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Hey, just making sure you've had some water today. More than half of the US has been under some level of drought for four weeks now, and no area of the country has been spared. You can't make it rain, but you can at least keep yourself hydrated.Here's what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.
(You can get "5 Things You Need to Know Today" delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)1. EconomySen. Kyrsten Sinema says she will "move forward" with Democrats' sweeping economic package, signaling key support that could give the party enough votes to push the bill through the Senate and on to the House for final approval. The Inflation Reduction Act is much slimmer than President Joe Biden's initial Build Back Better bill, but it would still represent the largest investment in energy and climate programs in US history. It would also extend expiring health care subsidies for three years and give Medicare the power to negotiate prescription drug prices. New taxes would help pay for it all. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says the final version of the bill will be introduced on Saturday. It will also have to be reviewed by the Senate parliamentarian, who will decide whether the bill is eligible for the filibuster-proof budget process that will allow Democrats to pass it along party lines.Read More2. Brittney GrinerWNBA star Brittney Griner was sentenced to nine years of jail time by a Russian court after being convicted on Thursday of deliberately smuggling drugs into the country. The case has raised concerns that Griner is being used as a pawn in Russia's war with Ukraine. President Biden called the sentence "unacceptable" and said his administration would work to secure Griner's release. Now, Russia has indicated it is ready to discuss a prisoner swap for Griner and another American, Paul Whelan, who has been wrongfully detained in Russia since 2018. There has already been movement in the negotiation process, but that could accelerate in the coming days now that Griner has been sentenced. Griner was arrested at a Moscow airport six months ago and accused by Russian prosecutors of trying to smuggle less than 1 gram of cannabis oil in her luggage.
    JUST WATCHEDSee Brittney Griner's reaction as sentence is read
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See Brittney Griner's reaction as sentence is read 02:463. Breonna TaylorFour current and former Louisville police officers have been federally charged with civil rights violations, unlawful conspiracies, unconstitutional use of force and obstruction in relation to the deadly raid on the home of Breonna Taylor in 2020. Court documents and comments from Attorney General Merrick Garland lay out the particulars: Former Detective Joshua Jaynes, Detective Kelly Goodlett and Sgt. Kyle Meany are accused of submitting a false affidavit to search Taylor's home, and conspiring to cover up their actions afterward by creating more false information. Ex-detective Brett Hankison also faces charges. Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency room technician, was shot and killed in her apartment during a flawed forced-entry raid in March of 2020. Her death, along with the deaths of several other Black citizens at the time, sparked a summer of protests calling for justice reform. 
    JUST WATCHEDPolice officers federally charged in Breonna Taylor's death
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Police officers federally charged in Breonna Taylor's death 03:064. MonkeypoxThe Biden administration has declared monkeypox a public health emergency. The designation will allow for more attention and resources to go toward mitigating the virus. The White House has named a national monkeypox coordinator, and health officials are now considering whether to change the way the monkeypox vaccine is administered to allow for smaller but equally effective doses. Since the first US monkeypox case was identified in mid-May, more than 6,600 probable or confirmed cases have been detected in the United States. Cases have been identified in every state except Montana and Wyoming. The Biden administration has been heavily criticized for waiting so long to formally address the outbreak as an emergency. 
    JUST WATCHEDGay community rallies to prevent monkeypox from spreading as demand for vaccines skyrockets
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Gay community rallies to prevent monkeypox from spreading as demand for vaccines skyrockets 02:565. DRCAnti-UN protests have been raging in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since July 25. Protesters are demanding the withdrawal of UN forces that have been present in the country for nearly two decades. The mission of the UN's presence was to keep the peace in volatile areas teeming with armed militias. However, locals say the peacekeepers have overstayed their welcome, and have failed to rein in the rebel groups or prevent their attacks against civilians. Since the latest wave of unrest, UN peacekeepers in the country have been accused of using violent force against citizens. As of last November, over 12,000 troops and more than 1,600 police officers have been deployed in the DRC as part of the UN's mission there. BREAKFAST BROWSELady Gaga confirms she will star in 'Joker' sequel alongside Joaquin PhoenixTruly a woman of many talents.Fiona the hippo is a big sister as a new baby hippo is born at the Cincinatti ZooFiona is well past five years old now, and everything that hippo touches still brings joy to the world. 'Beavis and Butt-Head' are back on TVWait, it's "Butt-Head?" Hyphenated, like Mary-Ellen or Ji-ho? Did his parents really give it that much thought? Cracker Barrel sparks uproar for plant-based sausage critics say is 'woke'You heard it here folks, making food differently is WOKE.QUIZ TIMEThis week, primary voters in which state struck down a proposed amendment to the state's constitution that would have outlawed abortion?A. WashingtonB. Missouri C. MichiganD. KansasTake CNN's weekly news quiz see if you're correct!TODAY'S NUMBER$4 milllionThat's how much in damages right-wing talk show host Alex Jones will have to pay the parents of a Sandy Hook shooting victim. This is just one of three defamation trials brought by Sandy Hook parents. A separate, shorter trial during which punitive damages will be discussed is now expected. Punitive damages are awarded when the court finds the defendant's behavior to be especially offensive.TODAY'S QUOTE"He is a coward. A real man wouldn't lie to his supporters. He lost his election and he lost big. I know it, he knows it and, deep down, I think most Republicans know it."-- Former Vice President Dick Cheney, criticizing former President Donald Trump in a campaign ad in support of his daughter, Liz Cheney.  In the ad, the former VP also signals his support for work of the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection. The younger Cheney is facing a competitive Republican primary in Wyoming later this month. TODAY'S WEATHER
    JUST WATCHEDSweltering heat lingers in the Northeast while flood threat returns to Kentucky
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Sweltering heat lingers in the Northeast while flood threat returns to Kentucky 02:25Check your local forecast here>>>AND FINALLYHave a colorful weekend!Think you've seen tie-dye? You haven't, until you've seen these incredible creations. Weekend project, anyone? (Click here to view)

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Author William Doyle on New Book Spotlighting Sen. Orrin Hatchs Standout Nonpartisan Legislation

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Maggie Haberman Tears Into Trump Over Attack on McConnells Wife: Just Objectively Racist And Cant Be Explained Away

New York Times correspondent and CNN analyst Maggie Haberman tore into former President Donald Trump‘s “objectively racist” attack on former cabinet member and current Mitch McConnell wife Elaine Chao.

Trump launched a racist and unhinged attack on McConnell and Chao on Friday — just the latest in a lengthy campaign of attacks — that Republicans have had a tough time commenting about.

On Monday night’s edition of CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, anchor John Berman interviewed Haberman on the eve of the release of her controversial but much-buzzed-about book Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America.

Berman noted that the book addresses Trump’s “casual racism,” and asked Haberman to apply it to the current situation. Haberman took pains to point out that while Trump and his supporters often try to cast his racism as misunderstood or misconstrued, the attack on Ms. Chao was unmistakable:

BERMAN: I want to ask you about something that has been in the news the last few days. It’s not in the book, but it is, right? Because of everything that you establish. It is about his comments on Mitch McConnell, and his wife, the former Secretary of Labor, Elaine Chao, which are just racist. Put those into context based on what you’ve seen from Donald Trump from when he was here in New York.

HABERMAN: So there’s a couple things about that comment. One is, there is a racist comment about Mitch McConnell’s wife, it is just objectively racist. Donald Trump has been, you know, engaging in casual racism throughout his life, according to my reporting, all kinds of comments that, you know, were offensive to people who heard them that were about Black people, or were about gay people, or — and so forth and so on. And he often will claim that he was being misunderstood and we have seen that with him, so that allows his supporters to claim something else was going on here. That’s not possible with this McConnell comment or this comment about McConnell’s wife.

The other piece of this comment about McConnell is it is menacing. You know, he had a line where he said he has a death wish. Now, his allies are insisting that meant political death wish. That’s not what he said after January 6th. There should be no confusion for anyone that when Donald Trump says certain things, his supporters hear it a certain way.

And one of the through lines that I tried to establish here is how much violence sort of informed his sense of strength and that in turn would inform his sense of what a strong leader was. And he tends to talk about violence, he tends to talk in violent terms, he tends to glorify violence. All of this is something that you see here throughout his life.

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