Damaged buildings and a flooded street are seen after Hurricane Michael pummeled Panama City, Florida. Photo: Joe Raedle / Getty Images

After reaching a last-minute agreement with President Trump on Thursday, the Senate passed a $19.1 billion aid package for areas affected by natural disasters over the last two years. The package does not include funding for the border, as Trump had previously demanded.

Why it matters: The deal comes after months of tense negotiations, specifically over additional funding for Puerto Rico and stalled relief for mainland regions struggling after being hit by hurricanes, wildfires and historic flooding. The House has already adjourned for a week-long recess, but the legislation could be approved on a voice vote.

Details: The bill provides about $900 million for Puerto Rico — $605 million in nutritional assistance and $304 million in Community Development Block Grants. This was previously a major sticking point for the president, who believes the island should not receive any more government aid.

  • The bill also includes a provision freeing up $8.9 billion in previously withheld aid to Puerto Rico in 90 days, according to a release from Sen. Patrick Leahy's (D-Vt.) office.
  • The additional funds will go to repairing damaged infrastructure, reducing the risk of future floods and hurricanes, rebuilding military bases and supporting farmers and the U.S. Forest Service, among other things.

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12 mins ago - World

Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases

Catholics go through containment protocols including body-temperature measurement and hands-sanitisation before entering the Saint Christopher Parish Church, Taipei City, Taiwan, in July. Photo: Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Taiwan on Thursday marked no locally transmitted coronavirus cases for 200 days, as the island of 23 million people's total number of infections reported stands at 550 and the COVID-19 death toll at seven.

Why it matters: Nowhere else in the world has reached such a milestone. While COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S. and Europe, Taiwan's last locally transmitted case was on April 12. Experts credit tightly regulated travel, early border closure, "rigorous contact tracing, technology-enforced quarantine and universal mask wearing," along with the island state's previous experience with the SARS virus, per Bloomberg.

Go deeper: As Taiwan's profile rises, so does risk of conflict with China

Updated 37 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Biden ahead in Wisconsin, Michigan as cases surge in the Midwest.
  2. Health: Fauci says U.S. may not return to normal until 2022 — Trump's testing czar: Surge "is real" and not just caused by more tests Some coronavirus survivors have "autoantibodies."
  3. Business: Consumer confidence sinking Testing is a windfall.
  4. World: Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" wave France imposes lockdown Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month.
  5. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.

Deadly Hurricane Zeta slams U.S. Gulf Coast

A satellite image of Hurricane Zeta. Photo: National Hurricane Center/NOAA

Hurricane Zeta has killed at least one person after a 55-year-old man was "electrocuted by a downed power line" in Louisiana as the storm caused widespread power outages Wednesday night, per AP.

What's happening: Zeta made landfall south of New Orleans as a Category 2 hurricane earlier Wednesday before weakening to Category 1. But it was still "battering southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi with life-threatening storm surge, high winds, and heavy rain" late Wednesday, per the National Hurricane Center.