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5 things to know for Sept. 12: Hurricane Lee, Covid-19, Kim Jong Un, Libya, iPhone

By Alexandra Meeks, CNN

(CNN) — Google goes to court today to face the Justice Department and a group of states that accuse the company of antitrust violations in its massive search business. The tech giant has maintained that consumers simply prefer its tools over competitors, but some of its rivals allege Google is illegally holding monopoly power over internet search results.

Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.

1. Hurricane Lee

Hurricane Lee, currently a Category 3 storm churning in the Atlantic, is expected to grow significantly as it makes its northward turn in the coming days. Meteorologists say its growth will soon help determine the extent of its impact on the US Northeast, Bermuda and Canada. Forecasts show Lee will pass near, but west, of Bermuda late Thursday and Friday, and could deliver strong winds, rain and high surf to the island territory. The storm is also on track to send big waves to a growing area of the East Coast throughout the week as it tracks northward. This will likely cause coastal erosion, dangerous surf and life-threatening rip currents at beaches.

2. Covid-19 vaccines

The FDA has signed off on updated Covid-19 vaccines that target circulating variants in the US. Drug manufacturers Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech said the new vaccines are effective against EG.5 — currently the dominant strain. A group of independent experts that advises the CDC on its vaccination decisions will now weigh the safety and effectiveness of the updated vaccines and make recommendations for their use. After the CDC signs off on those recommendations, the vaccines can be administered. Health experts anticipate the vaccines could become available within just a few days at certain pharmacies and doctor’s offices, pending their expected approval.

3. Kim Jong Un

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has arrived in Russia ahead of an expected meeting with President Vladimir Putin, as the US urged Pyongyang not to provide weapons for Moscow’s war in Ukraine. Kim’s visit comes after the National Security Council warned last week that arms negotiations between Russia and North Korea are “actively advancing.” The US and its allies are particularly concerned about the technology North Korea is seeking from Russia in return for weaponry. North Korea is seeking technology that could advance its satellite and nuclear-powered submarine capabilities, officials said, which could significantly advance its capabilities in areas that the rogue regime has not fully developed.

4. Libya floods

At least 2,000 people have died and thousands more are missing in Libya amid “catastrophic” flooding that destroyed two dams and swept away neighborhoods. A health minister in the region described parts of the worst-hit city of Derna as a “ghost town.” The rain is the result of a very strong low-pressure system that brought extreme flooding to Greece last week and moved into the Mediterranean before developing into a tropical-like cyclone. Several countries have sent their condolences and offered aid to Libya as rescue teams scramble to find survivors under the debris and rubble.

5. iPhone reveal

Apple is expected to reveal its iPhone 15 lineup today at the company’s annual September keynote event, and it could introduce the biggest change to the phone’s design in 11 years. Industry experts say Apple will introduce USB-C charging to its smartphones for the first time. The change could ultimately streamline the charging process across various devices and brands. Additional updates to the battery life, camera and displays are also likely. The event, which Apple teased with a “wonderlust” tagline, will take place at the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, and will be live streamed on its website, starting at 1 p.m. ET.


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