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SEPTEMBER 25, 2020

DeSantis lifts statewide restrictions on bars and restaurants as Florida moves to phase 3

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday said bars and restaurants in Florida can open at full capacity as the state moved into the last phase of its reopening plan, which lifts all the state’s remaining coronavirus-related restrictions on businesses.

DeSantis said he is signing an executive order, which takes effect immediately, that will “guarantee” restaurants can operate at a minimum of 50 percent capacity. He said his order will preempt local rules forcing restaurants to close and force municipalities to justify restrictions of restaurant capacity between 50 and 100 percent.

“Locals can do some reasonable regulations, but you can’t just say no,” said DeSantis, who spoke to reporters Friday afternoon from an empty ballroom inside the Birchwood restaurant on Beach Drive NE in St. Petersburg. “You can’t say no after six months and just have people twisting in the wind.”


Another Arab country expected to sign deal with Israel soon, says US envoy

Another Arab country is expected to sign a peace deal with Israel this week, US Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft told Al Arabiya on Wednesday.

The US ambassador’s comments came a week after the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed a deal with Israel to normalize ties, known as the Abraham Accords.

“We will have more being announced very soon,” Craft said, claiming that one country would be signing a deal with Israel “in the next day or two.”

“I know others are going to be following,” the senior US diplomat said.


Trump doubles hard drug seizures at border compared to Obama's eight years: DHS

The Department of Homeland Security seized nearly twice as many hard drugs at the U.S.-Mexico border during President Trump's first term in office than in President Barack Obama's two terms, according to a senior department official.


Senior official performing the duties of DHS Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Thursday that DHS law enforcement working at the southern border blocked 4 million pounds of hard drugs, or narcotics that do not include marijuana, from entering the United States since January 2017.

"It's worth noting that we’re on track to seize drugs at roughly twice the rate of the previous eight years," Cuccinelli said. "So in these four years, we’ve seized about as many drugs as have been seized in the previous eight of the hard drugs — we’re talking fentanyl, meth — those, that level of drug seizures.

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