Migrant flows across Texas-Mexico border drop
A month after President Joe Biden’s administration said it was expanding a humanitarian parole program for migrants from certain countries, Mexican officials have warned that it is too early to declare success even as the number of migrants arriving at the border has plummeted . In an interview with the Dallas Morning News, Roberto Velasco, a senior diplomat and chief of the North American bureau at Mexico’s foreign ministry, highlighted a sharp drop in the number of migrants crossing from Mexico — as much as 97 percent. Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and Haiti.
Former foreign minister tops Cyprus presidential election
Cypriots will return to the ballot box on Feb. 12 to choose a leader who can oversee the economic recovery of the Mediterranean island, as the fallout from the war in Ukraine continues to pose a threat. Independent candidate Nicos Christodoulides, 49, will face Andreas Mavroyiannis, 66, in the runoff with more than 99 percent of the votes counted. He received 32% of the vote on Feb. 5, compared with 29.6% for Mavroyiannis, also an independent candidate and backed by the left-wing Akel party, according to Cyprus’ Interior Ministry.
End of public health emergency leads to cascade of changes
The Biden administration’s plan to lift the public health emergency associated with the COVID-19 pandemic will spark a whirlwind of change related to telehealth, Medicaid, pharmaceuticals and other priorities. Many Republicans said the May 11 end date announced on Monday was not coming soon enough, as the House of Representatives this week voted to roll back that policy and three other pandemic policies immediately. Democrats say it will take time to weigh what flexibility and funding may need to continue.
Arctic air mass sweeps Northeast with record cold
As temperatures dropped below freezing across the city on Feb. 4, New Yorkers huddled up to escape the cold for the second day in a row. More than 20 million people in New York and the Northeast continued to endure the brief, albeit potentially life-threatening, cold winds that meteorologists predicted.
U.S. shoots down suspected Chinese spy balloon that lingers for days
The United States shot down a surveillance balloon it said was from China off the coast of South Carolina on Feb. 4, ending days waiting for it to cross the country and injecting new tensions in relations with China. President Joe Biden said he ordered the Pentagon on Feb. 1 to drop the balloon as soon as possible “without causing harm to anyone on the ground.” The military decided the best time to do so was Feb. 4, when it was over the Atlantic Ocean inside U.S. territorial waters.