Hawaii faces catastrophic flooding
In national news, Hawaii is expecting to see an average of 10-15 inches of rain over the next few days with some areas expecting over 20-25 inches of rain. The storm has been pummeling the region since Monday, but the worst of the storm is expected Tuesday night.
Rain that hit Hawaii on Sunday into early Monday downed trees, flooded roads and homes and triggered power outages. On Maui Island, Kahului Airport lost power and passengers were stuck in planes on the tarmac for hours. The National Weather Service said that the storm posed a “catastrophic flooding” risk. On Sunday, Governor David Ige “urged residents to prepare for the potential of major flooding, landslides, road closures and damage to homes,” according to a report by Hawaii News Now.
Biden administration boycotts Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics
In other news, the Biden administration announced Monday that it would stage a diplomatic boycott against the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. This does not rise to the level of a full boycott like the United States conducted against the former Soviet Union in 1980. Team USA athletes will still compete in the games, but a ceremonial envoy of U.S. dignitaries and officials will not be sent to China. U.S. Press Secretary Jen Psaki described the action as a necessary response to human rights violations in China against the Uyghur people.
“The Biden administration will not send any diplomatic or official representation to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games given the PRC’s ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses,” Psaki said.
Hours before the announcement was made, China threatened to take “firm countermeasures” against the U.S. if the Biden administration decided to stage a diplomatic boycott. There has been no elaboration as to what countermeasures China will take.
Perdue announces campaign for Georgia governor
Finally in Georgia, former Senator David Perdue, who recently lost a Georgia senate run-off election to Senator Jon Ossoff, announced Monday that he will pursue the governorship of Georgia. This poses a primary fight between Republican Perdue and current Republican Governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp.
In his first campaign video, Perdue blamed Kemp for losing Georgia’s two senate seats as well as the presidential election. The winner of the Republican primary is poised to run in a general election against Democratic voting rights activist Stacy Abrams, who lost a closely contested Georgia gubernatorial election in 2018. Due to the changing political landscape of the state in the past few years, especially with the Joe Biden, Rafael Warnock and Ossoff victories in November and January, Georgia is no longer a Republican stronghold and the governorship is truly up for grabs.
Perdue already has the endorsement of former President Donald Trump in the Republican primary against Kemp due to Kemp’s refusal to overturn the results of the 2020 election.