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5 things to know for October 18: Student loans, Russia, Trump, Grocery stores, SpaceX



CNN
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One of the two winning lottery tickets in the latest Mega Millions jackpot of almost half a billion dollars was sold in an area of Florida battered by Hurricane Ian less than a month ago. Florida’s lottery secretary called the win “slightly more meaningful than others” as many residents in the region are undergoing expensive restoration efforts in the wake of the storm.

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President Joe Biden on Monday announced that federal student loan borrowers can now apply online for up to $20,000 in debt forgiveness. “This is a game changer for millions of Americans… and it took an incredible amount of effort to get this website done in such a short time,” Biden said. People seeking to apply for student debt relief can fill out the form at StudentAid.gov. Borrowers have until December 31, 2023, to submit an application. In August, Biden announced his decision to cancel up to $10,000 in student loan debt for individuals making less than $125,000 a year or as much as $20,000 for eligible borrowers who were also Pell Grant recipients. The latest phase of his plan is expected to provide debt relief to as many as 43 million borrowers.

At least 13 people, including three children, were killed after a Russian military jet crashed into apartments in the country’s western city of Yeysk on Monday, state media and authorities said. The crash occurred during a training flight in which one of the plane’s engines caught on fire, Russia’s Defense Ministry told a state-run news agency. Images and videos of the crash’s aftermath showed smoke billowing and fire blazing in the residential area. A building, believed to house hundreds of people, was later engulfed in flames, officials said. Russian President Vladimir Putin told authorities to provide all necessary assistance to the victims of the crash, the Kremlin said in a statement. 

Russia fire

Video shows scene where Russian jet crashed into building

New documents released by the House Oversight Committee on Monday revealed that the Trump Organization charged the Secret Service “exorbitant rates” – upwards of $1.4 million over four years – to protect then-President Donald Trump and his family at properties they owned. The rates were as high as $1,185 per night despite claims by Trump’s company that federal employees traveling with him would stay at those properties “for free” or “at cost.” Charging his protective detail for lodging at his properties was a controversial practice when Trump was in office, and it has continued in his post-presidency because it appears to have been taxpayer-funded, the panel’s chairwoman, Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney said. Separately, a House report released Monday also alleges Trump aides blocked public health officials from providing accurate Covid-19 information during the pandemic.

Maggie Haberman Donald Trump Split

Haberman reacts to report that refutes Trump’s claims about Secret Service expenses

A major supermarket merger could result in significant changes to grocery shopping in America, industry analysts say. The proposed merger of Kroger and Albertsons, which the companies expect to complete in 2024, would combine the fifth and tenth largest retailers in the country. If approved by federal regulators, the nearly $25 billion deal would be one of the biggest in US retail history. With grocery prices already a concern for many shoppers, the companies said that they would be able to use $500 million in cost savings from the deal to reduce prices for shoppers and tailor promotions and savings. They also said they will invest $1.3 billion in Albertsons, which would include lowering prices. However, some critics and antitrust advocates say the merger would force out competition and concentrate power among the largest chains – resulting in higher prices. 

inflation family

‘I need to cut back on things’: Family reacts to surging food prices


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– Source:
CNN Business

SpaceX founder Elon Musk has announced his company has withdrawn its request for the Pentagon to fund its Starlink satellite internet services for Ukraine. Musk’s announcement followed an exclusive CNN report that SpaceX made the request in September, saying it was no longer able to donate the Starlink terminals or support the service that has provided critical cell and internet services to Ukraine during its war with Russia. SpaceX previously asked the Pentagon to start paying for the service for the current terminals operated by the Ukrainian government as well as fund almost 8,000 new terminals and service for Ukraine’s military and intelligence services. The announcement comes after the CNN report also showed in greater detail that SpaceX is not solely responsible for Starlink access in Ukraine.

bill browder vpx

Author reacts to Musk’s reversal on Ukraine funding: ‘Tiniest tiny fraction’ of Musk’s wealth

President Biden to speak on abortion rights

Three weeks from the midterm elections, President Biden will zero in on abortion rights in remarks today at a Democratic National Committee event in Washington, DC, a Democratic official told CNN. Biden has argued that voters need to elect more Democrats in order to codify the protections of Roe v. Wade into law. He’s also pledged to veto any bill that would ban abortions on the federal level if Republicans take control of Congress.

Is another ‘Top Gun’ movie in the works?

We’re keeping our fingers crossed… but one of the stars of the latest movie isn’t sure that will happen.

Kanye West to acquire conservative social media platform Parler

West, who legally changed his name to Ye, is acquiring the controversial social media platform after being removed from Twitter this month over an antisemitic tweet. 

Sri Lankan author Shehan Karunatilaka wins 2022 Booker Prize

Looking for a good read? This novel just received one of the most prestigious literary awards.

Best Chinese food: 32 must-try dishes

This photo gallery offers a sampling of China’s many different regions.

Actress Selma Blair departs ‘Dancing with the Stars’

Selma Blair, one of the show’s fan favorites, announced she is leaving the competition due to health concerns. 

Astronaut James McDivitt, who led Apollo and Gemini missions, has died, NASA said in a statement. He was 93. McDivitt’s work during the Apollo 9 mission played a critical role in eventually helping land the first humans on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. His work on Gemini IV also helped extend astronauts’ time in space, nearly doubling the duration at that point in early space history, NASA said.

30%

That’s the percentage of Ukraine’s power stations that have been destroyed since October 10, President Volodymyr Zelensky said today. Zelensky’s announcement comes in the wake of Russia’s recent strikes on critical energy infrastructure in Ukraine that have caused widespread blackouts.

“I would remind you that Stacey Abrams campaigned to be Joe Biden’s running mate.”

– Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, speaking at the Georgia governor’s debate on Monday about his challenger, Democrat Stacey Abrams. Kemp repeatedly sought to connect Abrams to President Biden, who, despite winning the state in 2020, is a deeply unpopular figure there now. Abrams, unlike many other Democrats running this year, has not sought to distance herself from the President and recently said publicly that she would welcome him in Georgia.

3 day temps tuesday

Extremely cold temperatures warrant freeze alerts for the East


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CNN

Check your local forecast here>>>

How a $250,000 diamond ring is made

Watch this short video to see how much precision is required to create a stunning 7-carat diamond ring. (Click here to view)

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