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5 things to know for Sept. 28: GOP debate, North Korea, Impeachment, Gas prices, AI

Republican presidential candidates talk over each other during the second Republican candidates' debate of the 2024 U.S. presidential campaign at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, U.S. September 27.
Mike Blake/Reuters
Republican presidential candidates talk over each other during the second Republican candidates' debate of the 2024 U.S. presidential campaign at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, U.S. September 27.

Originally Published: 28 SEP 23 06:27 ET

By Alexandra Meeks, CNN

(CNN) — The Senate has unanimously passed a formal dress code, including a coat, tie and slacks for men. The move was seen as reflective, at least in part, of Pennsylvania Democratic Sen. John Fetterman’s preference for wearing shorts and a hoodie on the floor of the chamber.

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

1. GOP debate

Seven Republican candidates faced off Wednesday night in the second primary debate of the 2024 campaign as they strived to be seen as the leading alternative to former President Donald Trump. It was a chaotic and messy two hours as the contenders took aim at President Joe Biden and jostled for time to address some top concerns among American voters. Trump, who remains the GOP’s front-runner, skipped the debate and instead delivered a speech to union workers in Michigan. Despite a handful of memorable moments, analysts say what played out on the debate stage is unlikely to change the trajectory of a GOP race in which Trump has maintained a dominant lead in national and early-state polling.

2. North Korea

American soldier Travis King arrived back on US soil today, weeks after he bolted into North Korea, a Defense Department official said. King, who is now in American custody, flew in on a US military flight and landed in Texas around 1:30 a.m. ET. A CNN camera captured what appears to be King being escorted off the plane by several people. While many questions still remain, such as what prompted King to enter North Korea and whether he will face any disciplinary action, his return marks a rare diplomatic success between Washington and Pyongyang at a time of fraught relations. The 23-year-old is believed to be the first US soldier to cross into North Korea since 1982.

3. Impeachment inquiry

House Republicans are expected to formally open an impeachment inquiry into President Biden today. The anticipated announcement comes amid increasing pressure from House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s right flank to move ahead with the investigation — even though the GOP has so far failed to show any evidence that the president corruptly benefited from his son Hunter’s business dealings. The first hearing is taking place with just three days to reach a spending deal to keep the government open. This means that committees may be seeking information from government agencies where many employees will be furloughed or not prioritizing congressional requests. In other words, issuing subpoenas and hauling in witnesses for interviews or hearings may prove more complicated than usual.

4. Gas prices

Oil prices surged above $94 a barrel on Wednesday for the first time in more than a year, a signal gas prices may increase in the near term. Stockpiles at the closely watched storage hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, have also plunged to nine-year lows. “There’s not a lot of oil there and that’s causing some nervousness,” said Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis at Oil Price Information Service. The national average for a gallon of regular gas currently stands at $3.83, according to AAA. That’s 5 cents below the 2023 high set earlier this month, though several states are seeing much higher prices. According to market analysts, more pain at the pump typically results in less consumer spending elsewhere, which could further drive up inflation.

5. Artificial intelligence

The White House plans to introduce a highly anticipated executive order in the coming weeks dealing with artificial intelligence. The signing of the order, which the Biden administration had first announced in July, would build on an earlier administration proposal for an “AI Bill of Rights.” The set of guidelines is intended to spur tech companies to make and deploy AI more responsibly and limit AI-based surveillance, the administration has said. There are no federal laws specifically regulating AI or applications of AI, such as facial-recognition software, which has been criticized by privacy and digital rights groups for years.

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Article Topic Follows: Politics

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