Senate Democrats pass budget package, win for Biden
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has approved the Democrats’ big economic package for the election year. The legislation is less ambitious than President Joe Biden’s original national goals. But he embodies deep-rooted party dreams of slowing global warming, moderating pharmaceutical costs and taxing big business. The debate began on Saturday and continued around the clock until Sunday afternoon. Democrats had crushed some three dozen Republican efforts to torpedo the legislation. Biden is urging a speedy passage of the House, and the House appears on track to provide final congressional approval when it briefly returns from summer recess on Friday.
Ceasefire between Israel and Gaza militants holds overnight
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — A fragile ceasefire agreement to end nearly three days of fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants that has been going on all night, signaling that the latest wave of violence seems to have decreased. The outbreak was the worst fight between Israel and militant groups in Gaza since Israel and Hamas fought an 11-day war last year, and adds to the destruction and misery that has plagued for years in Gaza. Forty-three Palestinians were killed in three days, including 15 children and four women. The lives of hundreds of thousands of Israelis have been disrupted by the violence. The security measures imposed in recent days on residents of southern Israel were gradually lifted on Monday.
One year after Afghanistan, spy agencies turn to China
WASHINGTON (AP) — A year has passed since President Joe Biden ended the war in Afghanistan. Today, Biden and top national security officials talk less about counterterrorism and more about the political, economic, and military threats posed by China and Russia. There has been a silent pivot within the intelligence agencies, which are moving hundreds of officers to China-focused posts, including some who previously worked on terrorism. In a recent closed-door meeting with leaders of the agency’s counterterrorism center, CIA official No. 2 made it clear that the fight against al-Qaeda and other extremist groups would remain a priority, even if money and resources would shift to focus on China.
War front shifts as grain leaves Ukraine; plant shot
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Six more ships carrying agricultural goods stranded by war in Ukraine have been cleared to leave the country’s Black Sea ports. The body overseeing an international deal to get 20 million tonnes of grain out of Ukraine to feed people around the world said the loaded ships were cleared to leave on Sunday. Meanwhile, analysts are warning that Russia is moving troops and equipment towards ports to avoid a Ukrainian counteroffensive. A large nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine came under fire on Saturday evening. Both sides blame each other for the attack.
Biden joins governor to investigate Kentucky flood damage
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden plan to travel to Kentucky on Monday to meet with families who have suffered from historic flooding. At least 37 people died after last month’s deluge, and flooding remains a threat with more thunderstorms in the forecast this week. Biden had previously visited Kentucky in December after a tornado ripped through the state, killing 77 people. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear and his wife, Britainy, will join Biden, who has increased federal aid to the state to help its recovery.
Former coal town rallies in the face of Kentucky floods
FLEMING-NEON, Ky. (AP) — The town of Fleming-Neon was trying to move beyond an economic disaster when a natural disaster knocked it down. The former coal town was devastated by flooding that killed more than 30 Kentucky people. Fleming was founded as a company town; Neighbor Neon thrived on the industry. As coal dwindled and people left, towns merged. There are only 500 inhabitants left. They are determined to build a life after coal. A new multipurpose center was due to open soon when the storm hit. Residents vow to end it; for now, the building is a backup distribution center. Barely a week after the storms, the hair salon reopened. Nearby, the florist says he will soon too. Neighbors and volunteers are mobilizing to help.
Firefighters battle large blaze at Cuba tank farm for day 2
HAVANA (AP) — Cuban firefighters are working with special teams sent by Mexico and Venezuela as they battle for a second day to control a raging fire at a large oil storage farm. The region’s governor said efforts on Sunday were aimed at preventing the flames from spreading further. Authorities say one firefighter has died and others are missing since lightning struck a storage tank on Friday night, sparking a blaze that spread to a second tank early Saturday and sparked a series of fires. explosions. A total of 122 people were treated for injuries, including five in critical condition.
‘We’re sorting out’: Cops fight violent crime as ranks dwindle
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — In Portland, Ore., the police chief recently pulled detectives from cold cases and assault units to fill the homicide unit, which is overwhelmed by a spike in gun violence. In Philadelphia, police have disbanded their abandoned car unit and in Los Angeles, homeless awareness and animal cruelty teams have largely shut down. In major American cities, police departments are losing officers and not finding enough recruits to replace them. Pandemic burnout, budget cuts and anti-police protests following the killing of George Floyd have combined to shrink police ranks and many departments are downsizing. Evolution has affected residents in ways big and small.
Chinese resort town of Hainan extends COVID-19 closures
BEIJING (AP) — The capital of China’s Hainan province has locked down its residents for 13 hours as a COVID-19 outbreak develops on the tropical island during the summer school vacation. More than 470 new cases were recorded Sunday in the province. The temporary lockdown in the city of Haikou from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. follows a continuous and indefinite lockdown in the resort town of Sanya since Saturday. Some 80,000 tourists are said to be stranded in Sanya. Tourists wishing to leave must test negative five times in seven days. China has stuck to a “zero-COVID” approach despite the economic and social costs.
Hong Kong reduces COVID hotel quarantine to 3 days for arrivals
HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong will reduce the mandatory hotel quarantine for overseas arrivals to three days a week. It is one of the few places in the world that still requires quarantine to guard against travelers spreading COVID-19 to locals. Hong Kong leader John Lee said arriving travelers must quarantine for three days in a hotel and then undergo four days of medical surveillance during which their movements will be restricted. Travelers will also need to test themselves regularly for COVID-19. The changes to COVID-19 policies come amid a rise in infections, which city health officials say could double to 8,000 in the coming weeks. Hong Kong’s severe entry restrictions during the pandemic have devastated its tourism industry and disrupted business travel.
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