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5 things to know for Oct. 11: Ukraine, Rail strike, Trump, School shootings, Speeding

By Alexandra Meeks, CNN

If you’re planning to take a trip this winter, now’s the time to pounce on the best prices available for airfares. Some travel experts recommend securing holiday flights before Halloween because prices typically increase considerably as Thanksgiving gets closer.

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. Ukraine

Air raid sirens sounded in multiple regions of Ukraine today after Russia launched new missile attacks. This comes after Russia unleashed a wave of attacks across Ukraine on Monday, killing at least 19 people and injuring more than 100 others, according to Ukrainian officials. Critical infrastructure was hit in several regions and in the capital Kyiv, where dozens of fires broke out, Ukraine’s emergency services said. Numerous areas in the region are still without power today following the barrage of Russian strikes that were partly targeted at energy facilities to leave Ukrainians without electricity. President Joe Biden spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday, condemning the strikes and pledging continued US security assistance “including advanced air defense systems.”

2. Rail Strike

The threat of a freight rail strike is back after a major union of railroad workers rejected a tentative agreement Monday with the nation’s freight carriers. More than half of the 23,000 members in one of the largest rail unions opposed the agreement, meaning the two parties will now enter negotiations in hopes of reaching a deal. Without a new deal, there could be a strike that significantly impacts the nation’s already struggling supply chains. But such a strike would not occur until at least November 19, according to the union. The Biden administration has been desperate to avoid a strike because major railroads carry 30% of the nation’s freight and a strike could cause shortages and higher prices for essentials like food and gasoline. A strike could also force factories without parts to close and leave store shelves empty during the holiday shopping season.

3. Trump

New emails released by the General Services Administration debunk claims made by former President Donald Trump and his allies that the government agency is to blame for packing boxes from the White House that ended up at his Mar-a-Lago residence after his presidency. Former presidents are allowed to take certain government materials and office equipment to set up a permanent office away from the White House. But that does not include the sort of classified documents Trump took to Mar-a-Lago — which are at the center of an ongoing Justice Department criminal investigation. Trump and his allies have said GSA was responsible for classified documents being at his Florida home. The newly released emails, however, make clear that the boxes had already been packed and sat shrink-wrapped in an empty office space.

4. School shootings

Prosecutors and defense attorneys will present closing arguments today in the sentencing trial of the Parkland school shooter. This will be the last opportunity for them to make their cases before the jury will help decide whether the gunman will be sentenced to death or to life in prison. The imminent conclusion of the trial comes almost a year after the 24-year-old shooter pleaded guilty to 17 counts of murder and other charges for the February 2018 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in which 14 students and three school staff members were killed. Separately, in Uvalde, Texas, the school district’s superintendent announced his retirement Monday after new details surfaced about the Robb Elementary School massacre, which left 19 students and two teachers dead.

5. Speed limits

The National Transportation Safety Board has recommended a new vehicle system that could stop drivers from speeding. The technology essentially recognizes speed limits and either issues visual or audible alerts when a driver is speeding or prevents vehicles from going above those limits. New York City has become the first city in the US to test the speed-limiting technology in 50 of its fleet vehicles. “There’s no reason today, with so much technology and so much awareness, that anybody should die at the hands of an automobile,” said Meera Joshi, New York City’s Deputy Mayor for Operations. After more than 20,000 deaths on US roads this year alone, the NTSB has called on the federal government to start incentivizing car makers to put speed-limiting systems in new cars, according to a report. It will be up to automobile manufacturers whether they introduce the technology.


Actor William Shatner shares what it’s like traveling to space

“Everything I had expected to see was wrong,” Shatner wrote in a new biography. Learn about the actor’s life-changing experience aboard a suborbital space tourism flight.

Football player Sebastian Gutierrez swaps pizza shop for the New England Patriots

A former pizza shop worker is now earning his dough in the NFL! Read his inspirational story here.

How dogs changed the course of civilization

Did you know dogs were the first animal that humans ever domesticated? Here’s how adorable fur babies became a part of our daily lives.

Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd reunion delights ‘Back to the Future’ fans

The pair had an epic reunion at Comic Con 37 years after the release of the sci-fi comedy. (Can you believe it’s been 37 years? Take a second to remember those good old days.)

Shaquille O’Neal reiterates his desire to buy an NBA team

The four-time NBA champion shared a cryptic message about his wish to buy an NBA team “back home.” Here are some possibilities where that could be.


Eileen Ryan, a veteran actress and the mother of actor Sean Penn, has died, Penn’s publicist shared in a statement. She was 94. Ryan appeared in more than 60 television shows and films over her long career, including the acclaimed films “Magnolia” and “I Am Sam.”


$18 million

That’s the prize Dustin Johnson won after clinching the inaugural LIV Golf championship, tournament officials announced Monday. The 38-year-old made the switch from the PGA Tour to the Saudi-backed rebel series in June. The controversial LIV Golf series has caused a rift in professional golf, as LIV golfers have been banned from the PGA Tour for participating in the breakaway series.


“No child should ever be subjected to such racist, mean and dehumanizing comments, especially from a public official.”

— Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin and his husband, issuing a family statement after his fellow council member, Nury Martinez, made racist remarks about him and his Black child. In leaked audio obtained by the Los Angeles Times, Martinez says Bonin, a White man, appeared with his son on a float in a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade and “handled his young Black son as though he were an accessory.” The Times reported that Martinez also said of Bonin’s child, “Parece changuito,” or “He’s like a monkey.” Following the backlash for an array of offensive comments heard in the audio, Martinez resigned as Los Angeles City Council president on Monday.


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Today is National Coming Out Day

Every year on October 11, National Coming Out Day celebrates the act of “coming out” — when an LGBTQ person decides to publicly share their gender identities or sexual orientation. Watch this 2-minute video to learn how the rainbow flag became a symbol of LGBTQ pride. (Click here to view)

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