5 things to know for June 12: Hong Kong, campaign 2020, tropical cyclone, World Cup

If you’re into shutting down lemonade stands run by kids, stay clear of Texas. The state’s governor just signed a bill to stop such silliness. 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. Hong Kong protests

Lawmakers in Hong Kong put off for now debate on a controversial bill that would let fugitives be extradited to China after protesters blocked roads and government buildings today. They pretty much brought central Hong Kong to a standstill. Police responded by firing rubber bullets and tear gas at the protesters. Critics of the bill say it will make anyone in Hong Kong susceptible to being grabbed and sent to mainland China for political reasons. They also say it undermines Hong Kong’s semi-autonomous legal system. Chinese officials say the bill just plugs some loopholes in the country’s extradition law. Click here to get the latest updates on the protests.

2. Campaign 2020

Are we already getting a general election preview? It sure felt like it yesterday in Iowa, where President Trump and ex-Vice President Joe Biden (who is also the Democratic front-runner) held dueling events in the early voting state. It all turned into an insult fest, with Biden, who kicked off a three-stop swing, calling Trump an “existential threat” to the country, while Trump trotted out his old “Sleepy Joe” moniker. It’s clear that the President is focused on Biden because the former veep represents the most formidable threat to Trump’s re-election chances. Biden could peel away a number of the blue-collar voters who put Trump in the White House in 2016.

3. Energy

America’s renewable energy sector reached a big milestone earlier this spring. For the first time the sector — which includes solar, water, wind and geothermal steam — had slightly more energy generating capacity than coal. Renewable energy sources also generated more electricity than coal in April, although that achievement was partially driven by seasonal issues. The milestones reflect the declining costs of solar and wind as well as continued environmental concerns about coal. The US is also cutting back on its use of coal. Since peaking in 2008, the nation’s coal consumption has plummeted 39% to the lowest level in 40 years.

4. Tropical Cyclone Vayu

People in northwest India are getting out of the way as the strongest storm to threaten this part of India in decades barrels toward them. Almost 300,000 people are set to be evacuated ahead of Tropical Cyclone Vayu, which is expected to make landfall in Gujarat state tomorrow. The storm is expected to have winds of about 110 mph when it hits, which is equivalent to a borderline Category 2 to 3 hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean. Gujarat state hadn’t had a storm this strong hit since 1998, when a tropical cyclone with winds of 120 mph killed around 10,000 people.

5. Women’s World Cup

Did Team USA go too far when it crushed Thailand in the biggest blowout in World Cup history? The United States Women’s National Team set a scoring record when it torched Thailand 13-0. Team USA, which is favored to win the whole tournament, scored after just 12 minutes and didn’t let up the rest of the match. US players celebrated every goal, sparking criticism on social media. By the time it was all over, Thailand’s players were in tears. The US team was accused of humiliating the Thai players, but Alex Morgan, a striker for the US, said it was important to score as many goals as possible in case goal difference later becomes a factor in the group stages.


Birth strike

What are you willing to do to save the planet? Some people don’t eat meat. Others skip school. Some folks fight climate change — by not having kids.

Care bears

Every time she went to the hospital with her teddy bear, the 7-year-old girl noticed other children didn’t have one. So she did something about it.

Split ends?

Music fans are on high alert because Ariana Grande may have split up — with her ponytail.

Spoiler alert

Want to vacation like an Avenger? You can rent the cabin from “Endgame” where they held Tony Stark’s … oh, never mind.

Maybe it’s just cheese

There’s a huge mass of something at the center of the moon, and nobody knows what the heck it is.


“I gave him my hand. I drove with one hand. We hit a few cars on the way but we got there.”

Eliezel Salvador, who drove ex-baseball player David Ortiz to the hospital in his SUV after Ortiz was shot in the Dominican Republic. Two people have been arrested in the shooting.



The number of master recordings — many of them historically significant — that were destroyed in a fire in 2008 at Universal Studios in Los Angeles. The New York Times Magazine said information on what exactly was lost in the blaze was suppressed for years.



Once upon a time

Cuteness alert! Three little princesses give their recap of the 80s cult classic “The Princess Bride.” (Click to view)