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5 things to know for June 18: Affordable Care Act, Juneteenth, Covid, Iran, China

Tropical Storm Claudette is likely to form today and impact much of the South this weekend while the Southwest continues to deal with very hot temperatures. CNN Meteorologist Tyler Mauldin has the details.

Posted: Jun 18, 2021 5:40 AM

The planet is trapping roughly double the amount of heat in the atmosphere than it did nearly 15 years ago, according to new analysis from NASA and NOAA.

Here's what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.(You can also get "5 Things You Need to Know Today" delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

1. Affordable Care Act

The Supreme Court has dismissed a challenge to the Affordable Care Act brought on by Republican-led states. The justices decided that the opponents in this case, who urged justices to dismiss the entire 2010 law, weren't actually harmed by ACA provisions because Congress has reduced the penalty for failing to buy health insurance to zero. This was the third major challenge to the landmark healthcare reform law, and while the decision has preserved the ACA for now, there will undoubtedly be more Republican challenges. One such lawsuit is currently brewing in Texas, in which a group of individuals and businesses are arguing that an ACA provision requiring insurers to offer certain free preventative services is unlawful. About 31 million Americans have health coverage through the Affordable Care Act.

2. Juneteenth

Juneteenth is now officially a federal holiday. President Joe Biden signed a bill into law yesterday commemorating June 19, 1865, the day slaves in Texas were told of their emancipation. Juneteenth is the first holiday to be approved since Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which was established in 1983. Since Juneteenth falls on a weekend this year, some state government offices may be closed today in observance. Juneteenth gained wider recognition following the wave of racial justice activism last summer. While many have welcomed the new holiday, other nationwide issues related to race and equality are still being met with division. Congress is all but stalled on police reform legislation, debates are roiling about teaching critical race theory in schools, and several states have passed or are trying to pass laws threatening the voting rights of underserved communities.

3. Coronavirus

The Biden administration has announced it will invest more than $3 billion for the discovery, development and manufacturing of Covid-19 antiviral medicines, like a pill someone could easily take at home early in an illness. Meanwhile, the US is still trying to reach a goal, set by President Biden, of at least partially vaccinating 70% of the adult population by July 4. Experts continue to sound the warning of possibly dangerous consequences if the US doesn't meet such thresholds. In Indonesia, hundreds of health workers have been sickened with Covid-19 even though they received the Sinovac vaccine, raising even more questions about the efficacy of some vaccines against more infectious variants.

4. Iran

Voters are heading to the polls today in Iran for a controversial election that is all but guaranteed to deliver a hardline president after all the other serious contenders were barred from the race. The practically uncontested frontrunner is Ebrahim Raisi, a close associate of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Raisi lost a 2017 election and has headed the country's judiciary for the last two years. He emerged as the likely victor after an election supervisory body barred his main rivals from the race in a widely criticized move. If he wins, Raisi and his government will have to confront an economic crisis exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, calls for constitutional reform and growing questions around the succession plans for Khamenei, 81, who is the final arbiter of all Iranian affairs.

5. China

A coronavirus outbreak in a powerful shipping region in China could end up snarling holiday shopping, even though the holidays are half a year away. Last month, authorities in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong -- home to some of the world's busiest container ports -- canceled flights, locked down communities and suspended trade along its coastline to bring a rapid spike in Covid-19 cases under control. Things have improved, but the shipping damage is already done. The shutdown created a huge backlog of shipping containers and vessels waiting to dock. This congestion has led major shipping companies to warn clients of delays, changes to vessel routes and destinations and spikes in fees. The whole situation could take months to clear.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Vacation home sales spiked during the pandemic

Some people bought houseplants. Other people just bought ... more houses.

New England Aquarium honors woman's 38-year-old ticket

It's never too late to see the fish!

A mannequin is going to the moon, and you can help NASA name it

It's currently being called a "moonikin" and frankly, that's going to be hard to top.

This disgusting 'house from hell' is listed for $600,000 ... and getting multiple all-cash offers

The real estate agent said "you can feel the smell." Looking at the pictures, she's definitely right.

Murder hornet' found near Seattle is the first US sighting in 2021

No! No more scary bugs! Go back to 2020 where you belong!

TODAY'S NUMBER

26%

That's how much of the American TV viewer's diet is spent on streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. That's still less than cable, which accounts for about 39% of all TV consumption, according to Nielsen.

TODAY'S QUOTE

"It's never an easy decision to take but after listening to my body and discuss it with my team I understand that it is the right decision."

Rafael Nadal, who has announced he is pulling out of Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics. Fellow champ Naomi Osaka has also pulled out of Wimbledon, but still plans to compete at Tokyo.

TODAY'S WEATHER

Check your local forecast here>>>

AND FINALLY

And who are YOU?

In honor of Father's Day this weekend, an all-time dad video, in which a baby meets her father's twin brother and gets INCREDIBLY confused.

(Click here to view)

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 343505

Reported Deaths: 7543
CountyCasesDeaths
Hinds23932444
DeSoto23229283
Harrison20527329
Rankin15411291
Jackson15232252
Madison10959227
Lee10719179
Jones9047169
Forrest8723159
Lauderdale7884244
Lowndes7054151
Lamar702989
Lafayette6548124
Washington5595139
Pearl River5196152
Bolivar4954134
Oktibbeha494398
Panola4771112
Warren4728128
Marshall4701106
Pontotoc447773
Union433279
Monroe4330137
Neshoba4281181
Hancock428088
Lincoln4176116
Pike3667113
Leflore3627125
Tate353388
Alcorn350974
Sunflower347694
Scott341176
Adams340988
Yazoo339376
Copiah324968
Simpson322891
Itawamba314680
Coahoma314085
Tippah306568
Prentiss298863
Covington293484
Leake285475
Marion284181
Wayne277543
George272251
Grenada269488
Newton262364
Tishomingo239770
Winston236784
Jasper230648
Stone229637
Attala226373
Chickasaw219060
Holmes200174
Clay197654
Clarke186880
Tallahatchie183742
Calhoun181332
Smith179235
Yalobusha171540
Walthall145748
Lawrence142826
Greene140134
Amite137543
Noxubee135235
Perry133538
Montgomery133044
Carroll126431
Webster121232
Jefferson Davis116734
Tunica114227
Benton106725
Claiborne105331
Kemper102429
Humphreys100133
Franklin87923
Quitman84719
Choctaw82619
Wilkinson78032
Jefferson71328
Sharkey51618
Issaquena1736
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 587405

Reported Deaths: 11536
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson853851591
Mobile48932864
Madison37517533
Shelby27280257
Tuscaloosa27171465
Montgomery26172627
Baldwin25399329
Lee17224181
Calhoun15401334
Morgan15170291
Etowah14954370
Marshall13116235
Houston12077293
Elmore10915219
St. Clair10763252
Limestone10725158
Cullman10546205
Lauderdale10255254
DeKalb9508192
Talladega8949188
Walker7793288
Autauga7563114
Jackson7400117
Blount7362139
Colbert6703142
Coffee6365132
Dale5650117
Russell480243
Chilton4771117
Covington4749125
Franklin458181
Tallapoosa4519156
Escambia441383
Chambers3949125
Dallas3743163
Clarke371263
Marion3463107
Pike332579
Lawrence3263100
Winston298773
Bibb290465
Geneva283983
Marengo262467
Barbour250961
Pickens245562
Butler240872
Hale235578
Fayette227065
Henry213945
Monroe202141
Randolph201144
Cherokee199248
Washington185239
Macon170552
Crenshaw168358
Clay166259
Cleburne161345
Lamar151038
Lowndes145455
Wilcox132331
Bullock126542
Conecuh121332
Coosa118329
Perry110528
Sumter110333
Greene99137
Choctaw64425
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Mostly Cloudy
79° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 81°
Columbus
Partly Cloudy
74° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 74°
Oxford
Partly Cloudy
81° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 83°
Starkville
Mostly Cloudy
73° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 73°
The heat wave that controlled our area over the past several days is now behind us. The forecast for the next week looks a bit cooler & less humid.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather