Russia holds war games ahead Putin-Xi talks

Russia kicked off its largest war games since the fall of the Soviet Union, ahead of a bilateral meeting between President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping in the far eastern city of Vladivostok.

Posted: Sep 13, 2018 6:00 AM
Updated: Sep 13, 2018 6:16 AM

Today is September 11, and once again the nation will pause to remember and honor the lives lost 17 years ago in the worst terror attacks on US soil. Keep reading to find out more about some of the commemorations. Here's what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door. (You can also get "5 Things You Need to Know Today" delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

1. Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence is coming, and it's packing a punch. The Category 4 storm is headed toward the southeast US coast with maximum sustained winds of 140 mph. And fears are that by the time it makes landfall late Thursday or early Friday, it will have strengthened into a Category 5 storm, meaning sustained winds of close to 160 mph. So yeah, Florence is a monster. More than 1 million people face mandatory evacuation orders in coastal North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, where Florence could begin delivering tropical storm-force winds tomorrow. You can track the storm here. And don't forget about Hawaii: Tropical Storm Olivia, with 70-mph winds, will hit the islands tonight and tomorrow.

2. White House

The Trump White House, with its laser-like focus on stopping leaks, changed its cell phone policy, CNN has learned. Staffers now have to leave their phones in their offices or in lockers near the West Wing entrances before they will be buzzed into the Situation Room. This has everything to do with fired staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman, who secretly taped White House chief of staff John Kelly firing her in the Situation Room. Meanwhile, the White House braces for the release today of Bob Woodward's book, "Fear." Its publisher plans to print 1 million copies.

3. Russia & China

Russia kicked off its largest war games exercise since the fall of the Soviet Union and invited China to join in. At least 300,000 troops, 36,000 vehicles and 1,000 aircraft are involved in the exercises in eastern Russia. They'll be joined by thousands of troops from China and Mongolia. At the same time, President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet up in the east Russian city of Vladivostok. The two men have cultivated a special relationship, and this marks their third meeting this year.

4. Dallas shooting

Dallas police officer Amber Guyger might face a more serious charge after she shot and killed her neighbor. Guyger's already charged with manslaughter in the death of Botham Shem Jean, but a prosecutor said additional charges could follow after the case goes to a grand jury. Guyger said she shot Jean after mistakenly thinking he was in her apartment, but Jean was actually in his own place. Last night, about 100 demonstrators took to the streets of Dallas to protest how police have handled Jean's death, while a vigil was held for him at his alma mater, Harding University in Arkansas.

5. Great Pacific Garbage Patch

We've all heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch -- that ginormous field of plastic, litter and other debris floating between California and Hawaii that's three times the size of France. Well, somebody's finally trying to clean it up. Right now, what's essentially a giant pool noodle is being set up off the California coast for a test. The Ocean Cleanup System 001 consists of a 2,000-foot-long floating barrier with a 10-foot skirt that hangs below it, in the water. It's supposed to curve into a "U" shape and gather up debris while fish and other wildlife swim under it unharmed. If the test works, Ocean Cleanup will be sent out to the garbage patch.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Broadway 'Sam'

Yes, his very first NFL pass was intercepted for a pick-6, but Jets rookie QB Sam Darnold shook it all off to lead Gang Green to victory.

Make Pluto great again

Pluto's most definitely a planet and should never have been downgraded to a mere dwarf, these scientists say.

The robots are coming

We've warned you about the coming robot apocalypse, but these bots want to clean your house, so let 'em in (unless, of course, that's all part of their plan).

Welcome to the club

John Legend made history -- twice -- with his Emmy win, which grants him entry into the coveted EGOT club.

HAPPENING LATER

Remembering September 11

• President Trump and first lady Melania Trump will participate in the ceremony at 9:45 ET this morning at the memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, which honors those aboard United Airlines Flight 93.

• From 8:30 a.m. to about 12:15 p.m. ET, there will be a memorial service at the 9/11 Memorial in New York. There will be bagpipes, a reading of victims' names and a moment of silence. Church bells will ring throughout the city at the time when planes struck the north tower, the south tower, the Pentagon, in Shanksville, and when the towers fell.

• Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis will be on hand at an observance ceremony at the Pentagon this morning at 8:45 ET. They will read the names of the 184 who died at the Pentagon, lay a wreath and observe a moment of silence at 9:37 a.m.

• Of course, you'll be able to watch all of this on CNN TV and all of CNN Digital's platforms.

AND FINALLY

Cat fancy

These short cartoons offer nine tips to keep your cat happy. Good luck with that. (Click to view.)

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1358707

Reported Deaths: 42726
CountyCasesDeaths
Queens1699418013
Kings1666348246
Suffolk1377282723
Nassau1231422635
Bronx1140065358
Westchester906651858
New York815113516
Erie551841422
Richmond479811418
Monroe46476836
Rockland33532833
Orange30909670
Onondaga29264555
Dutchess18235343
Oneida17856378
Albany17798280
Niagara13056267
Broome12104282
Saratoga10109108
Schenectady9373145
Ulster8388205
Rensselaer7574114
Putnam707177
Chautauqua609680
Chemung5889112
Oswego521880
Ontario499983
Steuben4835133
Cayuga474977
St. Lawrence411364
Sullivan406853
Herkimer398377
Wayne396158
Genesee3894104
Jefferson367437
Cattaraugus364264
Madison335477
Livingston291143
Tompkins286428
Columbia278777
Cortland277055
Clinton250520
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Montgomery249680
Fulton239161
Tioga238054
Wyoming236445
Warren232144
Greene223366
Orleans206274
Chenango195950
Otsego190127
Washington173528
Lewis167725
Franklin13819
Seneca133848
Delaware115929
Essex105621
Schoharie9908
Yates89922
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Hamilton1711
Unassigned82169
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