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5 things to know for August 11: Maui fires, GOP primary, Ukraine, Strikes, Space


By Alexandra Meeks, CNN

(CNN) — Grocery prices in the US ticked up slightly last month, driven largely by the rising cost of beef. Restaurants are also raising prices, new data shows, as their own expenses have gone up and as diners seem to be accepting more expensive menu items.

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

1. Maui fires

The death toll from the wildfires burning through Hawaii’s Maui island has risen to at least 55, officials said late Thursday night, as the number of missing remains unclear. The blaze that engulfed Lahaina is now 80% contained, authorities said, but the tourism hub and historic whaling village has been decimated. Hawaii Gov. Josh Green said the wildfires will likely be the largest natural disaster the state has ever seen as firefighters continue to make progress against two other major fires on the island. Thousands of people remain displaced while nearly 11,000 Maui residents are still without power. President Joe Biden signed a disaster declaration to direct federal resources to the island, but it will be several years before Maui is fully able to recover and rebuild following this week’s devastation.

If you’re looking to donate to those affected by the wildfires, it’s important to follow these steps to ensure your money is going to the right place. CNN Impact Your World has also vetted non-profit organizations on the ground providing support.

2. GOP primary

Nearly all GOP presidential candidates are converging at the Iowa State Fair this weekend as they seek to connect with voters ahead of the first Republican debate in two weeks. Former President Donald Trump is expected to campaign at the fair on Saturday but has said he won’t sign the loyalty pledge required to participate in the August 23 debate in Milwaukee. The Republican National Committee specifically established a requirement known as the “Beat Biden pledge” — a commitment to back the eventual Republican nominee, no matter who wins the primary. Trump, however, has refused to make the commitment, saying on Wednesday, “I can name three or four people that I wouldn’t support for president.” So far, five GOP candidates have met the unique donor threshold, polled well enough in qualifying surveys and signed the pledge to support the party’s eventual nominee.

3. Ukraine

President Joe Biden is asking Congress for more than $24 billion in aid for Ukraine and other international needs as he works to sustain support for the war amid signs of softening support among Americans. The request — which includes more than $13 billion in security assistance and $7 billion for economic and humanitarian assistance for Ukraine — sets up a potential battle with Republicans in Congress. Biden has promised support will last “as long as it takes,” but an increasingly skeptical Republican Party has cast doubt on US involvement going forward. This comes after a CNN poll released last week found 55% of Americans believe Congress should not authorize additional funding to support Ukraine.

4. Hollywood strikes

The Writers Guild of America and Hollywood studios have agreed to meet today to resume negotiations for the first time since the writers went on strike more than 100 days ago. The WGA is hoping the studios will provide responses today to their proposals on key issues, including pay, residuals, mandatory staffing, and other employment concerns. The current standoff has brought the industry to a standstill and has already surpassed the length of the bitter 2007-08 strike, which disrupted much of Hollywood. The longest writers’ strike on record stretched for 154 days in 1988. Meanwhile, there appears to be no agreement in sight between studios and SAG-AFTRA, the union representing 160,000 actors that also went on strike last month.

5. Space

For the first time in 47 years, Russia launched a lunar lander today. The unmanned spacecraft, Luna 25, is expected to enter an orbit around Earth before landing on the moon to explore its potential resources. Russia’s last lunar lander, Luna 24, landed on the moon on August 18, 1976. Luna 25 and India’s Chandrayaan-3 mission, which launched in mid-July, are both expected to land at the lunar south pole on August 23, and it’s a race to see which country will land first. Separately, Virgin Galactic — the space tourism company founded by British billionaire Richard Branson — finally launched its first tourists to the edge of space on Thursday after decades of promises. It carried three customers: former Olympian Jon Goodwin, health coach Keisha Schahaff and her 18-year-old daughter Anastatia Mayers.


It’s anyone’s trophy at the Women’s World Cup
Spain edged past the Netherlands and Sweden beat Japan in huge clashes today. Here’s how to watch the Women’s World Cup semifinals.

The Emmys have a new date
TV’s biggest awards event has been postponed to January 2024 in light of the ongoing writers’ and actors’ strikes in Hollywood.

Taylor Swift concludes US leg of ‘Eras Tour’
Swift capped off her sixth and final US concert for the “Eras Tour” in Los Angeles on Wednesday with a big announcement. The tour’s international shows begin later this month starting in Mexico City.

Bear delights in bubble bath
A cleaning day at the zoo turned into a huge bubble bath for a black bear. Watch the video here.

The world’s largest cruise ship is polarizing opinion
The Icon of the Seas is provoking strong emotions online. Many travelers are impressed by the ship’s vibrant colors and extraordinary size, but others compared it to “being stuck on a floating Walmart.”


Video footage of a large brawl on a boat dock captivated the internet this week. Where did the fight occur?
A. New Orleans, Louisiana
B. Montgomery, Alabama
C. Charleston, South Carolina
D. Baltimore, Maryland
Take CNN’s weekly news quiz to see if you’re correct.


That’s the percentage of US adults that are still struggling with long Covid symptoms more than two years after the height of the pandemic, according to the CDC. Brain fog, extreme fatigue and dizziness are some common symptoms reported among people affected by post-Covid-19 conditions.


“We’re drawing on the lessons learned from this flight to inform the training of all United pilots.”

United Airlines, confirming Thursday that pilot error caused a 2022 incident where a United flight came within 748 feet of crashing into the Pacific Ocean. According to a new report from the National Transportation Safety Board, an apparent “miscommunication” between the two pilots shortly after departing from Hawaii’s Kahului Airport caused the plane to nosedive for around 10 seconds, terrifying the 271 passengers on board. United said both pilots received additional training after the incident and continue to fly for the airline.


Check your local forecast here>>>


Mesmerizing string art
Watch this artist create hyperrealistic portraits using a single thread!

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