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5 things to know for July 22: Covid-19, Capitol riot, guns, wildfires, China

By AJ Willingham, CNN

If you’re taking advantage of the IRS’ child tax credits, be aware: They may mean an unwelcome surprise come tax season.

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

(You can also get “5 Things You Need to Know Today” delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

1. Coronavirus

Coronavirus will kill 100,000 more people by the time the Tokyo Olympics is over, the World Health Organization has warned. In the US, top health and White House officials will soon meet to discuss mask recommendations as cases continue to mount. These new cases are ravaging more people in lower-risk groups, like young adults, than early waves of the pandemic. CDC advisers will also meet today to review whether a booster shot of a Covid-19 vaccine will be necessary soon. At a CNN town hall yesterday in Ohio, President Biden expressed frustration over people who refuse to get vaccinated. While breakthrough infections do happen, new cases are overwhelmingly affecting the unvaccinated.

2. Capitol riot

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected two of the five Republicans recommended by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to serve on the House select committee created to investigate the circumstances of January’s Capitol riot. Pelosi said she vetoed the appointment of Reps. Jim Jordan and Jim Banks. Both had objected to the certification of the November election. In response, McCarthy pulled all five Republican members he had appointed, leaving only one GOP lawmaker: Rep. Liz Cheney, who was tapped for the committee by Pelosi. This breakdown of bipartisanship underscores the deep partisan divide over the fallout from January’s attack. The committee is slated to have its first hearing next Tuesday.

3. Gun violence

The Justice Department is launching a series of anti-gun trafficking strike forces to combat sources of gun-related crime. The strike forces will be based in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, the San Francisco Bay Area and Washington, DC. These cities are known corridors where illegal guns are being trafficked and used in deadly shootings and other crimes. In general, gun violence has been on the rise, with year-to-date increases in homicides in three of the five task force cities. Last month, Biden warned of the potential for more violence in the summer, when crime often surges.

4. Wildfires

Wildfires are raging in unexpected parts of the globe as hot temperatures and dry conditions turn rarely burned places into tinderboxes. Near the Russian Siberian city known as the coldest in the world, fires have consumed more than 6.5 million acres since the start of the year. Most of Europe, the Western US, southwest Canada and some regions of South America experienced drier-than-average conditions in June, creating prime conditions for new blazes and making ongoing fires harder to battle. In California, Pacific Gas and Electric announced it will bury 10,000 miles of its power lines to reduce the risk of starting any more blazes. Equipment belonging to the nation’s largest utility has played a role in sparking some of the deadliest wildfires in California.

5. China

Widespread flooding in the central Chinese province of Henan has submerged entire neighborhoods, swept cars off of roadways, caused landslides and overwhelmed dams and rivers since intense rain started battering the region last weekend. In a horrifying scene, rising floodwaters trapped passengers on subway cars and nearby platforms in the provincial capital of Zhengzhou. Several people died in the incident, and at least 33 have perished overall as a result of the floods. Henan is one of China’s most populous and poorest provinces, with about 99 million residents. More than 6,000 firefighters and 2,000 members of the military and paramilitary forces have been deployed across disaster-hit areas.


Men have a bigger carbon footprint than women, thanks to their appetite for cars and meat

Psh, men, always filling the beds of their F-250s with porterhouses and ground beef.

Venmo is getting rid of the feature that lets you see strangers’ payments

But how will you know what two random people three states over paid for their shared dinner last night?

Dolly Parton recreated her 1978 Playboy cover

Still got it!

A 22-foot spaceman sculpture has landed in the Caribbean Sea

Be patient with him; he’s lost. 


Brazilian soccer legend makes history

Marta, widely regarded as one of the greatest female footballers of all time, became the first player to score in five straight Olympics after netting in Brazil’s 5-0 win against China.

See the latest Olympic news and highlights here. 


$26 billion

That’s the sum of a settlement proposed by a group of states’ attorneys general that would resolve claims against the “big three” drug distributors — McKesson, Cardinal Health and Amerisource Bergen Drug — plus manufacturer Johnson & Johnson in an expansive ongoing civil suit targeting companies that deal in opioids.


“I know what happens when you turn people into a minority.”

Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, who warned Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán behind closed doors about the consequences of Hungary’s controversial anti-LGBTQ law. Orbán has suggested a referendum on the law in response to international condemnation.


Check your local forecast here>>>


A living legend 

Meet 100-year-old gymnast Agnes Keleti, a 10-time Olympic medalist and the oldest living Olympic champion. (Click here to view.)

Correction: A previous version of this newsletter incorrectly ascribed Pelosi’s veto of Jordan’s and Banks’ January 6 committee appointments to their objections to the certification of the November election. The Speaker has said that how someone voted on certifying the election was not a factor for her.

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