Factbox: A state-by-state look at some of the U.S. Postal Service's cuts
(Reuters) - U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has halted a controversial cost-cutting program that slowed mail delivery ahead of the Nov.
(Reuters) - U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has halted a controversial cost-cutting program that slowed mail delivery ahead of the Nov. 3 elections, which could see a doubling in the number of ballots cast by mail because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Lawsuits filed to block the moves revealed details about the scale of the planned cuts:
* The Postal Service had planned to remove 671 mail sorting machines nationwide, including 502 delivery barcode sorting machines capable of processing 35,000 pieces of mail per hour, by Sept. 30.
* As of Aug. 16 it had already decommissioned 95% of its target, according to a lawsuit filed jointly by the Urban League, Common Cause and the League of Urban Voters.
* Overall DeJoy's plans would have decommissioned 10% of the sorting machines in Postal Service's inventory, the lawsuit said, citing Postal Service planning documents.
* Postal Service officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The following are state-by-state cuts highlighted in a lawsuit filed by the state of Washington, including in the election battlegrounds of Michigan and Wisconsin:
* Michigan said the loss of machinery in a Pontiac facility has reduced processing capacity by 394,000 pieces of mail per hour.
* Wisconsin projected that seven of 36 mail sorting machines at a Milwaukee distribution center will be removed, and said staff shortages mean one worker rather than two now operates each.
* Washington state said three of five processing facilities are no longer processing outgoing mail, and the Postal Service is in the process of removing eight mail sorting machines.
* Colorado said six mail sorting machines are being removed.
* Connecticut expects 18 mail sorting machines will be removed by the election.
* Illinois said the Postal Service is in the process of removing 28 mail sorting machines, including 15% of all delivery bar code sorters.
* Maryland said the Postal Service removed six mail processing machines in early August.
* Minnesota said at least 20 mail sorting machines have been or are being decommissioned. It said 10 letter-sorting machines can process 5 million pieces of mail a day.
* Nevada said at least four mail sorting machines have been removed.
* New Mexico said four mail sorting machines are being removed.
(Compiled by Jonathan Stempel and Karen Freifeld in New York; Editing by Scott Malone and Grant McCool)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.