5 things to know for September 14: Coronavirus, election, wildfires, Japan, TikTok

Look out: Tropical Storm Sally is crawling through the Gulf of Mexico, and could be a Category 2 hurricane by the time it reaches New Orleans tomorrow.

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

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1. Coronavirus 

There are 35 potential coronavirus vaccines in human trials across the world, and countries are making plans for how they will eventually be used. China says there’s no need for everyone in the country to get vaccinated, just frontline workers and high-risk populations. It’s a sign of growing confidence among governments that they can get the virus under control. It’s a different story in the US: Despite President Trump’s claims that the nation is “rounding the corner” in the coronavirus fight, Dr. Anthony Fauci says we’re nowhere near that point. US cases just surpassed 6.5 million, and some schools are becoming petri dishes of disease. Meanwhile, a federal health official says Trump-appointed communications officials at the Department of Health and Human Services pushed to change the language of weekly reports released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention so they didn’t undermine the President’s political message.

2. Election 2020

President Trump held a large indoor rally yesterday in Nevada, flouting Covid-19 precautions even as 194,000 Americans have died from the disease. Trump said new political ads against him have given him an excuse to be “really vicious” with his opponents. All in all, the rally contributed to an increasingly complex and divisive election picture. A federal judge has temporarily barred the US Postal Service from sending mailers containing what Colorado’s top election official calls “false statements” that may discourage voters from participating. Under pressure from a slew of lawsuits and other complications, the critical battleground state of Pennsylvania hasn’t even finalized its ballots yet, even though the date to begin sending them out is … today.

3. Wildfires

Historic wildfires have been ravaging California, and the numbers are grim: At least 24 dead, with an astonishing 3.3 million acres burned in less than a month. Across the state, 29 major wildfires are still burning, and more than 16,750 firefighters are battling them back. Washington and Oregon have also seen death and destruction from widespread fires. And dry, windy weather conditions that pose high fire risks may not clear up any time soon. California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti have both said the severity of this fire season can be squarely attributed to the climate crisis.

4. Japan

Japan is one step closer to choosing its new leader after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced his resignation last month. Yoshihide Suga, Abe’s Cabinet secretary and right-hand man, won an election today to become the new leader of the country’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party. That paves the way for the 71-year-old to become the new Prime Minister later this week. This is no surprise, as Suga was immediately pegged as Abe’s de facto successor, and his leadership will likely be seen as an extension of the current situation. However, whereas Abe is seen as a charismatic figure from a longstanding political family, Suga, the son of a farmer, has a reputation as more of a pragmatic, behind-the-scenes dealmaker.

5. TikTok

The popular video sharing app TikTok will partner with tech company Oracle in the US to satisfy the Trump administration’s national security concerns and keep the app from being banned in the country. The partnership — it’s not being described as a “sale” — is a big loss for Microsoft, which had been gunning to buy the app from its Chinese parent company, Bytedance. The Trump administration has targeted TikTok and other Chinese-owned apps that it says violate national security laws and steal American data. TikTok denies those claims. Meanwhile, on a different side of the ever-evolving struggle between the two nations, United States Ambassador to China Terry Branstad will be stepping down after more than three years in Beijing.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Naomi Osaka and Dominic Thiem won the US Open women’s and men’s finals, respectively¬†

Tennis’ big weekend did not disappoint.

There will be no Halloween or Christmas Peeps this year!

You’ll have to find another way to inject puffs of pure sugar directly into your brain.

Vinyl record sales surpass CDs for the first time since the 1980s

Just another way in which the world is truly upside down right now.

Great, there’s another paper towel shortage. Here’s why

Sadly, it’s not because everyone just decided to become a little more tidy.

America’s oldest World War II veteran just celebrated his 111th birthday

When you’re 111 years old and a veteran, you can do whateeeeever you want for your birthday!

TODAY’S NUMBER

160,000

That’s roughly how many candidates sought seats in local parliaments in Russia’s regional elections this weekend. These elections are a serious test for the pro-Kremlin United Russia party and the first elections since the vote on controversial constitutional amendments that gave President Vladimir Putin grounds to stay in power until 2036.

TODAY’S QUOTE

“I want to be in the political fight. I want to be fighting to nominate and confirm three, four, five principled constitutionalist justices, but that’s not where I want to serve.”

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, responding to his inclusion on President Trump’s new list of potential Supreme Court nominees. Cruz told Fox Business News the role is “not the desire of my heart.”

TODAY’S WEATHER

Check your local forecast here>>>

AND FINALLY

Aaahhh!

A good news blooper never gets old — especially if it involves a giant bird. (Click here to view.)