5 things to know for August 17: Primaries, Covid, Hearing aids, Water cuts, Ukraine

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

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1. Primaries

The near-term political fate of Republican Rep. Liz Cheney was decided Tuesday after Wyoming voters ousted her from her House seat. “This primary election is over, but now the real work begins,” Cheney said, delivering scathing remarks about former President Donald Trump, after losing to Trump-backed challenger Harriet Hageman. In her concession speech, Cheney vowed to continue to fight the former President’s election lies and steer the GOP away from his influence. Since the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol, Cheney has become the Republican Party’s most forceful critic of Trump and has helped lead the House select committee investigating the Capitol riot. She is the eighth of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump and now exit the House. Separately, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska is squaring off in the first of what’s likely to be two rounds against the Trump-endorsed Kelly Tshibaka. Former Govt. Sarah Palin, meanwhile, is attempting a political comeback in a special election for the state’s lone House seat.

2. Covid-19

The White House says a new type of Covid-19 vaccine specially designed to protect against the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants will be available next month. If the shots meet FDA standards, they will likely be available in early to mid-September, White House Covid-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha said on Tuesday. The Biden administration is currently trying to “get out of the acute emergency phase” where the US government is buying vaccines, treatments, and diagnostic tests. “My hope is that in 2023, you’re going to see the commercialization of almost all of these products,” Jha said. “Some of that is actually going to start this fall, in the days and weeks ahead,” he added. Separately, first lady Dr. Jill Biden tested positive for Covid-19 and is experiencing mild symptoms, her spokesperson said Tuesday.

3. Hearing aids

Hearing aids should get cheaper and possibly even better due to a long-awaited rule change that the FDA announced Tuesday. Instead of getting a prescription, visiting a hearing health professional and having a custom fitting, people with mild to moderate hearing loss will be able to buy hearing aids directly from a store or online. This move will make hearing aids much more widely available across the country, FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf said. Data shows about 1 in 8 people in the US ages 12 and older has hearing loss in both ears, and the rate increases significantly with age. About a quarter of people 65 to 74 have hearing loss, and that goes up to 50% around age 75. But only about 16% of the tens of millions of people with hearing loss use a hearing aid. The FDA estimates people could see over-the-counter hearing aids on the market as early as October.

4. Water cuts

The federal government is implementing new mandatory water cuts for the Southwest US due to an extraordinary drought that is drying up the Colorado River and draining the nation’s largest reservoirs — Lake Mead and Lake Powell. The federal government announced Tuesday that the Colorado River will operate in a Tier 2 shortage condition for the first time starting in January. This means Arizona, Nevada and Mexico will have to further reduce their use of the Colorado River beginning in January, or the federal government may step in and take control of the states’ water management plans. As a result, states, water managers and tribes are now back at the negotiating table to figure out how to solve the West’s water crisis.

5. Ukraine

As the war in Ukraine rages on, Russian forces are now using up to 60,000 rounds of ammunition each day, a Ukrainian official said. That estimate is in line with many made by Western analysts about the volume of ammunition being used by Russian forces after a relative lull in early July. Russia’s main efforts are concentrated on “pushing Ukrainian troops back from the Donetsk region,” the commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces said. Meanwhile, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Moscow has “no need” to use nuclear weapons to achieve its objectives in Ukraine. This comes after Ukraine called for tougher sanctions against Russia for “nuclear blackmail” following various explosions around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.


North Korea fires two cruise missiles towards the sea off its west coast

North Korea fired two cruise missiles into the waters off its west coast today, according to a South Korean Defense Ministry official. Military officials from South Korea and the US said they were analyzing the launch for further details. Tensions between the two Koreas have been building this year, with US military and intelligence agencies warning that North Korea appears to be preparing for a nuclear test — which would be its first in nearly five years.


Canadian politician swallows a bee in the middle of a live briefing

To be or not to be, that is the question. This video of Ontario Premier Doug Ford has caused a major buzz online. Click here to watch.

The world’s most breathtaking clifftop hotels

If you love a good view, check out this photo gallery of breathtaking hotels perched on top of mountains and cliffs.

Tennis legend Serena Williams loses in Cincinnati opening match

With the US Open just around the corner, Williams was dealt another loss Tuesday after recently saying she will “evolve away from Tennis.”

This image of a lone woman in a room full of men was radical

Many doors will open to those who are bold enough to knock! Take a look at this striking portrait from 1975 showing a lone woman in a male-dominated workplace.

Scientists plan to resurrect this animal from extinction with ancient DNA

Never underestimate the power of science. This animal, which has been extinct since 1936, may live once again.



That’s how many books a Texas school district is removing from its school shelves — including the Bible and an adaptation of Anne Frank’s diary — after they were challenged through the district’s formal complaint process in the past school year. The Keller Independent School District near Fort Worth, Texas, said the books will be temporarily removed for up to 30 days while the challenged materials are being reviewed. Several of the books under review explore LGBTQ experiences, according to the district. This announcement comes as discussions over school library books and curriculum have become key issues across the country.


“Making progress in this country, as big and complicated as ours, clearly, is not easy. It’s never been easy. But with unwavering conviction, commitment and patience, progress does come.”

— President Joe Biden, after signing a sweeping $750 billion health care, tax and climate bill into law at the White House on Tuesday — marking a major victory for his administration and the Democratic Party ahead of the midterm elections. Biden said during a signing ceremony that the legislation, called the Inflation Reduction Act, is “one of the most significant laws in our history.”


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Young girl’s street performance brings people to tears

Start your day on the right note with this moving violin cover of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” (Click here to view)


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