US: US Postal Service, Indy 500, California wildfires: 5 things to know this weekend

The White House says USPS isn’t removing mail-sorting machines. Postal workers say it is.

  The White House says USPS isn’t removing mail-sorting machines. Postal workers say it is. Mark Meadows denied reports that hundreds of mail-sorting machines are being taken offline as part of a new initiative.The way Meadows made the claim — by denying they were being removed in the first place, and making questionable claims in response to an on-air fact check by CNN’s Jake Tapper — left it unclear if he was actually pledging a reversal of the ongoing decommissioning of machines.

a man standing in front of a truck: Postal workers are pictured loading packages in their mail delivery vehicles. © Richard Vogel, AP Images Postal workers are pictured loading packages in their mail delivery vehicles.

Nancy Pelosi calls House to vote on Postal Service changes

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on the House to return into session to vote on a bill that would prevent changes the Trump administration has made to the Postal Service, alterations Democrats say will cause a slowing of the flow of mail and potentially jeopardize the November election. This vote will happen Saturday, on Rep. Carolyn Maloney's Delivering for America Act, which prohibits changes to Postal Service operations put in place on Jan. 1, 2020.  Pelosi said the "lives, livelihoods and the life of our American Democracy" are under threat from President Donald Trump, who last week said he opposed giving the Postal Service more money while at the same time acknowledging the lack of funding may hamper the office's ability to process mail-in ballots.

'IndyCar has got to see the bigger picture': 2020 Indy 500 will be the first since 2000 without a woman driver

  'IndyCar has got to see the bigger picture': 2020 Indy 500 will be the first since 2000 without a woman driver Not only is Indy 500 first since 2000 without a woman driver, it was the first time since 1992 a woman didn't attempt to enter the race.The first couple of months of 2020 looked like just another down-to-the-wire run, hoping to make the Greatest Spectacle in Racing by the skin of her teeth – until it wasn’t.

  • Postal Service warns states: Some absentee, mail-in ballots may not be delivered in time to be counted
  • Empty mailboxes, missed rent: US Postal Service's struggles have real-world impacts

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Powerful storms could become double threat to US Gulf Coast

The National Hurricane Center is forecasting for two tropical systems to reach hurricane strength, with both sharing the Gulf of Mexico at the same time.  One system is Tropical Storm Laura, which is expected to produce 3 to 6 inches of rain over Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands through Sunday. The other system, Tropical Storm Marco, , has maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per hour and and should be at or near hurricane strength when it reaches Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula late Saturday, according to experts.. If the forecast holds true, it would be the first time in recorded history that two hurricanes muscled through the Gulf’s warm waters simultaneously.

Thousands of homes threatened by massive California wildfires; 21M under excessive heat warnings in West

  Thousands of homes threatened by massive California wildfires; 21M under excessive heat warnings in West Thousands of people remained under evacuation orders in regions around the San Francisco Bay Area on Thursday as wildfires blazed across the state.Transgender women attacked in Hollywood

  • Hurricane names: From Arthur to Wilfred, here's the list of names for the 2020 season
  • How do storms get their names?: Naming tropical cyclones dates back to the 1800s

Indy 500 — Greatest Spectacle in Racing — goes fan-free

In so many ways, Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 will sound different. No roar of the crowd that the 33 drivers can hear while going more than 100 mph during their pace laps ahead of the green flag. And the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, the largest single-day sporting event in the world, will look different, too. The mecca of auto racing, which housed 350,000 spectators just four years ago for the 100th running, will have just a couple thousand Sunday. Watch for the Andretti curse to be broken: For the first time since 1987, a member of the Andretti family will start on pole.

  • No women? Why thiis Indy 500 will be the first since 2000 without a female driver

California on alert as wildfires burn across the state

Amid a scorching heat wave that is now in its second week, hundreds of wildfires are burning in California, forcing over 100,000 people to evacuate. As of Friday, the state is battling about two dozen large complex fires, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom. In total, 560 fires are raging in the state. Tens of thousands of homes have been threatened by flames as some fires have doubled in size within 24 hours, according to fire officials. The fires, expected to carry over through the weekend, have made the air quality in parts of California some of the worst in the world. Health experts say limiting outdoor activities, remaining indoors with the windows and doors closed and turning on an air conditioner with a recirculation setting can help reduce your risk if you live in an affected area.

How the Postal Service became a flashpoint ahead of the 2020 election

  How the Postal Service became a flashpoint ahead of the 2020 election The Postal Service has become a major source of contention with millions of Americans expected to vote by mail amid the pandemic. The Postal Service, long a revered pillar of the American republic dating back to its beginnings, has been brought to the brink of bankruptcy by the pandemic after decades of struggling to navigate an increasingly competitive and technologically oriented marketplace.

  • Track California fires: Map traces current fires burning across state in real-time

Flight carrying comatose Putin critic arrives in Germany

A medical evacuation plane carrying prominent Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny landed in Germany from Siberia on Saturday, after the politician and anti-corruption activist fell gravely ill in a suspected poisoning. Navalny, 44, a staunch critic of President Vladimir Putin, fell ill on a flight back to Moscow from the Siberian city of Tomsk, his spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh said on Twitter. Yarmysh claims Navalny drank tea that appeared to have been laced with a toxin. Russian doctors say there is no evidence of poisoning, and the Kremlin denied the authorities tried to prevent the transfer from happening.

  • Critic of Russian government poisoned?: It's the latest claim of treachery against Russia
  • Meet one of Vladimir Putin's top enemies: He's a guy from Chicago

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: US Postal Service, Indy 500, California wildfires: 5 things to know this weekend

DeJoy just told America to trust him. My state's postal problems say otherwise. .
In my home state of Pennsylvania — a key battleground state for 2020 — the Trump administration's political motives are obvious. During the June primaries, more than 1.4 million Pennsylvanians cast their ballots via the mail — approximately half of all ballots cast in my state. Despite the clear popularity of mail-in voting, the Trump campaign has sued the commonwealth to make it harder for Pennsylvanians to vote by mail, all while shamelessly promoting voting by mail in Republican-led states, such as Florida.

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