Biles' balancing act

·6 min read

Simone Biles will return to the Olympics competition in the balance beam finals. As millions of Americans face eviction, President Joe Biden wants landlords to hold off for a month. And hundreds of flights were canceled, leaving travelers stranded.

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Biles is back, baby

Simone Biles feels good enough again to give it another go. USA Gymnastics said Monday that Biles would do the last event final, balance beam, scheduled for Tuesday night. It will be her first competition since she withdrew from the women’s team final last Tuesday night, citing concerns for her mental health and physical safety. She also withdrew from Thursday night’s all-around competition, though she was in the stands to watch teammate Suni Lee become the fifth consecutive American to win the Olympic title, as well as the event finals for vault, uneven bars and floor exercise. Biles came to Tokyo as the biggest star of these Olympics, projected to win a record five gold medals. But she developed a case of “the twisties,” a loss of air awareness that can have catastrophic consequences for a gymnast.

USA's Simone Biles competes in the artistic gymnastics balance beam event of the women's qualification during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre in Tokyo on July 25, 2021.
USA's Simone Biles competes in the artistic gymnastics balance beam event of the women's qualification during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre in Tokyo on July 25, 2021.

Biden to landlords: Don't evict

President Joe Biden challenged all landlords Monday to hold off on evictions for the next 30 days and asked his administration to consider the possibility of unilaterally extending a moratorium even in the face of legal concerns. The president called on all states and cities to extend or put in place policies to freeze evictions for at least two months. The White House had said only Congress could extend the freeze, but Biden faced pressure to act after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democratic leaders urged the White House on Sunday to extend it anyway. Rather than evicting tenants who are behind in their payments, landlords have been urged to seek federal emergency rental assistance allocated for them. The moratorium, put in place during the pandemic, helped keep more than 2 million renters in their homes.

Roxanne Schaefer of West Warwick, R.I., is months behind on rent, and a federal moratorium on evictions expired July 31. Millions of people could be evicted as the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus rapidly spreads.
Roxanne Schaefer of West Warwick, R.I., is months behind on rent, and a federal moratorium on evictions expired July 31. Millions of people could be evicted as the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus rapidly spreads.

What everyone's talking about

Florida sets record for COVID-19 hospitalizations

Florida is breaking records – but not the good kind. Sunday, Florida broke its record for coronavirus hospitalizations a day after the state recorded the most daily COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic. More than 10,200 people in Florida are hospitalized with confirmed COVID-19 cases, according to data reported to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The previous record of 10,170 hospitalizations was from July 23, 2020, more than a half-year before vaccinations started becoming widespread. Coronavirus cases are climbing across the country, but there are dramatic differences in the intensity of the outbreaks. In Tennessee, a 3,486% increase in cases has been seen. In California, cases were up 1,078%. And in Louisiana, cases were up 1,043%.

Health care workers take throat swabs on residents who wanted to be tested for the coronavirus outside the Duval County Health Department on July 28 in Jacksonville, Fla. As the number of people infected by the COVID-19 virus spikes, the department has stayed busy with long lines of residents waiting for tests and  vaccines.
Health care workers take throat swabs on residents who wanted to be tested for the coronavirus outside the Duval County Health Department on July 28 in Jacksonville, Fla. As the number of people infected by the COVID-19 virus spikes, the department has stayed busy with long lines of residents waiting for tests and vaccines.

Flight delays, cancellations leave travelers stranded

The summer of major flight woes continues, leaving Spirit Airlines passengers the latest to be stranded. The Florida-based budget carrier canceled 261 flights Monday, or 34% of its scheduled flights, on top of 165 canceled flights Sunday, according to flight tracker FlightAware. Flight delays are also an issue – at least 100 Monday and 342 on Sunday. Passengers reported waiting hours in line for refunds and other customer service help at airports in cities including Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Some stranded travelers camped out. "It looked like a hurricane shelter," passenger Rebecca Osborn said of Spirit's counters at Orlando International Airport. Spirit Airlines blamed the flight cancellations on weather and unspecified operational challenges, a common refrain from airlines including Southwest and American this summer.

Spirit Airlines passengers waited in long lines at Orlando International Airport before dawn Monday morning after a flurry of Sunday flight cancellations.
Spirit Airlines passengers waited in long lines at Orlando International Airport before dawn Monday morning after a flurry of Sunday flight cancellations.

Real quick

Kathy Griffin reveals cancer diagnosis

Comedian Kathy Griffin is recovering after surgery Monday, after revealing on social media news of her lung cancer diagnosis. The 60-year-old comedian said in a post that the cancer is contained to her left lung. Stating that she has never smoked, Griffin said she would undergo surgery to remove part of her lung. She said her cancer is in Stage 1 and her doctors are "very optimistic." Griffin said she was "definitely in shock" in a clip from an upcoming "Nightline" interview airing Monday night. "Not denial, but once a day, I'll turn to nobody next to me and go, 'Can you believe this (expletive)?'" she said.

  • Photo gallery: Kathy Griffin's career through the years.

  • Kathy Griffin was diagnosed with lung cancer after never smoking. Here's what nonsmokers need to know about the disease.

Kathy Griffin says she was in shock after learning she has lung cancer.
Kathy Griffin says she was in shock after learning she has lung cancer.

A break from the news

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Simone Biles, eviction freeze, flight cancellations, Kathy Griffin. It's Monday's news.

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