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5 things to know for Sept. 25: Hollywood strikes, Govt. shutdown, Covid-19, Ophelia, Ukraine

By Alexandra Meeks, CNN

(CNN) — Jewish communities around the world are observing Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year in Judaism. Most observant Jews will fast until sunset today, abstaining from food and water, as they focus on repentance and worship. If you’re not Jewish and want to send your well wishes to people who celebrate, the typical greeting is, “Have an easy fast.”

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

1. Hollywood strikes

The major film and television studios and striking writers reached a tentative agreement on Sunday, paving a path forward to end the strike that has frozen most Hollywood productions since May. A tentative agreement would still need to be ratified by members of the Writers Guild of America, which represents more than 11,000 writers. The terms of the agreement were not immediately known, but if passed, a deal would mark the end of a nearly five-month-long work stoppage — the second-longest strike in the union’s history. Separately, SAG-AFTRA, the actors union representing about 160,000 actors, has also been on strike since mid-July and remains at the negotiating table.

2. Government shutdown

With government funding slated to run out in six days, the leaders of a bipartisan House caucus said “all options are on the table” to avert a looming shutdown. The House will return Tuesday and begin votes on a series of yearlong spending bills, but federal departments and agencies have already begun the mandatory process of planning to bring nonessential functions to a halt. Should Congress fail to pass a short-term spending bill, a shutdown could have enormous impacts on all Americans — including nearly 4 million federal employees who will feel the effect immediately. Essential workers will remain on the job, but others will be furloughed until the shutdown is over. None will be paid during the impasse.

3. Covid-19 tests

US households can order up to four free Covid-19 tests from the government starting today. The tests are available online at as part of a relaunched program to provide free home tests to Americans. The program was suspended in May after the end of the public health emergency to preserve the US stockpile. The relaunch comes as Covid-19 hospitalizations have been on the rise in the country for months, with weekly admissions now more than triple what they were two months ago. Last week, a White House official acknowledged increased infections and hospital admissions nationally but noted that levels remain substantially lower than during past Covid surges.

4. Storm Ophelia

Ophelia, now a post-tropical cyclone, dumped heavy rainfall across parts of the mid-Atlantic on Sunday. Forecasters say the storm is weakening as it treks up the East Coast,but may still bring more rain to areas that were drenched over the weekend. The Weather Prediction Center warned of localized flash floods, with “urban areas, roads, and small streams the most vulnerable.” Over the weekend, New Yorkers who live in basement apartments in flood-prone areas were told to prepare to move to higher ground and avoid driving on flooded streets or entering flooded subway stations. States of emergency were also declared in Virginia, North Carolina and Maryland.

5. Ukraine

Russian strikes overnight caused “significant damage” to Ukraine’s port city of Odesa as Moscow continues to target the country’s grain export infrastructure. In response, Poland has prepared routes for Ukrainian grain to move through its territory and reach countries most in need. Meanwhile, the Kremlin is weighing what to do with the Russian mercenary group Wagner now that its leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin, is dead. Most security experts doubt that Wagner can survive without Prigozhin, posing significant questions about what will happen to the group’s fighters, weapons and operations.


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“It has been such an honor to be able to wear this shirt and to play with all of these amazing players and to just live out my childhood dream casually in front of the world.”

— Soccer star Megan Rapinoe, sharing words of gratitude after playing the final match of her international career on Sunday. Rapinoe left a winner after the US Women’s National Team defeated South Africa 2-0 in Chicago. Since making her debut in 2006, Rapinoe has scored 63 goals and made 73 assists — ranking in the top 10 for both categories in US women’s team history.


Check your local forecast here>>>


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