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Frenzied evacuation from Afghanistan continues
The U.S. has evacuated thousands of people from Afghanistan but has a long way to go, President Joe Biden said on Sunday. With thousands of Americans remaining in Afghanistan, Biden said his administration is in talks about extending its Aug. 31 deadline for the full removal of U.S. troops, but said the administration hopes it will not have to extend it. "We have a long way to go. And a lot could still go wrong," Biden said. It's been a week since the Taliban entered Afghanistan's capital city and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country. The U.S. is continuing to evacuate Americans and Afghan people with special immigrant visas, with 17,000 people sent out of Afghanistan in the last week.
The scene at Hamid Karzai International Airport remains frenzied as crowds attempt to leave the country. A NATO official told Reuters on Sunday that 20 people have died in the last week at the airport amid the evacuation.
18 airplanes were activated Sunday to assist in evacuation efforts out of Kabul. The planes will not fly into Hamid Karzai International Airport. Instead, they will be used for "the onward movement of passengers from temporary safe havens and interim staging bases," said Pentagon press secretary John Kirby. It is only the third time that civilian aircraft have been activated.
At least 21 dead, dozens missing as floods strike Tennessee, North Carolina
At least 21 people were dead and dozens more remained missing Sunday after record-shattering downpours triggered flooding across parts of rural Tennessee and North Carolina. Authorities fear the death toll could rise. Between 25 and 30 people were missing missing in Tennessee's Humphreys County alone, Sheriff Chris Davis said. Parts of Tennessee saw as much as 17 inches of rain fall in less than 24 hours, breaking the state record for one-day rainfall by more than 3 inches, the National Weather Service said. In Haywood County, North Carolina, the death toll rose to four from flooding wrought by Tropical Storm Fred last week after two bodies were recovered Saturday.
Tropical Storm Henri makes landfall in New England
Tropical Storm Henri rolled across Block Island before making landfall on the coastal Rhode Island town of Westerly on Sunday, blasting much of the Northeast with high winds and heavy storm surge. Henri had weakened earlier in the day from hurricane status but remained an imposing threat, driving sustained winds of 60 miles per hour and producing 19-foot waves in some places. "Storm surge, rainfall and wind hazards will extend far from the center," warned Daniel Brown, senior hurricane specialist. "This is a life-threatening situation." Henri is forecast to slow down and possibly stall near the Connecticut-New York border Sunday night, followed by an east-northeastward motion across northern Connecticut and southern Massachusetts on Monday. Slower forward speed means the storm will linger longer, dumping excessive rain as it passes.
Biden's approval rating drops to lowest point amid rise in COVID-19, Afghanistan fallout.
Rock 'n' roll pioneer Don Everly, half of the harmonizing Everly Brothers, dies at 84.
The death toll from Haiti's magnitude 7.2 earthquake has grown to 2,207, with 344 people still missing.
Phil Valentine, a conservative talk radio host from Tennessee who had been a vaccine skeptic until he was hospitalized from COVID-19, dies. He was 61.
Rev. Jesse Jackson, wife hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19.
Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera hits 500th career home run.
Sha'Carri Richardson finishes last in first race since being banned from competing in the Tokyo Olympics: 'This is one race. I'm not done.'
General Motors recalls all Chevy Bolts for fire risk at cost of an extra $1 billion.
Disney files motion to settle the lawsuit brought by 'Black Widow' star Scarlett Johansson behind closed doors.
Pfizer vaccine could win full FDA approval soon
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine could win full FDA approval as soon as Monday, multiple media outlets report. The New York Times, citing people familiar with the planning who were not authorized to speak publicly, said the approval might come a day or two later if parts of the review need more time. U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy told ABC's "This Week" that he "wouldn't be surprised" if the FDA soon issues full approval of the Pfizer vaccine. Pfizer's vaccine is being made available under an emergency use authorization and would be the first COVID-19 vaccine to win full FDA approval. Murthy said full approval could persuade more Americans to get vaccinated, prompt more companies and organizations to mandate vaccinations, and help curb the dangerous spread of delta and other variants.
COVID-19 booster shot for Pfizer, Moderna vaccines will be available Sept. 20.
Poll: Americans back tough rules on vaccinations and masks
As a fourth wave of the coronavirus surges, Americans say protecting the common good is more important than ensuring personal liberty when considering whether to require individuals to get a COVID-19 vaccination or wear a protective mask. An overwhelming 72% of those surveyed by USA TODAY and Ipsos called mask mandates "a matter of health and safety," not an infringement on personal liberty. By 61%, they endorsed requiring vaccinations except for those with a medical or religious exemption. The debate is reverberating across the country as school districts prepare to reopen in the next few weeks and businesses begin to bring back employees. Last week, the Biden administration threatened to cut off federal funding to nursing homes that didn't require staffers to be vaccinated.
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This is a compilation of stories from across the USA TODAY Network. Contributing: Associated Press.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tropical Storm Henri, Tennessee floods, Afghanistan: Weekend's news