AP Top News at 1:33 a.m. EDT
Posted on Sunday October 10, 2021 | 9:00 p.m.
Updated 16 minutes ago
WASHINGTON (AP) – Year-end stacks of crucial legislation and the team spirit that goes with it is normal behavior for Congress. This fall, lawmakers are launching into dramatic battles over the risks they pose to both parties and their leaders. While few doubt Congress will extend the government’s borrowing power again when it expires in December, no one seems certain how it will. Democrats do not yet have the votes to enact President Joe Biden’s top priorities. And Republicans fear Democrats will weaken the filibuster rule that allows the Senate minority party to derail legislation.
ISLAMABAD (AP) – The United States has agreed to provide humanitarian aid to desperately poor Afghanistan on the brink of economic disaster, while refusing to politically recognize the country’s new Taliban rulers, the Taliban said on Sunday. The statement came at the end of the first direct talks between former enemies since the chaotic withdrawal of US troops in late August. The US statement was less definitive, saying only that the two sides “discussed the delivery by the United States of solid humanitarian aid, directly to the Afghan people”. The Taliban said the talks in Doha, Qatar, “went well,” with Washington releasing humanitarian aid to Afghanistan after agreeing not to tie such assistance to formal recognition of the Taliban.
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (AP) – A Southern California beach that had been closed since an undersea pipeline leaked crude into ocean waters last week is expected to reopen on Monday, officials said Sunday evening. Beaches in the city and state of Huntington Beach will reopen after water quality tests found no detectable levels of petroleum-associated toxins in ocean water, the city of Huntington Beach and California State Parks in a press release. They always urge visitors to avoid areas that smell of oil and not to touch oiled materials that wash up on the shore. The news is likely to appeal to surfers and beachgoers alike Richard Beach, who hit the waves at Huntington Beach with his bodyboard – until lifeguards’ jet skis chased him on Sunday.
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) – Hairdressers, gyms, cafes and bars in Sydney reopened to fully vaccinated customers on Monday for the first time in more than 100 days after Australia’s largest city hit a reference point for immunization. Sydney was expected to reopen on Monday after 70% of the population of the state of New South Wales aged 16 and over were fully vaccinated. As of Monday, 73.5% of the target population was fully vaccinated and more than 90% had received at least one dose. Some businesses have opened at midnight due to demand from people eager to enjoy their freedom. More pandemic restrictions will be removed at the 80% baseline, and residents of New South Wales will be free to travel abroad for the first time since March last year.
NEW YORK (AP) – Facebook, following damning testimonials that its platforms harm children, will introduce several features, including getting teens to take a break using its Instagram photo-sharing app and ‘push’ adolescents if they repeatedly watch the same content that is not conducive to their well-being. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based Facebook also plans to introduce new controls for adults of teens on a voluntary basis so parents or guardians can monitor what their teens are doing online. The initiatives come after Facebook announced late last month that it was suspending work on its Instagram for Kids project.
XINJIANG, China (AP) – The razor wire that once surrounded public buildings in the Xinjiang region, in China’s far northwest, has almost all disappeared. Gone are also the college uniforms in military camouflage and the armored personnel carriers that rumble in the homeland of the Uyghurs. Gone are many of the surveillance cameras that once dazzled like birds from hanging poles, and the eerie eternal howl of sirens in the ancient Silk Road town of Kashgar. Uyghur teens, once a rare sight, now flirt with girls to pounding dance music on inline skates. A taxi driver blasted Shakira as she ran through the streets.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Vladimir Putin paid little attention to Fiona Hill, a prominent American expert on Russia, when she sat next to him at dinner parties. Putin’s people put her there on purpose, choosing an âindescribable woman,â as she put it, so that the Russian president has no competition for attention. Fluent in Russian, she often listened carefully to conversations of men who seemed to forget she was there and wrote everything down later, she recalls in an interview with The Associated Press. âHey, if I were a guy you wouldn’t talk like that in front of me,â she recalls thinking.
WASHINGTON (AP) – A Navy nuclear engineer with access to military secrets has been accused of attempting to convey information about the design of US nuclear submarines to someone he believed to be a representative of a foreign government but who turned out to be an undercover FBI agent, the Justice Department announced on Sunday. In a criminal complaint detailing espionage charges against Jonathan Toebbe, the government said it had sold information for nearly a year to a contact it said represented a foreign power. This country was not named in court documents. Toebbe, 42, was arrested in West Virginia on Saturday with his wife, Diana, 45, after placing a removable memory card in a pre-established “dead drop” in the state, according to the Department of Justice.
BERLIN (AP) – Dozens of leading German companies have urged the country’s next government to put in place ambitious policies to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement. In an open letter on Monday, 69 companies said the next government must put Germany “on a clear and reliable path to climate neutrality” with a plan to do so within the first 100 days of its mandate. The signatories included chemicals giant Bayer, steelmaker ThyssenKrupp and sportswear company Puma. The center-left Social Democrats narrowly beat the Union Conservative bloc of outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel in last month’s elections. They are due to meet with the Green Party and the pro-business Free Democrats on Monday to discuss forming a coalition government.
CHICAGO (AP) – Two large swings by Leury GarcÃa. A rules test led by Yasmani Grandal. Solid back-up work from Liam Hendriks and company. Just when the Chicago White Sox got into big trouble, they found a way. GarcÃa and Grandal did a home run, and Grandal’s limit base run helped the White Sox outscore the Houston Astros 12-6 on Sunday night to stay alive in their AL Division series. Supported by a boisterous crowd of 40,288, the champions AL Central erased a 5-1 deficit in the franchise’s first home playoff game in 13 years, reducing Houston’s advantage to 2-1. Tim Anderson had three more hits and Ryan Tepera started a stellar finish for the Chicago reliever box after Dylan Cease and Michael Kopech (1-0) struggled.