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5 things to know for August 18: Trump, Monkeypox, Ukraine, Electric vehicles, Kabul

By Alexandra Meeks, CNN

Flying this summer has been rough, but smoother skies could be ahead. Some travel experts say the fall travel season will bring a drop in airfare prices and flight disruptions. So, consider booking your holiday trips soon because after a short window of time, prices will start to rise quickly as we head toward Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Here’s what 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. Trump

Former President Donald Trump is considering releasing surveillance footage of FBI agents searching his Mar-a-Lago residence. Some of Trump’s aides and allies have encouraged him to make some of the footage available to the public, believing it could send a jolt of energy through the Republican Party’s base, a person close to Trump told CNN. However, others in Trump’s orbit have cautioned that releasing the footage could backfire by providing people with a visual understanding of the sheer volume of materials that federal agents seized, including classified materials. Separately, Allen Weisselberg, the former chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, is expected to plead guilty today to a 15-year tax fraud scheme. He will likely serve about 100 days behind bars, a person familiar with the matter said.

2. Monkeypox

Research published by the CDC Wednesday offered new insight into ways the monkeypox virus may be spreading. While most cases in the current outbreak have been linked to sexual activity, some people have tested positive following close, nonsexual contact with others at crowded gatherings and events, according to the researchers. CDC guidance says “monkeypox can spread to anyone” through close contact, which is often skin-to-skin, as well as intimate contact. The latest CDC data shows there are more than 13,500 total confirmed monkeypox cases in the US, with the highest number of cases in New York, California, and Florida.

3. Ukraine

Seven people were killed and 20 others wounded in a Russian rocket attack on an apartment building in northeastern Ukraine today, officials in the region said. “This is an act of intimidation, genocide,” Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov said, emphasizing there was “no justification” for the strike. This comes as Russia is suffering heavy losses among troops in Ukraine, but the true number of casualties has not been disclosed. Russia is also dealing with a population crisis: statistics show the country’s population shrank by an average of 86,000 people per month between January and May, a record. In response, Russian President Vladimir Putin this week revived a Soviet-era “Mother Heroine” award for women with more than 10 children. The award is a payment of 1 million rubles ($16,500) for Russian mothers once their 10th child turns 1.

4. Electric vehicles

Buyers of electric vehicles may become eligible for a significant tax credit once again due to the newly signed Inflation Reduction Act. The previous tax credit offered $7,500 for new electric vehicle buyers until their automaker hit a 200,000 limit in tax credits. Now, automakers no longer have a 200,000 limit. But in order to be eligible for as much as $7,500, the vehicles — and many of their components — must be assembled in North America. The new law, which fully takes effect on January 1, 2023, also imposes new restrictions on the price of vehicles, as well as limits on the income of the buyer. Under the new system, the MSRP of a pickup or SUV must not be over $80,000, and other vehicles like sedans must not surpass $55,000. Also, a buyer’s income must not exceed $150,000 if single or $300,000 if married.


An explosion erupted inside a mosque during evening prayers on Wednesday in Kabul, Afghanistan, killing 21 people and injuring 33 others. The explosion, which injured several children, took place in the north of the capital, according to health care organization Emergency. Officials do not yet know who was responsible or the motivation behind the blast. Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid confirmed there were dead and wounded civilians but did not say how many. He tweeted that the Taliban government “strongly condemns” the explosion, and vowed the perpetrators of “such crimes will be caught and punished for their heinous deeds.”


Priscilla Presley remembers Elvis on the 45th anniversary of his death

Presley, who was married to the king of rock and roll, was joined by over 30,000 fans this week for a candlelight vigil to honor her late husband.

Airbnb rolls out ‘anti-party technology’

Sorry party people… Airbnb is deploying a new technology to help enforce its ban on all large gatherings.

Kanye West’s Yeezy Gap clothes are being displayed in giant trash bags

Forget traditional hangers. Kanye West wants his clothes to be sold in trash bags around the shop’s floor. Check out one of the displays here.

Scientists discover a 5-mile wide undersea crater

A massive crater was found off the coast of West Africa. No, it wasn’t caused by the asteroid that doomed the dinosaurs, but scientists say it did slam into the Earth’s surface around the same time.

Japan wants young people to drink more alcohol

Yes, you read that correctly. The Japanese government has launched a contest to find new ways to encourage young people to drink more because the country’s alcohol sales and liquor tax revenues have plummeted.


$650.6 million

That’s how much Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens must pay to two Ohio counties for damages related to the opioid crisis, a federal judge ruled Wednesday. All three companies were found liable for their role in the opioid epidemic in both Lake and Trumbull counties last November. The counties alleged that the pharmacies “abused their position of special trust and responsibility” as registered dispensers of controlled drugs, and in so doing “fostered a black market for prescription opioids,” the complaint reads. Spokespersons for Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens all said they plan to appeal the ruling.


“If there was an invitation to participate, I would consider it.”

— Former Vice President Mike Pence, saying Wednesday he would consider testifying before the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol if invited. “It would be unprecedented in history for a vice president to be summoned to testify on Capitol Hill,” Pence said, while hinting at potential executive privilege issues. Although Pence said it would be “unprecedented” for a vice president to be asked to testify on Capitol Hill, presidents and vice presidents have testified before Congress in the past.


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Raccoon demonstrates problem-solving skills

Watch this clever raccoon complete an obstacle course for treats. This little rascal is smarter than you may think! (Click here to view)

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