AP-Summary Brief News
September 26, 2023
With a government shutdown just days away, Congress is moving into crisis mode
WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress returns to work in crisis mode with five days to go before a government shutdown. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy faces an insurgency from hard-right Republicans eager to slash spending even if it means closing federal offices to millions of Americans. The House is expected to vote Tuesday on a package of government funding bills, but it’s not at all clear that McCarthy has the support needed. Meanwhile, the Senate is trying to stave off a federal closure with its own bipartisan plan for a stopgap measure. It would buy some time and keep offices funded past Saturday’s deadline.
Biden will join the UAW strike picket line. Experts can’t recall the last time a president did that
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s decision to stand alongside United Auto Workers pickets in Michigan during their strike against major carmakers underscores an allegiance to labor unions that appears to be unparalleled in presidential history. Experts in presidential and U.S. labor history say they cannot recall an instance when a sitting president has joined a strike. The Democratic president will join the pickets Tuesday, the 12th day of their strike. It comes a day before former President Donald Trump makes his own visit to meet with striking UAW members. Biden has repeatedly sided with the UAW during their strike. Biden says the workers should participate in the carmakers’ riches “now that the industry is roaring back.”
At least 20 dead in gas station explosion as Nagorno-Karabakh residents flee to Armenia
YEREVAN, Armenia (AP) — An explosion at a crowded gas station in Nagorno-Karabakh has killed at least 20 people and injured nearly 300 others as thousands have rushed to flee to Armenia. The health department of the separatist authorities in the region said on Tuesday that 13 bodies have been found and seven people have died of injuries from the blast, the cause of which remains unclear. Armenia’s government says more than 13,500 people — about 12% of the region’s population — have fled across the border since Azerbaijan’s swift military operation last week to fully reclaim the region after three decades of separatist rule.
First of thousands of Lahaina residents return to homes destroyed by deadly wildfire
LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) — The first of thousands of residents who lost their homes in the wildfire that destroyed the Hawaii town of Lahaina have returned to their devastated properties. Some stopped for a moment of reflection and others searched for mementos among the ruins. The interim administrator of the Maui Emergency Management Agency, Darryl Oliveira, says some people have been taken aback by the extent of the devastation from the Aug. 8 wildfire, which killed at least 97 people. The burned area has been off-limits to all but authorized workers since the days immediately after the fire. But on Monday, officials opened a small part of it for residents to enter on supervised visits.
New cars are supposed to be getting safer. So why are fatalities on the rise?
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Government test data shows new passenger vehicles in the U.S. are extremely safe, but roadway deaths are steadily rising. Some of the biggest increases are deaths of pedestrians and cyclists. That surge has coincided with a steep rise in sales of SUVs and pickup trucks. Experts say the height and boxy front ends of many of those vehicles create large blind spots. They also hit pedestrians higher in the body than sedans, meaning hits more often result in serious injury or death. U.S. safety ratings only consider the safety of people inside a vehicle. But a coalition of transportation safety groups wants the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to begin factoring the safety of those outside vehicles into its 5-star safety ratings.
Researchers have verified 1,329 hunger deaths in Ethiopia’s Tigray region since the cease-fire there
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Researchers say they have verified 1,329 deaths from hunger in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region since a cease-fire ended a two-year conflict there in November. A study by local health authorities and Mekele University in the regional capital found that hunger is now the main cause of death in Tigray, accounting for more than 68% of deaths investigated by the researchers. The total number of hunger deaths is almost certainly far higher than the sampling shows. One factor is the suspension of food aid by the United States and United Nations after the discovery in March of a huge scheme to steal humanitarian grain.
Russian drone strikes on Odesa region hit port area and cut ferry service to Romania
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian officials say Russia struck the Black Sea region of Odesa in a drone barrage that damaged a warehouse, charred dozens of trucks and injured two drivers in fiery explosions. The attacks led officials to suspend the ferry service between Romania and Ukraine. Video shot from the Romanian side of the Danube River showed rapid bursts of Ukrainian anti-aircraft fire streaking through the night sky followed by two orange fireballs exploding near the port area. Photos showed burned-out frames of trucks. A day earlier, missile and drone attacks killed two people in an Odesa grain warehouse.
More students gain eligibility for free school meals under expanded US program
WASHINGTON (AP) — More students in schools serving low-income communities will be eligible to receive breakfast and lunch at no cost under a rule change announced Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. At schools where 25% of families participate in income-based public benefits, such as the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, the federal government now will cover the cost of free meals for all enrolled students. Previously, the qualifying threshold was 40%. Roughly 3,000 additional school districts will now be eligible, officials said.
Writers strike is not over yet with key votes remaining on deal
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The deal is made, the pickets have been suspended, and Hollywood’s writers are on the verge of getting back to work after months on strike. Crucial steps remain for the striking writers, including a planned vote Tuesday from their union’s governing boards on the tentative agreement reached with Hollywood studios. After that comes a vote from the writers themselves, who have yet to learn what gains they’ve won after nearly five months on strike. Writers Guild of America leaders have halted their picket lines, but they’re encouraging writers to join the lines of actors, who are still on strike with no deal yet on the horizon.
Jalen Hurts throws for TD, runs for another as Eagles thump Buccaneers 25-11 to remain unbeaten
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Jalen Hurts threw for one touchdown and ran for another to help the Philadelphia Eagles remain unbeaten with a 25-11 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Hurts also led on his team on a game-ending drive that lasted more than nine minutes. The defending NFC champions are off to a 3-0 start in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1992-93. Hurts improved to 20-1 over his last 21 regular-season games. He tossed a 34-yard TD pass to Olamide Zaccheaus that helped Philly build a 13-3 halftime lead, and his 1-yard scoring run gave the Eagles a 17-point advantage early in the second half.