5 things to know for September 22: Coronavirus, SCOTUS, China, Navalny, Botswana

Tropical Storm Beta made landfall in Texas last night, creating massive flooding throughout the state and along the Gulf Coast.

Posted: Sep 23, 2020 1:30 AM
Updated: Sep 23, 2020 1:31 AM

Nearly 11 million people are under flash flood watches across the Texas and Louisiana coasts after Tropical Storm Beta made landfall.

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

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1. Coronavirus

Just days ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted guidance that the coronavirus could commonly spread through lingering droplets in the air and travel further than 6 feet. The agency abruptly removed that guidance yesterday, reverting to its previous statement that the virus spreads mainly from person to person. The CDC said the recent updates were posted in error and that it's revising recommendations on airborne transmission. The virus can still spread through the air, a CDC official said, but that isn't thought to be the primary way it's transmitted. The confusion is the latest sign of how President Trump's administration has mishandled the Covid-19 response, CNN's Stephen Collinson writes. According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, there's also another thing getting in the way of clear and consistent messaging on Covid-19: the country's "divisive state."

2. Supreme Court

President Trump is narrowing down his short list to fill the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat on the Supreme Court. On the list is Amy Coney Barrett, a federal appellate judge and proven conservative who has the backing of religious conservatives and advocates on the far right. Also being considered is Barbara Lagoa, a conservative judge whose Cuban American heritage could help Trump politically in her home state, Florida. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is moving closer to locking down the support he needs to confirm a nominee, despite his resistance in 2016 to filling a Supreme Court seat during an election year. So far, two Republicans -- Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins -- have voiced opposition to taking up whomever Trump nominates before November's election. But it's unclear if others will follow.

3. China

A Chinese billionaire who criticized President Xi Jinping's handling of the coronavirus pandemic has been jailed for 18 years on corruption charges. Ren Zhiqiang, a retired real estate tycoon with close ties to senior Chinese officials, disappeared in March after he allegedly wrote a scathing essay criticizing Xi's response to the Covid-19 crisis. As Beijing continues to deal with the fallout from the pandemic and face international pressure, his conviction and harsh sentence is likely a warning sign to other members of the Chinese elite that any public defiance of Xi will not be tolerated.

4. Russia

Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny, who is recovering from a near-fatal suspected poisoning, is demanding that Russian authorities return the clothes he was wearing the day he fell ill, calling them vital evidence. The German government has said the Kremlin critic was poisoned with a chemical agent from the Soviet-era Novichok group, a conclusion supported by two labs in France and Sweden. Though Russia has strongly denied any involvement, there are still several questions. Navalny is in treatment at a hospital in Berlin. He said last week he still can't pour himself a glass of water or use his phone properly but is on a "clear road" to recovery.

5. Botswana

Government wildlife officials now have an explanation for the mysterious deaths this year of hundreds of elephants in Botswana. Authorities are blaming toxin-producing cyanobacteria in waterholes. But some conservationists, who had suspected poachers of killing the elephants, are skeptical. Though the government has denied human involvement in the elephant deaths, conservationists are demanding it release the full results of the investigation, saying the evidence isn't conclusive enough.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin are teaming up to start a new NASCAR team, with Bubba Wallace as a driver

Jordan said NASCAR's struggles with diversity and its lack of Black owners played a part in his decision.

The CDC is discouraging trick-or-treating, costume masks and Halloween parties this year

Womp womp.

The first man to climb Everest 10 times has died at 72

Ang Rita Sherpa was known as the "snow leopard."

A man known as the 'Dreadhead Cowboy' was arrested for riding his horse on a Chicago highway

Turns out the stunt was for a good cause.

This is the healthiest community in the US

See if your home made the cut.

TODAY'S NUMBER

$5 million

That's about how much former CIA contractor Edward Snowden has agreed to give up to the US government for publishing his book, "Permanent Record," without approval. Ex-national security adviser John Bolton, who published a damaging book about President Trump this year, faces a similar attempt by the Justice Department to claw back book proceeds.

TODAY'S QUOTE

"This is the one chance that we have."

Professor Niklas Höhne, co-author of an upcoming study by the Climate Action Tracker, on how the pandemic gave governments around the world a chance to pivot toward a greener future. Instead, CNN finds, that opportunity is about to be wasted.

TODAY'S WEATHER

Check your local forecast here>>>

AND FINALLY

How pizza is made in 7 countries 

From corn to grasshoppers to bananas as toppings, our favorite comfort food looks very different, depending on where you are. (Click here to view.)

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1097128

Reported Deaths: 17438
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1437882222
Lake712531225
Allen65537867
Hamilton50147482
St. Joseph48760639
Elkhart39461538
Vanderburgh34221495
Tippecanoe30237271
Johnson27179463
Hendricks25845379
Porter25014381
Madison20656444
Clark19898275
Vigo18764308
LaPorte16857260
Delaware16425291
Howard16408311
Monroe16379217
Kosciusko13936163
Hancock12841185
Bartholomew12686188
Warrick11995189
Wayne11879265
Floyd11869225
Grant11701235
Morgan10252188
Boone9675120
Noble9069121
Henry9002165
Marshall8907146
Dearborn881799
Dubois8710139
Shelby8054128
Cass8014127
Lawrence7922182
DeKalb7591106
Huntington7448108
Jackson743893
Gibson7002118
Montgomery6910123
Harrison685296
Knox6827113
Steuben654186
Miami6477107
Whitley642260
Putnam631982
Clinton618976
Wabash6060108
Jasper601791
Jefferson5689103
Ripley549192
Adams532381
Daviess5003116
Scott480378
Wells471799
White468767
Greene461799
Clay457462
Decatur4529109
Jennings439666
Fayette435694
LaGrange419290
Posey403244
Washington384154
Randolph3818107
Fountain368362
Spencer355846
Fulton355572
Starke348772
Owen346276
Sullivan344954
Orange324470
Jay318650
Rush298332
Carroll289438
Franklin286744
Perry283253
Vermillion280458
Tipton247365
Parke246330
Pike244144
Blackford218044
Pulaski205658
Newton179052
Brown171850
Crawford167929
Benton163217
Martin150819
Switzerland145112
Warren132216
Union117816
Ohio91413
Unassigned0585

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1683472

Reported Deaths: 26483
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1766331826
Cuyahoga1641462636
Hamilton1122641528
Montgomery794721387
Summit702171199
Lucas618431017
Butler55878803
Stark525841170
Lorain41058639
Warren35404412
Mahoning35095769
Lake31445493
Clermont30711362
Delaware26682182
Trumbull26664611
Licking26200335
Medina25291351
Fairfield24173287
Greene24051369
Clark21653387
Portage20709280
Richland20587336
Wood19626246
Allen18542320
Miami17031348
Columbiana16502331
Muskingum16416206
Wayne15432304
Tuscarawas14086357
Marion13054194
Erie12423198
Ashtabula12314225
Scioto12235182
Pickaway12070151
Ross11487223
Hancock11256173
Geauga10666174
Lawrence10504171
Belmont10259231
Huron9588155
Jefferson9462225
Union939175
Sandusky9068166
Seneca8692156
Knox8618169
Washington8613156
Athens827396
Darke8270179
Ashland7840147
Auglaize7741115
Shelby7337132
Defiance7210114
Crawford7082150
Brown7052115
Fulton7016111
Logan6857108
Mercer681697
Guernsey680283
Highland6615117
Madison641389
Clinton6388106
Williams628798
Preble6171139
Putnam6089120
Jackson572396
Champaign568286
Perry558879
Coshocton5552103
Ottawa553599
Morrow506464
Fayette483170
Hardin477899
Gallia462978
Pike459076
Van Wert454691
Adams4514109
Henry424976
Hocking401493
Holmes3939137
Wyandot367973
Carroll351578
Paulding319349
Meigs302457
Monroe231860
Noble216447
Morgan210138
Harrison205152
Vinton183937
Unassigned05
Fort Wayne
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 31°
Angola
Partly Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 32°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
40° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 34°
Decatur
Clear
36° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 28°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 34°
After a cold start to the workweek, temperatures are expected to warm above average for the beginning of December.
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