She has arrived (on your music streaming service of choice).
She has arrived (on your music streaming service of choice). Chris Weeks/Getty
In case you somehow missed it: The indoor mask mandate will make its return on Monday. It applies to all Washington residents over the age of 5, regardless of your vaccination status. Get a good head start on it this weekend by masking up indoors!

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President Biden gave the press an update on the evacuations from Afghanistan: He promised to bring home any American "who wants to come home" and committed to evacuating Afghan allies as well, reports CNN. Biden said that the U.S. is coordinating "one of the largest, most difficult airlifts in history" as reports on the ground depict chaos and confusion outside Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.

Later, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin contradicted the president while speaking with U.S. lawmakers, saying that Americans trying to leave the country "have been beaten by Taliban fighters," reports Politico. In his speech, the president took on a lot of criticism about his administration's seeming lack of preparation for the withdrawal of troops in the region, which he largely brushed off:

Painter and all-around creepy dude Chuck Close died on Thursday from congestive heart failure.

Guy who claimed he had at a bomb inside his pickup at the U.S. Capitol building yesterday charged: Floyd Ray Roseberry of Grover, North Carolina has been charged with threatening to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to use an explosive device, reports The Guardian. The judge ordered Roseberry to undergo a mental competency hearing after he claimed he stopped taking his "mind medication."

New York and New England better gird their loins: Tropical Storm Henri is on its way. The storm will strengthen into a hurricane by the time it makes landfall on Long Island, NY or southern New England on Sunday, reports CNN. The soon-to-be Hurricane Henri is notable, as it could be the first one to make landfall in the region since Hurricane Bob in 1991. Something tells me this might become a more regular occurrence.

Now you can finally listen to Aaliyah's sophomore album, One In a Million, on streaming services: In the 20 years since her tragic death, the late pop star's work never made its way onto any streaming sites due to a dispute between her estate and her former record label, Blackground Records. After coming to an agreement earlier this month (which her estate was still unhappy with), the singer's catalog will slowly drop on Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, Amazon Music and other platforms, reports NBC News. Let the kids listen to Aaliyah!

Here we go again: Feels like we are spinning on a merry-go-round. According to the Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA), hospitals in the state are approaching 100% occupancy as they are getting hit with a renewed wave of mostly unvaccinated COVID patients. Currently, there are 1,240 COVID patients in hospitals around the state—compare that to the previous record of 1,100 hospitalizations in December, reports KING 5. "This disease is not conquered," said WSHA President and CEO Cassie Sauer. GET VAXXED IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY.

And if you're having a hard time getting your paws on at-home rapid COVID tests, then you're not alone: That's because back in June and July, the maker behind the widely available BinaxNOW test ordered workers to destroy their stock of rapid tests before laying off a lot of them, reports the New York Times. COVID case numbers were dwindling, and demand for the product started to sink. But with this fifth (sixth? I've lost count) wave rocking everyone's shit, the company is now scrambling to rehire their workforce and link up with suppliers again to meet the rising demands. Mess.

If you bought a new Chevy Bolt EV in the last four years, it's being recalled: General Motors has expanded a recall notice for the electric vehicle to include the 2019-2022 models over "potential fire risk." It'll cost the car manufacturer $1.8 billion in total. CNBC points out this is not good news for GM, especially since they plan to sell only electric cars by 2035. I will say that I've never heard of an exploding bike before!

A break for the weather! Yesterday afternoon my bus came late, but I didn't mind because the weather felt so perfect—warm, sunny, with a cool breeze. Looks like we can expect more of that as The Great Dark makes its approach.

🚨SEAL PUP ALERT 🚨: West Seattle has gained a new resident—a cute-ass harbor seal pup. The furry sea creature is the first pup to be spotted on the rocky shore of Lincoln Park this seal-pupping season, reports West Seattle Blog. Members with the Seal Sitters Mammal Stranding Network have nicknamed the lil' guy Xico (pronounced "chico"). What a cutie!

If you have kids, don't forget about those other immunizations: Inoculation rates for diseases such as whooping cough, meningitis, and tetanus among infants and young kids have dropped off during the pandemic, as parents cancel routine checkups, says Seattle P.I. Low inoculation rates could mean more transmittable diseases making the rounds this fall. Here's some of the concerning data via the P.I.:

"Data released by the Department of Health (DOH) shows that children ages 4 to 6 saw a slight drop in vaccination rates, while children ages 11 to 12 saw more significant decreases. One of the most notable was an 11% drop in the tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough) vaccine, which is required to enter 7th grade in Washington. Rates fell from 60.3% in 2019 to 49.2% in 2020."

Canadians and Mexicans can't cross the border for pleasure for a little while longer: The US government just extended a ban on nonessential travel across the borders to September 21. Though Canada just started letting in fully vaxxed Americans, the Department of Homeland Security said in a tweet that the restrictions were necessary to "minimize the spread of #COVID19, including the Delta variant."

Another day, another germy beach: Newcastle Beach Park in Bellevue closed on Thursday because of high bacteria levels in the water, reports the Seattle Times. Authorities will keep an eye on the bacteria count until it lowers, and the park will remain open in the meantime.

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Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott are expecting another baby. TikTok called it.

The training to combat those murderous hornets hath begun: Oregon and Washington department of agriculture employees have gathered in "an open-air classroom just south of the Canadian border to learn how to trap, track and eradicate " the invasive species of honeybee-killing hornet, reports Reuters. Visual journalist Lindsey Wasson was on the scene taking pictures of sessions. Those suits look so cool!


For your listening pleasure: Happy Blonde-iversary—Frank Ocean's long-awaited second album dropped on this day five years ago. Here's "Ivy." Get rekt but not too rekt this weekend.