The Biden administration has issued a new two-month moratorium on evictions, covering much of the country, after facing intense pressure from progressive lawmakers led by Congressmember Cori Bush. The new CDC moratorium will cover areas of the United States where there is “substantial” or “high” spread of the coronavirus. A nationwide moratorium on evictions expired Saturday after Democratic lawmakers failed to pass a bill to protect millions of people who could be forced from their homes. On Friday night, Democratic Congressmember Cori Bush, who was once unhoused herself, began camping out on the steps of the Capitol in protest. She stayed on the steps until Tuesday’s announcement. In a tweet, Bush wrote, “On Friday night, I came to the Capitol with my chair. I refused to accept that Congress could leave for vacation while 11 million people faced eviction. For 5 days, we’ve been out here, demanding that our government acts to save lives. Today, our movement moved mountains.” During an interview on CNN, Bush responded to the temporary moratorium extension.
Rep. Cori Bush: “I’m elated, and I’m overwhelmed, you know, because just the thought that so many people right now, millions of people, you know, will not be forced out on the streets.”
Democratic Congressmember Rashida Tlaib is calling on House Democrats to return recent contributions from real estate tycoon George Marcus, who recently donated $1 million to the House Majority PAC just weeks before Democratic lawmakers failed to extend the eviction moratorium.
The COVID-19 death toll in Indonesia has topped 100,000 after authorities reported 1,700 new deaths today. Indonesia’s death toll has doubled since May. Meanwhile, in Japan, Tokyo has set yet another record for COVID cases, reporting over 4,100 new infections today in the Olympics host city.
Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis is rejecting calls to impose a mask mandate as the state set a new record with over 11,500 hospitalized COVID patients. Doctors say 95% of the patients are unvaccinated. Louisiana has reinstated an indoor mask mandate as its hospitals also struggle to treat a record number of COVID patients.
The American Academy of Pediatrics reports 72,000 children in the United States tested positive for COVID last week — an 85% increase over the previous week. The academy estimates less than 2% of children infected require hospitalization.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced the city will soon require proof of vaccination to dine indoors, go to the gym or attend indoor entertainment events. In other COVID news, The New York Times reports the Food and Drug Administration is moving toward fully approving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine by September. Meanwhile, former President Barack Obama has announced plans to significantly scale down his 60th birthday party this weekend at the family’s $12 million estate in Martha’s Vineyard due to the spread of the Delta variant.
President Biden and the entire Democratic congressional delegation of New York is calling on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to resign, after an independent investigation concluded Cuomo had violated state and federal law by sexually harassing 11 women, including nine current or former government employees. On Tuesday, New York state Attorney General Letitia James released her 165-page report after conducting a five-month probe.
Attorney General Letitia James: “The independent investigation found that Governor Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women, many of whom were young women, by engaging in unwanted groping, kisses, hugging and by making inappropriate comments.”
On Tuesday, Governor Cuomo defended himself against the allegations and rejected calls to resign. Members of the New York State Assembly are now moving ahead with plans to draft articles of impeachment. The governors of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Rhode Island also issued a joint statement calling for Cuomo to resign. We’ll have more on this story after headlines.
In election news, Shontel Brown has defeated Nina Turner, Bernie Sanders’s former campaign co-chair, in a closely watched special Democratic primary to fill the seat of Marcia Fudge in Ohio’s 11th Congressional District. Brown is the chair of the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party. She had received the backing of many establishment Democrats, including Hillary Clinton and Congressmember James Clyburn, as well as the Democratic Majority for Israel PAC, which spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on the race. Turner was endorsed by Sanders, Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other progressives. In a statement Tuesday night, Turner said, “We didn’t lose this race — the evil money manipulated and maligned this election.”
In Ohio’s 15th Congressional District, the Trump-backed coal lobbyist Mike Carey won the Republican primary, defeating 10 other candidates.
In Afghanistan, at least eight people died Tuesday when a car bomb exploded in a heavily secured area of Kabul outside the villa of Afghanistan’s defense minister, who was not home at the time. The BBC reports it was the first major bombing in Kabul in over a year. It comes as Taliban fighters are attempting to seize three provincial capitals: Kandahar, Herat and Lashkar Gah. The United Nations reports at least 40 civilians have been killed in Lashkar Gah and 118 wounded over the past day. According to the Associated Press, the Taliban now controls nine of the 10 districts in Lashkar Gah despite repeated U.S. airstrikes to slow their advance. The Afghan Army has urged civilians to leave the city before the Army launches a major counterattack against the Taliban. Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch has accused the Taliban of summarily executing soldiers, police and civilians who have been detained during its recent offensive ahead of the U.S. military withdrawal, which is scheduled to conclude by the end of the month.
In Greece, thousands of people have fled their homes as wildfires rage uncontrollably in the northern suburbs of Athens amid Greece’s worst heat wave in decades. Greek firefighters are battling 81 forest fires across the country as temperatures soar to 116 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, more than 16,000 people have been evacuated in Turkey, which has been struggling to contain scores of fires over the past week.
Police in Ukraine have opened a murder investigation after a Belarusian activist was found dead near his home in Kiev. Vitaly Shishov’s body was found Tuesday hanging from a tree in a park. Shishov was a vocal critic of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and helped provide refuge to Belarusians who fled the country.
Lebanon is marking one year since the devastating explosion at the Port of Beirut killed 218 people, injured 7,000 and destroyed or damaged 300,000 homes. Lebanon is now facing its worst economic crisis in history. Meanwhile, no one in the political leadership has been held accountable for leaving over 2,700 tons of highly explosive ammonium nitrate fertilizer unattended at Beirut’s port. A new report by Human Rights Watch implicates senior Lebanese officials for failing to protect the public.
Aya Majzoub: “Culpability for the explosion still rests with those officials who knew the ammonium nitrate was being stored at the port in an unconscionable and dangerous manner, and failed to do what was within their authority and under their responsibility to secure or remove it.”
Ebrahim Raisi has officially become Iran’s new president. Raisi is a conservative cleric and protégé of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. On Tuesday, he vowed to fight U.S. sanctions.
President Ebrahim Raisi: “We will definitely pursue the lifting of tyrannical sanctions, but we will definitely not allow people’s financial ability and the economy to be impacted by it. We will not link the sanctions to outsiders’ wishes.”
In Texas, a federal judge has temporarily blocked Republican Governor Greg Abbott from carrying out an executive order that restricted asylum seekers to traveling only with law enforcement officials and directed state troopers to stop vehicles suspected of transporting migrants. Immigrant justice organizations and others have often helped transport asylum seekers who are released from custody to their final destination. Abbott’s executive order is blocked until next week, when another hearing is scheduled.
Missouri Republican Governor Mike Parson has pardoned the wealthy white St. Louis couple who brandished guns at peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters who marched by their mansion last year. Mark and Patricia McCloskey were originally charged with felonies but later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges.