How were Biden’s first 100 days?

Good morning.

Biden marked his 100th day as US president with a rally in Georgia yesterday, a state that played a leading role in getting him to the White House. The drive-in event in Duluth, north of Atlanta, was an opportunity to promote his plans to overhaul US social infrastructure, with Biden giving a shortened version of the speech he delivered to congress the night before.

As he passes the significant milestone, attention is focused on what Biden achieved in his first 100 days, and what we can expect from the rest.

At least 44 people have been killed and 150 injured in a crowd crush at a religious gathering in Israel, one of the country’s worst peacetime disasters. Tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews had gathered at Mount Meron for all-night prayer, songs and dance. The cause of the crush is not clear, but witnesses said crowds were asphyxiated or trampled when exiting via a sloped passage.

Footage shows men pulling down corrugated iron walls to escape, and medics have since confirmed that children are among the dead. Here’s a run down of what we know so far.

Scientists have discovered more than 25,000 barrels of what is thought to be chemical waste, off the California coastline. They believe the barrels contain DDT waste, which has been linked to cancer and disease, and also to mass die-offs of animals. The barrels cover a seafloor area double the size of Manhattan.

The discovery has caused alarm, and renewed scrutiny about the dumping of toxic waste near California, which continued into the 1970s. You can read more about the discovery and history of the chemical waste here.

Certain US news outlets that are aligned with an anti-Chinese state religious movement are promoting conspiracy theories about Democrats and election fraud to Trump supporters, according to a media watchdog. Falun Gong is a movement that has been involved in a decades-long conflict with the Chinese state.

Outlets including the far-right Epoch Times appear to be trying to connect Biden and the Democrats with the Chinese Communist party and turn US public opinion against China.

Aid agencies have said that a “rapid and accelerating” wave of coronavirus is putting millions of people in Syria at risk, with poor healthcare infrastructure after 10 years of war and about 90% population steeped in poverty. In the north-east of the country, more than 47% of tests are coming back positive.

A number of states including Washington and New York are passing laws to end the era of gasoline and diesel cars. Biden has regularly talked of the environmental and economic benefits of electric cars, but is now being pushed by state governors to go further and impose an outright ban on new gasoline and diesel car sales – as the UK, France and Norway have pledged to do.

Rather than throw away the “beautiful” hair of her Ragdoll cat, Mittens, which came off when he was brushed, Irene Lerman decided to knit with it. Now she has requests from people to knit with hair collected from their very own pets. You can read more in this rather unique hobby in this experience piece.

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