5 things to know for Jan. 10: Russia, Covid, Voting rights, Myanmar, Australian Open

5 things to know for Jan. 10: Russia, Covid, Voting rights, Myanmar, Australian Open

A little bit of inflation is normal. In fact, consumer prices go up about 2% a year. But when prices start to spike, things can get a little hairy. What’s driving the increase? That’s complicated — but the pandemic is a good place to start.

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

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1. Russia

US and Russian officials are holding high-stakes talks about the build-up of troops near Ukraine’s border, as fears mount over a possible Russian invasion. The talks follow months of tension near the Ukraine-Russia frontier, where tens of thousands of Russian soldiers have massed. The global community will be closely following the discussions, which have been billed as an attempt to avert a war on Europe’s eastern flank. On Wednesday, a Russian delegation will meet with NATO members at the NATO-Russia Council in Brussels. But US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has already played down the prospects of a breakthrough, telling CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that, “It’s hard to see making actual progress, as opposed to talking, in an atmosphere of escalation with a gun to Ukraine’s head.”

2. Coronavirus

A federal vaccine mandate goes into effect today for all businesses with 100 employees or more. Under the rule, those who choose not to be vaccinated must submit to weekly testing. The Supreme Court heard debates and challenges to the rule on Friday, but have not chosen to block or pause it. Nearly two-thirds of the eligible US population is fully vaccinated against Covid-19, according to the CDC. However, sharply increasing case loads are still overwhelming hospitals. National Guard medical teams are now deployed in 10 states to help in hospitals and medical facilities. In New York state, 40 hospitals have had to stop nonessential surgeries due to low bed capacity.

3. Voting rights

A showdown in Congress is looming this week as GOP lawmakers aim to rewrite federal voting rights legislation. Republicans aligned with former President Donald Trump are attempting to change voting procedures in several battleground states, as well as continuing to demand audits of the last presidential race. In Georgia, a new elections law signed by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp removes the existing secretary of state as the chair of the state elections board. Other GOP leaders are taking a similar approach to change voting rules in Wisconsin, Arizona, and Florida. Former first lady Michelle Obama is adding her voice to the calls for Congress to move on voting rights legislation at the federal level, issuing an urgent message about this year’s midterm elections, saying, “We’ve got to vote like the future of our democracy depends on it.”

4. Myanmar

Myanmar’s ousted civilian leader, Aung San Suu Kyi has been sentenced to another four years in prison. This is the second round of sentencing verdicts for the Nobel prize winner, who was detained by Myanmar’s military in a coup last February. Once imprisoned, she was hit with dozens of charges, including several charges of corruption. Human rights groups say the convictions are being used to keep Suu Kyi imprisoned indefinitely and quash any opposition to military rule. Myanmar’s military junta has also sought to restrict information about the trials, which have been closed to the public. Suu Kyi’s imprisonment has drawn international condemnation, and pro-democracy rallies and strikes continue to roil in Myanmar as the public protests against the junta’s violent rule.

5. Australian Open

Novak Djokovic, one of the top tennis players in the world, has been released after several days of being detained in an Australian hotel for violating the country’s strict Covid-19 laws. Djokovic entered the country ahead of next week’s Australian open, and claimed he had a medical exemption from vaccination requirements because he tested positive for Covid-19 in December. However, his visa was cancelled and he was detained. Some other players intending to compete in the event faced similar vaccination-related visa consequences, but elected to return home. Aside from debates over Covid-19 restrictions, Djokovic’s case drew interest due to what some saw as an unusual illustration of privilege. Djokovic, who reportedly received gluten-free meals and workout equipment while detained, was staying in a hotel used to house refugees and asylum-seekers — presumably very few of whom are internationally famous tennis superstars with crowds of people gathered outside, calling for their release.


Winners of the Golden Globes announced 

Netflix and HBO were the big winners. Too bad there was no audience or celebrities there to cheer them on.

The world’s best-performing airline has been revealed

Hint: SkyMiles!

$8M tourist attraction to close after just six disappointing months

A massive grass mound in the middle of the city wasn’t London’s cup of tea.

Papa Johns plans to open over 1,350 stores in China

That sounds like a lot of pizza

Dogs know when you’re speaking a different language — and talking nonsense

I know I’m not the only one who has full conversations with their dog. Just admit it, you do it too.


Bob Saget, the comedian and actor beloved for his role as wholesome patriarch Danny Tanner on “Full House,” has died. He was 65. Saget’s former co-stars and fellow comedians are remembering him as a “lovely” human and “one of the nicest guys.”


$98.7 million

That’s how much Tim Cook made last year as CEO of Apple. That included his base salary, bonuses, and about $82 million in stock awards. Cook’s compensation is 1,447 times the median Apple employee salary of $68,254, according to a filing from the company.


“This is going to be one of the worst fires that we have witnessed during modern times here in the city of New York.”

New York City Mayor Eric Adams, speaking about a major fire that ripped through an apartment building in the Bronx yesterday, leaving 19 people dead, including nine children.


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Snap, crackle, pop!

Do you know what happens to your joints when you crack them? It’s pretty interesting, and only slightly horrifying. (Click here to view)

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