Simone Biles returns to Olympics, wildfires fuel poor air quality: 5 things to know Tuesday

Simone Biles medals in return to Tokyo Olympics

Simone Biles returned to Olympic competition Tuesday, and won a bronze medal in the balance beam final. Competing for the first time since withdrawing from the team competition a week earlier with a case of “the twisties,” she claimed her seventh Olympic medal, tying her with Shannon Miller for most by a U.S. Gymnast. Although the medal added to Biles’ already iconic career, she said Tuesday’s performance wasn’t about where she placed. “It meant the world to be out there,” Biles said. “I wasn’t expecting to walk away with a medal. I was doing this for me, and whatever happens happens.”.

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    Western wildfires continue to bring poor air quality across US

    Air quality alerts remain in effect Tuesday in several states across the U.S. Due to smoke from severe Western wildfires. On Monday, smoke was impacting air quality in portions of the interior Northwest, Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming and the upper Midwest, the National Weather Service said. Wildfires emit huge volumes of microscopic smoke particles that researchers say can be harmful if breathed in and lead to both immediate and long-term health impacts. Children, the elderly and people with underlying health conditions are particularly at risk. Despite firefighters making progress over the weekend containing some of the largest fires, including the Bootleg Fire in Oregon and the Dixie Fire in Northern California, authorities warned that the risk of flare-ups remained high due to unpredictable winds and dry conditions.

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  • Donald Trump’s political strength gets a new test in Ohio

    For the second time in a week, former President Donald Trump will put the strength of his political endorsements on the line on Tuesday. A Trump-backed congressional candidate in Ohio faces a crowded Republican primary, just seven days after another Trump-favored candidate lost a run-off election in Texas. A victory by coal industry lobbyist Mike Carey would give Trump a chance to reclaim a large measure of influence within the Republican Party; a defeat would trigger more questions about the real value of an endorsement from the former president. A first-time candidate, Carey is part of an 11-member Republican primary field that includes three members of the state legislature. They are all vying to replace U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers, a Republican who retired from Congress to run the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.

  • A falling stock? Donald Trump-backed candidate loses U.S. House race to GOP’s Jake Ellzey.
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  • Alexander Vindman recounts taking on Trump in new book

    In November 2019, Alexander Vindman’s testified before the House Intelligence Committe about an explosive quid pro quo he said he had heard then-President Donald Trump offer Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. That testimony, probably the most significant of Trump’s first impeachment hearing, catapulted Vindman into the public eye – and ultimately led to his being fired from his job on the National Security Council. Vindman details his side of the story in a new book, “Here, Right Matters” to be published Tuesday by Harper Books. “The president was not held accountable for his actions,” Vindman said in an interview with USA TODAY’s Susan Page.

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  • How to handle a firestorm: Vindman’s advice to Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn.
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  • Maui mayor asks Hawaii to start school online amid COVID-19 surge

    The mayor of Maui County is calling on Hawaii officials to postpone students’ return to in-person learning amid rising COVID-19 cases throughout the islands. Hawaii’s students are slated to return to classrooms Tuesday, and Gov. David Ige said they would. If officials do postpone in-person learning, Hawaii’s school district, which serves nearly 175,000 students across the state, would be the first major district to kick off the academic year remotely. Case counts have risen in Hawaii in recent weeks, with Honolulu County accounting for most of them. But Maui County, which includes the islands of Maui, Lānaʻi and Molokaʻi, lacks the health care facilities needed to accommodate the recent surge in infections.

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  • Sen. Lindsey Graham tests positive for COVID, credits vaccination for only mild symptoms.
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