Agatha is expected to dissipate after making landfall in Mexico as a hurricane
Agatha is expected to dissipate in southeastern Mexico by Tuesday evening after touching down on the country’s south coast as the strongest hurricane on record to make landfall in May in the eastern Pacific. Agatha made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane on Monday about 8 km west of Puerto Angel, Oaxaca state, southern Mexico, with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph. Late Monday it was downgraded to a tropical storm, with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph. The National Hurricane Center said Agatha was expected to dissipate overnight, but warned that heavy rainfall from the system still posed a dangerous flash flood threat. “Although the chances of Agatha maintaining a definite and strong circulation after moving inland over the mountainous terrain of southern Mexico are slim, a more likely solution is that residual moisture and energy of Agatha are giving rise to a new storm system on the Atlantic side,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Courtney Travis.
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Russian Gas Giant Prepares To Cut Off Dutch Trader; EU leaders agree to Russian gas embargo
Russian gas giant Gazprom said it would cut off supply to Dutch trader GasTerra from Tuesday for failing to pay for deliveries in roubles, as Russian President Vladimir Putin is now demanding. GasTerra, based in the city of Groningen in the northern Netherlands, said it anticipated the move and bought gas from other suppliers. On Monday, European Union leaders reached agreement on a sixth sanctions package that would include a partial oil embargo against Russia. EU members agreed to an embargo that covers Russian oil transported by sea, allowing a temporary exemption for imports delivered by pipeline. EU Council President Charles Michel said on Twitter that the deal covers more than two-thirds of oil imports from Russia. All 27 EU countries must agree for the package to be approved.
The verdict could fall in the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard trial
A verdict could come Tuesday in the highly publicized defamation lawsuit between actors Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. Depp is suing Heard, his ex-wife, over a 2018 op-ed she wrote in The Washington Post describing herself as “a public figure representing domestic violence.” Depp was not named in the op-ed, but his lawyers say he was defamed by it nonetheless. Heard has testified to more than a dozen separate instances of physical abuse she says she suffered at the hands of Depp. Depp denied ever hitting Heard and said she was the aggressor in the relationship.
BTS will meet with Biden to discuss inclusion and fight anti-Asian hate crimes
South Korean superstar K-pop group BTS will meet President Joe Biden at the White House on Tuesday “to discuss Asian inclusion and representation and to address anti-Asian hate crimes and discrimination,” said announced the White House. Their visit to the White House follows Biden’s recent trip to South Korea, an ally of the United States. Biden and BTS will also discuss the group’s diversity and platform as youth ambassadors. Attacks on Asian American communities have increased amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, Biden signed into law the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act in May 2021. The group received their first Grammy nomination last year after releasing the song “Dynamite” as a gift to fans isolated by the coronavirus pandemic. BTS’ visit comes at the end of AAPI Heritage Month and joins a group of young stars the president has tapped to share messages from the White House.
Scripps National Spelling Bee returns, but pandemic has lingering impact
The Scripps National Spelling Bee is back, fully in-person at its usual location outside of Washington for the first time since 2019. But the pandemic continues to affect kids who have spent years preparing to compete for the first spelling prize. Schools and sponsors have dropped the bee pipeline, regions have been consolidated, and bee has less than half the spellings it had three years ago. Scripps had 245 regional sponsors in 2020 for The Bee which was ultimately canceled due to the pandemic. That number dropped to 198 this year, meaning some kids faced a tougher path to the bee in taller regions. Another huge change: Scripps has parted ways with longtime partner ESPN and will broadcast the competition on its own networks, ION and Bounce.
Contribute: The Associated Press