Efforts to free ship from Suez Canal resume after vessel ‘partially refloated’
Efforts to dislodge the Ever Given – a skyscraper-sized cargo ship – from the Suez Canal, one of the world’s busiest shipping routes, will continue Monday, after a canal services firm announced that salvage teams “partially refloated”the vessell. The modest breakthrough came after intensive efforts to push and pull the ship with 10 tugboats and vacuum up sand with several dredgers at spring tide. Lt. Gen. Osama Rabei, the head of the Suez Canal Authority, said workers continued “pulling maneuvers” to refloat the vessel early Monday. In the U.S., the blockage could worsen months long snarls in the global supply chain, causing shortages of products such as toilet paper, coffee and furniture.
Derek Chauvin trial: Opening arguments begin
Ten months after George Floyd died at the hands of Minneapolis police, a court will hear opening statements Monday in the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin. The ex-officer, who pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes, is charged with murder and manslaughter. Lawyers for the prosecution and defense questioned potential jurors for about two weeks in the case that ignited nationwide protests against racial injustice. Nine women and six men were ultimately selected as jury members and alternates.
Record rains kill at least 4 in Nashville as more storms slam battered South
Several flood warnings are expected to remain in effect in the South into Monday following an onslaught of devastating storms. At least four people in Nashville, Tennessee, were killed, and swift-water rescue crews plucked more than 130 people from cars, apartments and homes over the weekend as a deluge pounded parts of Tennessee with historic rainfall. “The rainfall we got yesterday and overnight made this one of the wettest 24-hour periods in Nashville’s history,” National Weather Service meteorologist Sam Shamburger said. Even though the rain had stopped by Sunday afternoon, the National Weather Service said flooding remained a threat. “Over the next couple of days, we’ll see some of our rivers continue to rise,” NWS meteorologist Brittney Whitehead said. “And we’ve got several flood warnings out for those areas that we expect to remain high, at least into Monday.”
NCAA Tournament Elite Eight begins
The Elite Eight kicks off Monday in the men’s and women’s NCAA Tournaments. The action on the women’s side begins at 7 p.m. ET with back-to-back contests on ESPN. In the first matchup, perennial powers Baylor, the reigning tournament champions from 2019, and UConn, which has made 12 consecutive Final Fours, face off. The second game features a battle of Elite Eight newcomers, with No. 4 seed Indiana and No. 3 seed Arizona in the regional finals for the first time. On the men’s side, the first of back-to-back games on CBS tips at 7:15 p.m. ET with No. 12 seed Oregon State looking to continue its history-making run against No. 2 seed Houston, itself in the Elite Eight for the first time since 1984. In the late game, No. 3 seed Arkansas takes on No. 1 seed Baylor. The Razorbacks have not reached the Final Four in 26 years; the Bears have not been there in 71.
Biden sticks to infrastructure pitch as pressure grows over other priorities
President Joe Biden is moving ahead with his plans to sell an expansive infrastructure proposal this week as he faces mounting pressure to act on other legislative priorities that have become increasingly difficult to ignore. The president, who will outline his economic plan at an event in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, has signaled a continued laser focus on defeating the coronavirus pandemic and boosting economic growth while also confronting intractable problems like gun control and immigration following two mass shootings and an increase of migrants at the southern border. The White House has not released a dollar figure for the legislative package, but the combined cost comes with a reported price tag of up to $3 trillion.