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Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call via Getty

Today marks 100 days until the return of hot summer nights at the Iowa State Fair, which will run Aug. 12-22.

  • Why it matters: Love it or hate it, the Iowa State Fair is a significant annual event both culturally and economically.

State of play: Gary Slater, Iowa State Fair CEO, said he's feeling increased confidence in the fair as more people get vaccinated.

  • Face masks, attendance caps and any other COVID mitigation requirements are still up in the air until it's closer to August, Slater said.

What to expect: Security measures, including bag checks and the new Iowa State Fair Police force, will continue in 2021.

  • Additional security like metal detectors have not been determined yet, Slater said.

What's new: The giant slide will move southeast of the varied industries building and north of the Walnut Center.

  • The 4-H Exhibition building was also completely renovated.
  • And after people voiced their disappointment about the fair cutting Avenue of Breeds, Slater said it will return in a new spot next to the 4-H building.

By the numbers: More than 1 million people attended the fair in 2019 and Slater said he hopes to see the same this year.

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Go deeper

16 mins ago - World

Israel's "change bloc" collapses, leaving Netanyahu in charge

Bennett (L) with Netanyahu in 2015. Photo: Gali Tibbon/AFP via Getty Images

In a dramatic shift that comes amid fighting in the Gaza strip and clashes between Jewish and Arab citizens in Israel, right-wing kingmaker Naftali Bennett has announced he will no longer seek an alternative government to oust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Why it matters: Bennett had been on the verge of a power-sharing deal with centrist opposition leader Yair Lapid that would have made him prime minister for two years until Lapid rotated into the job. Without Bennett, Lapid has no path to a majority, and Israel will almost certainly head for its fifth election since 2019 with Netanyahu still in his post.

CDC says fully vaccinated people don't have to wear masks indoors

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky. Photo: Erin Clark-Pool/Getty Images

The CDC announced in new guidance Thursday that anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, regardless of crowd size.

What they're saying: "If you are fully vaccinated, you are protected, and you can start doing the things that you stopped doing because of the pandemic," CDC Director Rochelle Walensky will say at a White House press briefing.

Colonial Pipeline reportedly paid hackers nearly $5 million in ransom

Photo: Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images

Colonial Pipeline paid hackers linked to the DarkSide cybercrime group nearly $5 million in cryptocurrency after last week's ransomware attack, Bloomberg first reported and the New York Times confirmed.

Why it matters: The breach of the largest refined fuels pipeline in the U.S. triggered new concerns about the vulnerability of the country's increasingly digitized energy systems.