ATLANTA (AP) — Claudette regained tropical storm status Monday morning as it neared the coast of the Carolinas less than two days after 13 people died — including eight children in a multi-vehicle crash — due to the effects of the storm in Alabama. The children who died Saturday were in a van for a youth home for abused or neglected children. The vehicle erupted in flames in the wreck along a wet Interstate 65 about 35 miles (55 kilometers) south of Montgomery. Butler County Coroner Wayne Garlock said vehicles likely hydroplaned. The crash also claimed the lives of two other people who were in a separate vehicle.
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s sole nuclear power plant has undergone an unexplained temporary emergency shutdown, the country’s state TV reported. An official from the state electric company Tavanir, Gholamali Rakhshanimehr, said on a talk show that aired on Sunday that the Bushehr plant shutdown began on Saturday and would last “for three to four days.” Without elaborating, he said that power outages could result. This is the first time Iran has reported an emergency shutdown of the plant in the southern port city of Bushehr. It went online in 2011 with help from Russia. Iran is required to send spent fuel rods from the reactor back to Russia as a nuclear nonproliferation measure.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Until recently, the act of governing seemed to happen at the speed of presidential tweets. But now President Joe Biden is settling in for what appears will be a long, summer slog of legislating. Congress is hunkered down, the House and Senate grinding through a monthslong stretch, lawmakers trying to draft Biden’s big infrastructure ideas into bills that could actually be signed into law. Perhaps not since the drafting of the Affordable Care Act more than a decade ago has Washington tried a legislative lift as heavy. It’s going to take a while. “Passing legislation is not a made-for-TV movie,” said Phil Schiliro, a former legislative affairs director at the Obama White House and veteran of congressional battles, including over the health care law.
JAMSOTI, India (AP) — In Jamsoti, a village tucked deep inside India’s most populous state of Uttar Pradesh, the common refrain among the villagers is that the coronavirus spreads only in cities. The deadly infection, they believe, does not exist in villages. So when a team of health workers recently approached Manju Kol to get vaccinated, she locked up her house, gathered her children and ran to the nearby forest. The family hid there for hours and returned only when the workers left in the evening. “I would rather die than take the vaccine,” said Kol. A deadly surge of coronavirus infections that ripped through India in April and May, killing more than 180,000, has tapered off and new cases have declined.
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — Ethiopia was voting Monday in the greatest electoral test yet for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed as war and logistical issues meant ballots wouldn’t be cast in more than 100 constituencies of the 547 across the country. The election, delayed from last year, is the centerpiece of a reform drive by Abiy, whose rise to power in 2018 seemed to signal a break with decades of authoritarian rule and led to him winning a Nobel Peace Prize the following year. He has described the poll as “the nation’s first attempt at free and fair elections.” Long lines of voters were seen in some parts of the capital, Addis Ababa, while security was stepped up across Africa’s second most populous country.
CIUDAD VICTORIA, Mexico (AP) — Fear has invaded the Mexican border city of Reynosa after gunmen in vehicles killed 14 people, including taxis drivers, workers and a nursing student, and security forces responded with operations that left four suspects dead. While this city across the border from McAllen, Texas is used to cartel violence as a key trafficking point, the 14 victims in Saturday’s attacks appeared to be what Tamaulipas Gov. Francisco García Cabeza de Vaca called “innocent citizens” rather than members of one gang killed by a rival. Local businessman Misael Chavarria Garza said many businesses closed early Saturday after the attacks and people were very scared as helicopters flew overhead.
PHOENIX (AP) — Bicyclist Tony Quinones had only just shaken hands with a fellow cyclist and wished him good luck in this weekend’s community race in an Arizona mountain town when a truck sped into a crowd of bike riders. Suddenly, Quinones said in an interview Sunday, he was “watching bodies going on top of the hood, bodies going to the left, bodies going to the right” about six minutes after the race had started. The sounds of breaking and smashing as the truck plowed through the cyclists on Saturday was quickly replaced by their groans of pain — including those of the cyclist Quinones had just met.
TOKYO (AP) — The Tokyo Olympics will allow some local fans to attend when the games open in just over a month, organizing committee officials and the IOC said on Monday. Organizers set a limit of 50% of capacity up to a maximum of 10,000 fans for all Olympic venues. The decision was announced after so-called Five Party talks online with local organizers, the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee, the Japanese government and the government of metropolitan Tokyo. The decision contradicts the country’s top medical adviser, Dr. Shigeru Omi, who recommended last week that the safest way to hold the Olympics would be without fans.
BOSTON (AP) — If your business falls victim to ransomware and you want simple advice on whether to pay the criminals, don’t expect much help from the U.S. government. The answer is apt to be: It depends. “It is the position of the U.S. government that we strongly discourage the payment of ransoms,” Eric Goldstein, a top cybersecurity official in the Department of Homeland Security, told a congressional hearing last week. But paying carries no penalties and refusing would be almost suicidal for many companies, especially the small and medium-sized. Too many are unprepared. The consequences could also be dire for the nation itself.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Two months of sharply rising prices have raised concerns that record-high government financial aid and the Federal Reserve’s ultra-low interest rate policies — when the economy is already surging — have elevated the risk of accelerating inflation. In May, consumer prices rose 5% from a year earlier, the largest such year-over-year jump since 2008. Many economists see the recent spike as temporary. Others say they worry that higher consumer prices will persist. Jason Furman, a Harvard professor who was President Barack Obama’s top economic adviser, thinks the reality is more complicated. He does, however, lean toward the higher-inflation-will-persist camp.
Claudette regains tropical storm strength after 13 deaths
Iran’s sole nuclear power plant undergoes emergency shutdown
Biden and Congress face a summer grind to create legislation