1/ The Biden administration named the first 10 medicines that will be subject to price negotiations between Medicare and pharmaceutical companies under the Inflation Reduction Act. The medications are some of the most widely used and costliest drugs older Americans use for heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and autoimmune conditions. Medicare spent $50.5 billion on the drugs last year, and the negotiations are projected to save the government an estimated $98.5 billion over a decade. Makers of the drugs have 30 days to participate in the negotiations or face excise taxes. As a provision of IRA mandates that a certain number of drugs will be added annually to the negotiations. (Politico / NBC News / New York Times / CNN / ABC News / Washington Post / CNBC / Wall Street Journal / USA Today)

2/ Hurricane Idalia strengthened into a Category 2 hurricane as it moved over record-warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico. Idalia is expected to make landfall along Florida’s Gulf Coast on Wednesday as a major Category 3 storm with continuous winds between 111-129 mph. The National Weather Service is warning that the surge will be anywhere from “devastating to catastrophic,” leading to an “extreme life-threatening” situation for anyone in the storm’s path. The water temperatures around southern Florida climbed to 100 degrees Fahrenheit in some areas this summer – a possible world record for sea surface temperatures – and temperatures in the Gulf overall have been record-warm. Warmer waters allow for what’s known as rapid intensification, a phenomenon where a storm’s wind speed increases at least 35 mph within 24 hours. Water temperatures along Idalia’s predicted path are close to 90F. (CNN / New York Times / Washington Post / NBC News / Bloomberg / Axios)

3/ Air pollution is more dangerous to the health of the average person on planet Earth than smoking or alcohol, according to a benchmark study by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago. The annual Air Quality Life Index reported that fine particulate air pollution — i.e. vehicle and industrial emissions, wildfires and more — remain the “greatest external threat to public health.” Fine particulate matter is linked to lung disease, heart disease, strokes, and cancer. The World Health Organization estimates that permanently reducing these pollutants would add 2.3 years to the life expectancy of the average person. Cigarette smoking and other uses of tobacco reduces global life expectancy by 2.2 years. (CBS News / Wall Street Journal)

4/ The Biden administration weakened regulations protecting millions of acres of wetlands to comply with a Supreme Court ruling, which limited the federal government’s power to regulate wetlands that do not have a “continuous surface connection” to larger, regulated bodies of water. An estimated 1.2 million to 4.9 million miles of ephemeral streams will no longer be under federal protection and up to 63% of wetlands will be affected. In May, the Supreme Court limited the EPA’s authority to protect wetlands and waterways under the Clean Water Act, upending a half-century of federal rules governing the nation’s waterways. (Associated Press / Washington Post)

  • America Is Using Up Its Groundwater Like There’s No Tomorrow. Overuse is draining and damaging aquifers nationwide. (New York Times)

5/ The number of available jobs in the U.S. fell for the third consecutive month – dropping below 9 million for the first time since 2021. Job openings declined by 338,000 to a seasonally adjusted 8.8 million in July from the prior month, the Labor Department reported – the sixth decline in the last seven months. (Bloomberg / CNN / Wall Street Journal)

poll/ 57% of likely Georgia Republican primary voters support Trump, while 15% support Ron DeSantis. In a hypothetical heads-up matchup against DeSantis, Trump had a 33-point lead. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)