Longest day, hottest heat

The summer solstice is here, and there's record heat to prove it. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. failed to qualify for the CNN presidential debate. And why Americans aren’t taking vacations.

?Hey, Thursday! Laura Davis here. It’s time to get caught up with the news!

But first: A real big bird. ? Did you know? The biggest bird in the world weighs 220 to 350 pounds – but it doesn't even come close to the largest bird that ever lived. Meet the biggest bird ever.

Millions broil under heat dome

Excessive heat advisories, watches and warnings blanketed the first day of summer Thursday for more than 100 million Americans from Chicago to Caribou, Maine ? and more heat was on the way.

A heat what? Dome. Meteorologists are blaming a heat dome, a powerful high-pressure system that traps hot air over a region and prevents cool air from getting in while causing ground temperatures to remain high. ?? See the full forecast.

Worldwide heat: The dangerous heat is not limited to the United States. Cities on four continents are scorching, an early sign that a season of record-breaking heat could surpass last summer as the warmest in 2,000 years.

Earliest summer solstice in 228 years: The summer solstice is here. And it's the earliest one since June 20, 1796 – when George Washington was president and there were only 16 states in the Union. ?? What to know about the solstice.

People cool off at the lakefront as temperatures climbed above 90 degrees Fahrenheit on June 19, 2024 in Chicago. A heat wave has brought record warm temperatures to much of the Midwest and Northeast areas of the country this week.
People cool off at the lakefront as temperatures climbed above 90 degrees Fahrenheit on June 19, 2024 in Chicago. A heat wave has brought record warm temperatures to much of the Midwest and Northeast areas of the country this week.

Alberto turns deadly

After making landfall in Mexico early Thursday, Alberto, the first named storm of the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season, left at least four people dead. Much of the Gulf Coast from southern Texas to Louisiana and Alabama remains under flood advisories. ? Here's the latest.

Vehicles drive through flooded neighborhoods on June 19, 2024 in Surfside Beach, Texas, as Alberto, the first named tropical storm of the hurricane season, approached the region.
Vehicles drive through flooded neighborhoods on June 19, 2024 in Surfside Beach, Texas, as Alberto, the first named tropical storm of the hurricane season, approached the region.

Real quick

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Only room for two on this stage

It's officially a Trump vs. Biden showdown. Independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. failed to qualify for the June 27 CNN presidential debate, leaving just Joe Biden and Donald Trump to face off with one another.

The deadline to qualify for the debate was 12 a.m. EDT Thursday. To qualify, candidates must “appear on a sufficient number of state ballots to reach the 270 electoral vote thresholds to win the presidency” and receive at least 15% in four qualifying national polls before the eligibility deadline, CNN said. Kennedy had received at least 15% in three qualifying polls and was on the ballot in only six states. ? Keep reading.

Take a vacation!! ??

Summer vacation mode may be in full swing, Expedia says, but Americans aren’t the ones packing their bags.

Expedia’s Vacation Deprivation Report: The study found that Americans take 11 days off a year on average – but only half of them even plan to use all their allotted time off