We get the latest from Lynne O’Donnell on the front line in Afghanistan and ask whether recent hijackings in the Persian Gulf are part of a concerted effort of Iranian foreign policy. Plus: is the far right on the rise in Italy?
August 2, 2021: Eviction ban, Moratorium extension, Delta variant, Turkey wildfires, Tanker attack
1. A pandemic-related U.S. government ban on residential evictions expired at midnight, putting millions of American renters at risk of being forced from their homes.
2. Democratic leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives called on the Biden administration to immediately extend a moratorium on housing evictions through Oct. 18.
3. The United States will not lock down again to curb COVID-19 but “things are going to get worse” as the Delta variant fuels a surge in cases, mostly among the unvaccinated, Dr. Anthony Fauci said.
4. The death toll from wildfires on Turkey’s southern coast rose to eight on Sunday as firefighters battled for a fifth day to contain blazes still raging in coastal resort towns.
5. The United States and Britain said they believed Iran carried out an attack on an Israeli-managed petroleum product tanker off the coast of Oman on Thursday that killed a Briton and a Romanian, both pledging to work with partners to respond.
Five stories to know for June 23:
1. The U.S. Senate failed to advance legislation that would have opened up a protracted debate over voting rights after Republicans blocked the move, leaving the effort in limbo.
2. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams was leading a field of 13 Democratic candidates in Tuesday’s primary election, though the outcome likely won’t be known for weeks. The totals were enough to force a concession from former presidential candidate Andrew Yang.
3. President Joe Biden plans to unveil new steps to curtail U.S. gun violence including measures aimed at stemming the flow of firearms used in crimes, after pledging to push for sweeping changes to firearms laws.
4. Hong Kong’s pro-democracy tabloid Apple Daily will print its last edition, the paper said, after a stormy year in which it was raided by police and its tycoon owner and other staff were arrested under a new national security law.
5. Iran said that Washington had agreed to remove all sanctions on Iran’s oil and shipping, and take some senior figures off a blacklist, at talks to revive Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with global powers which are now on a pause.
Five stories to know for June 21:
1. Democrats in the U.S. Senate this week will try to advance legislation setting new national election standards, seeking to counter voting-rights rollbacks that Republican legislatures are pursuing across the country.
2. Nine children and a young father were killed when a van and other vehicles slammed together on a rain-drenched Alabama highway during Tropical Storm Claudette.
3. A bipartisan infrastructure plan costing a little over $1 trillion has been gaining support in the U.S. Senate, but disputes continued over how it should be funded.
4. Western officials warned Tehran that negotiations to revive its nuclear deal could not continue indefinitely, after the sides announced a break following the election of a new hardline president in Iran.
5. Ethiopians voted in national and regional elections that the country’s prime minister has billed as proof of his commitment to democracy after decades of repressive rule in Africa’s second-most populous nation.
Five stories to know for June 18, 2021:
1. The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected a Republican bid to invalidate the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, preserving the landmark healthcare law for the third time since its 2010 enactment.
2. Juneteenth is now a federal holiday. Joe Biden signed into law a bill making June 19 a national holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved Black Americans.
3. China launched three astronauts up to its unfinished space station on the Shenzhou-12 spacecraft. The astronauts will live in a module called ‘Tianhe’ for three months.
4. Israeli aircraft struck Hamas sites in Gaza on Thursday night after incendiary balloons were launched from the Palestinian enclave, for the second time this week, since a fragile ceasefire ended 11 days of deadly fighting last month.
5. Iranians voted in a presidential election likely to be won by a hardline judge subject to U.S. sanctions.
More protests in Minneapolis as details emerge about the killing of yet another black man by a police officer. Iran is promising revenge for an explosion at one of it’s largest nuclear facilities, threatening the future of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal as talks resume.
And, Russia is building up its military presence along the Ukrainian border stoking fears of another invasion.
We discuss the UN’s report into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic and hear about a new comprehensive agreement signed between Beijing and Tehran.
Plus: we head to Iceland as the countdown to Eurovision begins.
While Iran says it isn’t trying to build nuclear weapons, a look at its key facilities suggests it could develop the technology to make them. WSJ breaks down Tehran’s capabilities as it hits new milestones in uranium enrichment and limits access to inspectors. Photo illustration: George Downs
Georgina Godwin and guests set the tone for the weekend. News includes veto override of U.S. Defense Bill, China states Covid-19 started in many parts of the world, and other top headlines.