5 things to know for August 25: Afghanistan, Covid, Congress, immigration, Nicaragua

5 things to know for August 25: Afghanistan, Covid, Congress, immigration, Nicaragua

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1. Afghanistan

President Biden has decided not to extend the deadline for American troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, despite pressure from G7 and US leaders alike. Biden said his decision to stick to the August 31 deadline is in large part driven by persistent security risks. The Pentagon says it can evacuate all remaining Americans by next week, and the first US troops to leave Afghanistan since the current crisis arose are on their way out. Still, questions remain as to how and when the rest of the thousands of Afghans who aided in war efforts will be able to leave. About 70,000 people have been evacuated in the last 10 days.

2. Coronavirus

Global Covid-19 cases appear to be leveling off after a two-month increase, the World Health Organization says. WHO reported more than 4.5 million new cases and 68,000 new deaths worldwide last week, which was only a slight increase over the previous week. Don’t get too optimistic, though — there was a similar pattern in May, before the Delta variant spurred a worldwide surge in outbreaks. The winter could be even more difficult, when Covid-19 risk combines with flu season again. Normally, the CDC recommends getting a flu shot by the end of October. But with so many pandemic variables, some experts are recommending getting it even sooner.

3. Congress

Moderate and progressive Democrats are at odds with how two big bills that make up their party’s wide-ranging economic agenda should proceed. Progressives in the House want the final budget reconciliation package to move at the same time as the Senate’s bipartisan infrastructure bill so their caucus can vote for both bills. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has now made a deal with moderates to give the infrastructure bill a vote by September 27, which moves up the timetable and threatens the prospect of keeping the two bills linked. Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy called for Democrats to halt the process altogether to focus on Afghanistan evacuations. The White House fired back, saying the federal government is capable of handling more than one responsibility at once.

4. Immigration

The Biden administration must move forward with reviving the controversial Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” policy, the Supreme Court has decided. The policy forces migrants to stay in Mexico as they await their US immigration court dates. It was suspended at the beginning of Biden’s term and formally terminated months later. However, Texas and Missouri sued to challenge the Biden administration’s decision. A federal district judge appointed by President Trump then ruled that the way the Biden administration ended the program violated US law. The Supreme Court sided with this lower court decision, and its rejection could set the tone for how the court views emergency requests from the Biden administration in the future.

5. Nicaragua

Nicaragua’s government is cracking down on opposition leaders and activists ahead of the country’s presidential elections this fall. The latest figure to be detained is lawyer Roger Reyes, a leader of a political opposition party. By CNN’s tally, he is the 34th opposition figure to be arrested since May 28. Many, like Reyes, have been detained on claims of actions against national sovereignty or alleged money laundering — claims they, their relatives and lawyers broadly reject. Nicaragua’s elections are November 7, and President Daniel Ortega plans to run for reelection. Reyes had anticipated his own arrest, and his party shared a video he recorded in June calling for the country to unite against Ortega’s government.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Krispy Kreme is doubling down on its free doughnut promotion for vaccinated customers

If nothing else convinces you, let free pastries be the thing that does.

What’s the deal with the (very silly) Pfizer vaccine name?

It sounds like trying to say “community” with a mouth full of peanut butter.

Taylor Swift is on TikTok now and fans are freaking

It was only a matter of time! She is omnipresent!

Frisky venomous sea snakes are confusing divers for their mates

Wow, every word in that sentence just gets worse and worse.

FDA discourages the viral #MilkCrateChallenge

In case you need it spelled out: Milk crates are for milk! Not stacking on top of each other and holding human weight!

IN MEMORIAM

Charlie Watts, the unassuming son of a truck driver who gained global fame as the drummer for the Rolling Stones, has died. He was 80. Watts became part of the Stones’ longtime foursome alongside Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood, anchoring the band’s blues-rock sound from his drum kit for more than 50 years.

TODAY’S NUMBER

47

That’s how many major companies, state and federal agencies and other organizations inadvertently exposed millions of people’s personal information to the public internet for months after misconfiguring a setting in their Microsoft software, according to security researchers. Many of the impacted organizations have secured their systems, and there is no indication the data was improperly accessed.

TODAY’S QUOTE

“I am delighted to see that money which was illegally siphoned out of football is now coming back to be used for its proper purposes, as it should have been in the first place.”

FIFA President Gianni Infantino, after the US Department of Justice awarded $201 million to FIFA and several other international soccer governing groups. The agency determined the organizations had been victims of decadeslong bribery schemes that have corrupted the sport and stunted the game’s development.

TODAY’S WEATHER

Check your local forecast here>>>

AND FINALLY

Time to make the doughnuts

Your morning breakfast treat requires lots of love and care, and watching this guy spend a whole day on his feet (in time-lapse style) to make them is both exhausting and amazing. (Click here to view.)

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