Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: September 20, 2021

Netflix takes its first series Emmys, the U.S. starts returning Haitian migrants who crossed from Mexico, and more

1

Netflix takes its 1st series Emmys

Netflix won its first Emmy awards for TV series on Sunday, taking the prize for top dramatic series for The Crown and best limited series for The Queen's Gambit. Saturday Night Live alum Jason Sudeikis won the Emmy for outstanding lead actor in a comedy series for his role in Apple's Ted Lasso. Kate Winslet took the Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a limited or anthology series or movie for her performance on HBO's Mare of Easttown, beating out Queen's Gambit star Anya Taylor-Joy. Hamilton won best variety special. No people of color won in acting categories. RuPaul's Drag Race won outstanding competition program for the fourth straight year. RuPaul now has won 11 Emmys, the most by a person of color.

2

U.S. starts sending home Haitian refugees who crossed from Mexico

The United States on Sunday stepped up its effort to clear out a massive makeshift camp housing about 14,000 Haitian refugees who crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico to get to the Texas border town of Del Rio. U.S. officials blocked the Mexican border there, and sent three flights of Haitians back to their impoverished Caribbean homeland. The government plans to increase the pace to six planeloads per day soon, one U.S. official said. Many of the migrants have been in Brazil and other Latin American countries for years, but recently headed through Mexico to seek asylum in the U.S. Haiti, already struggling to respond to an earthquake and presidential assassination, protested the forced return, saying it wasn't prepared to handle so many deportees.

3

Senate parliamentarian rules against immigration measure in budget bill 

Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough ruled on Sunday that it is "not appropriate" for Democrats to include a pathway to citizenship for 8 million people in their budget reconciliation bill, which only needs a simple majority to pass the Senate. Democrats argued the policy would help the economy. The Senate parliamentarian is nonpartisan and rules on technical issues, and MacDonough wrote that such a "tremendous and enduring policy change ... dwarfs its budgetary impact." MacDonough said the move would "set a precedent" that could be used to defend rescinding people's immigration status, too. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Democrats were "deeply disappointed," and would consider alternate proposals to "provide lawful status for immigrants in budget reconciliation."

4

Democrats say they might have to cut back $3.5 trillion spending bill

Congressional Democrats said Sunday that they probably would have to reduce the size of President Joe Biden's $3.5 trillion social spending bill. They can't afford to lose a single Democratic vote in the evenly divided Senate, and West Virginia moderate Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin has said he would not vote for the bill unless it is scaled down considerably. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) might have to push passage of a bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill beyond a Sept. 27 deadline so it can be passed alongside the bigger spending bill, House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth said on Fox News Sunday. Both bills are critical parts of Biden's agenda, but face reluctance from some moderate Democrats and staunch opposition from Republicans.

5

Russian opposition parties allege fraud in parliamentary elections

Russian opposition parties and independent observers on Sunday reported widespread ballot fraud on the third and final day of parliamentary elections. President Vladimir Putin's United Russia party was expected to win the official count but with weakened control in the State Duma — the lower house of the Russian Parliament. Opposition leader Alexei Navalny remained in jail after Moscow declared his network an extremist organization in June, effectively banning it from participating in the campaign. Navalny's organization appealed to Russians to go out to vote against United Russia. "Today is the day your vote really matters," the network said under Navalny's name via his Instagram account. "Because today is the day that each of us can be especially efficient in convincing the doubters." 

6

Biggest post-U.S.-withdrawal evacuation flight yet leaves Kabul

A chartered Qatar Airways flight carrying more than 230 passengers, including Afghan and American citizens, took off from Kabul's Hamid Karzai International Airport on Sunday, Qatari Assistant Foreign Minister Lolwah Al-Khater announced. The plane's trip to Doha was the largest such evacuation flight since the U.S. military withdrawal from the country was completed on Aug. 31 after 20 years of war. The flight came as concerns continued about the Taliban's willingness to allow the departures of Afghans and foreigners desperate to leave Afghanistan rather than stay under the Islamist group's control. A Qatari official told Reuters the country "will continue its collaboration with international partners on efforts that ensure freedom of movement in Afghanistan."

7

Searchers find body believed to be Gabby Petito

Search crews in northern Wyoming on Sunday found human remains matching the description of Gabby Petito, a 22-year-old who went missing during a cross-country trip in a van with her boyfriend, the FBI in Denver announced. The body was found by law enforcement agents who looked for Petito at camp sites on the eastern border of Grand Teton National Park. The North Port Police in Florida, where Petito lived, issued the following statement saying they were "saddened and heartbroken to learn that Gabby has been found deceased." Investigators have identified the boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, as a person of interest in the case. Laundrie, 23, returned to his family's home in Florida but disappeared on Tuesday after declining to talk to investigators. Police are continuing to search for him.

8

Chinese version of TikTok places limits on kids' use

TikTok parent company ByteDance plans to limit children's access to Douyin, the Chinese version of the short-video app, to 40 minutes a day. Douyin said in a blog post over the weekend that its "youth mode" would restrict use by people under age 14 to between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Douyin introduced some limits as an optional feature in 2018, but made them mandatory to protect young users from harmful content. The company also said that its youngest users would get educational content, including science experiments and history lessons. Douyin appealed to parents to help with enforcement by making sure their kids were registered with their real ages. The changes followed a crackdown by the Chinese government on social media firms over alleged problems regarding data-security, labor, and competition.

9

Thousands evacuated after volcano erupts in Canary Islands

A volcano on one of Spain's Canary Islands off Africa's western coast erupted on Sunday, forcing about 5,000 people to flee as lava flows destroyed 20 homes and threatened more. The eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma island (pop. 85,000) came after a weeklong buildup of seismic activity as molten lava built up inside. The strongest of the several earthquakes felt before the eruption measured 4.2 on the Richter Scale. The volcano last erupted in 1971. "We call on people to exercise extreme caution and to stay away from the eruption area in order to avoid unnecessary risks," the local government tweeted on Sunday. "Likewise, it is very important to keep roads clear so that they can be used by our land operatives."

10

Fauci: FDA should get Moderna, J&J booster data within weeks

Federal regulators should receive the test data they need on Moderna's and Johnson & Johnson's coronavirus vaccine boosters within weeks, Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Biden's top medical adviser, said Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press. A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Friday recommended Pfizer's booster be given to people aged 65 and up or at high risk of severe COVID-19, but stopped short of advising that it be administered more broadly. Fauci urged fully vaccinated Americans to wait to seek an additional shot until the FDA recommends it for a group they fall into. Fauci noted that the FDA panel's decision is not binding, so the agency might take other factors into consideration to determine whether to offer boosters more broadly. "This is not the end of the story," Fauci said on CNN's State of the Union.

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