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5 things to know for May 20: Iran, Trump trial, Baltimore bridge, Space tourism, Retirement


By Alexandra Banner, CNN

(CNN) — A powerful storm system is barreling through the Central US with reports of baseball-sized hail in Kansas and Oklahoma. Hundreds of thousands are also without power in Texas as triple-digit heat follows a pattern of violent weather in the South.

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

1. Iran

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi died in a helicopter crash Sunday at age 63, the government has confirmed. Nine people were onboard the aircraft, including the country’s foreign minister. No survivors were found after an hours-long search operation in heavy fog, officials said, adding that weather could have played a key role in the crash. Raisi’s death comes at a fraught moment in the Middle East, with war raging in Gaza. It also comes weeks after Iran launched a drone and missile attack on Israel in response to a deadly strike on its diplomatic compound in Damascus.

2. Trump trial

Donald Trump’s ex-attorney Michael Cohen will be back in court today to face another round of cross-examination in the former president’s criminal hush money trial. Cohen was on the stand for three days last week, where he implicated Trump in the reimbursement payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels at the heart of Manhattan prosecutors’ case. Prosecutors allege Trump broke the law by falsifying financial records to cover up the payment. This, they argue, was to deceive voters in 2016 in an early example of election interference. Trump denies having an affair with Daniels and has pleaded not guilty. Cohen is likely to be the last substantive witness to take the stand for the prosecution, and then it will be the defense’s turn to make Trump’s case.

3. Baltimore bridge

The ill-fated cargo ship Dali is set to be moved today from the site of its catastrophic collision with the Francis Scott Key Bridge. Nearly eight weeks have passed since the vessel lost power, veered off course and slammed into the Baltimore bridge on March 26, killing six construction workers. The removal of the ship brings officials one step closer to reopening the Port of Baltimore, which has been incapacitated since the incident. The wreckage has clogged the major shipping channel for the sugar and automotive industries and crippled a major city thoroughfare. More than 30,000 commuters relied on the Key Bridge every day, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said.

4. Space tourism

Blue Origin launched six tourists to the edge of space Sunday for the first time in nearly two years, ending a hiatus prompted by a failed uncrewed test flight. The passengers included a venture capitalist, a brewery founder, a software engineer, a retired accountant, an aviator and a retired Air Force captain. During the mission, the crew soared to more than three times the speed of sound — or more than 2,000 miles per hour. The rocket vaulted the passengers past the Kármán line, an area 62 miles above Earth’s surface widely recognized as the altitude at which outer space begins. At the peak of the flight, passengers experienced a few minutes of weightlessness and views of Earth through the cabin windows.

5. Retirement

More Americans are turning 65 this year than ever before, sparking a boom in new retirement products. Around 11,200 Americans will reach that traditional retirement age each day in 2024, according to the Alliance for Lifetime Income. The surge has led to a growing number of financial products that promise paychecks for life, but experts say they can be difficult to reverse and, in some cases, need more research. Jobs with pension plans — or plans that offer employees payments for life — are also harder to come by compared to previous decades. Over the past 40 years, 401(k) plans have taken their place: Americans now hold $7 trillion in such plans, data shows.


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How a surveillance tape held Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs accountable
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That’s how many Disneyland Resort cast members who play characters around the theme park in Anaheim, California, recently voted to unionize. The union described the vote as “a landslide victory,” with more than 950 cast members favoring unionization. Until now, employees dressing up as iconic Disney characters like Mickey Mouse, Cinderella, Snow White and Captain Hook have been excluded from union benefits.


“It’s one of the hardest, most complicated problems in the world.”

— President Joe Biden, saying that he’s working toward an “immediate ceasefire” in Gaza during a commencement address at Morehouse College. The White House had hoped the address would allow Biden to better connect with young Black men, a group that has been increasingly moving away from the president, according to recent polls.


Check your local forecast here>>>


A Garfield look-alike contest
You’ve got to be kitten me… Cat owners and their furry friends gathered to compete in a Garfield look-alike competition in Malaysia! See the video here.

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