By Alexandra Meeks, CNN
A growing number of retailers stuck with excess inventory are implementing cost-saving measures that could affect the way you shop. Some companies are so desperate to get rid of merchandise that they’re telling customers to keep their returns. Others, including H&M, are gearing up to test return fees in some markets to dissuade shoppers from bringing back certain items.
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1. Hurricane Ian
As Florida contends with widespread damage left behind by Hurricane Ian in what officials say is likely the largest natural disaster in the state’s history, people in South Carolina are now bracing for the storm’s expected landfall today. Ian has re-strengthened in the Atlantic to a Category 1 hurricane and is packing sustained winds of nearly 85 mph, forecasts show. The storm’s current path shows it will make landfall in South Carolina around mid-day today just west of Myrtle Beach. Ian’s destructive crawl across Florida brought extraordinary flooding and prompted hundreds of rescues by land, air and sea. At least 19 people have been reported dead due to the storm and more than 2 million remain without power.
2. Supreme Court
Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson will make history again today as the Supreme Court is set to hold the investiture ceremony for the first Black woman on the bench. The ceremony will include the use of Chief Justice John Marshall’s historic bench chair and commission language that dates to the first justice appointed by President George Washington. President Joe Biden, who selected Jackson, is scheduled to attend the ceremony alongside several other officials, a White House official told CNN. Photographers will be waiting outside for the new justice to emerge from the ceremony and take the traditional walk down the 36 marble steps at the front of the columned building. In the court’s 233-year history, no African American woman has participated in this rite and gone on to decide the law of the land.
Russia will begin formally annexing four occupied Ukrainian territories today during a ceremony at the Kremlin hosted by President Vladimir Putin. At the ceremony, Putin is expected to make a speech and sign agreements that will formally absorb thousands of square miles of Ukrainian territory into Russia in what will be the largest forcible annexation of land in Europe since 1945. This comes after people in the territories, which together make up around 18% of Ukraine, supposedly voted in favor of joining Russia in Moscow-backed “referendums” that have been widely dismissed by Western leaders as a sham. Meanwhile, Finland said it would close its borders to Russian tourists today until further notice amid a record number of Russians crossing into the country following Moscow’s partial mobilization order.
4. Student loans
The Biden administration scaled back eligibility for its student loan forgiveness plan Thursday, the same day six Republican-led states sued in an effort to block the plan from taking effect. About 770,000 borrowers whose federal student loans are guaranteed by the government but held by private lenders will now be excluded from receiving debt relief, according to an administration official. Separately, a lawsuit to stop the plan was filed Thursday in a federal court in Missouri by state attorneys general from Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, Nebraska and South Carolina, as well as legal representatives from Iowa. The White House also announced Thursday that the overall cost of the program will be $379 billion.
5. Space junk
Satellites that are no longer in service must get out of the sky within five years to help decrease the amount of garbage in Earth’s orbit, the FCC announced in a new rule Thursday. This five-year timeline is far shorter than the long-standing rule of 25 years, which some critics said was too lax. The goal of this rule is to prevent the dangerous proliferation of junk and debris in space, the FCC said. Already, it’s estimated that there are more than 100 million pieces of space junk traveling uncontrolled through orbit, ranging in size from a penny to an entire rocket booster. Much of that debris, experts say, is too small to track and could cause collisions in space that could render future space exploration and satellite launches impractical — and even impossible.
Trevor Noah is leaving ‘The Daily Show‘
But the jokes will live on. “The Daily Show” host is embarking on a new professional chapter — which may include standup work.
Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa taken off the field on a stretcher during game
After a hard hit left him motionless for several minutes, the Miami Dolphins quarterback was carted off the field in Thursday’s NFL game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Here’s what we know about his condition.
‘Barney’ documentary exposes dark side of beloved children’s series
It appears “Barney & Friends” was not always a happy family behind the scenes. Watch the eerie trailer for the new docuseries here.
LeBron James is investing in the fastest-growing sport in the US
Dubbed America’s unofficial pandemic pastime, this sport is sweeping across the US and catching the eyes of major investors.
Amazon’s $999 dog-like robot is getting smarter
Just picture an Alexa on wheels with large, cartoon-y eyes roaming around your home… Here’s what Astro will be able to do after Amazon rolls out its first major software update.
Which pop star will perform at next year’s Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show?
D. Justin Bieber
Take CNN’s weekly news quiz here to see if you’re correct!
That’s roughly how many US households buy a car each year. However, high prices and rising interest rates are putting vehicles out of reach for a growing number of car shoppers. Used car prices are up 48% from August 2019, according to the Consumer Price Index, a key inflation measure. New car prices are up 30% over the last three years.
“Given the serious and life-threatening nature of ALS and the substantial unmet need, this level of uncertainty is acceptable in this instance.”
— The FDA, announcing Thursday that a new treatment for ALS has been approved despite some uncertainty about the drug’s efficacy. The drug, known as Relyvrio, has been shown to slow the progression of ALS — which causes muscles to weaken, eventually affecting the ability to speak, swallow, move and breathe. The FDA’s approval was based on data from a small Phase 2 trial, which, some experts say, may send a message to other pharmaceutical companies that they don’t need robust Phase 3 trial data to get products on the market.
This musician can sing the highest of high notes
Watch this inspiring video of a man who was once teased for “singing like a girl” — but used his naturally high voice to land singing gigs around the world. (Click here to view)
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