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Here are the headlines you Need2Know for Thursday, October 20, 2022:


With midterm elections fewer than three weeks away, President Joe Biden is making another push to show he is doing something about the pain Americans are feeling at the pump. His new plan will release 15 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in December. The plan will refill the reserve, while attempting to boost production, by pledging that the government will step in to buy oil if prices fall to $70 a barrel.


Russian President Vladimir Putin's declaration of martial law took effect in territories Russia has annexed in its war against Ukraine. The order could allow the introduction of censorship and curfews as well as bans on travel and gatherings. Speaking at a meeting of his Security Council, Putin said Russian soldiers in battle and in training camps "should feel our support.” Just under a week ago, 11 Russian soldiers were killed when two gunmen opened fire at a firing range in a Russian border region.


A man who admitted that he oversaw the illegal dumping of industrial waste into the Jackson, Miss., water system pleaded guilty in federal court, where an EPA special agent said the man's actions helped put "millions of gallons of untreated industrial waste into the Jackson water system." The city lifted its boil-water notice in September, but many residents are wary after years of problems with the city's water.


The only drug approved by the FDA to prevent preterm birth does not work and should be pulled from the market, according to an advisory panel whose recommendations are usually followed by the agency's commissioner. Makena was approved through the FDA's accelerated approval program for drugs 11 years ago, but studies since then have shown it works no better than a placebo. A panel member who voted to pull the drug decried the lack of an effective treatment for preterm birth, which happens to one in 10 newborns in the U.S. but more than 14% of infants born to African American mothers: “The inequities that exist and the state of neonatal morbidity — for mothers it’s just painful on so many levels."


The board of budget carrier Spirit Airlines has approved a takeover bid from JetBlue, an acquisition that would create the fifth-largest U.S. airline. But just like which seat you'll get on a Spirit Airlines flight, the acquisition is still far from certain. The Biden administration's Justice Department, which has prioritized antitrust enforcement, has already been fighting in court to stop JetBlue and American Airlines from a partnership in the Northeast U.S. The administration argues that sharing revenue, customers and airport gates makes it a pseudo-merger that reduces competition.
Biden admin: Spooked by Spirit.


Gasoline, soda, pretzels … and cannabis? Soon, Florida residents will be able to get them all at Circle K, which will open 10 locations starting next year in partnership with a Chicago cannabis producer. Only medical cannabis is legal in Florida, though, so customers of the forthcoming Rise Express dispensaries will need to show a valid medical cannabis card and enter through a separate door, reports Cheddar News' Chloe Aiello.

7. TOYS 'R' US

After five difficult years that saw a bankruptcy, the closure of all its stores, and a reboot thwarted by the pandemic, Toys "R" Us is betting it can once more become the place kids want to drag their parents. This time, though, it won't be to a dedicated Toys "R" Us store, but at holiday-season shops inside more than 100 Macy's stores, reports Cheddar News' Michelle Castillo. The holiday shopping forecast is in their favor: The National Retail Federation expects holiday shopping to increase up to 4% over 2021.
Brighter days ahead for Geoffrey the Giraffe?


A bill that would outlaw discrimination based on hair texture and style languished in Congress for three years until the House passed it. Now SAG-AFTRA is calling on the Senate to finish the job and pass the CROWN Act, reports Cheddar News' Lawrence Banton. Kerry Washington, Rosario Dawson and Don Cheadle were among the prominent actors signing the open letter from the entertainment workers union, which said that opportunity in Hollywood is still unequal, especially in hair and makeup roles.


Today's headlines each feature an element of the historical. Anna May Wong, a star from Hollywood's Golden Age, will become the first Asian American woman featured on the U.S. quarter. Meanwhile, major TV networks are acknowledging that their own Golden Age has passed by considering handing local affiliates the reins to primetime programming schedules, hoping that they'll have a better shot at drawing viewers back from streaming platforms. Continuing the historical theme: Although the Olivia Wilde-Jason Sudeikis relationship has been over for some time, the past relationship continues to produce drama ... now, over Wilde's homemade salad dressing.

10. $300,000 HAPPY MEAL TOY?

You thought 9.62% on a savings bond is a good investment? Some McDonald's customers think they can do a lot better than that on eBay by reselling the fast food's new throwback Happy Meal toys. One person has listed the Cactus Buddy collectible — which you can obtain in New York City for $12.95, the price of an adult Happy Meal — at $300,000.95. Someone has to actually buy it for the investment to pay off, but maybe they know something we don't.


On Cheddar News' latest What the Tok? segment, the Trending team tries out a viral recipe for carrot hot dogs and puts a hack for crying-free-onion cutting to the test.