Search efforts in Florida condo building collapse shift from rescue to recovery 

Authorities are now focusing on recovery at the Surfside, Florida, condo building that collapsed on June 24 – shifting the efforts from rescue Wednesday. Miami-Dade Assistant Fire Chief Raide Jadallah told families of those missing that after sifting through all areas of debris, officials have concluded it will now be next to impossible to find people alive. Emergency teams would remove rescue dogs and sound devices but would continue to search through the rubble for the bodies of victims, Jadallah said at a private briefing Wednesday. Over the course of 14 days, crews recovered one survivor. The death toll is now at 54, with 86 additional people unaccounted for.  

Biden will discuss drawdown efforts in Afghanistan

Last week, the Biden administration confirmed that U.S. military troops have left Bagram Airfield and handed the base over to Afghan security forces – effectively ending the U.S. combat role after nearly 20 years of war. The departure from Bagram, which served as the hub of the American-led war against Al Qaeda and the Taliban, came even as some U.S. officials warn that a resurgent Taliban could soon topple the Afghan government. On Thursday, President Joe Biden will deliver a speech to discuss U.S. drawdown efforts in the country.

Afghan military: US left Bagram Airfield at night, didn’t tell new commander

Taliban take districts in northern Afghanistan from fleeing Afghan troops

An Afghan National Army soldier takes a selfie with his mobile phone inside the Bagram air base on July 5, 2021, after all U.S. and NATO troops left.

Tropical Storm Elsa continues path through US

After Tropical Storm Elsa left one person dead in Florida and several injured in southeast Georgia, it is expected to move across the southeastern and mid-Atlantic U.S. through Thursday. Authorities in Jacksonville, Florida, said one person was killed Wednesday when a tree fell and struck two cars. The National Weather Service reported 50 mph wind gusts in the city. In Georgia, a possible tornado struck a park for recreational vehicles at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base, leaving 10 people injured, said base spokesman Scott Bassett. As for Elsa’s impact on Thursday, flash flooding and up to 5 inches of rain are possible, while tornadoes may also develop from the southeastern U.S. up to Virginia. 

Bucks try to hold off surging Suns in NBA Finals

The Phoenix Suns are hoping for another standout performance from Chris Paul as they try to take a lead over the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 2 of the NBA Finals Thursday night (9 p.m. ET, ABC). The veteran point guard, appearing in the Finals for the first time, led all scorers with 32 points in the Suns’ 118-105 victory in Game 1. Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo is nursing a knee injury but was able to pitch in with 20 points and 17 rebounds. Overhanging the series is ESPN’s inner turmoil involving NBA anchors Rachel Nichols and Maria Taylor, after Nichols’ comments about the company became public.

The bee is back: National spelling bee finals return

Eleven young spelling aces who have already proven their linguistic prowess in local and regional competition will face off Thursday in the finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The champion will receive a $50,000 cash prize. Last year, the contest was canceled for the first time since 1945 due to the coronavirus pandemic. This year’s final round, which is being held at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida, will be televised live on ESPN2 starting at 8 p.m. ET.

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