Don’t be fooled by the word “energy” in your favorite energy bar. Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door. (You can also get “5 Things You Need to Know Today” delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)
1. Hurricane Harvey
Hurricane Harvey is blowing toward Texas, and people are getting out of its way. Harvey is now a Category 2 storm in the Gulf of Mexico. But by the time it makes landfall near Corpus Christi — late tonight or early tomorrow — it’s predicted to be a dangerous Category 3 that could bring as much as 35 inches of rain, winds of at least 111 mph and storm surges as high as 12 feet.
People are evacuating the Texas coast, and traffic was bumper-to-bumper on roads and interstates. Harvey’s also causing concern in New Orleans, where heavy rains could overwhelm the city’s already-compromised drainage system. Gas prices will probably rise in some parts of the country, too, since the Gulf Coast is home to lots of oil rigs and platforms.
2. Samsung sentence
The man in charge of Samsung was sentenced to five years in prison. Lee Jae-yong was convicted of bribery and corruption. The case is important because it’s part of the influence-peddling scandal that took down ex-South Korean President Park Geun-hye. Lee was convicted of bribing Park in exchange for government help in a merger that helped him gain more power at Samsung, the world’s largest smartphone maker. Lee’s prison sentence is unlikely to affect the tech giant’s day-to-day operations, analysts say. He is expected to appeal.
3. Florida execution
Florida held its first execution in a year and a half, utilizing a lethal injection drug that had never been used in America. Mark Asay was executed without incident for the 1987 racially motivated murders of two men in Jacksonville. Florida used etomidate in the execution as a substitute for midazolam, a drug that’s hard to get because drug manufacturers don’t want it used in executions. The state hadn’t held an execution in 18 months because of a US Supreme Court ruling that said Florida’s sentencing process gave judges too much power in deciding whether to execute someone and was unconstitutional. The state now has a law that elevates the power of juries in such decisions.
4. Debt ceiling
The Trump administration says it doesn’t want a fight over raising the debt ceiling, which must be done so the government won’t default on its debt. Well, somebody needs to tell that to President Trump. Members of his team have said they support a “clean bill,” meaning raising the debt ceiling without any strings attached. But the President hit Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan in (what else?) a tweet, indicating that he may have some conditions in mind. That could be just fine with the conservative House Freedom Caucus, which generally won’t support a debt ceiling increase without cuts in government spending. Congress has until the end of September to get this done. And there could be chaos if it doesn’t.
5. Whole Foods
Amazon will officially be running Whole Foods on Monday, and the first thing the Internet behemoth will do is cut prices at the stores. It could mean less silliness, like the $6-a-bottle “asparagus water” that turned up in a California store a couple years ago. While customers and other critics of the chain’s high prices will be happy, regular old supermarkets won’t be. They’re already battling Walmart and Target for market share, so the prospect of now having to take on an Amazon-fortified Whole Foods is absolutely frightening for them.
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Watching a thousand robots dance in sync while setting a new Guinness record is both entertaining and scary as heck.
Just go ahead and learn all the words to Taylor Swift’s new single, “Look What You Made Me Do.” Or you can wait for the tweens in your life to force it on you.
A cup of art
The guy at your local coffee shop can make a leaf with the foam? That’s cute. This South Korean barista can recreate the classics.
This former Navy medic traded his medicine bag for a mic and now uses hip-hop to help his fellow vets.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“I’m going to just hide in my bed”
Powerball winner Mavis Wanczyk, on how she planned to celebrate winning the $759 million jackpot
AND FINALLY …
Little drummer bird
It’s a cockatiel using his beak to play a tiny toy drum. You can thank us later. (Click to view)