5 things to know for Aug.11: Gas prices, Trump, Indiana explosion, taxes, North Korea

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Originally Published: 11 AUG 22 06:37 ET
Updated: 11 AUG 22 06:38 ET

(CNN) — The summer travel season is in full swing, so here’s an important tip ahead of your next overseas trip. Before entering the US with any food products, make sure the items are not banned or restricted. US border officials have recently handed out hefty fines — sometimes thousands of dollars — to travelers with undeclared food items in their luggage.

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

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1. Gas prices

Americans grappling with historic levels of inflation are finally getting some relief at the gas pump. For the first time since March, the national average price for regular gasoline dropped below $4 a gallon today, according to AAA. This comes after gas prices hit a record high of $5.02 in June, largely due to soaring global oil prices in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The steady decline in gas prices has been driven by multiple factors, including recession fears that have knocked down oil prices and the fact that some people cut back on driving when gas prices spiked above $5 a gallon. Despite the decrease, gas prices still remain 25% higher than this time last year.

2. Trump

Former President Donald Trump invoked his Fifth Amendment rights and declined to answer questions from the New York attorney general at a scheduled deposition on Wednesday. Trump was to be deposed by lawyers from New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office as part of a more than 3-year civil investigation into the Trump Organization’s finances. The scheduled deposition comes during an extraordinary legal week for Trump. On Monday, the FBI executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago, his primary residence in Florida, in connection with an investigation into the handling of classified documents. And on Tuesday, a federal appeals court ruled against his efforts to block a House committee from obtaining his tax returns.

3. Indiana explosion

Three people died and 39 homes were damaged on Wednesday after a massive house explosion in Evansville, Indiana. Eleven of those 39 homes were left inhabitable, Fire Department Chief Mike Connelly said, adding there could be additional victims upon the completion of their search. An investigation of the incident and what caused the explosion is underway. Photos from the scene showed damaged homes and piles of debris. A structural collapse team was called in to survey buildings and to make sure that all gas and electric circuits “had integrity,” the chief said. Evansville is about 3 hours southwest of Indianapolis.

4. Taxes

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Wednesday directed the Internal Revenue Service not to use any of the new funding allocated in the Democrats’ new health care and climate bill to increase the number of audits of Americans making less than $400,000 a year, according to a copy of the letter obtained exclusively by CNN. The letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig comes amid attacks from Republicans that the $80 billion the Inflation Reduction Act would give to the IRS over the next 10 years would result in more middle-class Americans and small businesses getting audited. The Biden administration, however, has repeatedly said the IRS would focus on increased enforcement activity on high-wealth taxpayers and large corporations.

5.North Korea

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.


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$856 million

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.”


“They poured salt in an unhealable wound.”

— 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.


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