5 things to know for March 23: Biden, Severe weather, Denver shooting, TikTok, Trump
By Alexandra Meeks, CNN
For the next month, Muslims around the world will observe Ramadan by abstaining from eating and drinking during daylight hours — not even water. The daily Ramadan fast, rooted in spiritual activities and self-reflection, takes place from dawn to sunset and concludes with a communal gathering. You can say “Ramadan Mubarak” to those celebrating, and also review this etiquette guide on how to be considerate to your fasting friends and colleagues.
Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.
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Later today, President Joe Biden will make his first visit to Canada since taking office to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and to address to the country’s parliament, according to the White House. Traditionally, US presidents make a stop in the country’s northern neighbor in the opening months after taking office. But Covid-19 restrictions and the war in Ukraine delayed Biden’s first visit to Ottawa until more than two years into his term. The delay hasn’t appeared to have dampened relations with Trudeau, a fellow liberal who is closely aligned with Biden on many policies. Still, there are some areas of disagreement on trade and immigration that will be hashed out during the visit, set to occur today through Friday.
2. Severe weather
California is experiencing major weather whiplash after a yearslong, historic megadrought. Before the powerful atmospheric river storm this week, many people welcomed this season’s heavy rain and snow that the state so desperately needed. But now, the storms keep coming — and are leaving widespread destruction in their wake. A rare tornado hit a city near Los Angeles on Wednesday, injuring one person and damaging at least 17 buildings, officials said. With estimated peak winds of 110 mph, the National Weather Service confirmed it to be the strongest tornado to hit the region since 1983. In Northern California, at least five people have died in the San Francisco Bay Area as fierce winds lashed cities on Tuesday, toppling trees and power lines. Meteorologists are also keeping an eye on the Southern US, where severe weather threats are expected to increase today and peak on Friday.
3. Denver shooting
Two faculty members at a Denver high school were shot by a student on Wednesday, prompting a frantic search for the 17-year-old suspect who fled the scene after firing his weapon. Authorities on Wednesday said they located a body a short distance from a vehicle connected to the suspect but have not identified it at this time. The student suspected in the shooting was under a school safety plan in which he was patted down each day, Denver Police Chief Ron Thomas said. During Wednesday’s search, a handgun was retrieved and several shots were fired in an office area in the front of the school. The shooting occurred away from other students and staff, Thomas said, possibly averting a much more tragic outcome.
TikTok’s CEO Shou Zi Chew is scheduled to appear on Capitol Hill today in what will be his first public testimony before Congress. For the last week, Chew has participated in near-daily, multi-hour prep sessions, CNN has learned, as he readies to face a bipartisan grilling from lawmakers on a number of issues, most notably data privacy and security. Concerns about TikTok’s connections to China have led governments worldwide to ban the app on official devices, and those fears have factored into the increasingly tense US-China relationship. The Biden administration has threatened TikTok with a nationwide ban unless its Chinese owners sell their stakes in the company.
The grand jury that has been hearing evidence in the case pertaining to former President Donald Trump’s alleged role in a scheme to pay hush money to an adult film star will reconvene today, a source familiar with the investigation told CNN. Expectations are high that New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a Democrat, is getting ready to make a decision on a potential indictment against Trump any day now over a hush-money payment scheme to adult film star Stormy Daniels. Bragg has said little about the status of the probe or whether Trump will even be charged. As the investigation nears its final stages, sources say prosecutors are considering the historic nature of prosecuting a former president — an unprecedented act. In another blow to Trump’s legal team, one of his defense lawyers is scheduled to testify Friday in the Mar-a-Lago classified documents investigation after losing an appeal.
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That’s how many times the Federal Reserve has raised interest rates in the last 12 months, including the latest quarter-point increase on Wednesday. Investors and economists had anticipated a hike this week as the Fed attempts to fight inflation while addressing a meltdown in the banking sector. CNN Business developed these recommendations on how to position your money to get the most out of higher rates — since they often have an effect on consumers’ savings, loans, credit cards and investments.
“It is obvious that the terrorist state cannot be stopped by anything other than one thing — our victory.”
— Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in his nightly address Wednesday after paying a surprise visit to troops on the front lines in the eastern Donetsk region. Also on Wednesday, a Russian minister said the risk of a nuclear conflict is now at its highest level in decades, according to state media.
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