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1. JAN. 6 PANEL TO FOCUS ON EXTREMISTS
The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection will reconvene today. The hearing is expected to look into the role of extremist organizations in the lead-up to Jan. 6 and during the ensuing violence. More specifically, today’s hearing will examine how far-right groups such as the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers and QAnon "zeroed in'' on Jan. 6 as the last opportunity to keep former President Trump in the White House, despite his loss to Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election. Reps. Stephanie Murphy and Jamie Raskin will lead the hearing, which will be streaming live on Cheddar.com beginning at 1 p.m. ET. CHEDDAR NEWS
2. RUSSIA SMOOTHS PATH TO CITIZENSHIP
Russia’s relentless attack on Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region continues as missiles struck at least 10 cities. The death toll from the weekend’s apartment attack has risen to 30, and the civilian death toll in the province has reached nearly 600. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree that simplifies the process for all Ukrainians to gain Russian citizenship. The streamlined procedure lets Ukrainians obtain Russian passports without having to pass a language exam or prove they are financially self-sustainable. The decree signals Russia’s intention to establish permanent control over Ukrainian territories. LIVE UPDATES
3. BIDEN IN 2024? DEMS AREN’T SO SURE
Roughly 64% of Democratic voters say they would prefer another nominee over President Joe Biden for the 2024 election, according to a New York Times poll. Of that 64%, 33% considered Biden’s age (79) to be their main concern while 32% cited his overall job performance, and 10% said he's not progressive enough. Widespread concerns about the economy — mainly surrounding decades-high levels of inflation — currently put the president’s approval rating at a lowly 33%. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed last month that Biden does indeed plan to run for reelection in 2024. NY TIMES
Boris Johnson can relate.
4. OVER-THE-COUNTER BIRTH CONTROL
Pharmaceutical company HRA Pharma submitted an application with the FDA to sell a birth control pill over the counter rather than via prescription. If approved, HRA Pharma's Opill would be the first OTC birth control pill in the United States. In much of South America, Asia and Africa, birth control pills are already available without a prescription. In the U.S., a prescription has always been required so health professionals can screen for the potential risk of blood clots, though HRA Pharma’s application hopes to convince the FDA that women can safely screen themselves. FDA approval could come next year and would only apply to Opill, though a favorable ruling would set a historic precedent for other drugmakers to follow suit. CHEDDAR NEWS
HRA Pharma is seeking approval for an OTC birth control pill. [AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File]
5. POPULATION NEARS 8 BILLION
Yesterday was World Population Day, a day to raise awareness of global population issues such as its effect on the environment. In commemoration, the United Nations released a report where it said it expects the world’s population to reach 8 billion people on Nov. 15, despite the slowest growth rate since 1950. The U.N. projects the world’s population to grow to around 8.5 billion in 2030, 9.7 billion in 2050 and roughly 10.4 billion people during the 2080s. It also projects that India will replace China as the world’s most populous nation in 2023. After surpassing 7 billion in 2011, the world's current population is about 7.942 billion — and counting. REUTERS
Heading toward our “cruise control” era of populating.
6. MUSK FALLOUT SINKS TWITTER STOCK
Shares of Twitter fell more than 11% on the first day of trading since Elon Musk announced plans to terminate his deal to buy the social media site. More than $2 billion of the company’s market value was wiped out as a result. In response to the Tesla CEO backing out, the higher-ups at Twitter vowed to take Musk to court, claiming his bid to terminate the $44 billion acquisition is “invalid and wrongful.” Musk in turn mocked Twitter by tweeting a meme describing how the company will then have to disclose information about its fake accounts, as the billionaire claimed Twitter’s refusal to disclose that information is the very reason he decided to terminate the merger in the first place. CHEDDAR NEWS
7. TEXAS TIGHT ON ENERGY
From 2 to 8 p.m. yesterday, Texas’ grid operator ERCOT asked residents of the Lone Star State to voluntarily conserve energy in preparation for a potentially dangerous heat wave. The so-called Conservation Appeal comes after ERCOT warned over the weekend that the state’s energy reserves face a possible capacity shortage with “no market solution.” With no extra energy to be purchased, it's now up to citizens to cut back on electricity. The grid operator says the situation is not yet an emergency, but the state's energy system is feeling the strain. Officials say record high demand and low levels of wind energy generation are to blame. CHEDDAR NEWS
Everything’s bigger in Texas … except the energy supply.
8. DEEPEST SPACE VIEW EVER
President Joe Biden was in attendance to unveil the first full-color photo from NASA’s brand new $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope that showed the farthest humanity has ever seen in both time and distance. The telescope will study how the first stars and galaxies formed right after the Big Bang, comparing the galaxies from the past with those of today, and how planetary systems formed. It will also search for any sign of life on other planets. The telescope, the world’s biggest and most powerful, was launched last December before reaching its lookout point 1 million miles from Earth in January. Four more images are set to be released today. ABC NEWS
9. PRIME DAY COMMENCES
Amazon Prime Day returns today, and for the third time, the savings event will be a two-day affair. Last year’s Prime Day saw shoppers spend more modestly than the previous year, dropping an average of $47 in 2021 compared with $55 in 2020. Though historically high inflation rates are plaguing American consumers, it’s unclear whether spending will continue to trend downward. Cheddar News’ Lawrence Banton spoke with smart-shopping expert Trae Bodge about steps consumers can take to ensure they get the best possible deals during this year’s Prime Day. CHEDDAR NEWS
Amazon Prime Days definitely does not have the same ring to it.
10. LEFTOVERS: FREE FRIES
MCDONALD'S: Tomorrow is National French Fry Day, so McDonald’s is giving away free orders of large fries with no purchase necessary. The only caveat is that customers looking for a fry fix must order through the McDonald’s app and be loyalty program members.
WENDY'S: Can’t wait another day? Wendy’s has already begun to roll out Fry Week, where each day this week, customers can get free fries with the purchase of a certain item. If you stop by Wendy’s today, you can enjoy a free medium order of fries with any salad purchased on the app. Head there tomorrow — National French Fry Day — and get any size fries for free with any mobile order purchase. CNN
Parents who bought fries for their kids are eligible for 2-3 handfuls on the drive home.
Q&A with Cheddar Anchor Kate Sands
As Wake Up With Cheddar rolls out its fresh feel, our Q&A series continues today with new Wake Up anchor Kate Sands.
If you’re wondering what the best gadgets on the market are, or looking for an expert opinion on the hottest summer clothes and accessories, you can end your search and start your days with Kate Sands — known on Instagram as HonestlyKate — and Wake Up With Cheddar.
Q: What was life like prior to joining the Cheddar News team?
Kate: I've always had my Instagram, @honestlykate, where I've done partnerships with beauty brands, tech brands, fashion brands, and I still have that. It's really helped me get in the door for so many hosting opportunities; and then I'm also an Amazon Lifestyle host as well as a Today Show correspondent. I'm so excited to be working with Cheddar because I feel like it's more up my alley. I feel like with some of the networks that I've been on, it's a different demographic that's watching. Maybe they're a little bit older than me and so maybe sometimes I'm talking about products and styling that's not as relatable to my audience on Instagram. So I feel like Cheddar is that perfect fit. CHEDDAR NEWS