Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has signed the election reform bill into law—the bill the Democrats fled the state in order to try and stop. The bill aims to secure elections by banning drive-through and 24-hour voting, and sets an ID requirement for mail-in voting. The bill’s author, Bill Hughes, summed up its aims as “easy to vote, hard to cheat.” The bill adds new restrictions and criminal penalties to the voting process in the state. Democrats say the bill is meant to benefit Republicans because the restrictions largely impact people who tend to vote for Democrats—including minorities and people with disabilities.
The Taliban announced new key caretaker positions, giving nations an idea of who they will be dealing with in what many leaders have called a new reality. This comes as Secretary of State Antony Blinken says the United States is working with the Taliban to get Americans out of Afghanistan if they want to leave. Blinken went on to say the Taliban assured them again that all Americans and Afghans with valid documents can leave. The White House has maintained around 100 Americans are still in Afghanistan, but Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) says that number could be higher. He estimates there’s likely about 500 Americans stranded in the country.
Hawaii is rolling out vaccine passports at restaurants, bars, and gyms. This follows similar moves in other states as well as around the world. UK Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi says the UK government will proceed with plans to mandate COVID-19 vaccine passports for nightclubs and large venues. And Israel becomes the first country to roll out booster shots for everyone 12 and up. The government announced that vaccine passports will only be valid if people get the booster shot, saying vaccine passports will expire six months after people get their second vaccine dose.
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