5 things to know for September 18: coronavirus, election 2020, USPS, Taiwan

Attorney General William Barr compared a coronavirus lockdown to slavery during remarks to a conservative college. CNN's Jessica Schneider reports.

Posted: Sep 18, 2020 4:11 PM
Updated: Sep 18, 2020 4:11 PM

The West Coast wildfires are still so severe, Yosemite National Park has had to close due to hazardous air quality. Firefighters are hoping better weather for some areas will help them gain ground this weekend.

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

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

1. Coronavirus 

Global coronavirus cases have now topped 30 million, and the US, Brazil and India have had more than half of the world's infections put together. However, the World Health Organization is also concerned about Europe. The WHO has warned of an alarming surge of cases there, in some instances exceeding infection numbers from the pandemic's first peak in March. Officials say it's a sign of what's to come as colder weather arrives and people tire of safety measures. European governments are imposing strict local measures and weighing up further lockdowns in a bid to halt this growing second wave. In the US, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has delayed in-person public school openings for most students as schools across the country try to balance reopening procedures and coronavirus safety.

2. Election 2020

FBI Director Christopher Wray told the House Homeland Security Committee that Russia is trying to actively influence the US elections, chiefly through attempts to "denigrate" Democratic candidate Joe Biden. According to Wray, Russia is using social media, proxies, state media and online journals to sow "divisiveness and discord" and attack Biden's campaign. Biden held a town hall last night, where he cast the United States as unsafe under President Trump and claimed he could unite the country as "America's president" rather than a partisan one. Meanwhile, President Trump criticized what he called "the liberal indoctrination of America's youth" during a Constitution Day speech, and said he wants to create a "national commission to promote patriotic education."

3. USPS

A federal judge has blocked the US Postal Service and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy from changing a wide swath of USPS policies or protocols ahead of November's presidential election. Judge Stanley Bastian specifically said the changes would amount to "voter disenfranchisement." The decision mandates that all election mail, regardless of postage, must be treated as first-class mail -- a courtesy it has regularly extended for mail-in ballots and similar items. Additionally, the USPS must undo all of the changes it's made in the last few months, including restrictions on late and extra mail trips.

4. Spending bill 

Congress is still negotiating a spending bill to keep the government open after the end of the month, but talks are at least going in the right direction. House Majority Whip Steny Hoyer says Democrats will likely introduce a stop-gap bill today, with a probable vote Tuesday. One of the key disagreements between the two sides is how long the spending bill should last. Democrats want a continuing resolution to go to February, when there is a chance Democrats will have won the White House or the Senate. Republicans are looking for a shorter-term continuing resolution into mid-December. Meanwhile, our nation's top legislators are also still debating over how to get a much-anticipated new stimulus deal done.

5. Taiwan

The US is strengthening ties with Taiwan, much to the chagrin of mainland China which sees the island nation as part of its territory. The Trump administration is expected to approve another major weapons sale to Taiwan valued at $600 million. The sale will reportedly include shipments of MQ-9B Reaper drones and anti-ship missiles. Washington has long provided arms to the island, but those sales have increased under the Trump administration. A high-profile United States official is also in Taiwan for the weekend. The presence of Keith Krach, the Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment, marks the second major US visit in two months.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

A new reality show promises to blast the winner into space for 10 days 

A dire punishment or a sweet release from one's earthly cares? You decide.

A historian watches Disney's new 'Mulan.' Here are her thoughts

Spoiler alert: She didn't like it.

An Alaska dentist who extracted a patient's tooth on a hoverboard sentenced to 12 years in jail

This is it, today's Mad Lib headline.

Spider-like venom found in Australian stinging trees -- and the pain can last for weeks

Really?! Even the trees in Australia are scary.

Hundreds pose nude wearing only masks for London art installation

If you click on this story, please know the first thing to greet you will be a bunch of bare bums. Which is perfectly fine! But just FYI.

HAPPENING LATER

Rosh Hashanah starts tonight 

And, needless to say, a pandemic is a strange time to be celebrating the Jewish New Year.

TODAY'S NUMBER

$845 billion

That's how much America's billionaires are worth right now. Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and the rest of the country's wealthiest have seen their fortunes skyrocket during the pandemic even as millions of normal Americans feel the financial crunch.

TODAY'S QUOTE

medicane (n): a rare hurricane-like storm that forms in the Mediterranean Sea

One such storm is expected to hit Western Greece today. Medicanes can form over cooler waters and usually move from west to east, whereas hurricanes move from east to west.

TODAY'S WEATHER

Check your local forecast here>>>

AND FINALLY

It's FriYAY!

You've made it to the weekend. Celebrate with this peacock spider dancing to YMCA. (Click here to view)

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 324537

Reported Deaths: 5594
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion44186858
Lake28094462
Allen18660301
Elkhart17663230
St. Joseph17256234
Hamilton13612170
Vanderburgh10028121
Tippecanoe896729
Porter855386
Johnson6718169
Hendricks6412158
Vigo625889
Monroe550450
Clark531078
Madison5239122
Delaware5075103
LaPorte481196
Kosciusko475941
Howard364177
Bartholomew335365
Warrick335372
Floyd329478
Wayne325678
Marshall311846
Cass303931
Grant287150
Hancock272957
Noble264946
Henry256437
Boone255054
Dubois245631
Dearborn228231
Jackson226334
Morgan221243
Gibson194926
Knox193021
Shelby192656
Clinton185421
DeKalb183932
Lawrence183849
Wabash172821
Adams172422
Miami170815
Daviess163145
Fayette153734
Steuben153414
Jasper151713
Montgomery149327
Harrison147624
LaGrange146131
Ripley145815
Whitley142314
Huntington133510
Decatur132543
Putnam131128
White131022
Wells130130
Clay130023
Randolph128121
Posey125816
Jefferson124116
Scott114520
Greene106053
Sullivan102716
Jay101913
Starke95022
Jennings90414
Spencer8908
Fulton87519
Perry85121
Fountain8228
Washington8127
Franklin73427
Carroll71913
Orange70028
Vermillion6607
Owen6468
Tipton60327
Parke6026
Newton57812
Rush5708
Blackford56612
Pike52719
Pulaski41815
Martin3705
Benton3643
Brown3574
Crawford3081
Union2782
Switzerland2655
Warren2562
Ohio2387
Unassigned0266

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 399808

Reported Deaths: 6346
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin52652672
Cuyahoga39132746
Hamilton31491372
Montgomery21355242
Butler15768149
Lucas15301420
Summit14667330
Stark9780209
Warren878777
Mahoning7985301
Lake752566
Lorain7149106
Clermont622953
Delaware597337
Licking589977
Trumbull5867148
Fairfield576464
Greene559568
Clark5438129
Allen518389
Medina496557
Marion489359
Wood4861108
Miami456268
Pickaway410548
Portage385574
Columbiana376599
Tuscarawas360567
Richland349639
Wayne340894
Mercer299248
Muskingum262510
Hancock257240
Ross251259
Darke246160
Auglaize243935
Erie240868
Ashtabula240454
Putnam234549
Geauga227051
Union20838
Scioto204316
Lawrence201139
Shelby199917
Athens19984
Seneca192919
Belmont176729
Madison172019
Sandusky166429
Huron163022
Preble162521
Defiance149923
Holmes146939
Knox139719
Logan139018
Jefferson138113
Fulton135826
Crawford134417
Washington133427
Ottawa128830
Ashland117328
Williams11479
Clinton113115
Highland108118
Brown10755
Hardin107019
Henry105423
Champaign10535
Jackson102012
Van Wert99918
Fayette97317
Guernsey96814
Morrow9682
Coshocton91015
Perry86613
Adams83813
Gallia81615
Pike7921
Wyandot76118
Paulding70012
Hocking68516
Noble65124
Carroll53210
Meigs41712
Monroe34921
Morgan2925
Harrison2433
Vinton2326
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
34° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 34°
Angola
34° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 30°
Huntington
Clear
32° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 32°
Decatur
Clear
32° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 32°
Van Wert
Clear
32° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 32°
Warm Sunday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events