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News Wrap: Americans adjust to a Thanksgiving impacted by surging COVID-19 infections

In our news wrap Thursday, Americans adjust to a dramatically different Thanksgiving Day with surging COVID-19 cases across the country, and Ethiopia's prime minister says he's ordered the final assault against the rebellious region of Tigray as human rights groups raise concerns about civilians.

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  • Amna Nawaaz:

    This Thanksgiving Day has been dramatically different, amid surging COVID-19 infections. The nation recorded another 178,000 cases on Wednesday, with more than 263,000 deaths to date.

    In Houston today, a turkey giveaway underscored the economic pain, as hundreds sought food assistance there. Many said they had never asked for help before.

  • Woman:

    It's been very, very hard, very hard. But I'm making it. I posted on Facebook, instead of worrying about things that we can't do and places that we can't go, being that it's Thanksgiving. We need to be concerned with what we have.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    In New York City, the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade did take place, but it was confined to a single block, with no spectators and far fewer balloon handlers.

    Meanwhile, New York state's restriction on attendance at houses of worship was stopped short. The U.S. Supreme Court blocked it late on Wednesday night. We will have more on that story after the news summary.

    President Trump, meanwhile, used a Thanksgiving event to claim again that he was robbed of an election victory. But he said he will accept the Electoral College's decision. He spoke after addressing U.S. troops via videolink. And he also said he will be campaigning in Georgia for two Republican senators facing run-offs.

    President-elect Biden opted against a large family gathering because of COVID. But in a video message posted today, he said — quote — "Better days are coming."

    In Ethiopia, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced he's ordered the final assault against the rebellious region of Tigray. He said the army is moving on the regional capital of Mekelle after a deadline passed for Tigray's leaders to surrender. Human rights groups have raised concerns about civilians in the city. Thousands in Tigray have reportedly already died in three weeks of fighting.

    Today, in Turkey, a court found hundreds of defendants guilty of taking part in 2016's failed coup attempt. A total of 475 defendants had been on trial for three years. More than 300 were given life in prison. The sweeping trial was part of a government crackdown that has jailed thousands.

    Relatives of the convicted insisted today that many are innocent.

  • Bursa Taskiran (through translator):

    They were convicted today for life, despite not participating in the coup attempt, despite fighting against the coup by locking themselves in a room to avoid aiding the coup efforts.

    They were very young when they were thrown in prison, 24 and 25. Now they are convicted for life? How do you explain this in the spirit of justice?

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accuses the cleric Fethullah Gulen of orchestrating the uprising. Gulen is based in the United States and denies any involvement.

    Parts of Southern India, meanwhile, are underwater after a tropical cyclone smashed ashore today. It made landfall in the federal territory of Puducherry, with winds topping 80 miles an hour. Heavy rains triggered widespread flooding in the city of Chennai, home to 10 million people. The storm killed five people, blew down trees and knocked out power.

    And soccer legend Diego Maradona of Argentina was mourned around the world today, after his death Wednesday. Fans in Naples, Italy, waved flags with his name and put out flowers and candles. Maradona led Napoli to two titles in Italy in 1987 and in 1990.

    And in his native Argentina, thousands lined up in Buenos Aires to see the casket. A few clashes broke out when police tried to close off access ahead of the burial this evening.

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