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National Hurricane Center/National Hurricane Center/TNS

Tropical Depression 18 forms, could become major hurricane by next week

Current News / News & Features /

ORLANDO, Fla. — Tropical Depression 18 formed in the eastern Atlantic on Wednesday evening and could be a major hurricane by next week, the National Hurricane Center said in its 5 p.m. Eastern time update.

The depression is expected to strengthen into a tropical storm by Thursday and gain hurricane status by the weekend before being forecast ...Read more

Stephanie Keith/Getty Images North America/TNS

Maskless transit riders in NYC will face $50 fines as officials crack down

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NEW YORK — The MTA is done playing nice on its mask mandate.

Transit officials on Wednesday announced a crackdown on riders who skirt a state rule that requires them to wear a mask while on transit.

The new enforcement push begins Thursday, officials said. It comes more than a year after former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Sept. 10, 2020, order ...Read more

Chris Boswell/Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

South Carolina Supreme Court issues ruling on Heritage Act, calling part of it an 'overreach'

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COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a section of the Heritage Act, a controversial law protecting monuments and statutes, requiring a supermajority vote by the Legislature is unconstitutional.

In their unanimous opinion, the justices wrote that the lawmakers who initially passed the Heritage Act did not have...Read more

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

US pledges to double vaccine donations to boost global inoculation

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WASHINGTON — The United States will double the number of COVID-19 vaccine doses it is donating to the global inoculation effort as the international community struggles to meet its goals for protecting people from the coronavirus.

The larger donation, announced by President Joe Biden on Wednesday, will bring the U.S. commitment to more than 1...Read more

Ulysses Munoz/The Baltimore Sun/TNS

CDC panel begins weighing who needs COVID-19 boosters of Pfizer vaccine

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A panel for the Centers for Disease Control started considering whether to recommend booster shots of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday — and exactly who might be in line to get them.

The debate, which has proved more controversial than many expected, comes after a separate group of Food and Drug Administration experts last week ...Read more

TIM TAI/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

Coronavirus cases keep climbing in Pa. as immunizations level off

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PHILADELPHIA — As fall officially begins, the rolling average of new coronavirus cases in Pennsylvania is climbing steadily as vaccinations plateau across much of the Philadelphia region. Meanwhile, New Jersey’s average daily case count — still far higher than it was just two months — continues to plateau.

Hospitalizations, which ...Read more

Eduardo Soteras/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Ethiopia violence stokes alarm in Washington about civil war

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WASHINGTON — The worsening conflict in Ethiopia, Africa’s second-most populous country, is raising alarms in the White House and on Capitol Hill over humanitarian fallout, including the growing risk of mass starvation and even a full-fledged civil war that could destabilize an entire region.

Some 1 million people in Ethiopia’s northern ...Read more

Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS

Harris to meet with Modi in 'coming of age' moment for Indian diaspora

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WASHINGTON — Vice President Kamala Harris plans to meet Thursday afternoon with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, making history as the highest-ranking Indian American to welcome the leader of a country that is becoming one of America’s most important allies.

“It does represent a ‘coming of age’ moment for the diaspora, which is ...Read more

Mandi Wright/Detroit Free Press/TNS

Michigan surpasses 1 million confirmed COVID-19 cases since start of pandemic

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DETROIT — It's confirmed: More than 1 million Michiganders have contracted COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic last year, according to state health department data.

That means about one in 10 Michigan residents has battled the highly contagious form of the coronavirus in the past 18 months. And that doesn't include at least another 123,...Read more

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images North America/TNS

Trump's lawsuit against New York Times and his niece is a 'stunt,' her lawyer says

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Former President Donald Trump’s lawsuit against The New York Times and his niece over an investigative report on his tax avoidance for which she provided documents is just his “latest stunt,” her lawyer said.

The suit, which accuses Mary Trump and The Times of conspiring to breach a confidential settlement, is doomed to fail because the ...Read more

Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman/TNS

Florida lawmaker proposes Texas-style fetal heartbeat abortion law

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A Republican state lawmaker has filed legislation that would create Texas-style abortion restrictions in Florida that would allow anyone to sue abortion providers or any person who helps someone get an abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected.

The bill, filed Wednesday by state Rep. Webster Barnaby of Deltona, ...Read more

PAUL RATJE/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Civil and human rights leaders decry treatment of Haitian migrants at southern border

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WASHINGTON — Civil and human rights groups on Wednesday criticized the White House’s immigration policies for inflicting “cruelty on Black, Brown and Indigenous immigrant communities,” according to a letter sent by the organizations to President Joe Biden.

“We fear that commitments made on the campaign trail ... are being shredded ...Read more

Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images North America/TNS

Pennsylvania releases climate action plan to lower greenhouse gas emissions

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PHILADELPHIA — Gov. Tom Wolf's administration on Wednesday issued a climate plan for 2021 that notes the state’s average temperature has risen nearly 2 degrees since 1900 — most of it in the past 20 years — and is likely to feature more warmth, flooding and extreme weather events unless greenhouse gas emissions are lowered.

At a news ...Read more

TNS

Nominee for ambassador to Canada gains senators' praise

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WASHINGTON — David L. Cohen, a decades-long fixture in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania’s political, civic and business circles, won bipartisan praise Wednesday during a Senate committee hearing on his nomination to become the U.S. ambassador to Canada.

Both of Pennsylvania’s senators, Democrat Bob Casey and Republican Pat Toomey, introduced...Read more

Stefani Reynolds/TNS

Sen. Susan Collins says she would oppose bill on abortion rights

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WASHINGTON — As Democrats consider legislation to respond to a new Texas state ban on abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy, they have lost the support of one of the few remaining Republicans who support abortion rights.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said Tuesday she opposes the Democrats’ bill, which would prohibit states from ...Read more

National Hurricane Center/National Hurricane Center/TNS

Next tropical depression could form Wednesday afternoon; Peter and Rose weaken

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The National Hurricane Center is expecting to see the 18th tropical depression of the year by as early as Wednesday afternoon, it said in the 2 p.m. EDT update.

Meanwhile, tropical depressions Peter and Rose seemed to almost be joined together at the hip as they entered the Atlantic together. They degenerated together and they may dissipate ...Read more

Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS

Analysis: Potential fallback for debt ceiling fraught with complications

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WASHINGTON — Democratic leaders for weeks have denied they would potentially dust off the budget reconciliation process once again as a last resort to lift the statutory debt ceiling with a simple majority vote if they can’t find at least 10 Republican votes in the Senate.

Republicans, however, would like nothing more than for Democrats to ...Read more

David McNew/Getty Images North America/TNS

Wildfires approach more giant sequoias and worsen air quality across central California

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LOS ANGELES — Twin blazes continued to threaten California’s towering sequoia trees and create new miseries for nearby residents, spewing smoke and worsening air quality across central California on Wednesday.

From Fresno to Tulare, the air was hazy and ash-filled from the Windy and KNP Complex fires. Officials in the San Joaquin Valley and...Read more

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Biden pledges more COVID-19 vaccine doses to boost global inoculation rates

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WASHINGTON — The United States will double the number of COVID-19 vaccine doses it is donating to the global inoculation effort, President Joe Biden announced Wednesday.

The commitment will bring to more than 1 billion the total number of doses the U.S. has pledged to other countries in hopes of bringing the pandemic to a close and preventing...Read more

Josh Noel/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Mormon leaders mandate worldwide use of masks in temples

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The top leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Wednesday ordered mandatory use of face masks in its temples around the globe to fight COVID-19 and again called for members to get vaccinated, citing church history in prior pandemics.

Cases in the church’s home state of Utah and neighboring states are on the rise again...Read more