalism like this – subscribe to USA TODAY here.

Associated Press contributed reporting.