President Joe Biden issued an urgent plea for all Americans to get vaccinated. The U.S. Department of Justice sued Texas over the state's new abortion ban. And another ship got stuck in the Suez Canal.
???? Hey! Laura here with Thursday's news, just for you.
But first, here's one way to deal with a pothole! ????A Florida man got sick of dealing with a pesky pothole in the road near his business, so he did what any self-respecting Floridian would do: Planted a banana tree in the street.
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Biden's new COVID-19 strategy
The Biden administration is turning up the heat in the fight against COVID-19. Thursday, President Joe Biden announced the most stringent vaccine requirements yet in an effort to combat the spread of the COVID-19 variant that's driving up new cases once again. "What more is there to wait for? What more do you need to see?" Biden asked as he laid out a "six-pronged strategy" focused on strengthening vaccination requirements for federal workers and companies with more than 100 employees, increasing school safety protocols and making coronavirus testing more accessible. The plan is likely to affect about 100 million workers in the USA. Here's what it focuses on:
Getting more people vaccinated
Further protecting those who are vaccinated
Keeping schools safely open
Increasing testing and requiring masking
Protecting our economic recovery
Improving care for those with COVID-19
???? More COVID-19 news: Counts of nursing home deaths missed 16,000 fatalities; Infection rate 10 times what is needed to end the pandemic. Catch up on the latest from Thursday.
Biden directs TSA to double fines for travelers who refuse to mask up.
Too optimistic, too soon? How Biden's recalibrating COVID-19 strategy.
Is it a cold, allergies or COVID-19? How to know, and when to get tested.
COVID-19 detecting dogs are tested at Miami International Airport.
DOJ sues Texas over 'clearly unconstitutional' abortion law
The Justice Department is suing the state of Texas in an attempt to block the enforcement of a strict abortion law decried by the Biden administration as an untenable denial of reproductive health care for women. "The (Texas) act is clearly unconstitutional under long-standing Supreme Court precedent," Attorney General Merrick Garland said Thursday. The Texas law, known as Senate Bill 8, bans abortions when a fetal heartbeat is detected, usually at about six weeks. The law doesn't include traditional exceptions for rape or incest but allows people to have the procedure for "medical emergencies." Another provision of SB8 allows private citizens to sue abortion providers and anyone involved in "aiding and abetting abortions," which Garland said would encourage vigilantes to seek bounties for bringing successful legal action.
Texas doctors, women assess state's 'near-total' ban on abortions.
Previously: DOJ vows to protect those seeking abortions in Texas.
What everyone's talking about
How 9/11 shaped a generation of Muslim Americans.
This summer tied with 1936 Dust Bowl as the hottest on record.
FBI unseals records in alleged offer to kill Kobe Bryant rape accuser.
Suspected fatal ivermectin poisoning investigated in New Mexico.
College students' marijuana use at a record high during pandemic.
Mindy spins out to sea while Larry makes waves
After bringing strong winds to the Florida Panhandle overnight, Tropical Depression Mindy headed out to sea Thursday while Hurricane Larry made its presence known along East Coast beaches. The center of Tropical Depression Mindy was off the Georgia coast Thursday morning, forecasters said, though the system was expected to continue dumping heavy rain across coastal South Carolina. Hurricane Larry - a Category 1, down from a Category 3 on Wednesday - continued on its northerly track as it skirted by Bermuda on its way to Atlantic Canada by week's end. Even though it's far out to sea and won't make landfall in the USA, large swells from Larry that reached East Coast beaches are "likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions," the National Hurricane Center said.
Alleged 'cyber grave robbers' arrested in theft from Surfside victims
Days after the Surfside, Florida, condo collapse, three people stole more than $45,000 from seven victims and went on Christian Louboutin and Versace shopping sprees, officials said. Betsy Alexandra Cacho Medina, 30; Rodney Choute, 38; and Kimberly Michelle Johnson, 34, were arrested and charged with schemes to defraud and identity theft. They attempted to steal an additional $67,000, Miami-Dade County State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said. Calling the defendants skilled professionals and "cyber grave robbers" during a news conference, Rundle identified Cacho Medina, who claimed to have survived the collapse, as the lead suspect. The group is also accused of stealing from Ana Ortiz's husband, Frankie Kleiman, and condo residents Gladys and Antonio Lozano, all of whom died in the collapse, according to the news conference. The other theft victims weren't identified.
Evidence points to possible survivors after Surfisde condo collapse.
Remembering those who died in devastating condo building collapse.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar reveals breast cancer diagnosis, treatment.
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will look more normal this year.
Back to in-person learning, students again confront school shootings.
Hurricane Ida: 911 call logs reveal chaos for nursing home evacuees.
Colorado city to pay $3M settlement in Karen Garner arrest case.
As COVID-19 closes schools, some students are left with little instruction.
A big ship got stuck in the Suez Canal. Again.
Well, as they say, history repeats itself. Egypt's Suez Canal got a little clogged up Thursday when a bulk carrier vessel became wedged and ran aground, briefly blocking traffic in one lane of the crucial global waterway, Egyptian authorities said. The Suez Canal Authority said in a statement that the Panama-flagged Coral Crystal briefly ran aground in a double-lane stretch of the canal, forcing the officials to redirect other vessels in the convoy to the other lane. Tugboats managed to float the southbound vessel, which carries cargo weighing 43,000 tons, and the Coral Crystal was able to resume its voyage. This incident came less than six months after the massive Panama-flagged Ever Given ran aground in the canal, blocking passage for six days before being released in a massive salvage effort.
A break from the news
☕ Skip the Starbucks line with these viral fall drink recipes.
✈️ Southwest Airlines has a sweet BOGO deal - with a major twist.
???? San Francisco crowned 'world's best city.' Check out the rest.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: COVID-19 vaccines, Texas abortion law, Surfside victim theft, Suez Canal briefly blocked. It's Thursday's news.