By Alexandra Meeks, CNN
NASA is gearing up for another countdown to launch its Artemis I rocket on a journey around the moon this weekend. After the first attempt was scrubbed on Monday due to a range of problems, the launch team has since made significant adjustments and is now ready for another try on Saturday.
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President Joe Biden delivered his sharpest rebuke yet of Republicans during a speech in Philadelphia on Thursday, warning that former President Donald Trump and his closest followers are trying to undermine American democracy. “As I stand here tonight, equality and democracy are under assault,” Biden said in his address — just months ahead of midterm elections that will determine control of Congress. Biden attempted to separate Trump’s most loyal MAGA followers from the Republican Party as a whole and also sought to conclude on a more upbeat note, urging it is still within voters’ power to rein in Trump’s staunchest supporters. This comes as Biden’s recent aggressive rhetoric has drawn the ire of Republicans, particularly after he accused Trump loyalists of “semi-fascism” at a fundraiser last week.
For the first time in 25 years, the month of August did not have a named storm. But now that September has arrived, things appear to have changed quickly in the tropical Atlantic. On Thursday, the National Hurricane Center announced that Tropical Storm Danielle, currently in the North Atlantic, is expected to strengthen into a hurricane by Saturday. Danielle is not a threat to any land at this time, forecasts show, and it is expected to remain fairly stationary through the weekend. Still, current indications show the early stages of the Atlantic hurricane season have been above average and could begin to pick up.
3. January 6
Former President Trump said he will “very, very seriously” consider full pardons for the rioters who breached the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, if he runs for reelection and wins. “If I decide to run and if I win, I will be looking very, very strongly about pardons. Full pardons,” Trump said on Wendy Bell Radio Thursday. Trump had made a similar promise during his final days in office when some of the January 6 rioters were already in jail. None, however, were pardoned before he left office. Trump’s comments come amid intense speculation about a potential 2024 presidential run, and his continued invocation of the Capitol attack could preview a central part of his future political messaging.
The California Legislature passed about a dozen bills this week protecting or expanding abortion access in the state, as its Democratic leaders seek to make California a safe haven for “reproductive freedom.” The legislation now goes to Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has been supportive of abortion rights, for his signature. Meanwhile, nearly one-third of all US states have banned or severely restricted abortion after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June. At least seven states, including Alabama, Kentucky and Missouri, have banned abortions with no exceptions for rape or incest. Health care providers and abortion activists have continued to file legal challenges to stop bans in several states from being enacted.
The UN nuclear watchdog says it will have a “continued presence” at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant following an inspection at the site, where Russian shelling has sparked fears of a nuclear accident. The plant and the area around it, including the adjacent city of Enerhodar, have endured persistent shelling that has raised fears of a meltdown through the interruption of the power supply to the facility. Each side accuses the other of acts of nuclear terrorism. Separately, Ukrainian military officials claim Russia has suffered “significant losses” in the south to both its manpower and equipment as Ukraine tries to prevent Russia from resupplying its troops.
These cute robots could deliver your next coffee
Some cafes and hotels have already deployed these coffee-delivering robots that resemble R2D2.
Serena and Venus Williams knocked out of doubles at US Open
The Williams sisters started well in their doubles match on Thursday, but the Czechs fought back.
Webb telescope captures its first direct image of an exoplanet
This planet outside of our solar system is a gas giant located about 385 light-years away from Earth. Take a look at the exoplanet here.
Pilot makes an announcement after passenger AirDrops nude photos to the rest of the plane
Fasten your seatbelts… and stop sending nudes. Click here to listen to the pilot’s message to passengers.
Photographer captures a rainbow in a very unusual place
Now, these are the type of unexpected photos we actually like to see. Check out this stunning natural phenomenon captured in Washington state.
Starbucks reintroduced one of its most popular drinks this week, commonly known as the “PSL.” What does “PSL” stand for?
A. Peppermint Sugar Latte
B. Pumpkin Spice Latte
C. Pink Strawberry Lemonade
D. Peach Sorbet Lemonade
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That was the price tag of a Michigan voting machine that wound up for sale on eBay last month. Election machines are part of the US’ critical infrastructure and are supposed to be kept under lock and key. The machine was purchased by a cybersecurity expert in Connecticut who alerted Michigan authorities and is now waiting for law enforcement to pick up the device. News of the sale comes as authorities in several states are probing apparent efforts to gain unauthorized access to voting machines or obtain data from them following the 2020 election.
“We are studying it and will respond through the EU, but unfortunately it is not constructive.”
— A US State Department spokesperson, characterizing Iran’s latest reply to the European Union’s proposal to revive the 2015 nuclear deal. In August, EU officials sent the US and Iran what it called the “final text” of a revived deal to limit Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. The US left the Iran nuclear deal in 2018 during the Trump administration and Tehran has increasingly violated it since then.
From food stamps to selling millions of records
This is Allee Willis, the late musical genius behind the “Friends” theme and Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September.” Check out some of her other mega-hits you’ve probably loved through the years. (Click here to view)
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