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5 things to know for Sept. 15: Queen, Capitol riot, Rail strike, Immigration, Ukraine


By Alexandra Meeks, CNN

“Chai tea latte, please… but with oat milk, a shot of espresso, two pumps of brown sugar syrup, extra hot, no foam, and cinnamon on top.” More Starbucks customers are opting for elaborate concoctions like this instead of the normal drinks on the menu, the company says. To speed up service amid a trend of complicated orders, Starbucks announced new kitchen designs and technology systems to help baristas work faster.

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

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

1. Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II is now lying in state at Westminster Hall in London until the morning of her funeral on Monday. It marks the first of four full days that members of the public can view the coffin — and officials have warned of unprecedented numbers of people wishing to pay their respects. When the doors of Westminster Hall opened at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, the queue of visitors stretched for almost three miles along the River Thames, according to an official tracker. Senior royals including King Charles III, Prince William and Prince Harry walked behind the coffin as it made its way along the procession route from Buckingham Palace to Westminster.

To get updates on the British Royal Family sent to your inbox, sign up for CNN’s Royal News newsletter.

2. Capitol riot

Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has complied with a subpoena from the Justice Department’s investigation into events surrounding January 6, 2021, sources familiar with the matter tell CNN. This makes him the highest-ranking official connected to former President Donald Trump known to have responded to a subpoena in the federal investigation. Meadows turned over the same materials he provided to the House select committee investigating the Capitol riot, one source said, meeting the obligations of the Justice Department subpoena. Last year, Meadows turned over thousands of text messages and emails to the House committee before he stopped cooperating. This comes after federal investigators issued at least 30 subpoenas to individuals with connections to Trump, including top officials from his fundraising and former campaign operation.

3. Railroad strike

A massive railroad strike has been averted after unions and management reached a tentative deal today. The strike had threatened to cripple US supply chains and push prices higher for many goods. The White House issued a statement just after 5 a.m. ET today calling the deal “an important win for our economy and the American people.” It came after an all-night bargaining session between the unions’ leadership — representing more than 50,000 engineers and conductors — and the railroads’ labor negotiators. They had met with the clock ticking down to a strike that had been set to start on Friday. This is positive news for many businesses that depend upon the freight railroads to continue to operate, and for the wider US economy. About 30% of the nation’s freight moves by rail.

4. Immigration

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis is claiming credit for sending two planes carrying migrants to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts Wednesday, his office told CNN. “States like Massachusetts, New York, and California will better facilitate the care of these individuals who they have invited into our country by incentivizing illegal immigration through their designation as ‘sanctuary states’ and support for the Biden Administration’s open border policies,” a statement from his office said. An estimated 50 migrants arrived on Martha’s Vineyard with “no advance notice to anyone,” Democratic state Sen. Julian Cyr said. The move follows in the footsteps of Republican Govs. Greg Abbott of Texas and Doug Ducey of Arizona, who began sending migrants to Washington, DC, earlier this year. Abbott has since expanded his efforts to New York City and Chicago.

5. Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping are expected to meet face-to-face today for the first time since the war began in Ukraine. The meeting is being held at a time when Putin needs Xi’s help more than ever after a series of recent setbacks in Ukraine. Russia and China’s relationship has also strengthened since the beginning of the war and experts say support from China would be of huge value to Putin — especially after Ukraine’s recapture of more than 6,000 square kilometers of territory in recent days. Separately, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was involved in a car accident in Kyiv on Wednesday, but emerged with “no serious injuries,” a statement from his office said.


Serena Williams teases return to competitive tennis

Many thought the US Open would be the last act of Serena’s tennis career… but it might not be over just yet.

‘Bachelorette’ Gabby Windey calls finale a ‘big fat dumpster fire’

It looks like there’s trouble in paradise. Fans of “The Bachelorette” are mentally preparing for potentially the most dramatic season finale EVER.

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ is back

Praise be. “The Handmaid’s Tale” returns to Hulu today for a fifth season. Here’s what you can expect.

Tom Brady hints at retirement, again

Brady, 45, said he is “close to the end” of his NFL career. His supermodel wife Gisele Bündchen has also voiced “concerns” about him playing.

Should you take a multivitamin?

The answer is yes, according to a new study. Taking a daily multivitamin may improve cognition in older adults, especially those with a history of cardiovascular disease.


$100 million

That’s the annual profits of Patagonia, the private company that sells outdoor apparel and equipment. On Wednesday, Patagonia’s founder announced he is transferring ownership of the company into two entities that will ensure 98% of the company’s annual profits will be used to combat climate change.


“We’re not there yet, but the end is in sight.”

— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, saying in a news conference Wednesday the world has never been in a better position to end the Covid-19 pandemic. Although official case counts have become significantly underreported, trends have shown a steady drop in cases in the US for the past two months. Additionally, about two-thirds of the global population — and about the same in the US — have received their initial series of a Covid-19 vaccinations, according to the latest WHO update.


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The man who invented Cool Whip, Pop Rocks, Tang and Jell-O

One American chemist — and junk food wizard — created some of the most successful (and sugar-packed) foods of all time. (Click here to view)

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