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This is the last American soldier to leave Afghanistan
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This is the last American soldier to leave Afghanistan
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The last soldier to leave Afghanistan on the day the U.S. concluded its 20-year war has been identified as Major General Chris Donahue, commander of the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division, XVIII Airborne Corps. Donahue was one of the commanders on the ground leading the evacuation mission.

The final order Donahue gave was “flush the force,” which was sent out over a chat message system.  At the time, there were five C-17 planes on the ground, all of which took off within 10 minutes of Donahue’s order.  Each of the C-17s carry about 105 passengers, suggesting there were about 500 to 600 troops on the ground at that point.

General Kenneth F. McKenzie, the commander of the U.S. Central Command, said Monday that the last U.S. aircraft left Afghanistan on August 30 at 3:29 p.m. ET, or 11:59 p.m. in Kabul.

The Defense Department’s communications wing, DVIDs, released a photo of Donahue boarding a C-17 cargo plane at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. Also on board was Chargé d’affaires Ross Wilson.

Donahue and U.S. Forces Afghanistan Forward commander Rear Admiral Peter Vasely ran the evacuation operation that started August 14 and evacuated more than 122,000 individuals, including 6,000 U.S. citizens. McKenzie admitted Monday that not everyone who wanted to get out of Afghanistan got out, but said he was proud of the U.S. troops who, under the leadership of Donahue and Vasely, evacuated so many.

Donahue was serving in the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. He first deployed to Afghanistan in 2002, and this was his fourth time in Afghanistan. He spent much of his career as a special operator in Iraq and Syria.

You can read the rest of Caroline Linton, David Martin and Eleanor Watson’s article at CBSnews.com

Supreme Court blocks Biden administration’s latest ban on evictions
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Supreme Court blocks Biden administration’s latest ban on evictions
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The Supreme Court on Thursday lifted the Biden administration’s newest federal ban on evictions, granting a bid from a group of landlords to block the pandemic-related protections for renters facing eviction in most of the country.

In an unsigned opinion with the three liberal justices in dissent, the divided court said that “careful review” of the case “makes clear that the applicants are virtually certain to succeed on the merits of their argument that the CDC has exceeded its authority.”

“It would be one thing if Congress had specifically authorized the action that the CDC has taken. But that has not happened,” the court said. “Instead, the CDC has imposed a nationwide moratorium on evictions in reliance on a decades-old statute that authorizes it to implement measures like fumigation and pest extermination. It strains credulity to believe that this statute grants the CDC the sweeping authority that it asserts.”

The court said that “if a federally imposed eviction moratorium is to continue, Congress must specifically authorize it.”

The White House issued a statement late Thursday, saying the Biden administration is “disappointed” the Supreme Court blocked the moratorium amid another surge in COVID-19 cases.

“In light of the Supreme Court ruling and the continued risk of COVID-19 transmission, President Biden is once again calling on all entities that can prevent evictions – from cities and states to local courts, landlords, Cabinet Agencies – to urgently act to prevent evictions,” White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said.

In a dissenting opinion, Justice Stephen Breyer noted the recent spike in COVID-19 transmission rates and warned that allowing evictions to resume could have dangerous public health consequences.

“The CDC targets only those people who have nowhere else to live, in areas with dangerous levels of community transmission,” wrote Breyer, joined by Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. “These people may end up with relatives, in shelters, or seeking beds in other congregant facilities where the doubly contagious Delta variant threatens to spread quickly.”

The questions raised by the case, Breyer continued, “call for considered decisionmaking, informed by full briefing and argument,” and “their answers impact the health of millions.”

You can read the rest of Melissa Quinn’s article at CBSnews.com

US special operations vets carry out daring mission to save Afghan allies
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US special operations vets carry out daring mission to save Afghan allies
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With the Taliban growing more violent and adding checkpoints near Kabul’s airport, an all-volunteer group of American veterans of the Afghan war launched a final daring mission on Wednesday night dubbed the “Pineapple Express” to shepherd hundreds of at-risk Afghan elite forces and their families to safety, members of the group told ABC News.

Moving after nightfall in near-pitch black darkness and extremely dangerous conditions, the group said it worked unofficially in tandem with the United States military and U.S. embassy to move people, sometimes one person at a time, or in pairs, but rarely more than a small bunch, inside the wire of the U.S. military-controlled side of Hamid Karzai International Airport.

The Pineapple Express’ mission was underway Thursday when the attack occurred in Kabul. A suicide bomber believed to have been an ISIS fighter killed at least 13 U.S. service members — 10 U.S. Marines, a Navy corpsman, an Army soldier and another service member — and wounded 15 other service members, according to U.S. officials.

There were wounded among the Pineapple Express travelers from the blast, and members of the group said they were assessing whether unaccounted-for Afghans they were helping had been killed.

As of Thursday morning, the group said it had brought as many as 500 Afghan special operators, assets and enablers and their families into the airport in Kabul overnight, handing them each over to the protective custody of the U.S. military.

That number added to more than 130 others over the past 10 days who had been smuggled into the airport encircled by Taliban fighters since the capital fell to the extremists on Aug. 16 by Task Force Pineapple, an ad hoc groups of current and former U.S. special operators, aid workers, intelligence officers and others with experience in Afghanistan who banded together to save as many Afghan allies as they could.

“Dozens of high-risk individuals, families with small children, orphans, and pregnant women, were secretly moved through the streets of Kabul throughout the night and up to just seconds before ISIS detonated a bomb into the huddled mass of Afghans seeking safety and freedom,” Army Lt. Col. Scott Mann, a retired Green Beret commander who led the private rescue effort, told ABC News.

You can read the rest of

Former NFL star, Heisman winner Herschel Walker launches GOP Senate bid in Georgia
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Former NFL star, Heisman winner Herschel Walker launches GOP Senate bid in Georgia
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“Our country is at a crossroads, and I can’t sit on the sidelines anymore. America is the greatest country in the world, but too many politicians in Washington are afraid to say that. … I have lived the American Dream, but I am concerned it is slipping away for many people,” Walker said in a statement Wednesday, pledging to “stand up for conservative values” if elected to the U.S. Senate.

Walker’s entry into the race marks a new phase in the Republican primary for what is set to be one of the most competitive races of the midterms and a top pick-up opportunity for Republicans. As the first electoral test since the state flipped for President Joe Biden in November and gave Democrats the slimmest of Senate majorities in January by electing Warnock and Jon Ossoff, Republicans are eager to show that Georgia is not a blue state.

In response to Walker filing his candidacy with the Federal Election Commission Tuesday, the Democratic Party of Georgia released a statement calling Walker’s entrance “the nightmare scenario” for the GOP.

“Walker’s entrance into Georgia’s chaotic GOP Senate primary is the nightmare scenario that Republicans have spent the entire cycle trying to avoid. By the end of this long, divisive, and expensive intra-party fight, it’ll be clear that none of these candidates are focused on the issues that matter most to Georgians,” state party spokesperson Dan Gottlieb said in a statement.

While three other candidates have already launched bids, the race has been at somewhat of a standstill while Walker mulled a run.

None of the candidates on the GOP side has the national name recognition or profile that Walker brings with him, but one competitor — Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black — has already been elected to statewide office, a position he’s been elected to three times. He also has the endorsement of former Republican Gov. Nathan Deal.

Black has worked to solidify himself as the front-runner before Walker entered the race. He took on Walker before he announced his campaign, contrasting himself with the longtime Texas resident by touting his lifelong Georgian credentials.

You can read the rest of ‘s article at ABCnews.com

Biden administration increases border deportations and prosecutions
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Biden administration increases border deportations and prosecutions
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The Biden administration is ramping up deportations and prosecutions of migrants crossing the southern border illegally amid a 21-year high in migrant arrests and concerns about the rapid spread of the coronavirus Delta variant.

U.S. authorities are now flying Central American migrants deep into the Mexican interior using a Trump-era public health order that was extended indefinitely last week, according to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials, who said the expulsions are meant to curb repeat border crossings and the spread of the coronavirus.

The Biden administration has also restarted “expedited removal” flights for some migrant families who can’t be expelled to Mexico under the public health authority, known as Title 42. Since the end of July, the U.S. has carried out six expedited removal flights to Central America, deporting 242 migrant parents and children under the procedure, DHS officials said.

Migrant adults who try to cross the southern border again after being deported could be referred for criminal prosecution under another initiative designed to reduce the high recidivism rate among border-crossers, particularly Mexican men, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) official Manuel Padilla said Friday during a call with Latin American journalists.

“What we want to discourage is irregular migration,” Padilla said in Spanish.

You can read the rest of the AP’s article at CBSnews.com

US, UK, and Israel blame Iran for fatal drone attack on oil tanker
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US, UK, and Israel blame Iran for fatal drone attack on oil tanker
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The U.S. joined the U.K. and Israel in blaming Iran for the drone attack that killed two crew members of the oil tanker Mercer Street off the coast of Oman last week.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a statement Sunday said the U.S. is “confident” Iran conducted the attack, which killed a U.K. national and a Romanian national last Thursday. Blinken said Iran is increasingly employing the “lethal capability” of one-way explosive drones in the region.

The Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has denied responsibility for the attack.

The U.S. is working with partners to consider next steps and consulting with governments on an appropriate response, according to the statement from the State Department.

On Monday, both the U.K. and Romania summoned the Iranian ambassadors to London and Bucharest respectively to discuss the attack on the Mercer Street.

A U.S. defense official said there had been an unsuccessful attack attempted the day before that was then followed by the attack on Thursday that killed the two crew members.

The U.S. Navy responded to an emergency distress call after the attack. The USS Ronald Reagan and the guided missile destroyer USS Mitscher escorted the ship to safety. U.S. Navy explosives experts were on board, U.S. Central Command said in a statement on Friday.

You can read the rest of Eleanor Watson’s article at CBSnews.com

Donald Trump builds war chest of $102 million entering 2nd half of 2021
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Donald Trump builds war chest of $102 million entering 2nd half of 2021
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Donald Trump has not yet said whether he’ll run for president in 2024, but he’s already raising a huge war chest in case he does.

New disclosure reports filed Saturday night show that his affiliated political committees have a total of $102 million in cash on hand going into July, after bringing in more than $80 million in the first six months of 2021.

The massive fundraising sum the committees reported include transfers of donations dated December 2020, though the exact amount transferred from last year is unclear.

According to his team, the latest fundraising total, which spans from Jan. 1 through June 30, comes from 3.2 million contributions.

The money will also come in handy in the midterm elections in 2022, where he could pump tens of millions of dollars into a quest to take back the House and Senate from Democrats.

The latest figures are a show of continued fundraising prowess from Trump, whose massive post-election fundraising success has come amid baseless fraud claims about the 2020 presidential election.

Since the election, Trump and his team have solicited hundreds of millions of dollars for an “Election Defense Fund” and seeking support to fight the 2020 results. But little of that has actually gone to such efforts so far, disclosure filings show.

You can read the rest of ‘s article at ABCnews.com

Here’s how to choose the right Xbox Series X video settings for your 4K TV
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Here’s how to choose the right Xbox Series X video settings for your 4K TV
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If you’re using an HDMI 2.1 compatible TV, you’ll have the ability to set the Xbox Series X to output 4K HDR content at 120Hz. Those with HDMI 2.0 TVs will be limited to outputting 4K content at 60Hz. HDMI 2.0 TVs are also forced to make use of chroma subsampling to display 4K HDR content.

As such, those with HDMI 2.0 TVs should enable the “allow YCC 4:2:2” option. This is an improvement over the console’s default method of outputting 4K HDR content using 4:2:0 subsampling for HDMI 2.0 TVs. For those with HDMI 2.1 TVs, you don’t need to enable this option, as your TV does not need to make use of chroma subsampling.

Color depth should be set to 8-bit regardless of which HDMI version your TV supports. This is to protect the image fidelity of SDR games. The console will automatically output at the correct color depth when playing HDR content.

Most people will probably prefer to have the Dolby Vision and variable refresh rate options enabled, if they’re available to you. However, these should be left to personal preference. Some might prefer the look of HDR10 to Dolby Vision. Some may also prefer having a fixed refresh rate.

Color space should be set to standard unless you’re using a computer monitor or display that you know supports full range. If you’re not using a computer monitor, there is a very tiny chance that your display supports full range.

Also, keep in mind that some games do not properly function as they should with HDR enabled. For example, Cyberpunk 2077 cannot output HDR properly, even though the game claims to support the feature. The game should be played in SDR.

In these cases like these, it’s best to manually turn the HDR feature off via the console’s settings, not the game’s settings. Simply enable HDR again when playing other content. Most games that claim to support HDR do function properly, but it’s worth doing a quick check online before playing.

That’s all you need to know about your Xbox Series X settings. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, just lets us know down in the comment section.

Biden announces U.S. military mission in Afghanistan will end August 31
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Biden announces U.S. military mission in Afghanistan will end August 31
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President Biden said the withdrawal from Afghanistan of U.S troops after 20 years of war will conclude on August 31, ahead of the September 11 deadline he announced in mid-April.

“We are ending the nation’s longest war,” the president said in remarks at the White House Thursday.

At the time he announced the September deadline, about 3,500 troops remained. Earlier this week, the Pentagon said that the withdrawal was 90% complete. It proceeded quickly for a reason.

“Our military commanders advised me that once I made the decision to end the war, we needed to move swiftly to conduct the main elements of the drawdown, and in this context, speed is safety,” the president said. A different approach “would have certainly come with an increased risk of safety to our personnel,” and he noted that so far, no U.S. military personnel have been lost in the process.

U.S. forces last week exited Bagram Airfield, the largest American base in the country. The turnover of Bagram to the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces completed the U.S. transfer of all seven bases to Afghanistan, in effect, finishing the logistical part of the withdrawal.

Although the president made August 31 the formal deadline for U.S. troops to be out of Afghanistan, the withdrawal is for all intents and purposes complete, with the transfer of control of Bagram. The commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, General Scott Miller, will soon be leaving the remaining forces in the charge of a two-star general.

You can read the rest of Eleanor Watson and David Martin’s article at CBSnews.com

Judge blocks Michigan’s ban on flavored e-cigarettes
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Judge blocks Michigan’s ban on flavored e-cigarettes
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A Michigan judge temporarily blocked the state’s weeks-old ban on flavored e-cigarettes Tuesday, saying it may force adults to return to smoking more harmful tobacco products and has irreparably hurt vaping businesses.

Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens put the prohibition on hold until “further order of this court.” The preliminary injunction will be appealed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who ordered the creation of the emergency rules in a bid to combat the epidemic of teen vaping.

The judge said two businesses that sued showed a likelihood of prevailing on the merits of their contention that the rules are procedurally invalid, because state officials did not justify short-cutting the normal rule-making process.

“Thus, and at this stage of the litigation, defendants have undercut their own assertions of an emergency by the fact that they demurred on taking action for nearly a year, and in the case of some information even longer than that, after they were in possession of the information cited in support of the emergency declaration,” Stephens wrote.

She also said improved health outcomes for adults who switch to vaping products from combustible tobacco “could, and likely would, be lost under the emergency rules.”

Several states have banned the sale of flavored vaping products amid a rising number of vaping-related lung illnesses and an epidemic of teen e-cigarette use. As of last week, vaping-related illnesses in the U.S. had reached about 1,300 cases in 49 states and one U.S. territory, including at least 26 deaths.

Most who got sick said they vaped products containing THC, the marijuana ingredient that causes a high, but some said they vaped only nicotine.

In New York, a state appeals court this month preliminarily blocked the state from enforcing a prohibition on flavored e-cigarette sales.

The Michigan lawsuits, which were consolidated, were filed by Houghton-based 906 Vapor and A Clean Cigarette, which has 15 locations across the state.

“We are pleased today that the court saw the ban of flavored vaping products for what it truly is: an overreach of government into the lives of adults,” said Andrea Bitely, spokeswoman for the Defend MI Rights Coalition, a vaping industry group. “We are ready to work through the normal legislative process to arrive at a balanced solution that protects the rights of adults to use vaping products as an alternative to combustible cigarettes and at the same time get these products out of the children’s hands.”

Read the rest of the David Eggert’s article at ABCnews.com

LATEST HEADLINES

Top military adviser secretly assured China Trump would not attack to stay in office, book claims
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Top military adviser secretly assured China Trump would not attack to stay in office, book claims
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Army Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the president’s top military aide, feared that Trump could “go rogue” after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, and worried that he could stoke military conflict to cling to power and derail the peaceful transfer of power, Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Robert Costa write in “Peril.”

On Jan. 8, two days after the assault on the Capitol by pro-Trump rioters, Milley called his Chinese counterpart, Gen. Li Zuocheng, to assure him that the United States was “100 percent steady” and not on the brink of collapse or war despite the unrest in Washington, according to the book. He reportedly did not tell Trump about the call.

He placed a similar call in October, according to the book, to allay Chinese fears that Trump was planning a secret attack ahead of the presidential election.

That same day, Milley also convened an unscheduled meeting at the Pentagon with military officials responsible for relaying orders for a military or nuclear strike. He made clear that he “must be directly involved” with the process of launching a nuclear weapon, Woodward and Costa wrote.

You can read the rest of ‘s article at ABCnews.com

SpaceX to send 1st all-civilian crew into orbit for 3 days
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SpaceX to send 1st all-civilian crew into orbit for 3 days
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SpaceX’s Inspiration4 mission may sound familiar, as another billionaire-backed space launch, but it’s going where neither Richard Branson nor Jeff Bezos could — into orbit.

Branson’s Virgin Galactic and Bezos’ Blue Origin sent civilians into space on brief, suborbital flights that lasted only for a few minutes.

But Elon Musk’s SpaceX is just days away from sending its first all-civilian crew on a three-day mission around the Earth multiple times.

Inspiration4 will orbit 360 miles above Earth, higher than the International Space Station, with no professional astronaut on board. It will be the first orbital space tourism flight that doesn’t have an astronaut to guide the passengers through launch and landing.

Commanding the mission is 38-year-old billionaire Jared Isaacman, an experienced pilot. He founded a payment process company called Shift4 Payments and purchased all four seats on the flight for roughly $200 million.

Isaacman wants this launch to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He has already donated $100 million to the cause, and raised an additional $13 million through a lottery to win a seat.

One seat was reserved for a St. Jude ambassador — 29-year-old Hayley Arceneaux.

Arceneaux is a bone cancer survivor who was treated at St. Jude’s as a child and now works there as a physician assistant. She will be the youngest American to go to space as well as the first person with a prosthesis.

You can read the rest of ‘s article at ABCnews.com

Texas Governor Greg Abbott signs social media ‘censorship’ bill into law
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Texas Governor Greg Abbott signs social media ‘censorship’ bill into law
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Texas Governor Greg Abbott has signed a bill that aims to stop social media companies from banning users or nixing posts based solely on political opinions — the latest salvo by Republicans, who claim that these tech giants are censoring conservative users.

The new law requires social media companies with more than 50 million monthly users to disclose their content moderation policies and institute an appeals process. It would also require such social media companies to remove illegal content within 48 hours.

Under the state legislation, users may sue the platforms to get their accounts reinstated, and the Texas attorney general would be able to file suits on behalf of users.

“We will always defend the freedom of speech in Texas, which is why I am proud to sign House Bill 20 into law to protect first amendment rights in the Lone Star State,” Abbott said in a statement. “Social media websites have become our modern-day public square. They are a place for healthy public debate where information should be able to flow freely — but there is a dangerous movement by social media companies to silence conservative viewpoints and ideas. That is wrong, and we will not allow it in Texas.”

The new law would affect companies including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

It’s the latest Republican effort to take on the social media giants; Florida recently passed a law that would have prohibited social media platforms from banning political candidates, but a federal judge blocked the law before it was supposed to take effect.

You can read the rest of Kathryn Watson’s article at CBSnews.com

GOP governors pledge to sue over Biden’s business vaccine mandate
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GOP governors pledge to sue over Biden’s business vaccine mandate
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President Biden responded Friday to a pledge by some Republicans to sue over an incoming rule issued by the Labor Department requiring businesses with more than 100 employees to require that workers be vaccinated or undergo weekly testing.

Republican governors are slamming the president over the yet-to-be-developed rule, declaring it an overreach and unconstitutional. It’s the most sweeping vaccine mandate the federal government has yet announced.

“Have at it,” the president retorted during a school visit Friday morning when a reporter asked if the new requirements constitute overreach and could be confronted with legal challenges.

Mr. Biden also criticized some GOP governors’ resistance to vaccine mandates and mask requirements —”this isn’t a game,” he said.

Republicans who have threatened to sue include Governors Kristi Noem of South Dakota and Brian Kemp of Georgia.

“South Dakota will stand up to defend freedom. @JoeBiden see you in court,” Noem tweeted.

“I will pursue every legal option available to the state of Georgia to stop this blatantly unlawful overreach by the Biden administration,” Kemp tweeted.

The Republican National Committee has also pledged to sue, although it said in a statement it won’t take legal action until Mr. Biden’s new executive orders go into effect.

“Joe Biden told Americans when he was elected that he would not impose vaccine mandates,” RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement. “He lied. Now small businesses, workers, and families across the country will pay the price. Like many Americans, I am pro-vaccine and anti-mandate. Many small businesses and workers do not have the money or legal resources to fight Biden’s unconstitutional actions and authoritarian decrees, but when his decree goes into effect, the RNC will sue the administration to protect Americans and their liberties.”

The rule affecting private companies will be developed by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which regulates the safety of workplace environments. The president also announced new vaccine mandates for employees of health care facilities that accept Medicare and Medicaid, and educational facilities that are under federal control.

You can read the rest of Kathryn Watson’s article at CBSnews.com

Biden announces COVID-19 vaccine mandates that will affect 100 million Americans
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Biden announces COVID-19 vaccine mandates that will affect 100 million Americans
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President Biden announced the most sweeping COVID-19 vaccine requirements yet on Thursday, which will affect roughly 100 million Americans. The new measures include a vaccine mandate for all federal workers and contractors, and a requirement that large companies must mandate vaccines or regular testing for employees.

“My job as president is to protect all Americans,” Mr. Biden said Thursday. “So tonight, I’m announcing that the Department of Labor is developing an emergency rule to require all employers with 100 or more employees that together employ over 80 million workers to ensure their workforces are fully vaccinated or show a negative test at least once a week.”

Mr. Biden noted that many large companies already require vaccinations. “The bottom line — we’re going to protect vaccinated workers from unvaccinated coworkers,” he said.

The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration is developing a rule requiring all employers with at least 100 employees to make sure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require unvaccinated workers to get a negative test at least once a week. OSHA will issue an Emergency Temporary Standard to introduce the vaccine requirement. Companies that fail to comply could face fines of $14,000 per violation, Mr. Biden said.

That was just one of the mandates and changes the president announced in a speech on boosting vaccinations and battling the COVID-19 pandemic. The president also announced vaccination requirements for health care providers that accept Medicare and Medicaid, for all federal employees and contractors and  for the staffs of Head Start programs, Department of Defense Schools and Bureau of Indian Education-operated schools. Mr. Biden had announced in July the federal workforce would need to provide evidence that they had been vaccinated or submit to regular testing and practice social distancing measures in the workplace.

Within hours of his speech, the Republican National Committee announced that it plans to file a lawsuit against the Biden administration.

“Joe Biden told Americans when he was elected that he would not impose vaccine mandates,” RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement Thursday. “He lied. Now small businesses, workers, and families across the country will pay the price. Like many Americans, I am pro-vaccine and anti-mandate. Many small businesses and workers do not have the money or legal resources to fight Biden’s unconstitutional actions and authoritarian decrees, but when his decree goes into effect, the RNC will sue the administration to protect Americans and their liberties.”

You can read the rest of Kathryn Watson, Nancy Cordes, Ed O’Keefe, Weijia Jiang and Fin Gómez’s article at CBSnews.com

Justice Department sues Texas over restrictive abortion law
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Justice Department sues Texas over restrictive abortion law
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The Justice Department has filed suit against the state of Texas to block its law banning most abortions, Attorney General Merrick Garland said on Thursday, setting up a high-stakes legal battle after the Supreme Court allowed the law to go into effect earlier this month.

“That act is clearly unconstitutional under long-standing Supreme Court precedent,” Garland said at a news conference. “Those precedents hold, in the words of Planned Parenthood versus Casey, that ‘regardless of whether exceptions are made for particular circumstances, a state may not prohibit any woman from making the ultimate decision to terminate her pregnancy before viability.'”

He accused Texas Republicans of crafting a “statutory scheme” through the law “to nullify the Constitution of the United States.”

“It does not rely on the state’s executive branch to enforce the law, as is the norm in Texas and everywhere else. Rather, the snatcher deputizes all private citizens without any showing a personal connection or injury to serve as bounty hunters authorized to recover at least $10,000 per claim from individuals who facilitate a woman’s exercise of our constitutional rights,” he said.

As part of its lawsuit, Garland said the DOJ is seeking an immediate court order preventing the enforcement of SB8 in Texas.

Garland also made clear that the Justice Department won’t hesitate to take similar legal action against other states that might pursue a similar route to restrict abortions.

“The additional risk here is that other states will follow similar models,” Garland said, and he denied that the decision to file the suit now was in any way based on political pressure from Democrats or the White House.

The lawsuit accuses Texas lawmakers of enacting the law “in open defiance of the Constitution.”

You can read the rest of ‘s article at ABCnews.com

Biden administration asks Congress for billions as costs for Afghan refugees, natural disasters pile up
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Biden administration asks Congress for billions as costs for Afghan refugees, natural disasters pile up
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The Biden administration on Tuesday called on Congress to pass tens of billions of dollars in funding to keep the federal government running as lawmakers work to pass its annual budget legislation. Government funding runs out at the end of the month as the new fiscal year starts in October.

As part of the temporary funding measure, known as a so-called continuing resolution, the administration is also requesting additional money to address what administration officials called urgent needs: the response to natural disasters as well as the relocation of thousands of Afghan allies after the Taliban took over the country as the U.S. withdrew last month.

The administration is seeking $6.4 billion for sites to process Afghan allies overseas and in the U.S. as well as for security screenings and humanitarian assistance. An administration official said the funding request will support plans for as many as 65,000 vulnerable Afghans to arrive in the U.S. by the end of September and up to 30,000 additional Afghans over the following 12 months.

You can read the rest of Sarah Ewall-Wice’s article at CBSnews.com

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signs GOP-backed voting restrictions into law
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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signs GOP-backed voting restrictions into law
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Three months and two special sessions after Texas House Democrats engaged in the first of three quorum breaks over the Republican-backed legislative priority of “election integrity,” the final version of the bill officially became law on Tuesday.

In its final form, Senate Bill 1 revises the state’s election laws to tighten ballot access and administration. Some of the provisions outlined in the legislation also appear to be responses to efforts taken by Houston-area officials in Harris County to broaden ballot access during the 2020 general election amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Although there was no evidence of widespread fraud across Texas following the 2020 election, Republican proponents of the legislation claim it seeks to restore voter confidence in the state’s election parameters.

“One thing that all Texans can agree [on], and that is that we must have trust and confidence in our elections. The bill that I’m about to sign, helps to achieve that goal,” Gov. Greg Abbott said at Tuesday’s bill signing ceremony in Tyler, Texas.

Republican supporters of the legislation — including the state’s Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick — also praised the bill as a tool for deterring “cheaters” from casting fraudulent ballots.

“Texas turns out voters because they have confidence that our elections are always going to be fair and Senate Bill 1 will give them even more confidence. We want to see more people vote, we want to see them vote fairly and we don’t want the cheaters to undermine our elections,” Patrick said during the bill signing ceremony.

You can read the rest of ‘s article at ABCnews.com

Over 50,000 Afghan evacuees expected to resettle in US, says DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
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Over 50,000 Afghan evacuees expected to resettle in US, says DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
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Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas says he expects the U.S. will resettle over 50,000 Afghan evacuees, including U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, visa holders, applicants for special immigrant visas (SIVs) and others at risk, including “journalists, and vulnerable women and girls.”

Before they land here, many have been taken to U.S. and NATO bases in Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Spain and Italy. According to federal data obtained by CBS News, almost 34,000 Afghan evacuees remained at these bases as of Friday.

One military base in Qatar is currently hosting approximately 6,400 evacuees, while two bases in Germany are housing a combined 16,800 evacuees, the most of any overseas base. In the past two days, about 6,000 more people have been relocated to the U.S. since CBS News first reported the data.

Most of the evacuees housed in Europe will make their way to the U.S., according to Pentagon spokesman John Kirby. Those chosen to be relocated to the U.S. have been completing their security screening at the overseas sites.

General Tod Wolters, the head of U.S. European Command said that as of Thursday, 58 individuals need further security processing, but he believes all of them will be cleared.

Just one individual out of the thousands who have come through Europe has “popped red,” according to Wolters. The Department of Defense does not consider this person to be a high threat. A background investigation of the individual is ongoing, as they remain in the appropriate custody of U.S. interagency officials with cooperation from Germany.

Evacuees are being screened against multiple government watchlists and vetted by personnel at the DHS, the Defense Department, the State Department, the National Counterterrorism Center and intelligence partners, according to Bob Fenton, DHS’ current lead on resettlement efforts.

Mayorkas acknowledged that while some Afghans have been flagged on terror watch lists in transit countries, they will not be permitted into the United States pending further investigation. “Our policy is not to board flights to the United States until they are cleared,” Mayorkas said.

You can read the rest of Nicole Sganga, Bo Erickson, Eleanor Watson and Ed O’Keefe’s article at CBSnews.com

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