If you’re traveling to see family this week, brace yourselves. Millions of Americans are expected on the roads and in the skies. The holiday rush will put an already stressed aviation system to the test.

United Air Lines planes line up along the busy Newark Liberty International Airport, New Jersey, on the eve of Thanksgiving on November 23, 2022.

Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images

  • A safety review commissioned by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reveals major concerns about a shortage of air traffic controllers, NPR’s Joel Rose says on Up First. Though the FAA administrator says the agency is taking steps to hire more controllers, Rose says there are no quick fixes, and the current hiring rate is barely keeping up with retirement.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin made a surprise visit to Ukraine this week to reemphasize how the U.S. is still committed to the country for the long haul. His trip comes at a critical time for Ukraine as officials brace themselves for a tough winter.

  • NPR’s Nathan Rott says Russia made “a concerted effort” to make life miserable for people last winter by attacking power plants, heating facilities and electrical infrastructure. Neither Russia nor Ukraine made significant territorial gains in the past year. Soldiers in the Donetsk region tell Rott they’re tired and understand the war isn’t ending anytime soon.

A humanitarian crisis is brewing on the outskirts of Jacumba, Calif., a community near the U.S.-Mexico border. Hundreds of migrants have been placed in informal, open-air camps in the area after crossing the border and turning themselves in to Border Patrol.

  • After visiting the camps, NPR’s Jasmine Garsd describes conditions like “a scene out of a refugee camp,” but with no infrastructure or official humanitarian aid. Locals volunteer to provide basic supplies and first aid. Garsd says because official asylum processes can take months, some migrants are desperate enough to cross the border and hope for the best.

The Qatar-based political leader of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, said early this morning that Hamas officials are approaching a “truce agreement” with Israel. The deal is expected to involve a temporary cease-fire and the release of some of the roughly 240 hostages taken from Israel during the Oct. 7 armed attacks in exchange for Palestinian prisoners in Israel.

Check out npr.org/mideastupdates for more coverage, differing views and analysis of this conflict.