5 things to know for September 20: Coronavirus, immigration, Canada, Afghanistan, UN
By AJ Willingham, CNN
What is “stagflation?” This is a time of high inflation and stagnant economic growth, and it can be a losing game for economic policymakers. Unfortunately, it seems that a slight stagflation has already hit the United States.
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The surge in Covid-19 cases is forcing hospitals to ration care, resulting in life and death decisions even for those who do not have the virus. Some 80% of the country’s intensive care beds are in use, with nearly 30% occupied by Covid-19 patients, according to recent data from the US Department of Health and Human Services. Over the past week, the United States has recorded an average of around 1,926 Covid-19 deaths per day, the highest average since early March. FDA vaccine advisers on Friday declined to recommend approval of booster doses of Covid-19 for anyone who was vaccinated six months or more ago. However, they recommended emergency use authorization for people 65 years of age and older, people at high risk of serious infection, and healthcare workers and others at high risk of infection at work.
Thousands of migrants gathered under the Del Rio International Bridge in Texas along the southern border of the United States, awaiting processing and possible entry into the United States. As of Saturday, there were more than 14,300 migrants – many of them Haitians – under the bridge. That number dropped from around 400 at the start of last week. The Department of Homeland Security is securing resources from the Department of Defense for more aid in the region, and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has said he will travel to Texas to remedy the situation. DHS is also planning to increase deportation flights to Haiti. The harsh and squalid conditions under the bridge, where migrants are gathered en masse in makeshift tents, have also raised fears of possible humanitarian and public health crises.
Canadians are heading to the polls today in a snap election that could strengthen Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s position – or imbue the country’s government with bitter political polarization. Trudeau called an early election in mid-August, just two years after starting his minority government, betting he could capitalize on his handling of the pandemic to win a majority in Parliament. However, he faced a significant challenge from Erin O’Toole, leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. Trudeau and O’Toole are probably the only party leaders with enough backing to form a government. The pandemic, climate change, housing affordability and gun control have all been listed as major issues, but election experts say many Canadians do not see the need for this election and are annoyed by the posture politics and the vitriol that accompanied it.
The families of 10 civilians killed in a US airstrike in Kabul in late August are seeking justice after the US military admitted the strike was a mistake. Initially, the Pentagon said the airstrike, which took place during the chaotic final days of the U.S. troop withdrawal, successfully targeted an ISIS-K-affiliated facilitator and destroyed a car full of explosives. A US military investigation into the incident revealed that the car was unlikely to be a threat associated with ISIS-K. General Frank McKenzie, the general-in-chief of the US Central Command, said the strike was a “mistake”. Of the 10 civilians killed, seven were children. This incident fueled further criticism of the Biden administration’s handling of the troop withdrawal and evacuation from Afghanistan.
5. United Nations
High-level talks at the 76th United Nations General Assembly begin this week, with world leaders meeting to discuss two major global challenges: ending the pandemic and forging a healthier economy. Other divisive issues will also be on the table, including the military coup in Myanmar, the future of democracy in a Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, tensions with Iran and North Korea, and issues climatic. Despite the US government’s urging to virtually attend the meeting, more than 100 heads of state and government are expected to visit Manhattan in person, including UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Biden.
Here’s who won last night at the 2021 Emmy Awards
Let’s see how much acclaim your last year of the pandemic binge has been.
Puma launches Animal Crossing clothing collection
And… oh no, that’s all my money!
A French slackliner crosses the Seine from the Eiffel Tower in a breathtaking waterfall
The slackline is like the tightrope walk, except that the line is not tight. Why would anyone do that, you ask? It’s a mystery.
Samuel Adams’ new beer is so strong it’s illegal in 15 states
At 28% ABV, you better have some friends to share.
The Netherlands, the tallest nation in the world, is shortening
“Hey fun fact, did you know the Netherlands is the tallest nation in the world? – all of us, today, to all who will listen
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Gabby’s whole family wants the world to know Brian hasn’t gone missing, he’s in hiding.”
Richard Stafford, family lawyer for Instagram influencer Gabby Petito, 22, who disappeared while traveling with her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie. FBI officials now say human remains “matching” Petito’s description were found in Teton County, Wyoming. Authorities are now looking for Laundrie, who has lost contact. The laundry is not wanted for a crime, officials said.
THE NUMBER OF THE DAY
This is the number of named storms that occurred this morning during the hurricane season in the Atlantic. The latest to watch are Tropical Storms Peter and Rose. 2021 is only the third year to have hit at least 17 named storms at this point in the season since the start of the satellite era in 1966.
Check your local forecast here >>>
The Arabic calligraphy is beautiful, and it is a joy to see this artist weaving together the words of the throne verse, a famous verse from the Quran. (Click here to see.)
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