Today’s edition of quick hits.
* Crisis conditions in Puerto Rico: “Puerto Rico remains under tropical storm warning after Hurricane Fiona dumped more than 2 feet of rain over the weekend. More floods and landslides are expected Monday as intense rains are expected to continue until the end of day Tuesday.”
* Mark Frerichs is coming home: “An American contractor held hostage in Afghanistan for more than two years has been released in exchange for a convicted Taliban drug lord jailed in the United States, the White House said Monday, announcing a rare success in U.S.-Taliban talks since the militant group took power a little more than a year ago.”
* Horrors in Ukraine: “The stench of death hangs over a small forest in northeastern Ukraine. Already, hundreds of bodies have been retrieved, including those of children, Ukrainian forensic technicians here say.”
* Getting Beijing’s attention: “U.S. forces would defend Taiwan if China invaded, President Joe Biden said Sunday, his clearest statement yet on the issue and one criticized by Beijing as a violation of longstanding U.S. policy. In a ‘60 Minutes’ interview broadcast on CBS, Biden was asked whether the U.S. would defend Taiwan against an attack from Beijing, which claims the self-ruling island democracy as its territory. ‘Yes, if in fact there was an unprecedented attack,’ he said.”
* Good: “The European Union’s executive branch recommended Sunday that the bloc suspend around 7.5 billion euros (dollars) in funding to Hungary over concerns about democratic backsliding and the possible mismanagement of EU money.”
* Another abortion ban: “Republican Gov. Jim Justice on Friday signed into law a ban on abortions at all stages of pregnancy, making West Virginia the second state to enact a law prohibiting the procedure since the U.S. Supreme Court’s June ruling overturning its constitutional protection.”
* I wonder how many Virginians realized what they were getting when they voted for the guy who pretended to be moderate: “The administration of Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) this weekend sharply restricted the rights of transgender students, sending schools into turmoil and drawing strong denunciations from Democratic legislators and some educators, but earning applause from Republicans and parents’ rights advocates.”
* I wish this was surprising: “As American feminists came together in 2017 to protest Donald Trump, Russia’s disinformation machine set about deepening the divides among them.”
* The right comes up with strange ideas: “The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare offers schools an optional sex education program called ‘Reducing the Risk,’ but that curriculum — used in grades 8 through 12 — does not include lessons on pornography.”
* Do you ever get the feeling that we’re overdue for a conversation about the financial considerations surrounding college athletics? “Arch Manning, a five-star recruit in the 2023 class, verbally committed to the University of Texas in June, but spent months making official and unofficial visits around the country. Football programs treated the top-ranked quarterback like royalty, including Texas who spent nearly $280,000 on the weekend they hosted Manning and other recruits for an official visit in June, according to The Athletic.”
See you tomorrow.