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5 things to know for October 19: Midterms, Trump, Ukraine, Gas prices, US currency

By Alexandra Meeks, CNN

It’s that time of the year when fall enthusiasts embrace “sweater weather.” But if you live in the eastern US, you may already be sporting your winter coats. This week has been — by far — the coldest of the season in several states. In fact, more than 100 million Americans remain under freeze warnings, frost advisories and other cold weather alerts today.

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

(You can get “5 Things You Need to Know Today” delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

1. Midterm elections

It’s just under three weeks from Election Day and nearly 2.5 million Americans have already cast their ballots in the midterm elections, according to data from election officials. While it’s too early to predict if 2022 will eventually reach the exceptionally high turnout levels of 2018 — and it’s likely voting patterns have changed as the Covid-19 pandemic pushed more people to vote early — the numbers show preelection voting is keeping pace with the same point four years ago. Voters already are starting to cast ballots in some of 2022’s most critical swing states: More than 370,000 ballots have been cast in Michigan, nearly 237,000 in Pennsylvania and nearly 160,000 in Wisconsin. And in Georgia, long lines and a record turnout of more than 131,000 people marked the first day of early voting in the state this week.

2. Trump

The House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol will issue a subpoena to former President Donald Trump “shortly” to seek his testimony under oath as well as documents, according to GOP Rep. Liz Cheney. On Tuesday, the committee’s vice chair did not commit to what the panel will do if Trump does not comply with the subpoena but said “we’ll take the steps we need to take.” Separately, Trump is scheduled to answer questions under oath today in the defamation lawsuit brought by E. Jean Carroll, a former magazine columnist who accused Trump of raping her in a department store in the mid-1990s. Trump has denied the allegations.

3. Ukraine

Large portions of Ukrainian territory have been hit with electricity and water outages as Russia ramps up its strikes on energy facilities in the country. Ukraine’s military said it shot down 13 Iranian-made “kamikaze” drones over the Mykolaiv region overnight, and many residents are bracing for more attacks. The US, France and the UK plan to discuss Iran’s drone transfers to Russia during a UN Security Council meeting today, a US official told CNN. The three countries have said that the transfers are a violation of a UN security resolution, which restricts certain arms transfers to or from Iran. It is unclear whether they will raise this specific point in the meeting or move to snap back sanctions on Iran for the arms transfers.

4. Gas prices

In a move to balance global markets and help drive gas prices down, President Joe Biden today will announce additional oil reserve sales, a senior administration official said. The White House will specifically announce the sale of an additional 15 million barrels to curb market pressures created by the OPEC+ decision to cut oil production. Earlier this month, OPEC+, the group of major oil producers that includes Saudi Arabia and Russia, said it would slash oil production by 2 million barrels per day — the biggest cut since the start of the pandemic. The move triggered an intensive effort inside the the Biden administration to come up with options to counter the likelihood of gas prices increasing.

5. US currency

A groundbreaking movie star will be the first Asian American to appear on US currency. Anna May Wong, an actress who broke through during the silent film era, will soon be featured on the back of new US quarters. Considered the movie industry’s first Chinese American star, Wong overcame widespread discrimination to carve out a four-decade career in film, theater and radio. The new design is the fifth to emerge from the US’ American Women Quarters Program, which highlights pioneering women in their respective fields. The other four quarters, all put into production this year, feature poet and activist Maya Angelou; the first American woman in space, Sally Ride; Cherokee Nation leader Wilma Mankiller; and suffragist Nina Otero-Warren.


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8 p.m.

That’s the new time residents in New York City can put trash out on the curb — instead of 4 p.m. — as officials try to combat mounting complaints of rat sightings on sidewalks. Some parts of the city have become an “all-night, all-you-can-eat rat buffet,” NYC Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Tisch said, adding rats are “absolutely going to hate” the new rule change. Additionally, Tisch emphasized more collections will occur overnight to reduce the number of hours that garbage sits curbside from about 14 hours to four hours.


“Without Kristin, there is no joy or happiness in this verdict.”

— Stan Smart, sharing a family statement after a California jury on Tuesday found Paul Flores guilty of the 1996 murder of his daughter, Kristin Smart. Prosecutors alleged Flores, now 45, killed Smart in his dorm room while he and the victim were students at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and that his father helped move her body to his home nearby. Flores could face 25 years to life in prison for the conviction, according to the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office. The Smart family also thanked Chris Lambert, who launched the true crime podcast “Your Own Backyard” in 2019 which drew public interest in the case.


Check your local forecast here>>>


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