5 things for September 20: Kavanaugh, Florence, Brexit, Detroit schools, strawberries

We've got your weekend plans nailed: Saturday is National Museum Day. ...

Posted: Sep 20, 2018 12:52 PM
Updated: Sep 20, 2018 12:52 PM

We've got your weekend plans nailed: Saturday is National Museum Day. Download a special ticket, and you can get into nearly 1,500 museums across the US -- for free. Here's what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door. (You can also get "5 Things You Need to Know Today" delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

1. Brett Kavanaugh

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As Monday's tentative hearing on sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh creeps closer, pressure is mounting for everyone. Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley wants Kavanaugh's accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, to decide by tomorrow morning whether she'll speak to his committee about the claims. If not, Monday's hearing would likely be canceled and Kavanaugh's confirmation could move to a committee vote by midweek. GOP Sen. Susan Collins, a crucial swing vote, said it's "not fair" for Ford not to testify. And one of CNN's SCOTUS experts says the credibility of the Senate vetting process may be shot. Also, Kavanaugh now faces at least one more hard "no." Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill said she'll oppose his confirmation because of his stance on anonymous political contributions.

2. Hurricane Florence 

Two South Carolina mental health patients drowned in a prison transport van when floodwater from Hurricane Florence overtook the vehicle -- but the two deputies transporting them managed to climb to safety. The tragic incident has sparked many questions, though few answers so far. The patients -- both women -- were "seat-belted" in the back of the van, police sources told CNN. The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is investigating. Meantime, President Trump, on a tour yesterday of the Carolinas, promised that the federal government will ensure the region bounces back. That includes farmers, who lost 3.4 million poultry birds, along with other livestock and crops in the floods. "Our entire American family is with you and ready to help," Trump said. "You will recover."

3. Brexit 

European Council President Donald Tusk issued a warning ahead of this week's informal EU leaders' summit in Austria: Time is running out for Brexit talks, and if things don't get done, the whole ordeal is going to be very, very messy. The United Kingdom is due to break away from the EU in March, but logistics, like borders and future economic relationships between countries, are still in flux. European automakers are feeling the uncertainty, too. BMW said this week it would shut its Mini factory in England for a month of maintenance immediately after Brexit because it can't be sure it will get the parts it needs if the UK leaves the European Union without a trade deal.

4. Detroit schools

At least 57 of more than 100 Detroit-area public schools have tested positive so far for high levels of copper, lead or both in drinking water. These metals are dangerous, especially for children, when consumed in certain quantities. In kids, they can lead to impaired cognition, hearing problems and delayed puberty. The school district turned off all drinking water in schools last month in "an abundance of caution," but it still hasn't found a good long-term fix. The city's water department has said the schools' aging plumbing systems are to blame, adding that the issues don't extend to the rest of the city.

5. Strawberries 

Australia is dealing with a real-life urban legend after more than 100 reported cases of needles found embedded in strawberries. Yes, like sewing needles. The Australian government points out some of the cases could be "hoaxes or copycat events," but that hasn't stopped people from freaking out. Local retail giant Woolworths has temporarily pulled sewing needles from its stores and online, and the government announced tougher penalties for food tampering. However, this panic also bodes poorly for local agribusinesses. A new viral online movement, #SmashAStrawb, is encouraging people to eat ("smash") strawberries, free of needle fears, to support local growers.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Someone misspelled the name of this airline -- right there on the side of the plane

Hey, we all make mistakes. Giant 10-foot-tall, very obvious mistakes ...

A 'Downton Abbey' movie is coming, yay!

But you have to wait an entire year for it, boo!

Jessica Simpson is expecting her third child 

She's come a long way from those Chicken of the Sea" days.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo apparently detests unnecessary commas

Secretaries of State and CNN copy editors: Not so different after all. 

Flying insects could carry environment-damaging microplastics through the air

Which is a shame, because flying insects were sooo lovable before.

HURRICANE MARIA, A YEAR LATER

It's been one year since Maria ravaged Puerto Rico, and for many, the slightest breeze can still strike fear. The kids of this "Maria generation" are suffering from PTSD. But residents -- especially women -- are working hard to rebuild and reinvent the island's future.

TODAY'S QUOTE

"During climb, crew forgot to select bleed switch due to which cabin pressurization could not be maintained, and oxygen masks got deployed."

An official with India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation, explaining why about 30 people experienced nose and ear bleeds during a recent Jet Airways flight from Mumbai to Jaipur. The flight was forced to turn back. No one was seriously injured.

AND FINALLY

LOOK, I made these! 

This ferret is dead-set on showing this guy her brand-new babies, even if she has to DRAG him along! (Click to view.)

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 37210

Reported Deaths: 1495
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin12048782
Ramsey4777222
Stearns231219
Dakota224890
Anoka2155107
Nobles16616
Olmsted107615
Washington104840
Mower9322
Rice8277
Scott6844
Clay58037
Kandiyohi5661
Wright4535
Blue Earth4422
Todd4002
Carver3611
Lyon3052
Sherburne3035
Freeborn2890
Steele2231
Watonwan2150
Benton2123
St. Louis17415
Martin1615
Nicollet15512
Cottonwood1340
Goodhue1278
Winona12015
Crow Wing10412
Pine1030
Chisago971
Otter Tail921
Le Sueur911
McLeod850
Carlton830
Dodge830
Unassigned8237
Polk812
Chippewa761
Isanti650
Itasca6412
Waseca620
Douglas610
Meeker591
Morrison591
Becker550
Jackson550
Faribault540
Murray540
Sibley532
Pennington510
Mille Lacs342
Brown312
Pipestone311
Wabasha310
Beltrami290
Rock290
Yellow Medicine290
Renville282
Fillmore270
Houston250
Swift211
Norman200
Wilkin203
Redwood170
Wadena150
Aitkin140
Big Stone140
Cass142
Kanabec141
Koochiching141
Marshall120
Grant100
Lincoln100
Pope100
Roseau100
Clearwater70
Mahnomen71
Lake60
Hubbard50
Traverse50
Lac qui Parle40
Stevens40
Red Lake30
Kittson20
Cook10
Lake of the Woods00

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 30173

Reported Deaths: 718
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk6275178
Woodbury320144
Black Hawk218058
Buena Vista170511
Linn123882
Johnson12318
Dallas122329
Marshall103519
Story7463
Pottawattamie71911
Scott70410
Wapello70230
Crawford6752
Muscatine62444
Dubuque60922
Sioux4610
Tama45829
Wright3771
Louisa36013
Jasper32117
Plymouth3134
Dickinson2592
Warren2581
Washington2349
Hamilton1871
Webster1702
Boone1421
Cerro Gordo1381
Clarke1272
Clay1270
Allamakee1264
Mahaska11517
Shelby1110
Clinton1041
Poweshiek1048
Pocahontas931
Carroll911
Bremer906
Des Moines862
Henry853
Franklin840
Cedar801
Taylor790
Emmet780
Cherokee751
Monona740
Floyd682
Marion680
Hardin650
Guthrie644
Sac630
Benton621
Jefferson580
Osceola580
Jones560
Harrison530
Humboldt531
Butler522
Buchanan511
Iowa510
Lee502
Monroe506
Hancock490
Calhoun482
Delaware481
Lyon400
Madison402
Clayton393
Davis391
Mills360
Palo Alto360
Winneshiek360
Grundy350
Fayette340
Mitchell340
Kossuth330
Lucas304
Greene280
Howard280
Chickasaw270
Jackson270
Union270
Winnebago270
Ida230
Cass210
Appanoose203
Keokuk201
Page200
Van Buren190
Audubon161
Adair150
Ringgold150
Worth150
Decatur110
Montgomery102
Wayne90
Adams80
Fremont70
Unassigned70
Rochester
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