Men’s gymnastics takes center stage at Olympics

The Tokyo Olympics resume Monday with Team USA aiming to build on its bounce back performances Sunday. Many eyes will be on the the men’s gymnastics team final, where Team USA members Brody Malone, Sam Mikulak, Yul Moldauer and Shane Wiskus will look to earn a medal in the team competition for the first time since 2008 when they earned bronze. Later in the day, Katie Ledecky — who won the silver medal in the women’s 400-meter freestyle — returns to the pool for a 1500-meter freestyle heat. Team USA will also be in action for women’s basketball when they open their Olympic run against Nigeria.

Biden meets with Iraqi prime minister at White House

President Joe Biden welcomes Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi to the White House Monday amid reports the two countries may be ready to announce the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq by the end of the year. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said last week that discussions between the two governments “have been extremely constructive and are ongoing” but would not say whether Biden is planning to announce a specific date and other plans for the withdrawal. Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein, however, said he expected an agreement to be announced that U.S. fighting forces will not remain in Iraq. The U.S. still has about 2,500 troops in the country after a series of drawdowns in recent years. Their assignments include counterterrorism operations and training Iraqi security forces.

Hot, hot, hot: USA will be under a ‘heat dome’ this week

A giant heat wave is expected to spread across much of the continental U.S. this week, bringing temperatures at least 5 to 10 degrees higher than average, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Blame it on a “heat dome” – the result of a strong change in ocean temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean during the preceding winter, says the National Ocean Service. The high temperatures won’t help firefighters battling at least 88 major wildfires raging across 13 states, including one in Oregon that has burned through 640 square miles.

At least 120K customers without power after tornadoes spin through Michigan

Michigan is reeling on Monday from damage caused by heavy rains and tornadoes over the weekend. Detroit, still recovering from flooding over a week ago, accumulated another 1-2 inches of rain during a wave of storms Saturday that led to flooding in the area. The National Weather Service said tornadoes struck near Detroit and Flint on Saturday, where one person suffered minor injuries. The weather service also received reports of tornadoes in Port Austin, Armada and Oakland County. About 121,328 DTE customers were without power as of Sunday afternoon, according to the DTE outage center. It wasn’t known how long it would take crews to restore power, but a DTE spokesperson said it would likely be Monday at the soonest. 

Talks on bipartisan infrastructure bill in final stages

Senators on Capitol Hill are pushing this week to finalize a bipartisan infrastructure bill that would provide funding for roads, bridges, broadband internet and other projects. Republicans on Wednesday blocked the start of formal debate on the bill, a core part of President Joe Biden’s economic plan, because the bill text and cost weren’t available as negotiations continued. The bill needs to clear a 60-vote threshold to succeed. Senators continue to haggle over details on transit and how to pay for the entire package, which totals roughly $1.2 trillion. 

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