Thursday, June 30, 2022 |
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Biden offers protected status
to some Afghans
The Biden administration is allowing Afghans who have been residing in the United States to remain in the country legally for at least 18 more months. The benefit, known as temporary protected status, will be extended to more than 74,000 Afghans who were living in the United States as of March 15, according to the Department of Homeland Security, which makes such designations. Most immediately, it will affect about 2,000 Afghans who were not among those evacuated during the tumultuous U.S. military pullout from their country last year. Each applicant has to pass a background check.
9 dead, including coach and college golfers, in Texas wreck
The University of the Southwest’s golf teams were making the kind of drive familiar to athletes at plenty of small colleges — aboard a passenger van after a day of competition — on Tuesday night when a pickup rumbled into view. The truck, Texas authorities said Wednesday, struck the bus, leaving nine people dead, including the university’s golf coach and six of his players. The wreck was among the worst accidents involving sports teams in recent years. Two students were also in critical condition Wednesday, officials said, after they were flown to Lubbock, Texas, by helicopter.
Smollett to be released from jail pending appeal, court orders
An Illinois appellate court ruled Wednesday that actor Jussie Smollett be released from jail on bond pending his appeal of his conviction for falsely reporting that he had been the victim of a hate crime. Smollett was sentenced last week to five months in jail, but his lawyers quickly asked a panel of judges to stay the sentence while they appealed the conviction. Smollett’s lawyers had argued in court papers that the sentence should be stayed because his term would likely be finished before his appeal was completed and that being incarcerated threatened his health and safety.
Iran’s attack was response to secret Israeli attack on drone site
Iran fired a barrage of ballistic missiles into Iraq over the weekend, striking what it claimed was an Israeli target and leaving some analysts scratching their heads about what exactly precipitated the blitz and why Iraq. Now, officials say, the attack was retaliation for a previously secret Israeli airstrike on an Iranian drone factory last month. And, according to some, the Israeli intelligence operatives who launched the airstrike were based in Iraq. The tit-for-tat strikes represent an alarming escalation in the long-running shadow war between Israel and Iran, as both sides push the boundaries of a conflict that has also entangled the United States and now Iraq.
Powerful ‘quake off Japan rekindles fears of another Fukushima
A powerful undersea earthquake off the Fukushima region of Japan, where a tsunami a decade ago set off one of the worst nuclear plant disasters in history, shook buildings for more than two minutes late Wednesday night. Shortly after the quake hit at 11:36 p.m., the Japan Meteorological Agency issued tsunami warnings for the prefectures of Fukushima and Miyagi, and thousands of residents, many of whom remember only too well the destruction of 2011, evacuated. Hours later, the warnings were lifted. Several small tsunami waves measuring perhaps 8 inches in height were reported in two communities, but they were one-fifth the size that was forecast.
Saharan sands float north to Europe, coating cities
Dust from the Sahara drifted north into Europe for a second day Wednesday, coating parked cars in a rusty, reddish layer in Spain and creating an ominous orange glow in skies across the continent. The sandstorm, known as a calima in Spain, began covering much of the Iberian Peninsula Tuesday morning, blanketing buildings in a thick red dust and making it harder to breathe in the stiflingly dry air. A calima occurs when a burst of dusty, warm wind forms during sandstorms in the Sahara and then crosses over from the African desert. With rain forecast in Madrid on Thursday morning, residents were bracing themselves for a muddy rain.
Honduras judge says ex-president can be extradited to US
Former President Juan Orlando Hernández should be extradited to the United States to face drug trafficking and weapons charges, a Honduran judge ruled Wednesday. The country’s Supreme Court of Justice said late Wednesday via Twitter that the judge had decided to grant the U.S. extradition request. U.S. prosecutors in the Southern District of New York have accused Hernández in recent years of funding his political rise with profits from drug traffickers in exchange for protecting their shipments. He has strongly denied any wrongdoing.
By wire sources
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