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Scathing report blasts Boeing, FAA for crashes; Japan names new PM; ACM Awards are tonight
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Scathing report blasts Boeing, FAA for crashes; Japan names new PM; ACM Awards are tonight

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Today is Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020. Let's get caught up.

These non-virus headlines are in the news this morning: Hurricane Sally blasted ashore this morning in Alabama as it dumps torrential rain on the Gulf Coast; Japan's Yoshihide Suga will replace Shinzo Abe as prime minister; and it's country music's night to party at the ACM Awards.

Read on for these stories, other top headlines, celebrity birthdays and more.

Top stories

In this June 29, 2020, file photo, a Boeing 737 Max jet heads to a landing at Boeing Field following a test flight in Seattle. 

Panel's report blasts Boeing, FAA for crashes, seeks reforms

A House committee issued a scathing report Wednesday questioning whether Boeing and government regulators have recognized the problems that caused two deadly 737 Max jet crashes and whether either will be willing to make significant changes to fix them.

Staff members from the Democrat-controlled Transportation Committee blamed the crashes that killed 346 people on the “horrific culmination” of failed government oversight, design flaws and a lack of action at Boeing despite knowing about problems. Read the full story here:


Yoshihide Suga arrives at the prime minister's office after being formally elected Japan’s prime minister in a parliamentary vote in Tokyo Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020. 

Yoshihide Suga named Japan's prime minister, succeeding Abe

Japan's Parliament elected Yoshihide Suga as prime minister Wednesday, replacing long-serving leader Shinzo Abe with his right-hand man.

Keeping his usual straight face, Suga bowed deeply several times when the results were announced as his fellow ruling party lawmakers applauded in Parliament's lower house, the more powerful of the two chambers where he has a seat. He was also confirmed in the upper house. Read the full story here:


This Oct. 29, 2019 file photo shows Carrie Underwood performing during her "Cry Pretty Tour 360" in Chicago. 

Country's night to party sobers up amid pandemic

In a pre-pandemic world, the Academy of Country Music Awards advertised itself as country music’s night to party with gambling, after-parties and a Las Vegas-style attitude.

This year the red carpet, crowds and gambling are all replaced with COVID-19 tests, temperature checks and face masks. The awards show was delayed five months due to the pandemic and moved to Nashville, and the tone for Wednesday’s show airing on CBS will be much more serious than in years past. Read the full story here:

In other news today ...

  • Hurricane Sally has made landfall near Gulf Shores, Alabama, as a Category 2 storm, bringing torrential rain over a coastal storm surge that forecasters said would cause dangerous flooding from the Florida Panhandle to Mississippi and well inland in the days ahead.
  • Fielding compelling questions about voters’ real-world problems, President Donald Trump denied during a televised town hall that he had played down the threat of the coronavirus earlier this year, although there is an audio recording of him stating he did just that.
  • Dangerously dirty air spewing from the West Coast wildfires is seeping into homes and businesses, sneaking into cars through air conditioning vents and preventing people already shut away by the coronavirus pandemic from enjoying a walk or trip to the park.
  • Touring wildfire damage Tuesday in her home state, California Sen. Kamala Harris said “ideology should not kick in" when responding to wildfires and the climate crisis, a veiled criticism of President Donald Trump, though she did not say his name.
  • Joe Biden made his first trip to Florida as the Democratic presidential nominee with an urgent mission to boost support among Latinos who could decide the election in one of the nation's fiercest battleground states.
  • Months after the police killing of Breonna Taylor thrust her name to the forefront of a national reckoning on race, the city of Louisville agreed to pay the Black woman's family $12 million and reform police practices as part of a settlement announced Tuesday.
  • North Korea may soon conduct its first underwater-launched ballistic missile test in about a year, a top South Korean military official said Wednesday, amid long-stalled nuclear talks between the North and the United States.
  • CNBC's Jim Cramer apologized Tuesday for calling House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “crazy Nancy” during an interview, saying he was trying to make a point about Washington intolerance that fell flat.
  • William H. Gates II, a lawyer and philanthropist best known as the father of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, has died at 94.
  • Kim Kardashian West, Katy Perry and Leonardo DiCaprio are among celebrities taking part in a 24-hour Instagram “freeze” on Wednesday to protest against what they say is parent company Facebook's failure to tackle violent and hateful content and election misinformation.
  • Just about everyone had L.A. vs. L.A. written in for the Western Conference finals. Then along came the resilient Denver Nuggets, who crashed the party.

Click on the links below for full versions of these stories and scroll further for trending stories, a look at today in history and celebrity birthdays.

Today's national forecast

Weather conditions are improving for firefighters in the battle to contain the wildfires in the Pacific Northwest. CNN meteorologist Pedram Javaheri has the latest. Watch here:

Trending today

Image of the day

In this aerial photo taken with a drone, fire retardant blankets leveled homes in Talent, Ore., on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, after the Almeda Fire tore through the area. 

On this date

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