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


Here’s what you need to know to Get up to speed and get on with your day.

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1. Primaries

The short-term political fate of Republican Rep. Liz Cheney was ruled on Tuesday after voters in Wyoming evicted her from her home seat. “These primaries are over, but now the real work begins,” Cheney said, with scathing remarks about former President Donald Trump after losing to Trump-backed challenger Harriet Hageman. In her concession speech, Cheney pledged to continue to fight the former president’s electoral lies and steer the GOP away from his influence. Since the January 6, 2021 U.S. Capitol uprising, Cheney has become the Republican Party’s most powerful critic of Trump and helped lead the House selection committee investigating the Capitol riots. She is the eighth of ten Republicans in the House who voted to impeach Trump for leaving the House now. Separately, Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski takes on Trump-approved Kelly Tshibaka in the first of what will likely be two rounds. Former Governor Sarah Palin, meanwhile, is trying to make a political comeback in a special election for the state’s only House seat.

2. Covid-19

The White House says a new type of Covid-19 vaccine, specifically 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, said Dr. Ashish Jha, White House Covid-19 Response Coordinator, Tuesday. The Biden administration is currently trying to “get out of the acute emergency phase” in which the US government buys the vaccines, treatments and diagnostic tests. “I hope that by 2023 you will see the commercialization of almost all of these products,” Jha said. “Some of that will start this fall, in the coming days and weeks,” he added. Separately, first lady Dr. Jill Biden has tested positive for Covid-19 and is experiencing mild symptoms, her spokesperson said Tuesday.

3. Hearing aids

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

4. Water Cuts

The federal government is enacting new mandatory water cuts for the US Southwest due to an extraordinary drought that dries up the Colorado River and drains 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 deficit condition for the first time from January. This means Arizona, Nevada and Mexico will have to further reduce their use of the Colorado River from January, or the federal government could step in and take over 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 water crisis in the West.

5. Ukraine

As the war in Ukraine continues, Russian troops are now using up to 60,000 ammunition a day, a Ukrainian official said. That estimate is in line with many Western analysts on the amount of ammunition used by the Russian armed forces after a relative lull in early July. Russia’s main efforts are aimed at “reducing Ukrainian troops from Donetsk Oblast,” the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian 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 several explosions around the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant.


North Korea fires two cruise missiles toward the sea off the west coast

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


Canadian politician swallows a bee during a live briefing

To or not to, that is the question. This video by Ontario Premier Doug Ford has caused quite a stir online. Click here to watch.

The World’s Most Breathtaking Cliff Hotels

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

Tennis legend Serena Williams loses in opening game Cincinnati

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

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

Many doors will open for those bold enough to knock! Check out this striking 1975 portrait of a lonely woman in a male-dominated workplace.

Scientists plan to resurrect this animal with ancient DNA from extinction

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



That’s the number of books a Texas school district has taken off the shelves — including the Bible and an adaptation of Anne Frank’s diary — after being challenged by the district’s formal complaint process over 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 disputed materials are reviewed. Several of the books being reviewed are about LGBTQ experiences, according to the district. This announcement comes at a time when discussions about school library books and curricula have become important issues across the country.


“Making progress in this country, as vast and complex as ours, is clearly not easy. It has never been easy. But with unwavering conviction, dedication and patience, progress will come.”

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


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Young girl’s street performance brings people to tears

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

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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