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Here are the headlines you Need2Know for Wednesday, August 17, 2022:

1. INFLATION REDUCTION ACT

President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law Tuesday. The signature bill focuses on fighting climate change, improving health care and paying down the federal deficit. At the signing he pointed out the partisan fighting that surrounded the bill: "In this historic moment, Democrats sided with the American people, and every single Republican in the Congress sided with the special interests in this vote."
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2. FIRST LADY HAS COVID

Jill Biden missed the signing after she tested positive for COVID-19. Her team says she is experiencing mild symptoms and is taking the antiviral drug Paxlovid while in isolation. Her husband, the president, just got over the virus after experiencing a rebound case. Still, he's planning to wear a mask for the next 10 days to be safe. (FWIW, he wore the mask into the bill signing, but removed it when he made his remarks.)

3. MIDTERM ELECTIONS

REPUBLICANS: Rep. Liz Cheney lost her Wyoming primary in a landslide to opponent Harriet Hageman, who won the endorsement of former President Donald Trump. The endorsement wasn't much of a surprise — Cheney, a longtime establishment Republican, is the lead GOP member on the Jan. 6 Committee investigating the insurrection. In Alaska, Sarah Palin advanced to the November election in a ranked-choice vote to fill the state’s lone House seat.
Cheney accepts defeat but vows to continue her fight against Trump. [AP Photo/Jae C. Hong]
CANNABIS: Cannabis is coming to the ballot box. Voters in Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Oklahoma could vote on adult use or medical cannabis legalization in November’s midterm elections. It could represent a red wave of cannabis legalization, an issue polling shows is increasingly bipartisan, Cheddar News reported.

4. CRIMEA EXPLOSIONS

Ukraine is suspected of attacking an ammunition depot in the port region of Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014. It's the second such attack in about a week and would mark a major uptick in the war that has dragged on for nearly six months, but Ukraine has not yet taken responsibility. Crimea is a strategic stronghold for Russia due to its location on the Black Sea where it offers security benefits and access to a warm water port in the dead of winter.

5. WESTERN DROUGHT

Arizona and Nevada will have added restrictions on the amount of water they can take from the Colorado River for the second year in a row. The news comes as officials predict water levels at the largest U.S. reservoir, Lake Mead, will drop even more. The Western U.S. has been dealing with an extreme drought, and the new limits on water consumption will force those states to make hard choices between supplying cities or agriculture.
A formerly sunken boat sits high and dry along the shoreline of Lake Mead. [AP Photo/John Locher, File]

6. HOUSING CONSTRUCTION SLOWS

In another sign that the booming housing market of recent years is taking a breather, the number of homes that began construction in July dropped 9.6%, and building permits issued fell 1.3% from June. This comes just one day after a closely watched housing index fell into negative territory, and the head of the National Association of Home Builders said the industry is in a recession
Maybe it's time for Sears to bring back DIY home-building kits.

7. THE RETURN OF SUPERSONIC JETS

American Airlines is betting big on ultrafast planes. The company has struck a deal to purchase 20 planes from Boom Supersonic, with an option to buy 40 more. These jets are capable of traveling at supersonic speeds, or about twice as fast as most commercial planes. Of course, this wouldn't be the first time supersonic airliners have taken to the skies, but the famous Concorde was retired back in 2003.
At least if the planes travel faster, we'll spend less time squished in the tiny seats.

8. OTC HEARING AIDS

Some good news for the hearing-impaired: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a rule that will make it possible to purchase hearing aids like any other over-the-counter medical device or drug. The landmark decision has been years in the making but was prodded along by President Joe Biden through an executive order aimed at lowering health care costs. The rule will go into effect in mid-October.
No more pretending we can't hear our spouses ask us to take out the trash.

9. EZRA MILLER MENTAL HEALTH

Troubled actor Ezra Miller says they are seeking help for their mental health struggles. Last week The Flash actor was arrested on felony burglary charges stemming from a May incident in Vermont. In a statement to Variety, they said, "I am committed to doing the necessary work to get back to a healthy, safe and productive stage in my life." Warner Bros. says it is committed to releasing Miller’s The Flash, a standalone Justice League film that has finished principal photography, next summer.

10. IN ENTERTAINMENT

'HUNGER GAMES': Viola Davis is set to channel her inner villain in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, a prequel film to the Hunger Games series. Volumnia Gaul is the evil mastermind behind the games, and fans will get to watch as she molds a young Coriolanus Snow into the cruel and manipulating president of Panem. The movie is slated for a November 2023 release.
CHEDDAR SONGSTER: Singer/songwriter Jake Miller performs his song "8 Tattoos" on Cheddar News!
MORE ENTERTAINMENT: In other entertainment news, it's been a few days since we last provided you with a Beyoncé update. Queen Bey is sitting comfortably at the top of Billboard's Hot 100 for the second week in a row. Also, Adele reveals what really led to the cancellation of her Las Vegas residency, and the Academy finally issues an apology after 50 years.
50 years for an apology? 

11. GOOGLE DOODLE WINNER

High schooler Sophie Araque-Liu is the latest winner of Google's annual doodle competition. Each year the tech giant asks the public to submit their best themed drawings to be considered for Google's search homepage. This year's theme was “I care for myself by…” In a description of her work, which shows two people embracing, Araque-Liu said being able to open up to others is a huge stress reliever. 
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NYC REVEALED: SECRETS OF THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING

While the Empire State Building no longer holds the crown as the tallest building in New York City, its iconic stature has remained the focal point of the city's sprawling skyline. Cheddar News' NYC Revealed series takes a deep dive into the landmark building's rise to acclaim, its physical transformations, and how it continues to be the staple and identifying marker of the Big Apple after nearly 100 years.