5 things to know for September 24: Migrants, Covid, Congress, gun violence, Germany

5 things to know for September 24: Migrants, Covid, Congress, gun violence, Germany

Hurricane Sam is gathering in the Atlantic, marking the 18th named storm of the season. It’s set to become a major hurricane, but we still don’t know where exactly it will go.

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1. Immigration

The Haitian migrant crisis at the southern US border in Texas has exposed deep divides in the Biden administration over how to best address a complex problem with no easy solution. Daniel Foote, the US special envoy for Haiti, resigned yesterday, saying he could not be associated with what he called the “inhumane” decision by the US to deport thousands of Haitian refugees to a homeland in turmoil. He and other Democratic leaders have criticized the administration’s vow to turn away Haitian migrants arriving at the border, while some Republicans like Texas Gov. Greg Abbott have said the administration isn’t doing enough to stem the influx. The Department of Homeland Security has also temporarily suspended the use of horse patrol in the Del Rio, Texas, area after images surfaced of mounted DHS officers aggressively confronting migrants.

2. Coronavirus

Covid-19 vaccine boosters can officially begin for certain groups of adults after the CDC approved the decision. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky recommended boosters for people ages 65 and older, residents of long-term care facilities, certain people with underlying medical conditions, and people ages 18 to 64 who are at increased risk of Covid-19 because of their workplaces or institutional settings. That last group was actually not included in the recommendations of the CDC’s vaccine advisers, but the CDC leader included them in the final approval, in line with FDA recommendations.

3. Congress

The Senate is set to vote Monday on a motion to advance a temporary government funding bill that includes a suspension of the debt ceiling. Republicans are still planning to block the bill because of the debt ceiling provision, which they oppose. If they do and the bill fails, Democrats have two options to address the possible shutdown looming at the end of the month: They could remove the debt ceiling provision from the bill and pass it with GOP support, or they could just let the government go unfunded and blame their colleagues across the aisle. A reminder of the timeline here: Government funding runs out at midnight on September 30. The government will reach its borrowing limit in mid-October, which could trigger a first-ever US default.

4. Tennessee shooting

At least one person was killed and 14 others injured in a shooting yesterday at a Kroger in Collierville, Tennessee, near Memphis. The shooter was also found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, police officials said. So far, police don’t think there was an incident that led up to the shooting. This year is shaping up to be the worst year for US gun violence in decades, surpassing even last year’s unusually high numbers. A total of 14,516 people died from gun violence in the US from January 1 to September 15, marking a 9% increase over last year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. There have been 498 mass shootings during that period — a 15% increase over last year.

5. Germany

Germany faces a historic general election Sunday as voters determine who will succeed longtime Chancellor Angela Merkel. Merkel, who has led the country since 2005, announced in 2018 that she would not seek reelection after her term. She’ll step down once a successor is clear, which may take days or weeks. This landmark decision could open the door for a significant shift in German politics. Merkel’s center-right Christian Democratic Union and the left-leaning Social Democratic Party dominate German politics, but the Green Party is gaining ground, and a far-right party jockeys for fourth place in the hierarchy. The three top parties are well represented now, and the election is bound to be close, as polling suggests a large number of undecided voters.


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That’s how much the Biden administration says it will slash the use of hydrofluorocarbons, the potent greenhouse gases used in air conditioning and refrigeration, over the next 15 years. The US Environmental Protection Agency will reduce the production and use of HFCs incrementally, starting with a 10% reduction next year.


“You don’t have to dig deep into the draft copy of the Arizona Senate/Cyber Ninja audit report to confirm what I already knew — the candidates certified by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, Governor, Secretary of State and Attorney General — did, in fact, win.”

Jack Sellers, chairman of Maricopa County, Arizona’s Republican-led board of supervisors, on a draft report on the partisan review of the 2.1 million ballots cast in his county in the 2020 presidential election. The review, which was fueled by ex-President Trump’s lies over voter fraud, found a vote count nearly identical to what the county had previously reported.


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I can’t believe my phalanges!

What’s it like to have talent like this and be able to casually draw a portrait with a few ballpoint pens — at the same time? (Click here to view.)

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