March 20, 2023
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Nation & World News Feb. 9

Flow of migrants drop across the border of Texas and Mexico

A month after President Joe Biden’s administration said it was expanding its humanitarian parole program for migrants from certain countries, Mexican offi cials warn it is too early to claim success, even as the number of migrants reaching the border has plummeted. In an interview with The Dallas Morning News, Roberto Velasco, a top diplomat and chief of the North America bureau at the Mexican Foreign Ministry, highlighted the drastic drop — as much as a 97% decline — in the number of migrants journeying through Mexico from Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and Haiti.

Former foreign minister places first in Cyprus presidential vote

Cypriots will return to the ballot box Feb. 12 to choose a leader who can oversee the Mediterranean island’s economic recovery as the fallout from the war in Ukraine continues to pose a threat. Nicos Christodoulides, 49, an independent candidate, will face Andreas Mavroyiannis, 66, in the runoff with more than 99% of the vote counted. He captured 32% of the vote Feb. 5 compared to 29.6% for Mavroyiannis, who’s also standing as an independent candidate and is backed by the leftist Akel party, according to Cypriot Interior Ministry fi gures.

End of public health emergency causes a cascade of changes

The Biden administration’s plan to unwind the public health emergency tied to the COVID-19 pandemic will spur a whirlwind of changes related to telehealth, Medicaid, pharmaceuticals and other priorities. Many Republicans have said the May 11 end date announced Monday is not soon enough, with the House voting this week on a bill to roll back that and three other pandemic policies immediately. Democrats have said the time is needed to weigh which fl exibilities and funding may need to continue.

Arctic air mass sweeps across Northeast in record-setting cold

New Yorkers were hunkering down and hiding from the cold for a second straight day as temperatures across the city dipped below zero Feb. 4. More than 20 million people in New York and across the Northeast continued to endure what meteorologists expect to be a brief, though potentially life-threatening, blast of cold.

U.S. shoots down alleged Chinese spy balloon that lingered for days

The U.S. shot down an alleged Chinese surveillance balloon off the South Carolina coast Feb. 4, capping days of waiting as it traversed the country and injected new tension into relations with China. President Joe Biden said he ordered the Pentagon on Feb. 1 to down the balloon as soon as possible “without doing damage to anyone on the ground.” The military decided the best window was Feb. 4 while it was over the Atlantic within U.S. territorial waters.