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The CIA has a museum with exhibits featuring spy gadgets, declassified artifacts and items like the covers for the binder and tablet used for President Joe Biden’s daily briefing. Interested in visiting? Well, unfortunately, the museum isn’t open to the public – but the agency has shared some very interesting pictures from inside.
Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.
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1. Hurricane Ian
The Biden administration has proposed a prisoner swap to secure the release of two Americans held by Russia, Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan. President Joe Biden has offered to exchange Viktor Bout, a convicted Russian arms trafficker serving a 25-year US prison sentence. Multiple sources told CNN that the plan to trade Bout for Whelan and Griner received the backing of Biden after being under discussion since earlier this year. The President’s support for the swap overrides opposition from the Department of Justice, which is generally against prisoner trades. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Wednesday that the US presented the “substantial proposal” to Moscow “weeks ago” for Whelan and Griner. When asked about the possible swap, Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said “so far, there is no agreement on this issue.”
Japan held an elaborate state funeral for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe today. Abe, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, was shot dead during a campaign speech in July, stunning a nation where gun violence is extremely rare. More than 4,300 guests attended the service in Tokyo, including Vice President Kamala Harris and other foreign dignitaries. While many mourners left flowers and visited memorial sites to pay their respects to the late leader, thousands took to the streets in anti-funeral protests across Tokyo. The demonstrations grew tense at times as large groups of protesters voiced their discontent about Abe’s policies while in office and their opposition to the high cost of the funeral while the country grapples with rising inflation.
The Justice Department on Monday declared that their list of seized materials from the search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence was “full and accurate,” despite Trump’s claims of planted evidence. According to the FBI, the agency had only a single business day to compile the first version of the inventory – filed several weeks ago – but has since had more time to review and catalog the list. An FBI agent said the revisions to the new list were “minor.” Trump now faces a Friday deadline to submit to the special master descriptions of any seized items that he claims are missing from the list, or items that were included in the inventory that he claimed, without evidence, the FBI may have planted during their search.
4. Student Loans
President Biden’s plan to cancel up to $20,000 in federal student loan debt for low- and middle-income borrowers could cost $400 billion, according to a Congressional Budget Office report released Monday. Biden announced the forgiveness plan in August, after facing mounting pressure from Democrats to broadly cancel some student loan debt. The Department of Education plans to release an application for the program in October. Under the plan, individual borrowers who earned less than $125,000 in 2020 or 2021 and married couples or heads of households who made less than $250,000 annually in those years will see up to $10,000 of their federal student loan debt forgiven. If the borrower also received a federal Pell grant while enrolled in college, the individual is eligible for up to $20,000 of debt forgiveness.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has declared victory against Covid-19 and ordered a lifting of maximum anti-epidemic measures that were imposed in May, state media said today. North Korea has not revealed how many confirmed infections of the virus it has found, but has not reported any new suspected cases since July 29. The World Health Organization has cast doubt on North Korea’s claims, saying last month it believed the situation was getting worse, not better, amid an absence of independent data. Analysts say the victory declaration by the authoritarian North could be a prelude to restoring trade hampered by border lockdowns and other restrictions. Observers have also said it may clear the way for North Korea to conduct a nuclear weapon test for the first time since 2017.
Halloween decorations perplex the internet in viral video
Well, the fall season isn’t that far away… maybe this turkey was plotting a clever Thanksgiving escape. Watch the video here.
Coke’s latest bizarre flavor is here
Before this latest odd flavor, Coca-Cola rolled out Starlight (space-flavored) and Byte (pixel-flavored). This latest one is equally unique.
Disney+ is getting more expensive… unless you want ads
And it’s not the only streaming service that’s going up in price.
Domino’s tried to sell pizza to Italians. It failed.
The American pizza giant made a very bold attempt to win over locals in Italy. The stores are now closing their doors after struggling with sales.
New image of colliding galaxies previews the fate of the Milky Way
Millions of years from now, these two entangled galaxies will eventually merge into one. Check out the stunning telescope image here.
That’s the amount in subsidies Elon Musk’s SpaceX was slated to receive from the Federal Communications Commission – but that will no longer happen. The FCC had earmarked the funds for SpaceX’s Starlink internet service to provide internet access to people across rural America. But federal regulators on Wednesday said they will no longer fund the venture, citing the fact that the satellite-based service is “still developing technology” and the company “failed to demonstrate that [it] could deliver the promised service.”
“We’re embarking on a new era of humankind, an era in which we potentially have the capability to protect ourselves from something like a dangerous, hazardous asteroid impact.”
– Luis Li, an attorney representing Vanessa Bryant, in court on Wednesday saying that photos from Kobe Bryant’s helicopter crash were shared with dozens of Los Angeles County employees. Vanessa Bryant’s federal lawsuit against LA County claims that sheriff’s deputies captured photos of the victims’ remains, including those of her daughter and husband, and shared them in settings irrelevant to the investigation, including at a bar and an awards gala. Vanessa Bryant, who was in the courthouse, wiped away tears as her attorney described the way sheriff’s deputies captured and shared the photos.
Elephants smash giant pumpkins
Did you know that the city of Tianducheng, China, was designed to be a replica of Paris? Watch this video for a quick tour. (Click here to view)