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5 things to know for July 13: Actors strike, Heat waves, Ukraine, Fox News, Moon mission

By Alexandra Meeks, CNN

(CNN) — Tourists visiting the Las Vegas Strip watched a dramatic scene unfold Wednesday after a man allegedly took a woman hostage in a Caesars Palace hotel room. The city’s SWAT team eventually apprehended the man after video captured him throwing a TV and other items from the 21st floor, sending people running for cover.

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

1. Actors strike

A union representing about 160,000 Hollywood actors is poised to go on strike after talks about fair pay with major studios and streaming services have failed. It will be the first time the members of the SAG-AFTRA union have stopped work on movie and TV productions since 1980 after a final day of negotiations Wednesday did not produce an agreement. A news conference is scheduled for noon PDT today in Los Angeles, where union leaders could announce the formal start of the strike. SAG-AFTRA members will now join the more than 11,000 members of the Writers Guild of America, who have been on strike against the same studios since the start of May.

2. Heat waves

Blistering heat waves in the US and Europe are on track to break temperature records in the coming days. In the Southwestern US, temperatures in Phoenix have reached 110 degrees Fahrenheit every day this month. Meteorologists expect record-breaking heat this weekend, reaching a staggering 119 degrees in some areas. Elsewhere, nearly 70% of all Americans will see a high temperature at or above 90 degrees over the next week, while more than 55 million people will see temperatures at or above 100 degrees. And in Europe, a heat wave has claimed at least one life and left several tourists incapacitated due to heat stroke. High temperatures are expected particularly in Italy by Friday when Rome could hit up to 113 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Ukraine

The NATO summit wrapped Wednesday with G7 allies offering assurances to President Volodymyr Zelensky that they remain united with Ukraine — and see a pathway that his country could ultimately join the powerful alliance. US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said he has “no doubt” Ukraine will join NATO once its war with Russia is over, adding there is “still work to be done” in bringing Ukraine’s equipment and training up to NATO standards. Separately, one of Russia’s most senior generals involved in its war in Ukraine was dismissed from his post after accusing the defense minister of betraying Russian soldiers by not providing sufficient support. The dismissal of such a senior officer amid an open dispute over the conduct of the Russian campaign is unprecedented, according to analysts.

4. Fox News

Three former Fox executives say they regret helping Rupert Murdoch build Fox News into a national TV force. In a joint statement published Wednesday, the executives — Preston Padden, Ken Solomon, and Bill Reyner — slammed Fox as a “disinformation machine” that they “profoundly regret” help to shape in its early years. Padden was Fox’s chief Washington lobbyist, while Solomon was the vice president of network distribution and Reyner was the lead outside counsel. The joint statement came on the same day that the right-wing network was sued — yet again — for defamation. It is the latest lawsuit Fox News has faced for advancing false election conspiracy theories. In April, the network agreed to a historic $787.5 million settlement with Dominion Voting Systems after its high-profile anchors spread lies on the air about the election technology company.

5. Moon mission

China is attempting to become only the second nation to put people on the moon. On Wednesday, Chinese officials unveiled new details about plans for a manned lunar mission expected to take place before 2030. The astronauts intend to land on the moon’s surface, collect samples and carry out scientific exploration. To prepare for the mission, Chinese researchers are busy developing all the necessary equipment, including moon suits, lunar rovers, manned spaceships and moon landers, according to state-run media. This marks the latest development in China’s push to advance its space program, which has seen several breakthrough moments in recent years.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Sea otter wrestles surfboard away from its rider
Watch this peaceful surf outing turn into otter chaos.

LeBron James announces he will return this fall for his 21st NBA season
Despite previously hinting at a possible retirement, the basketball superstar confirmed Wednesday that he’ll be back for at least another year of play.

These are the nominees for the 75th Emmy Awards
*Drumroll please* These are the 2023 contenders for television’s top honor.

Incredible US national park campgrounds you can’t drive to
Most national park campgrounds are easily accessible by vehicles, but these picturesque campsites can only be reached by foot or boat.

A vital vegetable in Indian cuisine is off the menu as prices soar
The cascading effects of extreme weather are severely impacting this year’s tomato crop.

TODAY’S NUMBER

$875 million
That’s the estimated Powerball grand prize after no winning jackpot tickets were sold for Wednesday’s drawing. Now, before you begin fantasizing about winning the next drawing on Saturday, keep in mind there may not be a lucky ticket for some time. So far, there have been 36 consecutive Powerball drawings without a big winner.

TODAY’S QUOTE

“The bottom line is we are going to replenish.”

— Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, telling CNN that the Biden administration will refill the depleted Strategic Petroleum Reserve — the facility holding the nation’s largest supply of emergency crude oil. America’s emergency oil stockpiles have plunged to 40-year lows under President Joe Biden as US officials have drained the SPR to cushion consumers from high gas prices.

TODAY’S WEATHER

Check your local forecast here>>>

AND FINALLY…

Happy National French Fry Day

Beginning today, some of America’s most popular fast-food chains will offer free French fries to celebrate the unofficial holiday. In its honor, see the many ways that fries are enjoyed around the world. (Click here to view)

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