5 things to know for August 31: Idalia, Johannesburg, Mitch McConnell, Russia, Cannabis


Published: 3 weeks ago

Updated: 3 weeks ago

Reading time: 3 minutes

CNN’s 5 Things brings you the news you need to know every morning.

As AI-generated images and deepfake videos become increasingly realistic, tech companies are scrambling to find reliable ways to identify and flag manipulated content.

This week, Google unveiled an invisible, permanent watermark that would identify images as computer-generated, but warned that \the technology isn't perfect.\ Here are some other things you need to know to Keep Up and Moving on with Your Day. 1.

Idalia Idalia is a tropical storm that moved offshore from South Carolina after hitting Florida's Gulf Coast as a powerful Category 3 hurricane on Wednesday.

In Florida's Big Bend region — the corner between the panhandle and the peninsula — it's the strongest storm to make landfall in more than 125 years.

Idalia also battered parts of southeast Georgia and the Carolinas, filling coastal areas with more than 9 inches of rain and causing widespread power outages.

Forecasts suggest tropical storm-force winds will continue to affect parts of the southeastern U.S. coast today as crews assess the damage.

Click here to learn about ways you can help support relief efforts. 2. Johannesburg At least 73 people have been killed and dozens injured following a fire in a five-storey building in central Johannesburg overnight.

The building was home to \hundreds\ of informal settlements, according to a spokesman for the city's emergency services.

Local officials said apartments in the building, which is intended to house up to three people, are divided into areas that will accommodate more than one person.

After-footage from the scene showed spectators huddled around burned and cordoned off areas, broken glass windows and clothing scattered around the building.

The cause of the fire remains unclear, but officials have given no indication that it was intentional. 3.

Mitch McConnell Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell appeared frozen for about 30 seconds while speaking to reporters after his speech Wednesday in Covington, Kentucky.

The incident is similar to an incident McConnell experienced at the U.S. Capitol last month, raising additional questions about his eligibility to lead the 81-year-old Senate Republican legislature.

A spokesperson for McConnell told CNN that the GOP leader \felt temporarily dazed and paused during today's press conference.\ A McConnell aide added: \While feeling well, as a precautionary measure, the leader will consult a doctor before his next event.\\4.

Russia destroyed a drone approaching Moscow today, the mayor said a day after the country was hit by the largest drone strike since the start of the Ukraine war.

Russian officials said most attacks on multiple sites on Wednesday had been foiled and no casualties were reported.

However, Ukraine has been increasingly emboldened in recent weeks to strike strategic targets inside Russia by air, marking a new phase of the conflict.

This comes after officials in Kiev said Russia had struck the Ukrainian capital earlier this week with a \massive\ bombardment.

The head of the city's military administration said, \Kiev has not experienced such a strong attack since spring.\ 5. Marijana A senior official from the Department of Health and Human Services has called for the easing of restrictions on cannabis by reclassifying it as a Schedule III item in a letter to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The DEA is now launching a review of the drug, which is currently classified as a Schedule I controlled substance used for the most dangerous substances, including heroin and LSD.

Last year, President Joe Biden called for a review of how marijuana is planned under federal law.

This week's letter containing HHS' advice is a step in that overall process.

Then, the DEA will have final authority to make any changes to the timing of marijuana and will go through a rule-making process that includes a period of time for the public to comment before any planning action is finalized.

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I can't wait to roll up my sleeves and start working with my new colleagues to build a successful future for CNN.\\ — Mark Thompson said Wednesday after being named CNN's next leader.

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