President Biden landed this evening in Hawaii, where he planned to inspect the damage wrought by the wildfires that killed more than 100 people and effectively wiped out a coastal town on the island of Maui nearly two weeks ago.
Joined on the trip by Jill Biden, the first lady, and the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Biden is scheduled to meet with survivors, emergency workers and officials. So far, the federal government has provided more than 50,000 meals, 5,000 cots, 10,000 blankets and $7 million in short-term aid. One early estimate puts the cost of a rebuild at $5.5 billion.
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser warned that “a warm welcome may not be assured” in part because of frustrations over applying for aid. Biden has come under criticism from Republicans for not saying enough publicly about the fires that turned the town of Lahaina into an inferno.
The official death toll from the fires has reached 114 people and is expected to climb. Only 11 victims have been publicly identified — all but one over 70 years old — and many families are still enduring a wrenching wait. Here’s what we know about the search and how to help victims.
Record rain, but ‘minimal impacts’ from Hilary
A powerful storm named Hilary broke rainfall records, downed trees and power lines, knocked out 911 systems and transformed roads into streams in Southern California this weekend. But after an early assessment of the storm’s impact today, officials said that the worst appeared to have been evaded.
In Los Angeles, the mayor said that the city had emerged without any known storm deaths, and that the damage was minor. In Mexico, where one person died and another went missing, the president said, “fortunately, there was not much damage.”
Still, full damage assessments can take time, and in the desert and mountain regions of Southern California, poor drainage could still leave some roads impassable. Areas in California’s north and northeast were also still at risk of heavy rain and flooding.
Trump’s bail was set at $200,000 in Georgia
Donald Trump’s bail was set at $200,000 today in a sprawling racketeering case charging him and 18 others with election interference in Georgia. None of his three previous indictments required him to pay bail.
Under the conditions of his bond agreement, Trump cannot violate state or federal laws or communicate with any co-defendants in the case except through his lawyers. He was told not to intimidate witnesses or co-defendants, or “otherwise obstruct the administration of justice.”
An anticorruption crusader won in Guatemala
Bernardo Arévalo, a polyglot sociologist from an upstart party made up largely of urban professionals, won a runoff election for Guatemala’s presidency by a landslide. His victory handed a stunning rebuke to the conservative political establishment in Central America’s most populous nation, where several candidates viewed as threats to the country’s ruling elites were barred from running.
In Ecuador, voters advanced an establishment leftist and a newcomer businessman to the top two spots in the presidential election, which will be decided in October. They also voted to halt drilling in one of the most biodiverse corners of the Amazon.
More top news
Topping the Billboard chart this week — ahead of superstars like Taylor Swift, Morgan Wallen and Olivia Rodrigo — is the little-known artist billed as Oliver Anthony Music. His viral hit, “Rich Men North of Richmond,” was streamed 17.5 million times and downloaded 147,000 times.
The country-folk anthem, in which Anthony sings about “working all day” while being kept in his place by elites, was praised by conservative media figures. Scrutiny over the song’s origins and ideological intent only stoked interest. According to Billboard, it is the first time that an artist has made a debut at No. 1 on the Hot 100 without any prior chart history “in any form.”
An unlikely champion
Spain, who defeated England yesterday to win the Women’s World Cup, should not have even been in contention for the title. The country’s finest players spent most of the last year on strike, a dozen of them were not invited to the tournament, and the squad that did play was held together by an uneasy truce.
But they kept winning — and now they’re the champion of the world for the first time. Their victory was, as my colleague Rory Smith writes, a testament to an enduring truth of sports: Talent can conquer everything.
Separately, Spain’s soccer federation chief issued something of an apology a day after drawing outrage by grabbing and forcefully kissing a player on the lips during the medals ceremony.
In war, Ukrainian soldiers find time for gaming
When my colleague Thomas Gibbons-Neff visited soldiers on the front lines of the war in Ukraine, he found that many were playing World of Tanks, a smartphone game they use to relax with friends and cope with the bloodshed.
One fan is Lt. Nazar Vernyhora, who was 21 when his tank was captured on video last year fighting a Russian foe that far outnumbered him. “I’m trying to use the same maneuvers as in real life,” he said, sitting on top of one of his unit’s T-72 tanks.
Have a competitive evening.