5 things to know for September 25: Election, protests, Covid-19, N Korea, Benadryl

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is still making history, even after her death. The late justice becomes the first woman and first Jewish person to lie in state in the US Capitol today.

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

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1. Election 2020

President Trump once again cast doubt on whether he would accept the results of the election if he loses in November, repeating baseless claims that widespread mail-in voting is rife with fraud. It’s just the latest instance in which he’s tried to delegitimize the outcome of the election. But even beyond Trump’s comments, Republicans at state and local levels are taking concrete steps that could potentially eat away at the integrity of the election. Those steps include making it more difficult for voters to cast ballots, more difficult for states to count votes and more likely that tallies will be challenged in the courts. The efforts threaten to undermine the public’s confidence in the outcome, regardless of who is declared the winner.

2. Protests

Demonstrations continued for a second night in Louisville, Kentucky, after a grand jury declined to charge police officers with the killing of Breonna Taylor. Police declared downtown gatherings an unlawful assembly and ordered people to disperse after windows were broken and protesters stayed out past curfew. Following the demonstrations, Louisville’s mayor announced he would extend the city’s curfew through the weekend. Meanwhile, a lawyer for Taylor’s family called the Kentucky attorney general’s investigation into her death a cover-up and demanded transparency. A federal probe and a police review still could yield more details in the case, but it’s not clear if either will result in more charges.

3. Coronavirus

A new study says countries should meet five criteria before easing lockdown measures. But unfortunately, many nations are not even close. Leaders in Europe are announcing new restrictions to curb the spread of Covid-19 as cases surge and the continent deals with a second coronavirus wave. Although deaths from the virus are still well below their peak, experts warn that the signs point to more tragedy ahead this winter. A second wave is also underway in most of Canada. The US, meanwhile, is still in its first wave, given that cases never declined significantly, says Dr. Anthony Fauci. He warned that the nation should prepare for the challenges ahead in fall and winter.

4. North Korea

Kim Jong Un has apologized for the death of a South Korean government worker who was shot dead by North Korean troops after crossing a maritime border between the two countries. The North said in a letter sent today that units responded to a call that an unidentified male was found floating on an object in the sea. The letter claimed about 10 rounds were fired at the man after he did not comply with a soldier’s demand to identify himself and subsequent warning shots. The statement added that North Korea has strengthened its maritime surveillance and apologized for “an incident that will clearly negatively impact inter-Korean relation.” South Korea condemned the incident and urged Pyongyang to punish those responsible.

5. Benadryl

The US Food and Drug Administration issued a warning for Benadryl, saying that it’s seeing “serious problems with high doses” of the common over-the-counter allergy medication. The agency cited reports of teenagers ending up in hospital emergency rooms or dying after participating in the so-called “Benadryl Challenge” on TikTok. The FDA said it had urged the social media platform to remove any videos of the challenge and monitor for new posts. Too much of the drug can lead to severe health problems, including serious heart problems, seizures, coma and even death.


The counting will go on, judge rules

A federal judge in California has ruled that national counting for the 2020 census can continue through October 31. Critics accuse the Trump administration of trying to cut short the count for political reasons and say more time will mean more accurate results. The Justice Department is expected to appeal.


Pac-12 announces it will play college football this fall

The vote walks back a previous decision to hold off on the season because of Covid-19.

Chris Rock will host the season premiere of ‘Saturday Night Live’

For the first time since March, the production returns to Studio 8H.

Obama wants you to text hsim

Here’s what happens when you dial the number he shared.

The strange case of the man who died after eating too much licorice

Turns out it really is possible to eat too much candy.

Police seize 345,000 used condoms that were cleaned and sold as new

HOW? … WHY???


$16 trillion

That’s how much America’s failure to close the wide gaps between Black and White people has cost over the past 20 years, according to an analysis published this week.


“It’s not a ban, it’s a nudge.”

City Councilmember Kate Harrison, on a forthcoming health initiative that will make Berkeley, California, the first US city to require large grocery stores to stop selling junk food and candy in checkout aisles


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Fall into Friday

Satisfy your senses by watching 32,000 dominoes topple in sequence. (Click here to view.)