Dems keep talking, reproductive rights marches, Brady vs. Patriots: 5 things to know this weekend – USA TODAY

Stopgap measures prepped as Democrats continue bill talks

Congress went home Friday night without a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure deal and as negotiations on President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion social spending package stretched into another day. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a letter to colleagues that “more time is needed” as they shape the broader package. Before lawmakers departed, the House of Representatives approved a short-term extension to fund the federal highway program, which expired at midnight Thursday, to keep transportation programs running during the stalemate. The Senate was expected to take that extension up Saturday. Progressives have vowed to sink the $1 trillion infrastructure bill to fund highways, bridges and more until a compromise is reached on the president’s larger package of spending that would bolster America’s social safety net and address climate change. Meanwhile, centrist Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona have expressed reservations about the price of the larger spending package.

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Biden vows to ‘get it done’ after talks at Capitol

Leaving Capitol Hill Friday after a huddle with Democrats, President Joe Biden pledged to ‘get it done’ as Democrats strained to rescue a scaled back version of Biden’s $3.5 trillion government overhaul and salvage a related infrastructure bill. (Oct. 1)


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Women’s March organizes over 500 marches nationwide for reproductive rights

A month after a Texas law banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy went into effect, Women’s March protesters will gather in support of reproductive rights on Saturday at more than 650 marches in all 50 states and Washington. “We don’t say this lightly,” the Women’s March said in a tweet announcing the marches. “We’re at grave risk of losing our reproductive freedoms. All of us need to fight back.” The Women’s March is partnering with more than 90 other organizations, including Planned Parenthood, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice and the Working Families Party amid what they’ve called “relentless attacks.” Masks and social distancing will be required at the marches, according to the event page. Organizers will also provide hand sanitizer stations and urge anyone who feels sick to attend a virtual event instead of an in-person one. 

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Texas abortion law: How it works and what it means for other states

Texas’ new abortion law is the most restrictive in the nation. Here’s how other states may respond and what the Supreme Court can do about it.

Just the FAQs, USA TODAY

More changes to the US Postal Service go into effect 

The Postal Service will temporarily increase prices on all commercial and retail domestic packages starting Sunday because of an anticipated increased holiday demand, running through Dec. 26. This will apply to all domestic packages but will not impact international products. The increase is a part of a set of changes enacted by the Postal Service that started Oct. 1, which also involve longer service times for First Class Mail and Periodicals. A more detailed schedule for holiday shipping deadlines is expected to be released next week. The Postal Service hopes changes will return the organization to “financial sustainability and achieve service excellence.”  

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New USPS service standards mean slower holiday mail delivery

The USPS says new service standards for First Class mail and periodicals are coming, which means the service is about to get even slower.

Staff video, USA TODAY

Hurricane Sam to bring dangerous surf to East Coast 

Be extra careful if you’re headed to the beach along the East Coast this weekend. Though it will roar hundreds of miles offshore, powerful Hurricane Sam is still forecast to kick up “life-threatening surf and rip current conditions” along the entire Atlantic seaboard over the weekend. Rip currents are a deadly beach hazard, which cause about 100 drowning deaths each year in the U.S. Thursday evening, Hurricane Sam was the most powerful storm on the planet as the Category 4 hurricane was packing 145-mph winds and churning 550 miles to the south-southeast of Bermuda. By early Saturday morning, Sam’s winds had decreased to near 130 mph with additional weakening expected during the next few days, according to the National Hurricane Center.  

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All eyes on Hurricane Sam in the Atlantic

Hurricane Sam roars to life in the eastern Atlantic.

Accuweather, Accuweather

Tom Brady returns to New England

In the most anticipated game of the 2021 NFL season, Tom Brady returns to New England to face off against coach Bill Belichick and the Patriots on “Sunday Night Football” (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC). Brady spent 20 seasons with the Patriots, winning an NFL record six Super Bowls as the starting quarterback before moving on to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after the 2019 season. Brady’s success since leaving the Patriots – he added a seventh championship ring and was named Super Bowl MVP for the fifth time following the Buccaneers’ Super Bowl 55 victory in February – adds even more intrigue to the matchup. Brady discussed his exit from the Patriots earlier this week, saying that “everything was handled the right way,” but he also acknowledged that “they know I want to kick their butt this week.” Should the Bucs emerge victorious, Brady will become just the fourth quarterback to beat all 32 active NFL teams. Adding to the moment: Brady is just 68 yards away from breaking Drew Brees’ all-time record for career passing yards. 

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Losing the breakup? How Patriots fans should feel about Tom Brady’s return

Sports Seriously: Andy Nesbitt is a longtime Patriots fan and shares how he feels about Tom Brady’s return after winning a ring without New England.

Sports Seriously, USA TODAY

Contributing: The Associated Press