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Friday's Mini-Report, 7.2.21

Today's edition of quick hits.


Today's edition of quick hits:

* Afghanistan: "American forces on Friday vacated Afghanistan's Bagram Airbase, once a bustling mini-city that saw more than 100,000 U.S. troops pass through its gates, three senior U.S. officials tell NBC News."

* The latest from Surfside: "Two more victims, including a 7-year-old, have been recovered from the rubble of the Miami condo building that partially collapsed last week, officials said Friday. Twenty people are confirmed dead after nearly half of Champlain Towers South in Surfside crumbled suddenly about 1:30 a.m. June 24."

* In related news: "During his trip to a grief-stricken stretch of Florida beachfront on Thursday, Biden summoned two defining features of his political identity: empathy and bipartisanship."

* The first hurricane of the year: "Tropical Storm Elsa strengthened early Friday morning to become the first hurricane of the 2021 Atlantic season. As of 11 a.m. ET, the Category 1 storm had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph and was five miles north of St. Vincent. It was moving west-northwest at 29 mph."

* Pandemic news: "The Biden administration on Thursday announced the formation of 'surge response' teams intended to combat the fast-moving delta variant of the coronavirus by deploying additional expertise and supplies to hot spots."

* DOJ: "Attorney General Merrick Garland ordered a temporary stop Thursday to scheduling further federal executions. In a memo to senior officials, he said serious concerns have arisen about the arbitrariness of capital punishment, its disparate impact on people of color, and 'the troubling number of exonerations' in death penalty cases."

* Curtailing surprise billing: "Patients receiving emergency medical care would no longer get surprise medical bills from providers outside their insurance network under a rule issued Thursday by the Biden administration."

* Capitol Hill: "The House on Thursday laid down its marker for this month's infrastructure negotiations, approving a five-year, $715 billion transportation and drinking water bill that would do more to combat climate change than the Senate's bipartisan measure embraced by President Biden."

* We're still learning about new Trump-era scandals: "The Department of Homeland Security's inspector general blocked an inquiry into whether senior agency officials demoted an employee who criticized the Trump administration, according to people familiar with the matter and a whistle-blower complaint obtained by The New York Times."

* I can't think of a good defense for this: "U.S. track sensation Sha'Carri Richardson, who punched her ticket to the Tokyo Games after winning the women's 100-meter race last month, has been suspended from the Olympic team after testing positive for THC, the chemical in marijuana."

Have a safe weekend.