5 things to know for August 13: Census, Covid, Afghanistan, migrants, Britney Spears

5 things to know for August 13: Census, Covid, Afghanistan, migrants, Britney Spears

The first child tax credit from the IRS seems to have had a big impact on American families. If you got one, you may want to check your account — the second installment is scheduled for today.

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

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1. Census

The US Census Bureau has released the first local-level results from the 2020 Census. The big takeaways? The country is more diverse and more multiracial than ever, with people of color representing 43% of the total US population in 2020. That’s up from 34% in 2010. (Remember, the census is a once-in-10-years deal.) Americans are also getting older. The adult population has grown from 237 million to 261 million, and the proportion of adults is now 78%, up from 76% at the previous count. Population growth mostly occurred in metropolitan areas, while about half of US counties saw their populations shrink. Overall, the US population grew by 7%. This could all have deep implications for the future of the US electorate. Not to mention, fresh census information will guide policymakers in distributing more than $675 billion each year in federal funding among state and local governments.

2. Coronavirus

As expected, the FDA has authorized Covid-19 booster vaccine shots for certain immunocompromised people, like transplant recipients and other medically vulnerable groups. As schools start back up and child coronavirus cases rise, many parents and pediatricians are getting impatient for the FDA to give the green light to vaccinate children under 12. The FDA is watching pediatric trials of the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines closely, but some say they feel the agency is dragging its feet. Meanwhile, the latest surge in hard-hit states like Florida and Tennessee is getting so bad, local leaders are warning citizens to think twice before calling an ambulance. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has similarly asked hospitals to forego elective surgeries to deal with the influx of coronavirus patients.

3. Afghanistan

The Taliban has taken control of Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second-largest city, as the group’s rapid siege moves closer to the capital city of Kabul. One expert predicted the fall of Kandahar would be viewed as a “death knell” for the country’s government and military. The US Embassy in Kabul is once again urging American citizens to leave Afghanistan immediately amid the Taliban’s recent gains. The US is also sending some 3,000 troops to Afghanistan to assist with the departure of embassy staff and to support the evacuation of other personnel, including Afghan allies who applied for Special Immigrant Visas. The embassies of Germany, France and the United Kingdom have also urged their citizens to leave Afghanistan.

4. Immigration

The US has encountered an “unprecedented” number of migrants illegally crossing the border, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas says. In July, US Customs and Border Protection apprehended about 212,600 people, an unusual uptick from the prior month, given that apprehensions usually dip during the hot summer. That figure marks the highest monthly number of migrants detained at the US-Mexico border in two decades. The Biden administration has taken a series of actions to crack down on the flow of migrants, including increasing personnel around the border, bolstering medical staff, resuming a fast-track deportation procedure for migrant families and setting up flights for migrants to other parts of the border for processing or to the interior of Mexico to dissuade them from trying to cross again.

5. Britney Spears

Britney Spears’ father Jamie Spears says he intends to step down as conservator of the singer’s estate. The elder Spears has been serving as co-conservator of his daughter’s estimated $60 million fortune for more than a decade. Recently, Britney Spears has gotten more vocal in her opposition to the conservatorship, calling it “cruelty” and “abuse” and saying she even wants to press charges against her father. If he does step down, it would be a massive development in one of the defining pop culture battles of the internet era. Spears’ conservatorship, which has been in place since 2008 following a string of personal hardships, has raised conversations about autonomy, public perception, mental health, the agency of women in entertainment and the dangers of rapid, ubiquitous stardom.


It’s Friday the 13th. Why is it considered so unlucky?

The best Friday the 13ths are the ones when you don’t realize it’s Friday the 13th until they’re almost over. (Sorry about that.)

Tickets for MLB’s long-awaited ‘Field of Dreams’ game in Iowa hit $1,400

Four figures? To watch baseball? In a cornfield? With a movie-worthy walk-off ending? Now, that’s money well spent!

The original Barneys department store is turning into a Spirit Halloween

Spirit Halloween stores are like the zombies of the retail world. A once-dead storefront rattles alive again … but is it really living?

A slice of Charles and Diana’s 1981 wedding cake sells for ‘unexpected’ price of $2,565

It still looks pretty cool for having been shrouded in nothing but plastic wrap and a decorative tin for 40 years.

IHOP is adding booze to the menu at some locations

I don’t know about you, but my local IHOP was already the site of some prime neighborhood drama. This … would make things even more interesting.


“I think this is troubling for the entire state of Colorado, to have someone in a trusted position, literally trusted to protect democracy, allow this type of situation to occur.”

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, who accused Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters of assisting in an election system security breach that resulted in the release of voting machine log-ins by someone affiliated with QAnon. Peters has not responded to CNN requests for comment.


58 million

That’s about how many people in the US this weekend are under excessive heat warnings, considered the highest-level heat alert. This includes major cities like New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Kansas City, Seattle and Portland, Oregon.


Fred heads toward Florida

A tropical storm warning has been issued for the Florida Keys, from Ocean Reef to the Dry Tortugas, and for Florida Bay as Tropical Depression Fred approaches. It’s forecast to strengthen back into a tropical storm over the next 12 hours. Rainfall across southern Florida this weekend will total up to 7 inches, with isolated spots to 10 inches.

Check your local forecast here>>>


‘Look at ’em go!’

Well, there’s a reason they’re called giant tortoises, and with all that heft, they can pick up a tiny (very tiny) bit of speed. (Click here to view.)

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