10 things you need to know today: September 16, 2023

Ripple effects seen throughout auto industry as UAW strikes, Lee expected to bring flooding and storm winds to New England, and more

A striking auto worker outside the Ford factory
Auto workers have gone on strike against the three major car manufacturers in the U.S.
(Image credit: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

1. Ripple effects seen throughout auto industry as UAW strikes

Ripple effects began to be seen across the auto industry Friday as the United Auto Workers launched a strike against the major American car manufacturers. UAW is now striking against Stellantis, General Motors and Ford, marking the first time in history that the major auto union has walked out on all three at the same time. As workers walked out on Friday, they were met with cheers at auto plants in Michigan, Missouri and Ohio. Despite the strike likely causing a shortage of vehicles and auto supplies, UAW President Shawn Fain stressed that their actions were "not going to wreck the economy. The truth is we are going to wreck the billionaire economy." CNN, The New York Times

2. Lee expected to bring flooding and storm winds to New England

Tropical Cyclone Lee is expected to bring hurricane-like weather to New England and parts of Atlantic Canada starting this weekend. The storm, which has been downgraded from a Category 1 hurricane, has calmed prior to slamming the East Coast. However, experts predict that Lee will still present a high risk of flash flooding, particularly in Maine and portions of the northernmost coast of New England. Rainfall in these areas is expected to be significant, and high wind speeds of up to 60 mph are also likely to play a factor, the National Weather Service (NWS) said in a forecast prediction. People across the region are being urged to stay indoors. CBS News, Newsweek

3. Florida GOP drops loyalty pledge for 2024 in win for Trump

Florida's GOP Party said Friday that it would no longer require candidates to sign a loyalty pledge backing the party's eventual nominee, a victory for former President Donald Trump over the state's own governor. Officials in the party removed a provision requiring candidates for president seeking to be on the state's primary ballot to support the eventual nominee. Trump has previously lambasted the pledge, saying that he will not sign a bill of support for any other nominee. As a result, the decision to back off the pledge appears to show the Florida GOP moving in Trump's favor, as opposed to his chief rival, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R). The pair have been at odds with each other over the pledge for months. Politico, The Hill

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

4. Kim Jong Un inspects weaponry as trip to Russia continues

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspected a variety of Russian weaponry on Saturday, according to state media, as he continued his trip to the country's eastern reaches. Russian media said that Kim was shown a series of nuclear-capable bombers, in addition to other warplanes and a warship from Russia's Pacific fleet. Kim was shown around military facilities by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who had previously visited the North Korean leader in Pyongyang. Kim's is part of an effort by North Korea and Russia to strengthen their ties and potentially provide the latter with shells to use against Ukraine. Kim also met days ago with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss this proliferation. The Associated Press, The New York Times

5. Trio acquitted in plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

Three men were found not guilty Friday of attempting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) in 2020. William Null, Michael Null and Eric Molitor were acquitted on charges of providing support for a terrorist act and weapons charges. The three had been accused of heightening a plot by right-wing militia in Michigan to kidnap Whitmer, after they were angered by her lockdowns implemented during the Covid-19 pandemic. The trio were the last of 14 men to be charged in the plot, of whom nine were convicted. This includes the head co-conspirators, Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr., who were sentenced last year to 16 years and 19 years in prison, respectively. The Guardian

6. New Mexico governor narrows gun ban after political and judicial backlash

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) scaled back her previously implemented ban on carrying firearms in public on Friday after a judge blocked its enforcement. Grisham announced that the amended ban would only prohibit open and concealed carry in public parks or playgrounds. The governor had previously announced a ban, based on a public health order, that would've prevented open and concealed carry throughout Bernalillo County and its county seat, Albuquerque. However, even before a judge found this order to be too wide in scope, Grisham faced backlash politically, including from some in her own party. New Mexico's Democratic attorney general, Raul Torrez, said he wouldn't defend the state in ban-related lawsuits. Albuquerque Journal, ABC News

7. Officials drop Maui wildfire death toll to 97 following DNA analysis

Hawaiian officials said Friday that they had amended the number of deaths from last month's wildfire in Maui to 97. It was previously believed that 115 people had died in the inferno, which almost completely destroyed the historic city of Lahaina. After additional rounds of DNA testing, though, Maui Police officials said that only 97 had died, and that the higher number had been due to multiple DNA samples belonging to the same victims. The number of people who remained missing was also amended from 41 to 31. However, Hawaii Gov. Josh Green (D) confirmed that more deaths were still possible as investigations into the missing persons cases continue. USA Today, NBC News

8. Wagner Group declared terrorist organization by UK

Russia's mercenary Wagner Group was officially designated a terrorist organization by the United Kingdom on Friday. The designation formally bans the group throughout the U.K., and also allows Britons who aid the group to face prison sentences of up to 14 years. British officials said last week they had planned to make this designation, with the country's home secretary, Suella Braverman, calling the Wagner Group a "threat to global security," adding that they were "terrorists, plain and simple." The designation comes just weeks after the head of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, died in a plane crash that many assume may have been perpetrated by Russian President Vladimir Putin. BBC News

9. Lauren Boebert apologizes after being kicked out of play for disruptive behavior

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) apologized Friday after she was kicked out of a Denver musical for being disruptive during the performance. In a statement released by her campaign, Boebert said she was "truly sorry." A city incident report wrote that Boebert was "vaping, singing, [and] causing a disturbance" during a performance of the musical "Beetlejuice," and security camera footage shows her being escorted out of the theater. Boebert reportedly threatened theater staff during the altercation, the city's report said. The congresswoman's statement added, "None of my actions or words as a private citizen that night were intended to be malicious or meant to cause harm, the reality is they did and I regret that." The Washington Post, NBC News

10. Ashton Kutcher resigns as chair of anti-child abuse group after Masterson letter

Actor Ashton Kutcher resigned Friday as chairman of the board of Thorn, a self-founded anti-child abuse organization. Kutcher's wife, Mila Kunis, is also stepping down from her role on the board. The couple's decision comes following a wave of backlash after they wrote letters of support for Danny Masterson, who was recently sentenced to 30 years to life in prison for the rape of two women. The couple had starred alongside Masterson on "That 70's Show," and had defended him during his criminal trial. In a statement, Kutcher apologized to victims of abuse and said he "cannot allow my error in judgment to distract from our efforts and the children we serve." Time

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.

Justin Klawans

Justin Klawans is a staff writer at The Week. Based in Chicago, he was previously a breaking news reporter for Newsweek, writing breaking news and features for verticals including politics, U.S. and global affairs, business, crime, sports, and more. His reporting has been cited on many online platforms, in addition to CBS' The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

He is also passionate about entertainment and sports news, and has covered film, television, and casting news as a freelancer for outlets like Collider and United Press International, as well as Chicago sports news for Fansided.