1. President Biden conceded the Taliban had achieved a much faster takeover of Afghanistan than his administration had expected. “I stand squarely behind my decision” to finally withdraw U.S. combat forces, Biden said. Despite declaring “the buck stops with me,” Biden placed almost all blame on Afghans for the shockingly rapid Taliban conquest.
2. U.S. health experts are expected to recommend COVID-19 vaccine boosters for all Americans, regardless of age, eight months after they received their second dose of the shot. An announcement on the U.S. booster recommendation is expected as soon as this week.
3. Portland will be the first city or town in Maine to require all of its employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine or be tested for the virus every week. City officials said 70% of employees are already vaccinated. The mandate takes effect for 300 non-union employees on Sept. 10.
4. There’s a new law in Maine to provide safe options for surrendering unwanted newborns. A “Safe Haven Baby Box” has been added to the list of places a person can bring a newborn child. Safe haven boxes are containers that can accept newborn children and are typically at hospitals, or first responder facilities.
5. Realtor.com has placed Windham 15th among the hottest zip codes for home sales in the country. It is the only Maine location to break the top 50 in America out of 42,000 zip codes. Peabody, Massachusetts and Manchester, New Hampshire were among the top ten.