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Added: March 4, 2022
Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.
‘Is there any way we can get out?’ Afghans in U.S.struggle to help relatives in Kabul
As the Taliban took over Kabul on Sunday, Besmellah Khuram sat in his living room in Sacramento and video-called his family in Afghanistan. His 34-year old brother was terrified of reprisals from the Taliban because he had worked as an IT contractor for foreign charities and the Afghan government, Khuram said.The Taliban enforced a strict version of Sharia law during its 1996-2001 rule, which included administering punishments such as public stonings, whippings and hangings.
Tropical Storm Fred makes landfall, slams Florida Panhandle
Tropical Storm Fred slammed the Florida Panhandle on Monday afternoon, making landfall with a wet slap of heavy rain and blasting winds at 65 miles per hour (104 kph).The powerful storm struck the coast at 3:15 p.m. EST, about 25 miles west of Apalachicola, close to the city of Port St. Joe, home to some 3,500 residents, said Andrew Hagen, marine forecaster at the Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC).
U.S.appeals judge’s order reviving Trump ‘remain in Mexico’ program
The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday appealed a federal judge’s order to reinstate a controversial immigration program that forced tens of thousands of migrants to wait in Mexico for the resolution of their U.S.asylum cases. The Biden administration appealed the decision to the conservative-leaning 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals after a Texas-based judge on Friday vacated the administration’s decision to end the program, known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP).
New Yorkers largely back mayor’s vaccine mandate to dine out
New Yorkers interviewed by Reuters on Monday were largely backing the push by the city’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter restaurants, gyms and other businesses.The policy is set to launch Tuesday as the delta variant continues to make progress.
New York Assembly to release report on Cuomo investigation
Lawmakers in the New York State Assembly will issue a report on their investigation into Governor Andrew Cuomo after abandoning an impeachment effort in light of his resignation over complaints of sexual harassment, members said.The Assembly’s Judiciary Committee began an impeachment investigation in March after two women who worked for Cuomo went public with complaints of sexual harassment.
U.S. opens probe into Tesla´s Autopilot over emergency vehicle crashes
U.S. auto safety regulators on Monday opened a formal safety probe into Tesla Inc’s driver assistance system Autopilot after a series of crashes involving Tesla models and emergency vehicles.The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said it had identified 11 crashes since January 2018 in which Teslas “have encountered first responder scenes and subsequently struck one or more vehicles involved with those scenes.”
In Texas, local school officials stick with mask mandate, despite court setback
Local officials in Texas who have been battling their governor over mask mandates said they would continue to require face coverings in schools despite a setback in the state Supreme Court.The latest manifestation of the political divide over how to beat back the coronavirus comes as the Delta variant is leading a spike in new cases, including among children.
Crews battling California’s mammoth Dixie fire brace for high winds
Strike teams battling a mammoth wildfire displacing thousands of northern California residents braced for a resurgence of high winds on Monday, as the state’s largest utility warned customers that widespread precautionary power shutoffs were likely this week.The so-called Dixie fire has blackened nearly 570,000 acres (230,670 hectares) of drought-parched timber and brush in the rugged Sierra Nevada mountains northeast of San Francisco since erupting July 14, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire).
‘We could have done more’ – frustration grows in Washington over Biden’s Kabul evacuation
Frustration and anger at U.S.
President Joe Biden´s handling of evacuations from Afghanistan website are mounting among administration officials, lawmakers of both parties and advocacy groups. As U.S. diplomats hunkered inside, thousands of desperate Afghans thronged Kabul airport where five people were killed on Monday, prompting the U.S.
military to temporarily suspend flights to clear the airfield.
Biden defends Afghanistan decision, blames Afghan army’s unwillingness to fight
President Joe Biden said on Monday he stood “squarely behind” his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan despite searing images of chaos in Kabul that exposed the limits of U.S.power and plunged him into the worst crisis of his presidency. Breaking his silence on the U.S. pullout after scenes of bedlam dominated television news channels for days, Biden blamed the Taliban’s takeover in Afghanistan on Afghan political leaders who fled the country and the unwillingness of the U.S.-trained Afghan army to fight the militant group.
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