5 things to know for Oct. 28: Twitter, Midterms, Trump, Mortgage rates, North Korea

Stay informed
Originally Published: 28 OCT 22 06:40 ET
Updated: 28 OCT 22 06:41 ET

(CNN) — President Joe Biden predicts student loan borrowers will start receiving debt relief within weeks, despite the program being put on hold due to a court challenge brought by six Republican-led states. There’s also a slew of other hurdles the administration must overcome, including lawsuits from a state attorney general and conservative groups who claim Biden is overstepping his legal authority.

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

(You can get “5 Things You Need to Know Today” delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

1. Twitter

Elon Musk has taken control of Twitter after completing his $44 billion deal to acquire the company, a source familiar with the deal told CNN. Shortly after the deal closed Thursday, Musk fired CEO Parag Agrawal and other top executives, according to two people familiar with the decision. Musk initially agreed to buy the company in April, but then spent months attempting to get out of the deal. The billionaire has said he disagrees with Twitter’s practice of permanent bans for those who repeatedly violate its rules, raising the possibility that a number of previously banned, controversial users could reemerge on the platform. Perhaps most immediately, many will be watching to see how soon Musk could let former President Donald Trump back on the platform, as he has previously said he would do. Depending on the timing, such a move could have major implications for the midterm elections, as well as the 2024 presidential campaign.

2. Midterm elections

More than 13.8 million pre-election ballots have been cast in 44 states ahead of the 2022 midterms, according to data from election officials. With several competitive statewide races less than two weeks away, Florida has the largest number of pre-election ballots cast, at more than 1.9 million. Texas, California and Georgia each have also seen more than 1 million ballots cast. Senate control is still up for grabs while conditions are ripe for Republicans to win the House of Representatives. The GOP only needs a net gain of five seats to win the chamber and could get there by picking up seats in districts that former President Trump won in 2020, plus others that shifted closer toward the Republican party in redistricting.

To help plan your vote, CNN has gathered the deadlines for early in-person voting, absentee/mail-in voting and for voter registration in each of the 50 states leading up to Election Day on November 8. Find out how and when to vote in your state here.

3. Trump’s taxes

An appeals court has cleared the way for the IRS to turn over Donald Trump’s tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee. The case is one of several long-running lawsuits where the Democratic-led House is trying to access years of financial records related to Trump, especially his tax returns. “We’ve waited long enough — we must begin our oversight of the IRS’s mandatory presidential audit program as soon as possible,” the committee chairman, Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Richard Neal, said in a statement, adding that Trump “tried to delay the inevitable.” The Supreme Court could still intervene if Trump appeals.

4. Mortgage rates

Mortgage rates in the US have topped 7% for the first time since 2002. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 7.08% in the week ending October 27, up from 6.94% the week before, according to Freddie Mac. A year ago, the 30-year fixed rate stood at 3.14%. Rates have risen almost every week since late August and have more than doubled since the beginning of the year. The rapid rise has been fueled by the Federal Reserve’s unprecedented campaign of hiking interest rates in order to tame soaring inflation. Economists say rising rates are leading to stagnation in the housing market as many potential homebuyers are choosing to wait and see where the housing market will end up — pushing demand and home prices further downward.

5. North Korea

North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into waters off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula today, increasing the already high tensions in the region, South Korean military officials said. The launch was North Korea’s 28th this year, according to a CNN count, and is being viewed by South Korean officials as another “serious act of provocation” that threatens peace and stability on the peninsula. The launch “does not pose an immediate threat to US personnel or territory, or to our allies,” according to a statement from the US Indo-Pacific Command. However, it does spark alarm that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is deliberately showcasing his arsenal. South Korean and US officials have also been warning since May that North Korea may be preparing for a seventh nuclear test — its first since 2017.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Prince Harry’s highly anticipated memoir set for January release

The memoir’s title, “Spare,” appears to be a nod to Harry’s perceived role within the royal family, from which he and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, stepped back as working royals in early 2020.

8-year-old boy is over halfway to reaching the summit of El Capitan

The Colorado boy who set out this week to become the youngest person to climb one of the most difficult rock formations in the world is more than halfway to reaching the summit.

Photo of coal miner dad goes viral

We have another contender for father of the year! This coal miner didn’t want to miss his son’s first basketball experience, so he rushed straight from work to the game — covered in black coal dust. See the photo here.

Brain scans can now reveal what your dog is staring at

Does your dog really love you? Or does it only behave because it wants food and treats? Watch this short video to see what researchers are saying.

Game 1 of the World Series is today

The Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros will face off today for a place in MLB history. Here’s how to watch.

QUIZ TIME

Which holiday was celebrated this week?

A. Yom Kippur

B. Diwali

C. Día de los Muertos

D. Ramadan

Take CNN’s weekly news quiz here to see if you’re correct!

TODAY’S NUMBER

5

That’s how many years ago a CNN reporter received a phone call from someone who said she could prove that James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, was murdered. The call came from a songwriter who found herself in the musician’s inner circle decades ago. When CNN reporter Thomas Lake launched an investigation, they both stumbled into a world of secrets, intimidation, and suspected foul play. To hear their findings, listen to CNN’s new true crime podcast “The James Brown Mystery.”

TODAY’S QUOTE

“Inflation is very high — it’s unacceptably high and Americans feel that every day.”

— Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, stating that prices in the US will take time to recede, and efforts to bring inflation back down to levels “that people are more accustomed to” will occur over “the next couple of years.” In an exclusive interview with CNN, Yellen optimistically said she did not see signs of a recession in the near term as the US economy rebounded from six months of contraction.

TODAY’S WEATHER

Check your local forecast here>>>

AND FINALLY

It’s National Chocolate Day in the US

In honor of the delicious unofficial holiday, watch this acclaimed pastry chef create an extraordinary chocolate sea dragon. (Click here to view)

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.