Presidents Day: Why it’s a thing
The third Monday of every February is a time to remember presidents and, if you’re fortunate, enjoy a day off or take advantage of some holiday sales. Presidents Day, also known as Washington’s Birthday, was originally established in the 1880s to honor President George Washington, who was born on Feb. 22, 1732. In 1971, it was moved to Mondays as part of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. Since then, the day has become widely known as Presidents Day and viewed as a time to recognize all presidents, past and present. It’s a federal holiday, which means many government institutions will be closed.
SpaceX Starlink launch expected after delay due to hardware issue
After SpaceX experienced a delayed launch of its next Starlink mission Sunday due to hardware issues, the Falcon 9 rocket is now scheduled to lift off from Launch Complex 40 about 10:04 a.m. Monday. The Air Force’s 45th Weather Squadron is expecting 80% “go” conditions for the attempt. After liftoff, the rocket’s first stage will return for a computer-controlled landing on the drone ship named Of Course I Still Love You in the Atlantic Ocean. It will be its 50th landing to date. Monday’s flight will mark the fifth mission for Starlink, which will boast 300 spacecraft in low-Earth orbit after the satellites separate from the upper stage about an hour after liftoff.
Daytona 500 set to restart after rain pounded track
The biggest and most anticipated race of the NASCAR Cup Series season will have to wait until Monday. The remainder of the Daytona 500 is set to restart at 4 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on FOX due to severe rain halting activities. . Following ceremonial pre-race events with President Donald Trump and a short rain delay, drivers raced just 20 of the 200 scheduled laps before NASCAR officials threw out a red flag because of more rain. NASCAR made one more attempt to bring drivers back to their cars until another downpour hit the speedway, preventing the race from continuing the same day it started.
Mike Pompeo visits African countries amid questions over US military’s presence, visas
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was visiting the Angolan capital Luanda on Monday, part of a trip to three African countries as the Trump administration tries to counter the growing interest of China, Russia and other global powers on the continent. Pompeo arrived in the West African nation of Senegal on Sunday and from Angola, will travel to Ethiopia. He said the Trump administration is working to determine what level of American military presence is needed in West Africa to counter the rise of extremist violence in the Sahel region. His trip comes after the Trump administration’s announcement last month that it will no longer be issuing immigrant visas to citizens of Nigeria – Africa’s most populous nation – as well as Eritrea, Tanzania and Sudan. “This is the challenge Pompeo’s facing in Africa, explaining the contradictory messages out of Washington,” said Mike O’Hanlon, director of the Brookings Africa Security Initiative, in a briefing.
Coronavirus: Chartered flight carrying Americans lands in California
A chartered flight carrying Americans from a cruise ship that was quarantined in Japan due to coronavirus landed in California on Monday. The evacuation comes days before the required two-week quarantine is supposed to end on Wednesday. There were about 400 American passengers on board the ship, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Passengers who test positive for coronavirus will be transferred to a medical facility, but it’s unclear if more screening will be needed for those whose tests are negative.
Contributing: The Associated Press