5 things to know for Sept. 29: Hurricane Ian, Russia, Covid, Kamala Harris, Food labels

Amid widespread flooding and power outages, people are leaving Florida in droves as Ian pummels the state. But some brave individuals are intentionally traveling into the ferocious storm to gather data for research and forecasting. Watch these professional hurricane hunters — famous for enduring the world’s most dangerous weather — fly a plane directly in the turbulent eye of the storm.

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

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1. Hurricane Ian

Hurricane Ian made landfall along the southwestern coast of Florida as a powerful Category 4 storm on Wednesday but has now weakened to a tropical storm. Still, it is one of the strongest hurricanes to make landfall on the west coast of the Florida peninsula and unleashed catastrophic floods and life-threatening storm surge. The monster storm has flooded roads and homes, uprooted trees, sent cars floating in the streets and left nearly 2.5 million homes and businesses without power as of this morning. Ian is on track to advance inland with strong winds and heavy rains expected in portions of Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas over the next few days, the National Hurricane Center said.

2. Russia

The US Embassy in Moscow is warning Americans to leave Russia immediately in the wake of President Vladimir Putin’s order for partial mobilization of Russian men to fight in his war in Ukraine. The security alert said the embassy “has severe limitations on its ability to assist US citizens, and conditions, including transportation options, may suddenly become even more limited.” Separately, US officials say Russia is the leading suspect in the Nord Stream pipeline leaks investigation. A fourth leak was found today in the pipelines connecting Russia to Germany and there was a “very strong indication” these were acts of sabotage, a German official said.

3. Covid-19

Updated Covid-19 boosters could be expanded to younger age groups as soon as early October, a source close to the FDA’s planning discussions tells CNN. Moderna and Pfizer both sought FDA emergency use authorization for their updated Covid-19 boosters for younger people in recent days. Moderna is seeking authorization for children as young as 6 years and Pfizer for children as young as 5. Like the boosters that became available for older people earlier this month, these shots target the original coronavirus strain as well as the Omicron BA.4/BA.5 subvariants. Pfizer’s updated booster is currently authorized for use in people 12 and older and Moderna’s is authorized for adults age 18 and older.

4. Kamala Harris

Vice President Kamala Harris visited the Demilitarized Zone that divides North and South Korea today — one day after Pyongyang fired two ballistic missiles into the waters off its east coast. The DMZ has long been a destination for US presidents and vice presidents on official visits to South Korea, where they have been photographed peering through binoculars into North Korean-controlled territory. As anticipated, Harris went to an observation post where she viewed North Korea with binoculars — and US officials said North Korean guards likely stared back at her. The Vice President’s visit comes as tensions remain extremely high in the Korean Peninsula. North Korea has launched 18 ballistic missiles this year, a record number since 2012 after Kim Jong Un took over as leader.

5. Food labels

The FDA is proposing changes to the nutrition standards that foods must meet before they can carry the “healthy” label on their packages. Foods that make the claim would need to have limits on individual nutrients like fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium, and they must contain minimum amounts of vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, protein and dietary fiber. But since the “healthy” claim was first defined in 1994, the FDA said an update was needed to reflect changes in nutrition and dietary science. For example, certain cereals that have high amounts of added sugars still meet the definition of “healthy,” but salmon — which is high in beneficial polyunsaturated fat — does not. The FDA said the goal of the proposal is to help consumers improve their dietary patterns.


A rapping granny is running for office

Drop the beat, granny! An 80-year-old grandma running for the Utah Senate has gone viral for this rap campaign video introducing herself to voters.

Billionaire MacKenzie Scott files for divorce from her second husband

Scott, one of the world’s richest people, married a teacher last year after divorcing Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in 2019. The two are now calling it quits.

Half human-looking robot breaks speed record

This robot is a Guinness World Record holder and runs very similar to humans. Watch the video here.

Lizzo played James Madison’s 200-year-old crystal flute at her Washington, DC, concert

The pop star surprised concertgoers by playing a crystal flute that belonged to the former US president in the 1800s. And yes, she was cautiously twerking as she played, as is her signature.

Virgin Atlantic launches new gender-neutral uniform policy

The British airline announced that cabin crew, pilots and staff can select whichever of these uniforms they feel most comfortable in — “no matter their gender, gender identity, or gender expression.”


Coolio, the ’90s rapper who lit up the music charts with hits like “Gangsta’s Paradise” and “Fantastic Voyage,” has died, his friend and manager Jarez Posey, told CNN. He was 59. Details on the circumstances were not immediately available.



That’s how many home runs New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge has hit this season, tying Roger Maris’ single-season American League home run record set in 1961. The Yankees slugger crushed the record-tying home run Wednesday in the 7th inning against the Toronto Blue Jays, sending it over the wall as thousands of fans cheered.


“We want to show them that we don’t care about their standards, their definition of beauty or what they think that we should look like. It is to show that we are angry.”

— Faezeh Afshan, an Iranian chemical engineer living in Italy, on shaving off her hair to protest the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. Thousands of Iranians have taken to the streets in protest since the death of Amini this month, who was apprehended in Tehran and taken to a “re-education center,” apparently for not wearing her hijab properly. Women around the globe have shown solidarity with the plight of Iranian women in rallies and video demonstrations online. Some have also cut or shaved their hair in public or while being filmed.

For an inside look at the biggest stories and trends in the Middle East, subscribe to CNN’s Meanwhile in the Middle East newsletter here.


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Realistic facial illusions

This professional makeup artist creates stunningly realistic illusions on faces and bodies. Prepare to be impressed — and maybe even confused — by these dizzying transformations. (Click here to view)

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