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End of eviction moratorium, extreme heat, Olympic stars: 5 things to know this weekend

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Eviction moratorium ends after Congress fails to extend it

The eviction freeze expires Saturday after the House failed to pass a bill that would have extended it. The moratorium was put in place last September by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to protect Americans who have fallen behind on their rent during the coronavirus pandemic. President Joe Biden made an urgent plea Thursday for Congress to extend the nationwide moratorium on evictions, arguing a Supreme Court ruling had left him unable to act on his own. Biden had extended the moratorium through the end of July and would have "strongly supported" another extension, particularly as the delta variant drives a spike in new COVID-19 infections, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and House Majority Whip James Clyburn released a joint statement on the failed bill Friday, blaming the GOP: "It is extremely disappointing that House and Senate Republicans have refused to work with us on this issue."

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Olympics: US men's basketball team is back in action; star swimmers win gold

The United States' men's basketball team returns to action Saturday as they take on the Czech Republic (8 a.m. ET, Peacock) in their final game of group play. Coming off a thumping of Iran Wednesday, Team USA will clinch a berth in the quarterfinal round with a win over the Czech Republic. They could move on if they lose, but they'd need to get some help. In the pool, Caeleb Dressel picked up his third gold of the Tokyo Olympics, winning the men's 100-meter butterfly and setting a record in the process. In her final swim of the Tokyo Games, Katie Ledecky won the 800-meter freestyle for the third consecutive Olympics to add to her medal haul. Gymnastics fans on Saturday also got more clarity on the status of star Simone Biles, who will not compete in the vault and uneven bar event finals Sunday. She is not ready to compete again after losing her sense of where she is in the air.

Senate's work on infrastructure plan slides into unusual weekend session

Senators will return to Capitol Hill for a rare Saturday session as they try to make progress on a roughly $1 trillion infrastructure plan. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said the chamber should be able to process the legislation quickly - "in a matter of days" - given the bipartisan support. But Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) offered a different prediction, saying, "It's going to be a grind." Cornyn said he expects Schumer to allow all senators to have a chance to shape the bill and allow for amendments from members of both parties. "I hope we can now pump the brakes a little bit and take the time and care to evaluate the benefits and the cost of this legislation," he said. The legislation hurdled an important procedural obstacle Wednesday as senators voted to move the bill – the largest transportation bill in U.S. history – to formal debate, clearing the way for one of President Joe Biden's key priorities.

Extreme heat threatens more wildfires

Extreme heat in the Pacific Northwest and California will bring the potential for new wildfires into the weekend. In central and southern Oregon, temperatures could reach 106 degrees in some areas, while much of Washington could see record highs Friday and Saturday. The heat, mixed with dry conditions and the potential for thunderstorms, prompted red flag warnings across Oregon and parts of northern California, where multiple large wildfires are already burning. President Joe Biden on Friday met with governors across the West to discuss ongoing firefighting and wildfire prevention efforts.

Italy bans large cruise ships from sailing into Venice

Declaring Venice's waterways a "national monument," Italy is banning mammoth cruise liners from sailing into the lagoon city starting Sunday. The ban applies to the lagoon basin near St. Mark’s Square and the Giudecca Canal, which is a major marine artery in Venice. The ban was urgently adopted "to avoid the concrete risk" that the U.N. culture agency UNESCO would add Venice to its list of "world heritage in danger." Before the coronavirus pandemic severely curtailed international travel, cruise ships discharging thousands of day-trippers overwhelmed Venice and its delicate marine environment. Environmentalists and cultural heritage have battled for decades with business interests, since the cruise industry is a major source of revenue for the city.

Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Eviction moratorium end, Olympic stars: 5 things to know this weekend

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