5 things to know for Sept. 20: Storms, Immigration, UN, Interest rates, Mexico quake
Many Americans think $2 bills are rare or have gone out of circulation, but that’s a misconception. The Treasury Department’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing will churn out more than 200 million $2 bills this year. However, there are several reasons why the notes never took off — one being the widespread superstition that they were bad luck.
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Three powerful storms are wreaking havoc around the world, prompting officials to issue urgent alerts and evacuation orders. In the Dominican Republic, more than 1 million people are without running water today after Hurricane Fiona ripped through the country. That’s after the storm wreaked havoc across Puerto Rico, leaving the island in a blackout. Damage assessments are still being compiled, but some residents said the flooding and mudslides in the region are reminiscent of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria in 2017 — which caused tens of billions of dollars in damage. In Alaska, extreme winds and a storm surge from the remnants of a typhoon were powerful enough to uproot buildings. And in southern Japan, Typhoon Nanmadol has killed at least two people and injured more than 120 others.
US Customs and Border Protection encounters along the US-Mexico border have already topped 2 million so far this fiscal year, according to newly released agency data, with migration from countries like Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba driving the numbers up. Republican governors who are critical of the Biden administration’s immigration policies have taken credit for busing or flying a large number of migrants from the southern border north to liberal enclaves across the US. Now, amid growing criticism from Democratic lawmakers and humanitarian organizations, a Texas sheriff said Monday that his agency will open an investigation into the recent transportation of 48 Venezuelan migrants from the state to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. New York City officials also said they are examining their legal options to respond to the waves of asylum seekers that continue to arrive in the city.
3. United Nations
The United Nations General Assembly is back in New York this week after three years of leaders speaking by video due to the global pandemic. A total of 193 UN member countries will use this time to deliberate in person about pressing world challenges. As anticipated, the invasion of Ukraine by Russia is casting a shadow over the entire gathering. “The General Assembly is meeting at a time of great peril,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said at a press conference last week. “Geostrategic divides are the widest they have been since at least the Cold War,” he added. The General Assembly comes as the majority of UN members strongly oppose Russia’s war in Ukraine, and Western countries will likely use their official speeches to bash Moscow. Meanwhile, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky will be the only world leader to speak by video, as he is occupied by the war in his country.
4. Interest rates
Financial markets are on edge as the Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting begins today. The big announcement is expected on Wednesday as the Fed will almost certainly raise rates by three-quarters of a point for the third consecutive time, or it will hike them by an unprecedented full percentage point. But what happens after that is anybody’s guess. Wall Street is divided on whether the Fed will keep hiking rates aggressively in November, or if inflation pressures will cool enough to allow the central bank to slow the pace for a bit. This comes as inflation is undoubtedly a major problem and amid worries that the stock market, which has already had a dismal 2022, could be in for more prolonged pain.
5. Mexico earthquake
A powerful 7.7-magnitude earthquake rocked the southwestern coast of Mexico on Monday, killing at least one person, with shaking reported as far away as Mexico City. The earthquake’s epicenter occurred in a sparsely populated region of Michoacan state, according to US Geological Survey data. A tsunami warning was initially issued immediately after the quake but has since been revised. Waves reaching up to 9.8 feet were earlier predicted to hit Mexico and occur along the Pacific coasts of Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and Peru. The news came on the fifth anniversary of the 2017 earthquake that killed 216 people in Mexico City.
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hat’s how many hours of flight experience are required of new airline pilots. Regional airline Republic Airways had asked the FAA to loosen commercial pilot hiring standards in order to tackle the global pilot shortage, but the request — which drew immense union opposition — was denied Monday after the agency determined that existing safety regulations should remain in place.
“These types of actions go against everything the university stands for, and it goes against the spirit of competition. We can and will do better as a campus community that has no place for hate, bias or bigotry.”
— The University of Oregon, issuing an apology after some students yelled a bigoted chant during a recent football game against Utah’s Brigham Young University. Videos of the incident made by a BYU fan show Oregon fans chanting “F**k the Mormons” repeatedly. Several state officials in Utah and Oregon have condemned the hateful speech. The incident is being investigated by university officials.
Life at 18,000 feet
Don’t forget to stop and enjoy the view. This cross-country paraglider flies over stunning places around the world with only a “modified bed sheet and strings.” (Click here to view)
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