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In our news wrap Thursday, a top COVID-19 model projected nearly 100,000 more deaths in the U.S. by December 1. Meanwhile, Texas' Republican Gov. Greg Abbott imposed a ban on state or local mandates requiring vaccinations. Seven U.S. Capitol Police officers sued former President Trump for inciting the January 6 assault on the Capitol. Tropical Storm Ida may hit the U.S. Gulf Coast this weekend.
In the day's other news: A top COVID-19 model projected nearly 100,000 more deaths in the U.S. by December 1. Researchers working on the model at the University of Texas also said the number could be cut in half if more people wear masks.
Also today, Illinois became the latest to issued an indoor mask mandate. And Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker ordered health care workers and educators to get vaccinated or get tested weekly as hospitals fill up.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D-IL):
Our current vaccination levels are not enough to blunt the ferocity of the Delta variant hospitalization surges in some regions. Hospital administrators are asking for more help to manage the sheer number of incoming patients.
In Texas, Republican Governor Greg Abbott imposed a ban on state or local mandates requiring vaccinations.
And, overseas, the World Health Organization reported vaccinations in Africa have tripled in the past week, but only 2 percent of the population is now fully vaccinated.
We will focus on Africa's plight later in the program.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett was to have met today with President Biden at the White House. That was delayed until tomorrow, after the bombings in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, Israel eased commercial restrictions on Gaza to allow the flow of more goods. Palestinian protests against the Israeli blockade had led to clashes this week that killed one Palestinian and critically injured an Israeli policeman.
A new tropical storm has formed in the Caribbean tonight, and could grow into a major hurricane that strikes the U.S. Gulf Coast this weekend. The storm, named Ida, was passing Jamaica late today and heading toward the Cayman Islands and Cuba with up to a foot of rain. It's on track now to reach the Central Gulf states on Sunday.
Seven U.S. Capitol Police officers, meanwhile, sued former President Trump today, accusing him of inciting the January 6 assault on the Capitol. The federal suit also names his ally Roger Stone, plus the Trump campaign and members of the far-right Proud Boys and Oath Keepers. Two similar suits have been filed recently by Democrats in Congress.
There's more fallout from the sexual harassment scandal that drove New York Governor Andrew Cuomo from office. Tina Tchen resigned today as president of Time's Up, an advocacy group for sexual misconduct victims. Tchen had admitted to extensive consultations with Cuomo as the scandal unfolded. She said today that her continued tenure had become too divisive.
And, in economic news, new claims for jobless benefits rose slightly for the first time in five weeks to 353,000. And on Wall Street, stocks gave a little ground. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 192 points to close at 35213, the Nasdaq fell 96 points, and the S&P 500 slipped 26.
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