In our news wrap Monday, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has returned to all-remote learning after an outbreak of the novel coronavirus. It was one of the largest schools in the country to bring students back to campus. Also, Afghanistan's government paused its freeing of the last batch of 320 Taliban prisoners, wanting the militant group to release more government soldiers first.
Correction: We mistakenly referred to Auckland as the capital of New Zealand in this report, but Wellington is the capital of New Zealand. We regret the error.
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In the day's other news: New Zealand postponed its national elections by a month, to October 17, as COVID-19 infections spread in Auckland, the capital.
In the U.S., confirmed cases approached 5.5 million, with 170,000 dead.
And the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill abruptly returned to all-remote learning. It's one of the largest schools in the U.S. to bring back students, but now faces a rapidly spreading outbreak.
In Afghanistan, the government pressed pause on freeing the last batch of 320 Taliban prisoners. It wants the militant group to release more government soldiers first.
Prisoner releases were expected to lead to direct talks between the sides this week. Those peace negotiations are now delayed.
Back in this country, a searing heat wave has prompted days of rolling power blackouts in California, with warnings of millions more outages today. Governor Gavin Newsom says some energy users and utilities will be allowed to tap backup power sources. He's also demanding an investigation into why there was no warning.
Gov. Gavin Newsom:
I can assure you, you shouldn't be pleased with the moment that we're in here in the state of California. We will get to the bottom of it. And that's why that investigation into what happens and its implications for the future will be done swiftly and immediately.
And we will lay out in detailed terms what we're going to do to make sure this simply doesn't happen again.
Underscoring the challenge, on Sunday, it hit 130 degrees in California's Death Valley. If confirmed, it would be the hottest temperature recorded anywhere on Earth since 1931.
That same heat wave has firefighters in Southern California facing extreme conditions as they battle a major wildfire. Over the weekend, high winds from a thunderstorm and triple-digit heat stoked the fire north of Los Angeles. Crews are now trying to save hundreds of homes.
A former CIA officer is now charged with spying for China. Court documents unsealed today and Hawaii accuse Alexander Yuk Ching Ma, who is now a contract linguist for the FBI. He allegedly handed over information sources and CIA methods to Chinese agents.
And on Wall Street today, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 86 points, to close near 27845. But the Nasdaq rose 110 points, and the S&P 500 added nine.