5 things to know for Sept. 19: Iran, Auto strike, Presidential debate, Immigration, Gas prices

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Iranian-Americans Siamak Namazi, second from left, and Morad Tahbaz, right, are greeted upon their arrival at the Doha International Airport in Qatar on Monday. (Photo by AFP via Getty Images)


Hollywood productions have ground to a halt as thousands of writers and actors remain on strike. Without any tentative deals on the table, industry analysts anticipate the fall television menu will heavily tilt toward reality TV, game shows, sports and repeats of popular sitcoms.

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The five Americans released from Iranian detention landed in the Washington, DC, area today, capping a significant diplomatic breakthrough after years of complicated indirect negotiations between the US and Iran — which do not have formal diplomatic ties. The five, all of whom had been designated by the US as wrongfully detained, were freed as part of a wider deal that includes the US unfreezing $6 billion in Iranian funds. Biden administration officials have stressed that the funds can be used by Iran only for humanitarian purchases and that each transaction will be monitored by the US Treasury Department. Three of the Americans – Emad Shargi, Morad Tahbaz, and Siamak Namazi – had been imprisoned for more than five years.

02:53 – Source: CNN

Past prisoner swaps have seen blowback

Negotiations between the Big Three automakers and the United Auto Workers are heating up as UAW President Shawn Fain said more strikes could happen Friday. Ford is already grappling with a strike by more than 3,000 of its US employees that shut down a major assembly plant in Michigan a few days ago. The UAW decided to go on strike at all three unionized US automakers — General Motors, Ford and Stellantis, which makes cars under the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram brands. However, the union decided to strike only one assembly plant at each company, having 12,700 members walk out while most of the 145,000 members at the companies remained on the job. “If we don’t make serious progress by noon on Friday, September 22nd, more locals will be called on to Stand Up and join the strike,” Fain warned Monday.

03:40 – Source: CNN

The political ramifications of a lingering autoworkers strike

Former President Donald Trump will skip the second Republican presidential primary debate in California next week and deliver remarks to union members in Detroit instead, according to a source familiar with his plans. His prime-time speech will serve as counterprogramming to the September 27 debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Trump, who has maintained a large lead in national and early-state primary polls, also skipped the first GOP primary debate in Milwaukee last month. Like the first debate, Republican candidates must meet certain donor and polling thresholds to make the debate stage. Participants will also need to sign a pledge committing to supporting the eventual Republican nominee — which Trump has refused to do.

El Paso is on the “cusp of a third wave” of migrant arrivals as local shelters are over capacity, a local non-profit official told CNN. The region has seen a spike in migrants at the Texas-Mexico border, averaging 1,200 encounters per day. About 2,000 migrants have also arrived in California’s San Diego County over the last several days as aid groups work to provide them with additional resources, an immigration law firm told CNN. Meanwhile, the US Border Patrol said they separated some migrant families while they were in custody last week amid overcrowding in facilities. In limited instances, children and parents can be held for days in separate holding areas during processing.

Gas prices climbed to their highest level of the year on Monday to $3.88 a gallon, according to AAA. Normally, gas prices cool off after the summer driving season ends on Labor Day, but the opposite has happened this year as Saudi Arabia’s and Russia’s aggressive supply cuts lift oil prices. The oil market rally has also been driven by the catastrophic floods in Libya and easing US recession fears. Although the national average is well below the record high of $5.02 a gallon set in June 2022, gas prices are now 20 cents above where they were at this point last year. Eleven states are also averaging $4 or higher a gallon, and in California, the price is now $5.69 a gallon — up by 49 cents in the past month.

World leaders to kick off annual UN meeting
President Joe Biden and several other global leaders will deliver remarks to the 78th United Nations General Assembly today. Though many key heads of state will be missing, Biden is expected to “lay out for the world the steps that he and his administration have taken to work with others to solve the world’s most serious challenges,” a senior administration official said.

iOS 17 release: See what’s new in iPhone features
iPhone users can now update to iOS17 to unlock several new features, including FaceTime video messages and live voicemails.

Bear spotted at Disney World disrupts operations
Families were startled when a member of the animal kingdom made an unexpected appearance at Disney’s Magic Kingdom on Monday.

Ariana Grande files for divorce after two years of marriage
The pop singer and her husband Dalton Gomez are going their separate ways due to “irreconcilable differences,” a source told CNN.

NFL star running back carted off field with knee injury
Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb suffered a knee injury after being hit awkwardly during Monday Night Football.

Starbucks bets on China with $220 million roasting center
This is the company’s largest investment it has ever made for a coffee manufacturing and distribution center outside the US.

That’s around how many refugees have been admitted to the US this year, according to the latest federal data. President Biden has set this year’s refugee ceiling at 125,000 and is considering raising the number of refugees who could be admitted to the US next year.

“The mishap is currently under investigation.”

— The US Marine Corps, issuing a statement Monday after officials found the debris field of an F-35 fighter jet that went missing in South Carolina over the weekend. On Sunday, the pilot ejected safely after a “mishap” involving the jet and was taken to a local medical facility in stable condition. It was the third such “mishap” over the past six weeks, prompting the Marines to order a pause in flight operations.

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Autumn in Central Park
The mornings are crisp and the leaves are changing to beautiful shades of red and orange. Watch this calming video of fall foliage in New York City.

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