5 things to know for August 30: Ida, Afghanistan, Covid-19, North Korea, California

5 things to know for August 30: Ida, Afghanistan, Covid-19, North Korea, California

Pandemic unemployment benefits expire this coming weekend in the 26 states still offering them. But that probably won’t make a huge difference in the job market.

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

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1. Hurricane Ida

Hurricane Ida slammed into Louisiana yesterday as a Category 4 storm, leaving at least one person dead and more than 1 million facing power outages and widespread destruction. Some people had to scramble to their roofs as storm surge and flash flooding overtook levees in areas south of New Orleans. The storm was so strong it actually temporarily stopped the flow of the Mississippi River near the city and caused it to reverse flow — something the US Geological Survey says is “extremely uncommon.” The hurricane arrived on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, serving as a grim reminder of the scars of past storms. Ida has now weakened to a tropical storm but is still churning up deadly storm surge as it lingers inland. The National Weather Service in New Orleans says areas affected by surge could be uninhabitable for weeks or months. Tornados — a common companion of hurricanes — will also be a threat today.

2. Afghanistan

The US carried out a defensive airstrike yesterday in Kabul, targeting a car that contained a suspected ISIS-K suicide bomber who posed what US Central Command called an “imminent” threat to the airport. The violence continued this morning, when as many as five rockets were fired at Kabul airport. The US says the attack has not hampered ongoing evacuation efforts, but more threats — including potentially to the US homeland — may remain. The clock is ticking on tomorrow’s deadline to get US troops and Americans out of Afghanistan. It follows the terrorist attack on the Kabul airport last week that left at least 170 dead. The US and about 100 other countries have pledged to hold the Taliban to their promises to let people leave the country after tomorrow. The Biden administration has said the deadline is “not a cliff,” and it is committed to “safe passage” for all Americans and Afghan allies.

3. Coronavirus

Another 100,000 people could die of Covid-19 in the US by December if vaccination efforts and other safety measures aren’t fulfilled, Dr. Anthony Fauci says. However, if some of the 80 million or so eligible unvaccinated Americans choose to get the shot, things could be less dire. The current daily average of 155,000 newly reported infections has left many hospitals deeply shorthanded. Available beds, ventilators and staff have been hard to come by in some hospitals, and now that scarcity has spread to oxygen supplies. One doctor in Florida, which has the highest hospitalization rate in the country, says he’s seeing younger and younger patients die of the disease. They are all unvaccinated, he added.

4. North Korea

North Korea appears to have restarted operations at a power plant capable of producing plutonium for nuclear weapons. The International Atomic Energy Agency, which serves as the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, says the development is “deeply troubling” and “a cause for serious concern.” Such activity violates UN Security Council resolutions, says the IAEA, which monitors nuclear facilities remotely since its inspectors were kicked out of the country in 2009. Relations between the US and North Korea have been frosty for years, and the Biden administration has reportedly reached out to the regime to restart discussion with Washington.

5. California recall

Tension is building ahead of an election in California that could end with the ousting of Gov. Gavin Newsom. Californians will vote in a recall election on September 14, and if a majority of voters want to replace Newsom, whichever challenger gets the most votes could do just that. Right now, polls show most Californians aren’t in favor of a recall, but the fact that Newsom’s possible exit could pave the way for a political unknown to take the reins is making Democrats nervous. Efforts to recall Newsom began last year among conservatives who took issue with the governor’s record on immigration, taxes, the death penalty and the state’s homelessness crisis. They ramped up as California faced more challenges from Covid-19.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Kanye West releases a new album, ‘Donda,’ after a delay

It does have about 27 tracks, so it probably took some time to put together.

Southern fast food chain Bojangles will close for two Mondays to give staff a ‘well-deserved break’

They all deserve a Bo-berry Biscuit and a nap.

Coffee may reduce risk of death from stroke and heart disease

Just a little something to tell yourself as you head to the coffee pot for a refill.

Greenland expedition discovers ‘world’s northernmost island’

For when you really, REALLY wanna get away.

Top toymakers say their products will be harder to find and more expensive this holiday season

Start brushing up on your bargaining strategies and hand-to-hand combat; the annual holiday toy battle is approaching!

IN MEMORIAM

Ed Asner, the Emmy Award-winning actor best known for playing the crusty but lovable newsman Lou Grant on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” has died. He was 91.

TODAY’S NUMBER

$1.3 million

That’s how much the school board in Gloucester County, Virginia, has agreed to pay the American Civil Liberties Union in legal fees. The organization represented Gavin Grimm during a six-year legal battle over transgender bathroom rights at school.

TODAY’S QUOTE

“I have not survived until something has changed.”

Jacob Blake, looking back on the year that has passed since he was shot seven times by a Kenosha, Wisconsin, police officer. Blake’s ordeal and the deaths of several other Black men at the hands of police were at the center of a difficult summer of racial justice activism in 2020.

TODAY’S WEATHER

Check your local forecast here>>>

AND FINALLY

These sea slugs can shed their bodies and grow new ones

Pretty jealous of these sea slugs right now. (Click here to view.)

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