If you plan to make a Starbucks run today, your hot drinks will look a bit different. The company is debuting its holiday cups, an annual tradition dating back to 1997 that unofficially rings in the season for the chain’s fervent fans.
Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.
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In an urgent appeal to American voters, President Joe Biden delivered a sharp message Wednesday to those considering sitting out next week’s midterm elections. “We can’t take democracy for granted any longer,” he said, emphasizing that the very future of the country is at stake. Biden added that there are candidates running “who won’t commit to accepting the results of the elections they’re in,” and warned that targeted political violence might ensue if candidates refuse to concede. Biden’s message comes as Democratic enthusiasm about voting is significantly lower than it was in 2018, according to a new CNN poll. Four years ago, 44% of Democratic registered voters said they were extremely enthusiastic about voting; now, just 24% say the same. Meanwhile, an enthusiastic Republican base has placed the GOP in a strong position in the race for control of the House of Representatives.
Russia’s repeated attacks on critical infrastructure in Ukraine prompted emergency power outages and restrictions today, according to national energy company Ukrenergo. This week alone, attacks in several regions of Ukraine have left millions without electricity and water intermittently. Additionally, the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant – the largest power plant in Europe – was again disconnected from Ukraine’s power grid today due to Russian shelling that damaged the remaining high-voltage lines, officials said. The Zaporizhzhia plant has been subject to intense scrutiny since its occupation shortly after Russia’s invasion in February. Intense shelling near the facility this summer sparked concerns of a potential nuclear accident.
3. Interest rates
The Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate on Wednesday as part of its aggressive battle to bring down the inflation that is plaguing the US economy. The supersized hike brings the central bank’s benchmark lending rate to a new target range of 3.75% to 4%. Economists say this decision marks the Fed’s toughest policy move since the 1980s and will likely deepen the economic pain for millions of American businesses and households by pushing up the cost of borrowing even further. Also, when the overnight bank lending rate – known as Fed funds rate – goes up, various lending rates that banks offer their customers tend to follow. So, you can expect to see a hike in your credit card interest rates within a few statements.
Former President Donald Trump filed a lawsuit to try to stop the New York attorney general from obtaining records from the trust that owns the Trump Organization. The civil lawsuit was filed hours after a New York judge denied an effort to move New York Attorney General Letitia James’ $250 million lawsuit against Trump, his eldest children and others into another division of New York State court. Trump is seeking an injunction to block James from gaining information about the trust because he said James would “publicly disclose the information once obtained,” Trump alleged in the lawsuit. Trump and James are due in court today for the first hearing since the lawsuit alleging fraud by the Trumps and their business was filed.
5. World Series
For just the second time in World Series history, a no-hitter was thrown as the Houston Astros defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 4. The best-of-seven series is now tied at 2-2. In Game 4, pitcher Cristian Javier started for the Astros, tossing six innings of no-hit ball, striking out nine and walking two. He threw a stunning 97 pitches before being relieved. Bryan Abreu and Rafael Montero each pitched a perfect inning before Ryan Pressly closed out the Phillies in the ninth at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. The only previous no-hitter in 118 years of World Series history occurred in 1956. “We’ve not finished the job yet, but this is very, very special for us. And when we get old we’re going to remember this,” Astros catcher Christian Vazquez said.
Powerball jackpot to reach an estimated $1.5 billion
No winning tickets were sold for Wednesday’s Powerball drawing, increasing the jackpot to one of the largest in US history. Welp, on to the next round…
See Robert Downey Jr.’s kids shave his head for upcoming role
The “Iron Man” actor enlisted the help of his kids to help prep for a new role. Watch the video here.
A huge tunnel has opened below Niagara Falls
Tourists can now walk out onto a platform to view Niagara Falls. Take a look at the attraction that was previously off-limits to visitors.
This is the new world’s best cheese
After narrowing it down to some brie-lliant finalists, this beloved cheese ended up beating more than 4,400 competitors.
Miss Argentina and Miss Puerto Rico reveal that they’re married
These two beauty queens appeared to be close friends on social media. What fans didn’t know is they were secretly dating the whole time.
1.5 degrees Celsius
That’s how much our planet needs to limit global warming to avoid surpassing a key tipping point beyond which the risk of extreme drought, wildfires, floods and food shortages will increase dramatically, the UN says. Researchers say one of the most visible indicators of climate change is its effect on Earth’s iconic glaciers, a major source of freshwater supply. Glaciers have been melting at an extreme pace in recent decades, leading to around 20% of sea level rise since 2000.
Today, CNN is holding the second annual Call to Earth Day. Join us for a special day of coverage on TV, digital and our social media channels as we celebrate a planet worth protecting.
“The United States believes that no nation that systematically abuses the rights of women and girls should play a role in any international or United Nations body charged with protecting these very same rights.”
–Vice President Kamala Harris, announcing Wednesday that the US will work to remove Iran from the UN Commission on the Status of Women. The effort to evict Iran from the 45-member intergovernmental body comes as the Iranian government has tried to suppress nationwide protests following the death of Mahsa Amini. The 22-year-old died after being detained by Iranian police for apparently not wearing her hijab correctly. Meanwhile, Iran has charged about 1,000 people for their alleged involvement in the protests and plans to hold public trials over the coming days.
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Colorful time-lapse of hot air balloons
Sit back and watch this relaxing time-lapse of hundreds of air balloons take to the skies. (Click here to view)