Jill Biden lands in Tokyo for Olympics
First lady Jill Biden arrived in Tokyo on Thursday to begin a busy trip in which she will head the U.S. delegation at the opening ceremony of the Olympics on Friday. Biden also plans to host several Olympic events and will also attend a meeting with Japanese Emperor Naruhito as well as a dinner with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and his wife, Mariko Suga. President Joe Biden is not planning to attend the Games, the White House said. The first lady's trip is sandwiched between visits to Alaska and Hawaii to meet with military and veteran families and encourage COVID-19 vaccination.
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Federal agency to begin accepting applications for grants paid for by relief bill
President Joe Biden's administration is beginning to make $3 billion in economic development grants available to communities — a tenfold increase in the program paid for by the massive $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill passed earlier this year. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said her agency on Thursday will begin accepting applications for the competitive grants, which officials hope will create hundreds of thousands of jobs and help struggling cities and towns make long-term investments. "This is about real help for communities across the country as they rebuild," Raimondo told The Associated Press Wednesday. The grants will be targeted at supporting local infrastructure, job training programs and developing new industries. Recipients will be selected on the basis of the anticipated return on investment to taxpayers. Raimondo was set to appear at Thursday's White House press briefing to promote the new program.
Milwaukee celebrates NBA title with a parade
After the Bucks defeated the Phoenix Suns Tuesday in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, Milwaukee will celebrate on the streets Thursday. The last and only other Bucks championship team famously didn't get a parade when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and his teammates won the NBA title in 1971."It was just the third season of the team’s existence, so perhaps it happened too fast for unfamiliar city leaders to process and a still-developing fan base to clamor for," the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Jim Owczarski wrote. "Perhaps, as some feel, Milwaukee politicians didn’t want to so publicly acknowledge a team led by Black players or encourage a mixing of races downtown after years of marches and protests." This year, Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo said "this is time to celebrate."
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The future king of England turns 8
Thursday marks Prince George of Cambridge's 8th birthday. Tradition has dictated the royals release new photos to commemorate family members' birthdays each year. Kensington Palace delivered the evening before the young royal's birthday, with a new image of a smiling George looking more and more like the spitting image of his father, Prince William. Last week, George stepped out with his parents for England’s Euro 2020 finals and became an instant meme with his animated cheering.
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Kanye West to debut album in Atlanta, on livestream
Kanye West's long-awaited follow up to his 2019 album, "Jesus is King," will arrive Thursday night, when he debuts "Donda" in Atlanta. The album release will likely have 40,000 to 50,000 attendees and will be livestreamed on Apple Music. The public received a sample of what West's new album may sound like in a Beats by Dre commercial Tuesday, featuring U.S. track star Sha'Carri Richardson. The ad, edited by West, featured the song "No Child Left Behind," a song expected on his latest album. The album, named after West's mother, is the artist's 10th.
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Contributing: The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Jill Biden's Tokyo trip, Milwaukee parade: 5 things to know Thursday