5 things to know for November 18: Opioids, Congress, gasoline prices, Covid-19, JO

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

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1. Opioid crisis

More than 100,000 people died from drug overdoses in the United States between May 2020 and April 2021, according to provisional data from the CDC. It was the deadliest year on record for the drug epidemic in the United States and represents a 28.5% increase from the same period a year earlier. Drug-related deaths have almost doubled in the past five years. Synthetic opioids continue to be the leading cause, responsible for nearly two-thirds of drug-related deaths in the past 12 months. The Covid-19 pandemic has contributed to the historic and deadly rise, experts say. The same is true of the increased use of fentanyl, a more potent and faster-acting drug than natural opiates. President Biden lamented the new data, saying, “We cannot ignore this epidemic of casualties.” Last month, the Biden administration released its plan to tackle drug overdoses, including tackling opioid prescribing practices and removing barriers to treatment.

2. Congress

Republican Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger broke ranks yesterday to join all Democrats in voting for a resolution that both censored GOP Representative Paul Gosar and stripped him of his two committee assignments. The vote came after Gosar posted a photoshopped anime video to his social media accounts showing him appearing to kill Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and attacking Biden. The action is a huge rebuke to Gosar and highlights the rift between Cheney and Kinzinger and their GOP colleagues. GOP House Leader Kevin McCarthy accused Democrats of hypocrisy over the move and suggested Republicans would use similar actions to berate Democrats if they regained a majority in the mid-term of the government. ‘next year. Majority House Whip Jim Clyburn said Republicans were “free to do so” if they regained control of the House.

3. Gas price

Biden has asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether the illegal activities of oil and gas companies are driving up prices at the pump. Biden claimed in his request that costs to oil and gas companies are falling, even as gas prices are rising. Prices have indeed reached record highs in parts of the country, and while the decision to investigate will not bring immediate relief, it could provide long-term solutions if evidence of wrongdoing is found. The oil industry has pushed back the investigation, calling it a “distraction”. A recent increase in the supply of crude oil could also provide some relief from gas prices soon for the United States and parts of Europe.

4. Coronavirus

We already know that flu season can make it difficult for the Covid-19 pandemic to resume. But experts are now pointing out that an influenza pandemic, like the one that killed at least 50 million people worldwide in 1918 and 1919, could be even worse than Covid-19 if the world is not prepared. In a series of reports, the National Academy of Medicine said work must begin now on next-generation vaccines and other safeguards to avert another disaster. Meanwhile, the Biden administration is looking to increase production of Covid-19 vaccines to increase global supply, especially in developing countries. And the working definition of “fully vaccinated” may soon change, now that the first full rounds of vaccinations are fading. The UK has already said that a “fully immunized” vaccine status may soon include a booster dose, and other European countries are following suit.

5. Olympic Games

The Biden administration is set to implement a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics to protest human rights violations in China’s Xinjiang province. If that happened, no government official would attend the games, although American athletes would still participate. Democratic and Republican lawmakers, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have pleaded for a diplomatic boycott, and Biden is expected to agree already. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States is in discussions with its allies about their participation. China’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims is a matter of great concern to the international community, and a diplomatic display of disapproval would deprive China and its President Xi Jinping of the usual display of international leadership that accompanies hosting the Olympics. The games will run from February 4 to 20.

LUNCH BROWSE

‘Tiger King 2’ is not great

Now, it’s hard to reproduce the … unique experience the original.

Adele releases devastating new song “To Be Loved”

Adele, we can’t take any more of this !!!

TJ Maxx increases the prices of some premium brands

Wait we just wanna see fancy. We do not want To pay fancy.

Staples Center in Los Angeles becomes Crypto.com Arena

It really rolls on the tongue, doesn’t it?

Tourists enter the Colosseum in Rome to drink beer

“Are you not having fun? !!”

ARRIVING LATER

Biden will convene a summit of North American leaders today at the White House. The meeting between the United States, Mexico and Canada is known as the “Three Amigos” summit, and it is the first time it has been held since 2016.
Two men found guilty of the 1965 murder of Malcolm X must be exonerated after more than half a century, according to their lawyers. Lawyers say they will file a joint petition today to overturn the 1966 convictions.

THE NUMBER OF THE DAY

10,000

That’s about the number of John Deere workers who will end a five-week strike and return to work after voting nearly 2 to 1 in favor of an offer very similar to the one they rejected in the beginning of this month. The United Auto Workers union announced that 61% of its members at Deere voted for what the company described as its latest and greatest offer.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“We arrived in Spain alive, in good health and with our ideas intact.”

Cuban activist Yunior Garcia Aguilera, who arrived in Spain on a tourist visa, with his wife. Garcia Aguilera, organizer of protests that were thwarted by Cuban police, had not been seen since a crowd of pro-government extremist supporters surrounded his home on Sunday.

TODAY’S WEATHER

Check your local forecast here >>>

AND FINALLY

It’s the exquisite hour

I have a working playlist of songs to cry on in the car. Reynaldo Hahn’s “The Exquisite Hour” is at the top – this version in particular, performed to divine perfection by Susan Graham. Really, there are no words. (Click here to see.)


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