This essay at Stonekettle is worth the read:
At least 1,297 people are known to have died in the 7.2-magnitude quake and an unknown number are still missing.
Tropical Depression Grace is expected to pass over the worst affected area later on Monday.
It is feared heavy rain brought by Grace could trigger landslides.
Roads already made impassable by the quake could be further damaged by the rains, so aid teams are racing to get essential provisions to the quake-hit region before Grace hits.
The general election comes as polls indicate his minority Liberal government looks within reach of forming a majority.
The 49-year-old Liberal leader says "Canadians need to choose how we finish the fight against Covid-19".
Canadians will vote on 20 September, some two years ahead of schedule.
On Sunday, Mr Trudeau visited Canada's Governor General Mary Simon - the representative of the Queen, Canada's head of state - and asked her to dissolve Parliament.
The leader of the centrist Liberals said a general election was necessary so voters have a voice on the path forward at a "pivotal moment".
In October 2019, voters handed him a minority, meaning he has had to rely on opposition parties to help him pass his agenda.
Opposition parties criticised the Liberals for calling a five-week long campaign during the pandemic's latest wave simply for "political gain".
Tesla's Autopilot system is under federal investigation. On Monday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced it is formally looking into the safety of Tesla's Autopilot Level 2 driver-assistance functions. In particular, federal investigators say this new probe will look into Tesla crashes with parked emergency vehicles. The government agency is aware of at least 11 crashes or fires, resulting in 17 injuries, as well as one fatality. Some 765,000 cars from Tesla, including the Model Y, 3, S and X, are covered by this new investigation.
According to an Office of Defects Investigation document, NHTSA describes the core problem as "subject vehicle crashes with in-road or roadside first responders." Tesla vehicles have "encountered first responder scenes and subsequently struck one or more vehicles involved with those scenes," the preliminary report said. "The involved subject vehicles were all confirmed to have been engaged in either Autopilot or Traffic Aware Cruise Control during the approach to the crashes." The reported crashes took place between 2014 and 2021, with four of them occuring this year.
NHTSA did not immediately return Roadshow's request for additional comment. Tesla does not operate a public relations department to field requests for comment.
After close to a year and a half of pandemic turmoil and more than 200 million confirmed COVID cases worldwide, health officials are sounding the alarm about a new and evolving threat facing the world: the rise of virus variants, including the delta strain.
"It's doing almost everything that we've been worried about," says Andy Pekosz, professor of microbiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
"It's spreading more efficiently in the population, it seems to be causing more disease across a number of age groups, and it seems to be escaping some of the immunity that our vaccines are able to generate against the virus. It really is a virus that seems to be optimized for infecting humans."
The delta variant is now the dominant strain in the US, accounting for roughly 80% of new cases. And when it comes to this new strain, unvaccinated members of the public are a major concern, not just because they're far more likely to become infected with the virus. Pekosz says unvaccinated pockets of the community also give the virus a greater chance of spreading and mutating, thereby increasing the risk of creating new variants that are better at infecting humans.
An academic is suing Leeds Beckett University after she was dropped from her advisory role over tweets calling a mixed-race man a “house negro”, alleging the decision was discriminatory because of her belief in critical race theory and Black radicalism.
The university ended its association with the academic adviser Aysha Khanom after accusing her of “racist language” in relation to tweets using the terms “house negro” and “coconut” – the former in a question.
In what is believed to be the first case of its kind, Khanom is arguing that critical race theory and Black radicalism are protected beliefs under the Equality Act. Critical race theory says race is a social construct used to oppress people of colour and which begets systemic racism.
The legal claim has been supported by many antiracist organisations and academics in an open letter. It was penned by Kehinde Andrews, a professor of Black studies at Birmingham City University, and accuses Leeds Beckett of censoring “central concepts in Black intellectual thought”.
Cabinet splits have emerged over Afghanistan, with the defence secretary, Ben Wallace, accusing the Foreign Office of evacuating diplomats while leaving soldiers and Ministry of Defence staff to handle the fallout of the Taliban takeover.
The frustrated minister told colleagues he believed there would be “a reckoning” for the Foreign Office after the crisis, sources told the Guardian. He complained that diplomats had been “on the first plane out”, with MoD officials having to replace them and bear the brunt of processing resettlement claims for people trying to flee the Afghan capital.
MoD officials, some soldiers and other civil servants have been helping frantic efforts to process claims from up to 4,000 Afghans thought to be eligible for resettlement in the UK amid chaotic scenes at Kabul’s international airport.
The Taliban has declared the war in Afghanistan over after its fighters swept into the capital, Kabul, and President Ashraf Ghani fled the country.
Victorious Taliban fighters patrolled the streets of Kabul on Monday as thousands of Afghans mobbed the city’s airport trying to flee the group’s feared hardline brand of rule.
Scores of Afghans ran alongside a US military plane as it taxied on the runway and several clung to the side as the jet took off.
Senior US military officials said that the chaos left seven dead, including several who fell from the flight.
Al Jazeera’s Rob McBride, reporting from Kabul, said the Taliban has set up a cordon to stop people getting into the terminal of Kabul airport and have been firing warning shots to keep people away from the area.
He said people were still milling around on the runway as darkness fell, with US military helicopters hovering just a few metres above the ground to manage the crowds.
US President Joe Biden on Monday reiterated that his decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan was "the right decision."
It's the president's first televised speech since the Taliban claimed victory in Afghanistan on Sunday night. It also comes as thousands of people have packed the airport in Kabul desperately seeking to escape.
What did Biden say?
"I stand squarely behind my decision. After 20 years, I learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw forces," Biden said.
Although Biden admitted that Afghanistan's collapse, he insisted that the US "planned for every contingency" as he put the blame on Afghan forces.
"Afghanistan political leaders gave up and fled the country," he said. "American troops cannot and should not be fighting the war, and dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves.''
The US will continue push for regional diplomacy and speak out for the basic rights of Afghan people, Biden said.
DW News (8/14/2021)
The sun loungers have been abandoned in the seaside resort of Rovies. In parts of this village, the flames blazed their way right down to the beach. Just a few days ago, Evia's hills were covered in thousands of its characteristic pine trees. All that's left of them now are black stumps, split open by the heat, standing in a blanket of white ash.
The ground underfoot is still warm. Here and there, blackened holes are still smoking. Mid-August is the high season for holidaymakers in Greece — including here, on the country's second-largest island. But after the fires, the majority of paying guests have left.
A young Israeli family has just arrived on the island. "We'd already booked," they explain. "A friend of ours owns a house here. But it's burnt down, so now we're staying in a hotel." Smoke from the fires hangs in the air, they say, but the food is good and the sea is still beautiful.
Nikos Tekinarglis runs a bar on the beach. "We mustn't despair," he says, through gritted teeth. Nonetheless: "It's an economic disaster for everyone here whose livelihood depends on the forest or on tourism."
Tekinarglis accuses the Greek government of abandoning the island and leaving it to fend for itself. However, he takes heart from the way the islanders have stuck together: "I was moved to see all the young people pitching in and helping."
WASHINGTON — The Biden administration has approved a significant and permanent increase in the levels of food stamp assistance available to needy families — the largest single increase in the program's history.
Starting in October, average benefits for food stamps — officially known as the SNAP program — will rise more than 25% above pre-pandemic levels. The increased assistance will be available indefinitely to all 42 million SNAP beneficiaries.
The aid boost was first reported by The New York Timesand the details were confirmed by a spokeswoman for the Agriculture Department. They will be formally announced Monday by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
The aid boost is being packaged as a major revision of the USDA's Thrifty Food Plan. In concrete terms, the average monthly per-person benefits will rise from $121 to $157.
For those wondering how Afghanistan could fall so swiftly to the Taliban, the dozens of dispatches from a Congress-created watchdog group reflect it didn't: The meltdown was a slow-motion disaster years in the making.
This link will take you to every report filed by SIGAR, the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. Congress created the agency to maintain an independent oversight on the billions of dollars the U.S. appropriated for Afghanistan's reconstruction since 2002.
"We have serious problems about our procurement system. And we have serious problems of going into a country and not understanding the culture and the makeup of that country."
Aug 16 (Reuters) - U.S. officials for the first time on Monday issued an official water shortage declaration for the massive Western reservoir of Lake Mead, triggering supply cuts to parts of the drought-stricken Southwest.
The shortage will reduce water apportionments to Arizona, Nevada and Mexico for the year beginning in October, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said in a statement.
Arizona will lose 18% of its annual apportionment, while Nevada will see cuts of 7%. Apportionments to Mexico, which are required under a 1944 treaty, will be cut by 5%.
While not a surprise, the cuts will mean less water -- and tough allotment decisions -- for farms, cities and tribes in the parched region, which is in its 22nd year of drought.
Aug 16 (Reuters) - 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).
Some 1,200 homes and other structures have gone up in flames, including most of the historic downtown area of Greenville, a gold rush mining hamlet engulfed by the blaze more than a week ago.
Tropical Storm Fred made landfall Monday afternoon near Cape San Blas, Florida, in the eastern part of the Panhandle after roaring across the Gulf of Mexico.
The storm had maximum sustained winds of 65 mph at landfall, the National Hurricane Center said.
Fred was one of three storms swirling in the Atlantic Basin. Lining up behind Fred were Tropical Depression Grace, which drenched the Dominican Republic and earthquake-battered Haiti Monday, and Tropical Storm Henri, which formed Monday afternoon near Bermuda. Henri became the eighth named storm of the Atlantic season.
The National Hurricane Center said a tropical storm watch was in effect for Bermuda.
Thousands of Haitians scrambled to find shelter Monday after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake took nearly 1,500 lives over the weekend, decimating homes, schools, offices and churches across the country and leaving hospitals overwhelmed with thousands injured.
The aftermath of the tremor was only made worse as a tropical depression dumped torrential rains on the nation throughout the day.
The death toll was raised by Haiti’s Civil Protection Agency from 1,297 to 1,419 Monday evening. The number of injured also increased to 6,000, which includes many who waited Monday in the burning heat, even on an airport tarmac, for medical help.
“We had planned to put up tents (in hospital patios), but we were told that could not be safe,” said Gede Peterson, director of Les Cayes General Hospital.
The crew of the Overnight News Digest consists of founder Magnifico, regular editors side pocket, maggiejean, Chitown Kev, eeff, Magnifico, annetteboardman, Rise above the swamp, Besame and jck. Alumni editors include (but not limited to) Interceptor 7, Man Oh Man, wader, Neon Vincent, palantir, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse (RIP), ek hornbeck (RIP), rfall, ScottyUrb, Doctor RJ, BentLiberal, Oke (RIP) and jlms qkw.