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

The Pacific Northwest will see rain today, and new tropical threats begin to develop. CNN meteorologist Tyler Mauldin has the forecast.

Posted: Sep 18, 2020 7:51 PM
Updated: Sep 18, 2020 7:51 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.

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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: 300913

Reported Deaths: 5332
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion41330845
Lake26364448
Allen17299290
Elkhart16665212
St. Joseph16319220
Hamilton12459164
Vanderburgh9428112
Tippecanoe826727
Porter791279
Johnson6139164
Hendricks5807154
Vigo574474
Monroe525247
Clark495374
Delaware4789103
Madison4760119
LaPorte446894
Kosciusko446139
Howard325575
Warrick316072
Floyd306177
Bartholomew303262
Wayne295261
Cass293431
Marshall289944
Grant258747
Noble246846
Hancock243749
Henry237136
Boone235154
Dubois230430
Dearborn208829
Jackson206033
Morgan200643
Knox178017
Gibson177022
Clinton174920
Shelby174554
Lawrence171646
DeKalb171229
Adams165219
Miami155114
Wabash153018
Daviess152243
Fayette145233
Steuben141113
Jasper138311
Harrison137624
LaGrange136629
Montgomery131226
Whitley129910
Ripley123714
Decatur123542
Huntington122310
Posey118913
Putnam118326
Wells118327
Randolph117819
White117421
Clay115621
Jefferson114214
Greene100253
Scott99818
Jay95012
Starke89221
Sullivan86615
Fulton81117
Perry80921
Jennings80514
Spencer8047
Fountain7378
Washington7176
Carroll66813
Franklin65925
Orange65728
Vermillion5832
Owen5816
Parke5416
Newton54012
Tipton53726
Rush5216
Blackford51211
Pike50218
Pulaski36810
Martin3485
Brown3263
Benton3251
Crawford2781
Union2621
Switzerland2473
Warren2352
Ohio2257
Unassigned0265

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 363304

Reported Deaths: 6020
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin49267665
Cuyahoga35214736
Hamilton29462371
Montgomery19636225
Butler14472144
Lucas14033409
Summit12962310
Stark8529197
Warren798975
Mahoning7068299
Lake662766
Lorain623697
Clermont563946
Delaware540335
Licking535875
Fairfield523763
Trumbull5159144
Greene510563
Clark501064
Allen460685
Marion457751
Wood4394107
Medina428654
Miami416465
Pickaway396448
Columbiana339597
Portage334471
Tuscarawas317557
Wayne314993
Richland306732
Mercer284737
Ross239259
Hancock232736
Muskingum231910
Auglaize223230
Putnam221449
Erie217165
Darke217058
Ashtabula215753
Geauga197351
Scioto193615
Union18658
Lawrence185436
Shelby184815
Athens18454
Seneca173118
Belmont158529
Madison156218
Sandusky152327
Preble148421
Huron147518
Defiance137921
Holmes137739
Logan123613
Knox122518
Fulton122025
Crawford119116
Ottawa118930
Washington116427
Clinton103414
Ashland102722
Williams10238
Jefferson10124
Highland99517
Henry98422
Brown9644
Champaign9345
Jackson90312
Van Wert8976
Fayette89217
Hardin86118
Morrow8552
Guernsey83313
Coshocton81413
Perry77012
Adams75012
Pike7261
Wyandot70516
Gallia70413
Paulding62710
Hocking61011
Noble59722
Carroll44310
Meigs37612
Monroe31021
Morgan2395
Vinton2105
Harrison1913
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
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Rain Continues Wednesday
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