5 things to know for September 1: Afghanistan, ​​Ida, coronavirus, western wildfires, Syria

5 things to know for September 1: Afghanistan, ​​Ida, coronavirus, western wildfires, Syria

A controversial Texas law that bans abortions at six weeks is now in effect after the Supreme Court and a federal appeals court failed to act.

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. Afghanistan

President Biden is defending his decision to end the war in Afghanistan and the chaotic way that the withdrawal of US troops was executed. In a speech Tuesday, Biden argued that the US faced a choice “between leaving and escalating” and said that the era of US nation-building was over. The Taliban, meanwhile, declared victory over the US from the tarmac of Kabul’s airport and videos showed them inspecting US military equipment left behind. It’s unclear what comes next for Afghanistan and how the Taliban will govern the country, and there are still questions around evacuating the Americans who remain in Afghanistan and the Afghan allies who want to leave.

2. ​​Ida

Millions of Gulf Coast residents who survived Hurricane Ida’s devastating winds and rain now face a new set of challenges. Widespread power outages in Louisiana are expected to last for weeks as intense heat moves into the region. At the same time, critical supplies such as water, groceries and gasoline have been depleted, leading to long lines at the gas stations that still manage to have fuel. The events of the last few days call for a serious examination of the nation’s power grid, writes CNN’s Zachary B. Wolf. In the meantime, however, Ida continues to move north — meaning that more states will soon feel its impact.

3. Coronavirus

Two senior leaders in the FDA’s vaccine review office are stepping down. It’s unclear why they are leaving, but their departures spark questions about whether it would affect the agency’s ongoing decisions around Covid-19 vaccine approvals, authorizations for children and booster shots. An FDA spokesperson said the agency is confident in the expertise and ability of its staff “to continue our critical public health work, including evaluating COVID-19 vaccines.” The US is now surpassing an average of 160,000 new daily cases of Covid-19, with unvaccinated people making up a bulk of hospitalizations. That surge is prompting the CDC to ask unvaccinated Americans not to travel during the Labor Day weekend. On the other side of the world, the Australian state of Victoria is extending lockdown restrictions for three more weeks as Covid-19 cases continue to rise.

4. Western wildfires

Tens of thousands of people in California and Nevada have either evacuated or been ordered to do so as the Caldor Fire rages closer to the Lake Tahoe Basin. The fire, which has burned nearly 200,000 acres so far, has destroyed hundreds of homes and now threatens more than 34,000 structures. It’s being fueled by dangerously dry conditions as California undergoes an extreme drought — another disaster brought on by climate change. The Caldor Fire is now California’s 17th largest wildfire on record.

5. Syria

An oil spill the size of New York City is growing and spreading across the Mediterranean Sea, and could potentially reach the island of Cyprus today. The spill originated from Syria’s largest oil refinery, and officials said last week that a tank with 15,000 tons of fuel had been leaking since August 23. Locals say much of Syria’s coastal areas have been polluted, threatening the marine ecosystem and making life harder for those who live there. This is the second major oil spill in the eastern Mediterranean this year.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Mike Richards is now out as executive producer of ‘Jeopardy!’ too

The news marks an end to what’s been a swift and stunning downfall.

Bonnaroo is canceled for the second year in a row

First, it was a global pandemic. Now, it’s flooding from heavy rains.

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition released some stunning images

And they remind us of just how wondrous this planet really is.

Drake has revealed his new album art

Presented without comment.

Human infants laugh in a similar pattern to another species, a study finds

Guess laughter really is the universal language.

TODAY’S NUMBER

2034

That’s the year by which Social Security benefits are expected to be depleted, according to an annual government report. It’s one year earlier than reported last year.

TODAY’S QUOTE

“I was born in segregation. We think we’ve made progress, and then all of a sudden there’s a new law that moves us back in time.”

Garnet Coleman, a Texas state representative, speaking Tuesday before the state legislature voted to approve a bill that would impose new restrictions on voting. The bill now goes to the desk of Gov. Greg Abbott, who has said he will sign it into law.

TODAY’S WEATHER

Check your local forecast here>>>

AND FINALLY

Baby steps

Despite nearly drowning as a newborn, Moyo the baby elephant overcame his deep-seated fear of water. Let Moyo be the inspiration you need to conquer whatever anxieties you might be feeling at the moment. (Click here to view.)

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

-advertisement-

Popular Stories

Concert Calendar

Featured Events