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5 things to know for Sept. 16: Mar-a-Lago, Alaska, Ukraine, Same-sex marriage, Mars


By Alexandra Meeks, CNN

Scientists and activists are pushing for the monkeypox virus to be renamed amid worries that stigma could steer people away from getting tested and vaccinated. Many health experts are also trying to clear up confusion and explain that monkeypox probably didn’t start in monkeys and its origin remains unknown.

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. Mar-a-Lago

A “special master” — or third party attorney — was appointed by a federal judge in Florida Thursday to review documents from the FBI’s search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence. The special master will be Senior Judge Raymond Dearie, who was put forward as a possible candidate for the role by Trump, who had sued in court to obtain the review. The Justice Department also endorsed Dearie’s appointment. US District Judge Aileen Cannon also rejected the DOJ’s bid to resume its criminal investigation into classified documents seized at Mar-a-Lago last month. The denial sets the stage for the department’s dispute with Trump over the search to move quickly to an appeals court and potentially the Supreme Court.

2. Alaska storm

Alaska is bracing for what has been described by forecasters as the strongest storm to impact the state in more than a decade. The system — the remnants of Typhoon Merbok — is expected to bring hurricane-force winds, torrential rain and enormous waves to Alaska’s west coast today and this weekend. The National Weather Service in Fairbanks urged coastal residents to complete preparations for the storm by this morning, as conditions will begin to rapidly deteriorate later today. Forecasts show the impacts of the storm will likely rival what was seen in 2011 from what’s referred to as the Bering Sea Superstorm, a meteorologist in the region told CNN. That storm, with wind gusts over 90 mph, left behind a wide swath of destruction.

3. Ukraine

Ukrainian authorities have found 440 graves at a mass burial site in Izium, an eastern city recently recaptured from Russian forces, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said in a Twitter post today. “We want the world to know what is really happening and what the Russian occupation has led to,” Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said, adding that Ukrainian and international journalists will be shown the site to see what had been uncovered. Izium was subject to intense Russian artillery attacks in April and was taken back by Ukrainian forces on Saturday, delivering a strategic blow to Russia’s military assault in the east. Separately, the White House announced a $600 million security package for Ukraine on Thursday, providing its military with another round of assistance during its ongoing counteroffensive against Russia.

4. Same-sex marriage

The Senate will not vote on same-sex marriage legislation until after the November midterm elections — a move that could make it more likely the bill will ultimately pass the chamber. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, a leading Democratic negotiator on the bill that would codify same-sex marriage nationwide, said Thursday that more time is needed to negotiate the issue with Republicans. “We’re very confident that the bill will pass, but we will need a little more time,” Baldwin told CNN. Democrats have pushed for the vote after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, sparking fears that the court could take aim at same-sex marriage in the future.

5. Mars

NASA’s Perseverance rover has collected some of the most important samples yet on its mission to determine if life ever existed on Mars, scientists said. A few of the recently collected samples include organic matter, indicating a crater likely once held a lake that was potentially habitable 3.5 billion years ago. The rover’s mission, which began on the red planet 18 months ago, includes looking for signs of ancient microbial life and collecting rock samples that could have preserved telltale signs of a formerly water-filled environments. The rover contains 12 rock samples and will eventually take more collections back to Earth in the 2030s. NASA’s Perseverance and Curiosity rovers have found organic matter before on Mars. But this time, the detection occurred in an area where life may have once existed.


President Biden to personally meet with Griner and Whelan families

President Biden will meet with the families of Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan at the White House today, a source familiar with the matter confirmed to CNN. This is the first time he will meet with them in person. Griner was detained in Russia in February for carrying vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage. The two-time US Olympic basketball gold medalist pleaded guilty to drug charges and said she accidentally packed the cartridges while in a hurry. She was convicted in August and sentenced to nine years in jail. Whelan has been imprisoned in Russia for more than three years after being convicted on espionage charges that he vehemently denies.


Social media erupts after ‘Jeopardy!’ contestant allowed to change answer

Fans of “Jeopardy!” are in a frenzy after the show’s host Ken Jennings allowed a contestant to change his answer… but later denied a second contestant from doing the same. Watch the video here.

Michael Jordan’s ‘Last Dance’ jersey fetches a record $10.1 million

The record sale price now makes it the most expensive basketball jersey ever to sell at auction.

Husky enjoys playing on the roof of a two-story house

Most dogs like to relax on couches… this one prefers to hang out on the roof. Listen to the owner’s reaction to this paws-itively outrageous behavior.

Nick Cannon welcomes his ninth child

“The Masked Singer” host also has two more on the way.

France unveils high-speed trains of the future

This swanky new train, operating at a maximum speed of nearly 220 mph, will premiere on the Paris rail network next year.


Rising inflation has driven food prices in the US far higher than they were a year ago. Which of the following grocery items has seen the biggest increase?

A. Milk

B. Eggs

C. Cheese

D. Tomatoes

Take CNN’s weekly news quiz to see if you’re correct!



That’s the number of days that residents in Jackson, Mississippi, were under a boil water notice due to poor water quality. The advisory was lifted on Thursday after heavy rains last month and issues at a failing water plant ultimately led to residents being unable to use or drink water for weeks. While samples now show clean water has been restored, officials say it is possible that there will be further interruptions to the city’s water system. Jackson’s issues with water go back years, with boil water advisories becoming almost a fact of life in the city.


“I’ve come to the conclusion, and I want to be definitive on this: The election was not stolen.”

— New Hampshire GOP Senate candidate Don Bolduc, stating Thursday on Fox News that he believes President Biden is the legitimate president of the US. His remarks, however, come shortly after Bolduc won the Republican nomination this week — and after months of campaigning on false claims that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump. Bolduc is now gearing up to take on Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan in November. Her seat represents a top pickup opportunity for Republicans, who are trying to erase Democrats’ slim Senate majority this fall.


Check your local forecast here>>>


Delicate patterns carefully carved into fruits and vegetables

This artist pulls inspiration from traditional Japanese patterns to create masterpieces out of fruits and vegetables. (Click here to view)

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