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5 things to know for September 22: Coronavirus, United Nations, Congress, Trump revelations, immigration


By AJ Willingham, CNN

If you’ve patiently waited to break out the decorations and the pumpkin spice, now’s your time. It’s the first day of fall in the Northern Hemisphere!

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

Medical experts are warning of another deadly pandemic winter as Covid-19 numbers tick up and flu season threatens. The US is back at a point where more than 2,000 people are dying of Covid-19 every day on average, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Additionally, about 12,000 to 50,000 Americans lose their lives to flu every year. The best way to avoid another devastating season, doctors say, is to get vaccinated for both. Meanwhile, parts of Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, are coming out of long lockdowns and abandoning their “zero Covid” strategies. Leaders want to revive their countries’ economies, especially their tourism sectors, but experts are worried that low vaccination rates in the region could spell disaster.

2. United Nations

The climate crisis was front and center at the UN General Assembly yesterday. Chinese President Xi Jinping recorded a rare address to the UN body promising to halt coal projects, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country will present the Paris climate agreement to its parliament next month, and US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson stressed further climate action during an Oval Office meeting. An array of international points of conflict were also addressed by the dozens of world leaders present, including nuclear arms in Iran, free and fair elections in Venezuela, and competition between the US and China. The Taliban have also requested representation at this week’s meeting, a move that is expected to kick off a diplomatic battle with the preexisting Afghan envoy.

3. Congress

Progressive Democrats have announced they will not vote for the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill without passing the $3.5 trillion package that is aimed at enacting President Joe Biden’s economic agenda. That vote is scheduled for next week, and as it stands, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi can afford to lose only a handful of votes to get anything passed. President Biden will increase his engagement with Congressional Democrats today, including a meeting with Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, to try and get all the Democratic factions in line. Yesterday, the House also passed a bill to avoid a government shutdown and suspend the US debt limit. The bill is unlikely to pass the Senate, so the country is still approaching a possible shutdown and financial precipice in the coming weeks.

4. Trump revelations

Several recent revelations have shed light on then-President Trump and his supporters’ plans to subvert the Constitution and keep him in power after the 2020 election. These revelations are likely to be of high interest to the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection. For instance, a newly revealed memo shows a conservative lawyer working with Trump’s legal team tried to convince then-Vice President Mike Pence that he could overturn the election results on January 6 when Congress counted the Electoral College votes. The six-step scheme, which included throwing out electors from seven states, was outlined in a two-page memo obtained by Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa for their book, “Peril.” The memo was then obtained by CNN.

5. Immigration

There are about 8,600 Haitian migrants remaining under the Del Rio International bridge in Texas, waiting to be processed by immigration officials and possibly removed from the country. That’s down from a high of about 14,000 earlier in the week, but there are still tens of thousands of other Haitian refugees further south, still waiting for a chance to enter the US. There are up to 30,000 Haitians in Colombia who may be seeking to travel north, and Panama expects 80,000 migrants to cross its borders by the end of this year. South and Central American leaders have expressed concern at the unprecedented flow of migrants. More than 97% of Haitians migrating to the US do not come directly from Haiti, but rather were residents of other countries first. Many Haitians trying to enter the US are believed to have been living elsewhere since the devastating Haiti earthquake in 2010.


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Prepare to be stuck in an endless loop of “I can’t see you” and “You’re muted … I said YOU’RE MUTED.”

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In memoriam

Willie Garson, who famously played Stanford Blatch on “Sex and the City,” has died. He was 57. In a statement, HBO/HBO Max honored Garson, calling his portrayal “one of the most beloved characters from the HBO pantheon.”



That’s how much the Hungarian Football Federation must pay in fines after being punished by football’s world governing body for “numerous” fans’ racist behavior during a recent World Cup qualifier against England.


“I started telling myself that it was okay. I was coming to terms with dying.”

Samantha Mayor, who was injured during the 2018 deadly school shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Mayor and other shooting survivors gave their firsthand accounts in a brief filed Tuesday in a case that could impact concealed carry and Second Amendment laws across the country.


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Restoring an icon

What’s it like getting Dorothy’s ruby slippers looking their best? Well, for one, they’re way less pretty reeeally close up. (Click here to view)

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