5 things to know for Aug. 19: Flooding, FBI search, Ukraine, Apple, Mid-air collision
“We have been trying to reach you about your car’s extended warranty.” Chances are you’ve encountered this irritating automated message if you’ve picked up the phone from an unknown caller anytime in the last several years. Well, it turns out that just two men may be responsible for an overwhelming share of the billions of auto-warranty spam calls that have hit US phones, according to state and federal officials — and a new lawsuit is trying to end these robocalls once and for all.
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1. Flash floods
Several parts of the Southwest US are bracing for potentially damaging flash floods today. Nearly 10 million people are under flood watches as excessive rainfall is expected dump 2 to 4 inches across Arizona, New Mexico, and southern Utah. Earlier this week, the Weather Prediction Center issued a rare “moderate risk” (Level 3 out of 4) for today in preparation for the surge of rain expected this weekend. The drought-plagued region is already dealing with a water crisis, so they need the rain, but it may not be as beneficial as you might think. One of the concerns with the upcoming downpours is that they might not surge far enough north or west where the water is needed most: California, Nevada, Oregon, and northern Utah. Roughly 70% of the West remains in some level of drought, down from 90% just three months ago.
2. FBI search
A judge has set in motion the possible public release of a heavily redacted version of the affidavit that permitted FBI agents to search former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence. A document unsealed Thursday offered specifics about the crimes the Justice Department is investigating, including “willful retention of national defense information.” This sharpens the focus on Trump as a possible subject of the criminal probe, several legal experts told CNN. The judge plans to hear more from the Justice Department by next week about how extensively investigators want to keep confidential the document that describes their investigative steps and methods leading to the need for the search.
New video has emerged online showing Russian vehicles inside a turbine hall at a Ukrainian nuclear power plant, where intensified shelling has fueled fears of a nuclear disaster. Kyiv has repeatedly accused Russian forces of storing heavy weaponry inside the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, and using it as cover to launch attacks, knowing that Ukraine can’t return fire without risking hitting one of the plant’s reactors. Moscow, meanwhile, has claimed Ukrainian troops are targeting the site. According to Leon Cizelj, president of the European Nuclear Society, the fighting around the site is unlikely to cause a Chernobyl-sized disaster, but a radioactive problem would mostly affect Ukrainians that live nearby. “If we used past experience, Fukushima could be a comparison of the worst-case scenario,” Cizelj said, referring to the serious but more localized meltdown at the Japanese plant in 2011.
If you own Apple devices, you should probably update them now. Apple is directing users of most of its devices to update their software after the company discovered a vulnerability that gives hackers the ability to take control of a device’s operating system. In security updates posted online, Apple said the vulnerability affects iPhones dating back to the 6S model, iPad 5th generation and later, iPad Air 2 and later, iPad mini 4 and later, all iPad Pro models and the 7th generation iPod touch. The issue also extends to Mac computers running on the company’s various operating systems, Apple said in a separate update. The US government’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has encouraged affected users to “apply the necessary updates as soon as possible.”
5. Mid-air collision
Three people were killed after two small planes crashed mid-air over a California airport on Thursday, authorities said. A single-engine Cessna 152 and a twin-engine Cessna 340 collided during their final descent above the Watsonville Municipal Airport, about an hour’s drive south of San Jose, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. One person was on board the Cessna 152 and two people were on board the Cessna 340, the FAA said. No one was injured on the ground. In a statement, city officials said they were “absolutely saddened to hear about the tragic incident that took the lives of several people.” At this time, it is not clear what caused the two planes to collide.
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Elon Musk’s ‘joke’ causes a stir
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Tim Burton’s ‘Wednesday’ trailer is dark and magical
The Addams Family is back. Here’s the trailer for the upcoming spinoff series “Wednesday” — and it’s very Burton-esque.
NASA is scheduled to launch a historic mission this month that will go beyond the moon and return to Earth. What is the mission called?
A. Artemis 1
B. Apollo 18
C. Goliath 1
D. Webb 18
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That’s how many games the NFL and the NFL Players Association have agreed to suspend Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson for after he was accused of sexual misconduct by more than two dozen women. Watson faces a fine of $5 million and will not be paid during his absence. “I’m moving on with my career and my life, and I’m going to continue to stand on my innocence,” Watson told the media Thursday.
“These videos are private and filmed in a private space. I resent that these became known to the public.”
— Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin, responding to the media Thursday after a private video of her dancing with friends was made public. “We just partied, also in a boisterous way,” Marin said, after the video prompted criticism from political opponents who saw her behavior as unbecoming of a prime minister. The footage shows Finland’s 36-year-old leader and five others posing towards a camera and dancing. Another clip appears to show Marin on the floor, singing toward the camera. Meanwhile, supporters are defending her relaxed behavior: “Why can’t she party after work? Do we expect our leaders not to be human beings?” tweeted a professor in Sweden.
Meet the ‘Graffiti Grandma’ who is scrubbing away hate
Today is World Humanitarian Day, a global celebration of people helping people, according to the UN. Watch this short video of a kind grandmother who made it her mission to cover up hateful graffiti. (Click here to view)
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