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

Here’s what you need to know to Level up and get on with your day.

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1. Asset

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

2. Monkeypox

Research released by the CDC on Wednesday offered new insights into the ways the monkeypox virus can spread. While most cases in the current outbreak have been linked to sexual activity, some people have tested positive following close, non-sexual contact with others at crowded gatherings and events, according to the researchers. CDC guidelines state that “monkey pox can be spread to anyone” through close contact, which is often skin-to-skin, as well as through intimate contact. The latest data from the CDC shows that there are more 13,500 total confirmed monkeypox cases in the United States, with the highest number of cases in New York, California and Florida.

3.Ukraine

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

4. Electric vehicles

Electric vehicle buyers may once again become eligible for a significant tax credit due to the new Inflation Reduction Act. The previous tax credit offered $7,500 to buyers of new electric vehicles until their automaker reached a limit of 200,000 tax credits. Now automakers no longer have a 200,000 limit. But to be eligible for $7,500, the vehicles — and many of their components — must be assembled in North America. The new law, which comes into full 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 truck or SUV must not exceed $80,000, and other vehicles such as sedans must not exceed $55,000. Additionally, a buyer’s income must not exceed $150,000 if single or $300,000 if married.

5. Kabul

An explosion erupted inside a mosque during Wednesday evening prayers 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 the health organization Emergencies. Officials do not yet know who was responsible or the motivation behind the explosion. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid confirmed there were dead and injured civilians, but did not say how many. He tweeted that the Taliban government “strongly condemns” the explosion and vowed that the perpetrators of “these crimes will be arrested and punished for their heinous acts”.

BROWSE

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 more than 30,000 fans this week for a candlelight vigil in honor of her late husband.

Airbnb is rolling out ‘anti-party technology’

Sorry partygoers… Airbnb is rolling out new technology to help enforce its ban on all large gatherings.

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

Forget traditional hangers. Kanye West wants his clothes sold in trash bags on the store floor. Check out one of the displays here.

Scientists discover an 8 km wide underwater crater

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

Japan wants young people to drink more alcohol

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

NUMBER OF THE DAY

$650.6 million

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

QUOTE OF THE DAY

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

— Former Vice President Mike Pence, saying Wednesday that he would consider testifying before the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol if invited. “It would be unprecedented in history for a vice president to be called to testify on Capitol Hill,” Pence said, while hinting at possible 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.

TODAY’S WEATHER

Check your local forecast here>>>

AND FINALLY

Raccoon demonstrates problem solving skills

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

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