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5 things to know for September 21: Russia, Fiona, Mar-a-Lago, Social media, India


By Alexandra Meeks, CNN

Right now, you’re using at least one of your five human senses: sight, smell, hearing, touch, or taste. Animals, of course, have senses too — including a bunch that we don’t have. The senses that exist in the animal kingdom are often a mystery to us, so if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be a dog or a bird, you’ll want to listen to this conversation between CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta and award-winning science journalist Ed Yong.

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. Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced the immediate “partial mobilization” of Russian citizens in an escalation of Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine and pledged to use “all means” to defend the country and its people. The mobilization would mean Russian citizens who are in the reserve and those with military experience could be enlisted to serve in the country’s army. According to Russian officials, about 300,000 reservists will be called up as part of the mobilization. In a televised national address earlier today, Putin also referenced his potential use of nuclear weapons, saying “those who try to blackmail us with nuclear weapons should know that the prevailing winds can turn in their direction.” A top UK official, however, claims that Putin’s announcement is an acknowledgment that Moscow’s invasion “is failing.”

2. Hurricane Fiona

Hurricane Fiona has escalated into a Category 4 storm and is continuing along its catastrophic path northward today. Puerto Rico, Turks and Caicos and the Dominican Republic now face a prolonged recovery process, after devastating flooding and raging winds damaged critical water and power infrastructures. Fiona’s sustained winds have been as high as 130 miles per hour with gusts reaching 155 miles per hour, the National Hurricane Center said today. Fiona is still expected to strengthen as it moves away from Turks and Caicos today and makes its way to Bermuda by the end of the week.

3. Mar-a-Lago

The first hearing with the Mar-a-Lago search special master took place on Tuesday as former President Donald Trump’s team continues to signal resistance to making certain disclosures about any moves to declassify the seized documents in question. Judge Raymond Dearie, a senior judge who has the job of reviewing the approximately 11,000 documents taken from Trump’s Florida home, showed skepticism of Trump’s arguments about how the review should proceed and stressed a desire to move quickly in order to finish his review by the end of November. While Dearie gets going on sifting through the documents, the Justice Department is asking an appeals court to revive its criminal investigation into the materials marked as classified.

4. Social media

The FDA is warning about a rise in adolescents and young adults participating in dangerous social media challenges. One recent challenge posted on social media encouraged people to cook chicken in NyQuil and similar over-the-counter cough and cold medicines. “Boiling a medication can make it much more concentrated and change its properties in other ways,” the FDA said. The agency also pointed to a TikTok challenge daring people to hallucinate by taking large doses of the over-the-counter drug Benadryl. The FDA cited reports of teens ending up in hospital emergency rooms or dying after participating. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parents should talk to their children about social media dares and discuss them “calmly and without judgment” while encouraging them to think through any potential negative outcomes.

5. India

Movie theaters in Indian-controlled Kashmir have reopened their doors, more than two decades after they were forced shut during an armed rebellion that saw multiple threats and attacks on crowded public places. The lieutenant governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Manoj Sinha, inaugurated the disputed region’s newest cinema on Tuesday in a ceremony marked with much hype and fanfare. “[The opening] is a reflection of a new dawn of hope, dreams, confidence and aspirations of people,” Sinha said, calling it a “historic” day, according to local media in the region. Kashmir is one of the world’s most dangerous flashpoints and has been the epicenter for more than 70 years of violent territorial struggle between its nuclear-armed neighbors.


Federal Reserve expected to announce a rate hike today

The Federal Reserve is expected to make history today by raising interest rates 0.75% for a third time in a row. Analysts say the Fed is hoping to bring inflation under control with this series of hikes that will likely extend into next year. However, many economists say there remains a risk that the hikes may throw the US into a recession.


Otter takes surfer’s board

Sea otters are super cute… until they steal your surfboard with their sharp claws and refuse to give it up. Watch this surfer’s close encounter here.

Tim McGraw falls off stage during concert

The country music icon lost his balance and fell into his own crowd — but then turned it into a special moment to bond with his fans.

Adam Levine denies having an affair, but admits he ‘crossed the line’

The Maroon 5 frontman is speaking out following allegations that he cheated on his pregnant wife with an Instagram model.

Researchers in China have cloned a wild Arctic wolf

Some scientists are now hoping this controversial technology can be used to help save other species from extinction.

‘SNL’ announces first three guest hosts of the season

Live from New York… it’s Saturday Night! These celebrities are locked in as guest hosts for the show’s upcoming 48th season.


20 quadrillion

That’s how many ants there are on the Earth at any given time, a new study has estimated. That’s 20,000 trillion individuals. This data could help track environmental changes by looking at the growth or decline in ant numbers, according to a co-author of the study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday.


“This was a brazen scheme of staggering proportions.”

— US Attorney Andrew Luger, announcing charges Tuesday against 47 people accused of stealing $250 million from a federal program designed to provide meals for needy children during the pandemic. According to prosecutors, the Minnesota-based nonprofit Feeding our Future claimed to be feeding thousands of children per day. However, investigators determined the funds were used to buy real estate, luxury cars, jewelry, and to fund international travel. The Justice Department said the scheme is the largest Covid-related fraud uncovered to date.


Check your local forecast here>>>


Happy Peace Day

Countries around the world are celebrating the International Day of Peace today. Listen to Grammy Award-winning a cappella group Pentatonix sing a beautiful cover of “Imagine” by John Lennon — a song that’s become an anthem for global peace. (Click here to view)

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