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5 things to know for July 23: Abortion, Afghanistan, coronavirus, economy, Cuba

5 things to know for July 23: Abortion, Afghanistan, coronavirus, economy, Cuba

Posted: Jul 23, 2021 7:21 AM
Updated: Jul 23, 2021 7:21 AM

Water thieves are running rampant during California's drought, sometimes tapping into fire hydrants and waterlines to make off with truckloads.

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

(You can also get "5 Things You Need to Know Today" delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

1. Abortion

Mississippi's attorney general has urged the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision legalizing abortion nationwide prior to viability, which can occur at around 24 weeks of pregnancy. Attorney General Lynn Fitch called the 1973 decision "egregiously wrong" and asked the high court to allow a controversial Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks to go into effect. The case reignites the debate surrounding abortion and comes as other states, emboldened by the conservative SCOTUS majority, are increasingly passing restrictive abortion-related regulations. Mississippi's Gestational Age Act was passed in 2018 but was blocked in federal court. Now that the state has asked the Supreme Court to overturn precedent, all eyes will be on conservative justices to see how far they'll go.

2. Afghanistan

The United Nations is warning that the threat from jihadi terror groups is expanding, suggesting they thrive where pressure against them is waning. In Afghanistan, where the US is wrapping up its military withdrawal, the UN warns of a potential "further deterioration" in the security situation. In recent months, the US has made efforts to mitigate the potentially dangerous side effects of the withdrawal. The House just approved legislation to expand and streamline a visa program for Afghan translators and other personnel who worked with the US military and are now trying to leave Afghanistan. This week, the US military carried out two strikes against the Taliban in support of Afghan forces to target captured equipment.

3. Coronavirus

Biden administration officials are ramping up the urgency of their messaging on Covid-19 as the dangerous Delta variant continues to spread. The administration is also sending $100 million to rural health clinics to boost vaccine education and access, and it's using another $1.6 billion in the American Rescue Plan for testing and other resources in high-risk areas. Only 48.8% of the US population is fully vaccinated, and the seven-day average pace of full vaccinations is around 252,000 -- far below the 500,000 daily average seen at the beginning of July.

4. Economy

Soaring inflation, rising prices and the threat of another Covid-19 surge are threatening the US economic recovery, and now lawmakers in Washington are facing another hurdle: the debt ceiling. If Congress doesn't raise it, the federal government will likely run out of cash by October or November, according to the Congressional Budget Office. A default would be disastrous because of the nation's strong fiscal reputation. It would also send markets tumbling and lift borrowing costs. Meanwhile, the CDC's national eviction moratorium is about to expire at the end of the month, which could lead to millions of renters losing their homes. The employment story isn't rosy either. Unemployment claims unexpectedly jumped last week to the highest level since mid-May.

5. Cuba

The Biden administration has sanctioned a key Cuban official and a government special forces unit known as the Boinas Negras for human rights abuses, marking the administration's first significant response to historic protests that have gripped the island nation. The Boinas Negras is an elite Cuban special forces unit that the government has deployed to crack down on protesters. Some Cuban-American groups and lawmakers have called on the administration to provide a strong response to the unrest, and Biden says this week's sanctions are just the start. Protests broke out in Cuba this month amid economic turmoil and a worsening pandemic crisis.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Crocs sues Walmart, Hobby Lobby and others for allegedly copying its popular shoe

Often imitated, never duplicated.

You may be waiting longer for your Domino's pizza

The first rule of pizza delivery: Don't wait until after you're already hungry to order the pizza. That way lies suffering.

Twitter is having an inexplicably awesome 2021

Since we can't yell at each other in person as much, guess we're just doing it online.

There will probably be a shortage of back-to-school supplies

Don't get stuck clamoring over the last ugly backpack in the store.

Cockatoos in Australia have taught each other how to open trash can lids for forbidden feasts

We'd be angry if we weren't so impressed (and if they didn't look so darn proud of themselves!)

TODAY'S NUMBER

18

That's how many states have enacted new laws that make it harder to vote, according to a new tally by the liberal-leaning Brennan Center for Justice that tracks state activity through July 14.

TODAY'S QUOTE

"This is going to enable us to provide more help and support to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, trafficking and other crimes all across America."

President Biden, during the signing of the VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act of 2021, a bipartisan bill that aims to provide assistance for crime victims, including counseling expenses, medical bills and lost wages.

OLYMPICS UPDATE

The opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics starts at 7 a.m. ET (that's 8 p.m. local time). French President Emmanuel Macron and first lady Jill Biden are there, along with about 950 other VIPs.

Follow the latest Olympic updates and highlights here.

TODAY'S WEATHER

Check your local forecast here>>>

AND FINALLY

Do it again, human!

If you've never seen an eel being pet before, today is your lucky day! (Click here to view.)

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

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Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1582392

Reported Deaths: 26884
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook60726610902
DuPage1026891351
Will862101080
Lake761221053
Kane65145838
Winnebago38503541
Madison37519564
St. Clair34621558
McHenry32619311
Peoria25609359
Champaign25478182
Sangamon24108264
McLean21470203
Tazewell19477326
Rock Island17502342
Kankakee16409232
Kendall15177104
LaSalle14258273
Macon14134230
Vermilion12805180
Adams12525147
DeKalb11460126
Williamson11116152
Whiteside7759176
Boone753381
Jackson748379
Coles7121109
Ogle699985
Grundy690481
Clinton673597
Franklin658994
Knox6439163
Marion6392135
Macoupin629997
Henry604172
Jefferson5933130
Effingham580980
Livingston560294
Woodford548291
Stephenson534088
Randolph517096
Monroe501098
Morgan477995
Fulton475369
Christian474980
Logan471373
Montgomery459776
Lee452456
Bureau421687
Perry407770
Saline393562
Iroquois389170
Fayette385256
McDonough350855
Jersey318753
Douglas301236
Shelby296943
Crawford294030
Union292445
Lawrence291031
Wayne263956
White259229
Richland254052
Hancock250934
Pike249456
Cass245628
Bond241524
Clark241038
Ford232755
Clay230547
Edgar226844
Carroll223637
Warren218655
Johnson207821
Moultrie206730
Washington203827
Jo Daviess201624
Greene197738
Mason194551
Wabash193715
Massac192643
De Witt191230
Piatt188314
Mercer185434
Cumberland172423
Menard154112
Jasper148718
Marshall132721
Hamilton125720
Brown10127
Pulaski96711
Schuyler9568
Edwards94015
Stark75426
Gallatin7214
Scott6885
Alexander66011
Calhoun6342
Henderson62614
Hardin55413
Putnam5414
Pope4685
Unassigned1192432
Out of IL80

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 918230

Reported Deaths: 15011
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1252491952
Lake623371084
Allen52301746
Hamilton43009443
St. Joseph41155584
Elkhart32831485
Vanderburgh29698436
Tippecanoe26442247
Johnson23106414
Hendricks21708338
Porter21255340
Clark16988222
Madison16899378
Vigo15562272
Monroe14186190
LaPorte13961235
Delaware13613215
Howard13531258
Kosciusko11150134
Hancock10534159
Warrick10431174
Bartholomew10233166
Floyd10099202
Wayne9557216
Grant8858194
Morgan8654158
Boone8231109
Dubois7521123
Henry7391126
Dearborn734186
Noble7208100
Marshall7168127
Cass7060117
Lawrence6803150
Jackson638980
Shelby6386106
Gibson5999105
Harrison587984
Huntington586490
Montgomery5663101
DeKalb555691
Knox532999
Miami523183
Clinton522464
Putnam519067
Whitley509851
Steuben480267
Wabash470192
Jasper465760
Jefferson456091
Ripley439074
Adams435565
Daviess4008106
Scott389563
White383457
Decatur376895
Clay376455
Greene375589
Wells375183
Fayette363074
Posey351841
Jennings341756
Washington324046
LaGrange312074
Spencer310734
Fountain306553
Randolph302087
Sullivan294947
Owen275961
Orange269659
Starke268961
Fulton264451
Jay248134
Perry244950
Carroll239926
Franklin229337
Vermillion225850
Rush225530
Parke212020
Tipton205354
Pike200938
Blackford163834
Pulaski155250
Crawford140818
Benton138316
Newton138141
Brown130646
Martin124416
Switzerland122310
Warren112616
Union92211
Ohio75811
Unassigned0461