5 things to know for Sept. 18: Lee aftermath, Government shutdown, Strikes, UN, Libya

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The 2024 Republican presidential candidates are amplifying their heated rhetoric ahead of the second GOP primary debate next week. Former Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday significantly escalated his campaign attacks against his former boss, saying former President Donald Trump is “willing to ignore” America’s debt crises and other urgent issues.

Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.

1. Lee aftermath

Post-tropical cyclone Lee is forecast to gradually weaken early this week before moving back out into the Atlantic Ocean. Over the weekend, the storm knocked out power to tens of thousands of people across the East Coast and Atlantic Canada. Officials in Florida announced at least one death has been attributed to the conditions spurred by Lee. In Maine, where winds reached over 80 mph, more than 90,000 customers were left in the dark Saturday, and photos from across the state showed toppled trees near homes and on roadways. President Joe Biden has authorized the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA to coordinate disaster relief and assistance.

2. Government shutdown

Congress is facing a spending deadline at the end of the month and lawmakers are acknowledging that a government shutdown may be inevitable. A group of Republicans finalized a tentative deal on a short-term spending plan over the weekend, but several GOP hardliners blasted the agreement Sunday night, leaving House Republicans once again at a major impasse on spending. The bill would impose cuts across departments instead of keeping the government funded at current levels. It also does not include the White House request for $40 billion in supplemental funding for natural disasters and the war in Ukraine, which Senate leaders in both parties desire. Even if it passes the House, the bill will certainly be rejected by the Democratic-controlled Senate, meaning Congress is no closer to avoiding a government shutdown.

3. Strikes

The United Auto Workers’ strike against General Motors, Ford and Stellantis has entered its fourth day. This is the first time that union members have struck all three US automakers at the same time. Negotiations continued over the weekend between UAW and the Big Three automakers, but the union warned they could call for additional strikes this week if their demands are not met. “We’re prepared to do whatever we have to do,” UAW president Shawn Fain said Sunday on CBS. “These companies have made a quarter of a trillion dollars in the last 10 years — $21 billion in the last six months alone — and our workers’ wages and conditions have went backwards.” The auto strike comes amid a growing movement of US workers walking off the job, from Hollywood writers and actors to factory workers and Starbucks baristas.

4. United Nations

World leaders are meeting in New York City starting today for the UN General Assembly. The pressing topics at hand include Russia’s war in Ukraine, lethal floods in Libya, multiple coups on the African continent, North versus South economic funding, violence in Haiti, and climate change, to name a few. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is also planning to use an in-person appearance at the meetings to appeal for more support. Notably, President Biden will be the only leader of the permanent five members of the UN Security Council to attend. Nevertheless, dozens of other chiefs of delegations will stand at the podium to deliver remarks for their nations. If you’d like to be a UN observer, tune into UNTV on Tuesday, when Brazil kicks off the speechmaking followed by the US, Ukraine and Cuba, among others.

5. Libya floods

The UN has revised its previous death toll from the floods in Libya as crews race to provide aid to thousands of those impacted. Around 4,000 people have died across Libya, the UN said Sunday, a significant decrease from Saturday’s initial report that said at least 11,300 people died in Derna, the epicenter of the disaster. The UN cited the Libyan Red Crescent with the conflicting figures for Saturday’s report and said the numbers for the death toll are fluid. Experts say the impact of Storm Daniel was greatly exacerbated by a confluence of factors including aging, crumbling infrastructure, inadequate warnings and the accelerating climate crisis.py


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