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5 things to know for September 20: Coronavirus, immigration, Canada, Afghanistan, UN


By AJ Willingham, CNN

What’s “stagflation?” It’s a period of high inflation and stagnant economic growth, and it can be a lose-lose situation for economic policy makers. Unfortunately, it looks like mild stagflation already may have hit the US.

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

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1. Coronavirus

Skyrocketing Covid-19 cases are forcing hospitals to ration care, leading to life-or-death decisions even for those without the virus. Some 80% of ICU beds in the country are in use, with nearly 30% occupied by Covid-19 patients, recent data from the US Department of Health and Human Services shows. In the past week, the US has averaged around 1,926 Covid-19 deaths a day, the highest average since early March. The FDA’s vaccine advisers on Friday declined to recommend approval of Covid-19 booster doses for everyone who got vaccinated six months ago or longer. They did, however, recommend emergency use authorization for people 65 and older, people at high risk of severe infection, and health care workers and others at high risk of getting infected at work.

2. Immigration

Thousands of migrants have gathered under the Del Rio International Bridge in Texas along the southern US border, waiting for processing and possible entry into the US. As of Saturday, there were more than 14,300 migrants — many of them Haitian — under the bridge. That number has swelled from about 400 early last week. The Department of Homeland Security is getting resources from the Defense Department for more assistance in the area, and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas says he will head to Texas to address the situation. DHS is also planning to ramp up deportation flights to Haiti. The tight, squalid conditions under the bridge, where migrants are gathered en masse under makeshift tents, have also raised concerns of possible humanitarian and public health crises.

3. Canada

Canadians head to the polls today in a snap election that could bolster Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s position — or imbue the country’s government with bitter political polarization. Trudeau called the snap election in mid-August, barely two years into his minority government, betting he could capitalize on his handling of the pandemic to win a majority in parliament. However, he has faced a significant challenge from Erin O’Toole, Canada’s Conservative Party leader. Trudeau and O’Toole are likely the only party leaders with enough support to form a government. The pandemic, climate change, housing affordability and gun control have all featured as major issues, but election experts say many Canadians don’t see the need for this election and are annoyed with the political posturing and vitriol that has accompanied it.

4. Afghanistan

The families of 10 civilians killed in a US airstrike in Kabul in late August are demanding justice after the US military admitted the strike was a mistake. Initially, the Pentagon said the airstrike, which came during the chaotic final days of the US troop withdrawal, had successfully targeted a facilitator affiliated with ISIS-K and destroyed a car full of explosives. A US military investigation into the incident revealed the car was likely not a threat associated with ISIS-K. Gen. Frank McKenzie, the top general of US Central Command, said the strike was a “mistake.” Of the 10 civilians killed, seven were children. This incident has fueled more criticism of the Biden administration’s handling of the troop withdrawal and evacuation from Afghanistan.

5. United Nations

High-level talks at the 76th UN General Assembly kick off this week, with world leaders meeting to debate two major global challenges: ending the pandemic and forging a healthier economy. Other divisive issues will be on the table, too, likely including the military coup in Myanmar, the future of democracy in a Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, tensions with Iran and North Korea, and climate issues. Despite urging from the US government to attend the meeting virtually, more than 100 heads of state and government are due to come to Manhattan in person, including UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and US President Biden.


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“All of Gabby’s family want the world to know that Brian is not missing, he is hiding.”

Richard Stafford, an attorney for the family of Instagram influencer Gabby Petito, 22, who disappeared while traveling with her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie. FBI officials now say human remains “consistent with the description of” Petito have been found in Teton County, Wyoming. Authorities are now searching for Laundrie, who has dropped out of contact. Laundrie is not wanted for a crime, officials have said.



That’s how many named storms have arisen during the Atlantic hurricane season as of this morning. The latest ones to watch out for are Tropical Storms Peter and Rose. 2021 is only the third year to have reached at least 17 named storms by this point of the season since the satellite era began in 1966.


Check your local forecast here>>>


Graceful lines

Arabic calligraphy is stunning, and it’s a joy to watch this artist weave together the words of the Throne Verse, a famous verse from the Quran. (Click here to view.)

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