(CNN)Looks like we mightget flying cars (and electric ones at that!) after all. Here’s what elseyou need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door. (You can also get “5 Things You Need to Know Today” delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)
— one of the strongest storms in the history of the Atlantic — blasted through the small island of Barbuda early this morning. Now, the Category 5 storm is marching through the rest of the Caribbean and toward the US. Irma, with 185-mph winds, next has Puerto Rico
, Antigua, St. Kitts and Nevis, and the US Virgin Islands in its sights.
Most forecasts predict
Irma could hit Florida this weekend, but exactly when or where is up for debate. A state of emergency has been declared in the Sunshine State
and evacuations have started. Some 5,000 military personnel, civilians, contractors and families based at Naval Air Station Key West have been told to get out
Meantime, Congress wants to put disaster relief for Hurricane Harvey
on the fast track, but already politics is getting in the way
. To speed things up, some GOP senators want to attach the disaster relief bill to a measure that would raise the debt ceiling. Sen. Rand Paul says he’ll do “anything to try to stop that.”
First, the Trump administration said it was putting an end to DACA
, a program that gave almost 800,000 young undocumented immigrants protection from deportation. The expected fiery reaction
to the announcement — from immigration groups, some GOP lawmakers
, former President Obama
and others — dominated most of the day’s coverage. The White House put out talking points
telling DACA recipients to prepare to leave the US.
But then President Trump took to Twitter, of course, to say he’ll “revisit” DACA if Congress doesn’t “legalize” it
within six months. So, what exactly does that mean? Would the President use executive power to deal with DACA (the same thing Obama got hammered for, BTW)? Does he want these young people to stay in the country, or will he fulfill his campaign promise
to push them out? At any rate, this emotional issue probably will linger into 2018 — an election year.
3. Menendez trial
Sen. Bob Menendez’s federal corruption trial gets started today
in New Jersey. You’re forgiven if you’ve forgotten about this case, because it’s been more than two years since charges were filed
against the Democrat and Dr. Salomon Melgen, his alleged co-conspirator
. Prosecutors say Menendez accepted expensive vacations and campaign donations from Melgen in exchange for helping Melgen in disputes with government officials. Both men deny the claims; they’ve pleaded not guilty to 18 counts of fraud and bribery.
Is the Trump administration thinking of getting out of the Iran nuclear deal? UN Ambassador Nikki Haley laid out a case for doing just that
during a speech to a conservative think tank. Haley said Iran’s technical compliance alone with the deal isn’t enough for the US
. Iran’s history, its hostility toward America and its behavior in the Middle East must be considered, too, she said. The President will decide next month whether to re-certify the pact
, which must be done every 90 days.
The nuke deal has been a boon to Iran in one area — tourism. It’s booming there since the deal was enacted
because the lifting of sanctions has meant the return of European airlines servicing the country. That’s resulted in a 50% increase in visitors there compared with last year.
5. Height and health
We all wish we could be taller, but maybe we’ll be satisfied with our height after hearing this: How tall you are might have some bearing on certain health problems, like blood clots. A new study from the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics
says height can be a predictor of your risk for blood clots. The taller you are, the greater the risk,
the research showed (and blood clots are thought to kill between 60,000 to 100,000 Americans each year). Other health issues — like cancer, heart problems and diabetes — may also have some links to height.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“We know very well, more than most, what it means to be deprived of human rights and democratic protection”
Myanmar state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, who said her government will work to protect the rights of the Rohingya
. The Nobel laureate has been criticized
for not speaking out about the plight of the Rohingya, a Muslim minority considered some of most persecuted people in the world.
People are talking about these. Read up. Join in.
Just like the rest of us
Madonna’s moved to Portugal, but just like us mere mortals, even she has trouble getting packages delivered
to her new crib.
If you can’t beat ’em …
Stealing signs is as old as baseball itself, but the Red Sox — always looking for an edge against the Yankees — reportedly brought this theft into the digital era
Who’s that lady?
That would be former first lady Michelle Obama
, who fell into “Formation” to celebrate Beyonce’s 36th birthday.
Wild about Harry
For the first time, actress Meghan Markle opens up about her relationship
with Britain’s Prince Harry in a Vanity Fair interview.
Scientists have created an algorithm for the perfect selfie
, because apparently we can’t do anything without an algorithm anymore.
WHAT’S FOR LUNCH
Here’s what’s happening later.
President Trump is due to talk with Chinese President Xi Jinping
by phone this morning in their first conversation since North Korea’s latest nuclear test. Need a quick explainer on just what the heck is going on with the North and its nuclear ambitions? This will get you up to speed.
AND FINALLY …
A black and white tuxedo cat perfectly mimics the moves of the cat clock on the wall. (Click to view
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