5 things to know for July 28: Coronavirus, Capitol riot, China, Brexit, Olympics

Wildfires in the US have burned almost 3 million acres so far this year. That’s more than the size of Delaware and Rhode Island combined.

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

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1. Coronavirus

The CDC has updated its mask guidance to recommend that fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors in areas with high transmission of Covid-19. Right now, that includes nearly two-thirds of US counties. The new guidance also recommends universal masking for everyone in schools, regardless of vaccination status. The return of masks inevitably means the issue will be even more politically charged, but Dr. Anthony Fauci says the new guidance is because the virus has changed — not the science behind its prevention. Across the globe, the Australian capital of Sydney has extended a lockdown by four weeks after an already protracted stay-at-home order failed to douse a Covid-19 outbreak. In Thailand, citizens seeking treatment for Covid-19 are being sent home by train to alleviate pressure on the country’s medical system from mounting cases and deaths.

2. Capitol riot

Four police officers offered harrowing testimony yesterday during the first hearing held by the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack. The officers described being beaten and dragged, having racial slurs hurled at them, or screaming in agony as they were crushed by rioters. One officer who served in Iraq said he was more afraid during the insurrection than he was at any point in a war zone. After the hearing, Republican Rep. Liz Cheney rebuked GOP leadership for, in her estimation, failing to take the investigation and the fallout from the January 6 attack seriously. Many Republicans are looking to downplay the political motivations and effects of the attack, while Democrats are preparing to drill down on former President Donald Trump’s role in it all.

3. China

China appears to be expanding its nuclear capabilities by building a second field of missile silos in its western deserts, US researchers say in a new report. The report says China’s recent proliferation of missile silos — more than 120 are being built in another province — is the “most extensive silo construction since the US and Soviet missile silo construction during the Cold War.” Meanwhile, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin had decisive words for China’s recent aggressive actions in the South China Sea region and beyond. Speaking in Singapore yesterday, Austin said the US does not want military conflict with China, but “will not flinch when our interests are threatened.”

4. Brexit

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is trying to gain permission from EU leaders to rejoin an international treaty called the Lugano Convention, which deals with legal issues and rights in cross-border disputes. The UK dropped out of the treaty as a consequence of Brexit, and if it doesn’t find a way back in, the country’s multi-billion-dollar legal services industry could be in jeopardy. London has a reputation as the global capital for international dispute resolution, and being isolated and kept out of the Lugano Convention will threaten that. The UK applied to rejoin in April 2020, but the European Commission has so far recommended that the EU deny the request.

5. Olympics

US gymnast Simone Biles has withdrawn from the individual all-around competition to focus on her health, raising questions about mental health around this unusual Olympic season. Biles, who won four gold medals in Rio, had earlier stepped away from the team competition as well. It’s not clear whether she will participate in next week’s individual event finals. Three-time Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman and other athletes defended Biles, and Raisman questioned whether athletes “have the support that they need” when it comes to dealing with mental health. A similar conversation arose when tennis star Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open in May, citing, among other things, pressure to speak at media events.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

How much do I need to sleep? It depends on your age

The answer is usually “not enough as you’re getting.”

Campbell’s soup cans are getting their first redesign in 50 years

Like good plastic surgery, it’s so subtle, you can barely tell they got work done!

‘Jungle Cruise’ is the latest Disney ride turned movie

Now do “It’s A Small World” next.

New York City restaurant unveils $200 french fries

For that price they better be covered in … oh. They are covered in gold.

Brood X had a good run, but now the annual cicadas are here and they like to scream

No More Scary Bugs, ESPECIALLY Not Screaming Ones, 2021!

Event

There’s still time to reserve your spot for CNN Business’ “Foreseeable Future: A Conversation About the Workplace Revolution!”¬†

This free, virtual event about the new workplace normal streams live tomorrow, July 29, at 11 a.m. ET with insights from top CEOs like Microsoft’s Satya Nadella and Vimeo’s Anjali Sud. RSVP here!

Olympics update

Swimming star Katie Ledecky has won the women’s 1500-meter freestyle final, giving the American her first gold medal of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and her sixth Olympic gold medal overall.

Follow here for the latest Olympic news and highlights.

TODAY’S NUMBER

$1.6 million

That’s how much craft store Hobby Lobby paid for an ancient artifact from modern-day Iraq that the Justice Department said illegally came to the US. A New York federal court has ordered has ordered Hobby Lobby to forfeit the artifact, which is inscribed with a portion of the epic poem “Gilgamesh.”

TODAY’S WEATHER

Check your local forecast here>>>

AND FINALLY

Zzzzzz

Sometimes I just want to watch cute animals fall asleep, yaknow? (Click here to view)

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