Welcome to Cenla Broadcasting
KSYL 970 AM / 104.9FM / 100.3 HD3...KQID 93.1 /HD1... KRRV 100.3 / HD1...KKST 98.7
KZMZ 96.9...KDBS 94.7 ESPN 1410AM / 93.1 HD3, MAGIC 100.9 / 93.1 HD2, KDIXIE 100.3 HD2

National

NASA and SpaceX targeting Nov. 14 for next crewed launch to ISS

Andrei Stanescu/iStockBy CATHERINE THORBECKE, ABC News

(ORLANDO) -- In just a few weeks, NASA and SpaceX are set to launch a diverse crew of astronauts to the International Space Station as part of the Crew Dragon spacecraft's first operational flight.

The NASA SpaceX Crew-1 mission is currently scheduled to launch on Nov. 14, after a slight delay to assess an issue with the Falcon 9 rocket's engine. In a news conference Wednesday, NASA and SpaceX leaders expressed confidence that the issue had been resolved.

The next mission comes on the heels of the successful launch and return of NASA-SpaceX astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken this summer with the Demo-2 mission that made history by bringing launch capabilities back to U.S. soil for the first time in nearly a decade.

The next batch of NASA-SpaceX astronauts includes a Space Force colonel, a Black pilot leaving Earth for the first time, a woman who has logged nearly 4,000 hours in space and a Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut.

The crew is comprised of NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker as well as JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi.

Hopkins, the commander of the mission, has spent 166 days in space and completed multiple space walks. The Missouri native formerly worked as a flight test engineer with the Air Force prior to joining NASA.

This will be the first spaceflight for Glover, the pilot and second-in-command for the mission. A native of California, Glover was selected as an astronaut in 2013 and is a former Naval aviator.

Walker is the team's mission specialist. She is an ISS veteran, having spent 161 days aboard the orbiting laboratory in 2010 conducting numerous experiments.

Noguchi, also a mission specialist for the crew, is the first international NASA-SpaceX crew member. Noguchi has been on two spaceflights and made history as the first Japanese astronaut to perform a spacewalk outside the ISS in 2005.

The crew is slated to stay aboard the ISS for six months and conduct science experiments and help with maintenance on the multibillion dollar orbiting laboratory.

"I know that the science community is looking forward to having all those arms and legs on orbit to be able to help them be able to accomplish their goals for this increment," Kathy Lueders, NASA's associate administrator and human exploration and operations mission directorate, said at a news conference Wednesday.

The crew is currently in a "soft quarantine" with their families before heading into a more stringent quarantine this Saturday ahead of the launch, according to Steve Stich, the manager of NASA's Commercial Crew Program.

Late last month, the crew said they were naming their spacecraft "Resilience" -- a nod to the ability to overcome a myriad of challenges thrown at them during this tumultuous year marked by a global pandemic.

"As you look at the definition of resilience, I know it means functioning well in times of stress or overcoming adverse events, and I think all of us can agree that 2020 certainly has been a challenging year," Hopkins said at a news conference.

"So the name 'Resilience' is really in honor of the SpaceX and NASA teams, and quite frankly, it's in honor of our families, of our colleagues, of our fellow citizens, of our international partners and our leaders that have all shown that same quality, that same characteristic, through these difficult times," he added.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Coronavirus live updates: Eli Lilly to supply US with 300,000 vials of antibody drug

narvikk/iStockBy MORGAN WINSOR and EMILY SHAPIRO, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 1.1 million people worldwide.

Over 44 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some national governments are hiding or downplaying the scope of their outbreaks. The criteria for diagnosis -- through clinical means or a lab test -- has also varied from country to country.

The United States is the worst-affected nation, with more than 8.8 million diagnosed cases and at least 226,982 deaths.

Nearly 200 vaccine candidates for COVID-19 are being tracked by the World Health Organization, at least 10 of which are in crucial phase three studies. Of those 10 potential vaccines in late-stage trials, there are currently five that will be available in the United States if approved.

Here's how the news is developing Wednesday. All times Eastern:

Oct 28, 8:39 pm
Space Force general tests positive


The No. 2 in command of the Space Force has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to federal officials.

Gen. David D. Thompson, vice chief of space operations, took the test after he learned he came in contact with a close family member who contracted the virus, according to the U.S. Air Force.

"In accordance with established COVID policies, General Thompson is self-quarantining and working remotely from home," the Air Force said in a statement.

ABC News' Luis Martinez contributed to this report.

Oct 28, 6:30 pm
Americans will receive vaccine at no cost: Feds


The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services confirmed Wednesday that any COVID-19 vaccine authorized or approved by Food and Drug Administration will be available at no cost to Americans.

The agency will require that Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance to cover the cost of administering the vaccine and said medical providers will be reimbursed for administering vaccines to individuals without insurance.

"The rule covers both vaccines authorized through an emergency authorization and full licensing approval," CMS Administrator Seema Varma said on a call with reporters.

Varma said that the policy will be in place regardless of the results of the election.

ABC News' Stephanie Ebbs contributed to this report.

Oct 28, 6:18 pm
Cases expected to increase in 49 states, half substantially: Report


The PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia released a coronavirus forecast Wednesday saying "all states except Hawaii will see increased case counts over the next four weeks with at least half expected to have substantial case growth."

"The researchers warn that the projected rate of growth of this fall wave could overwhelm contact tracing efforts and threaten the effectiveness of school safety plans, eventually necessitating many schools to revert to online learning, particularly for older students, until the surge has passed," PolicyLab said in a statement.

Researchers forecast a higher growth in the Northeast as temperatures continue to drop.

"Resurgence risk [is] growing more quickly than anticipated in the warmer climate zones of the southern U.S," PolicyLab said.

ABC News' Brian Hartman contributed to this report.

Oct 28, 5:00 pm
Study finds antibodies last up to 5 months for most

A Mount Sinai study published Wednesday in the journal "Science" found that most people who experienced mild-to-moderate COVID-19 symptoms have "a robust antibody response" that kills the virus and is "relatively stable for at least five months."
 
"While some reports have come out saying antibodies to this virus go away quickly, we have found just the opposite -- that more than 90 percent of people who were mildly or moderately ill produce an antibody response strong enough to neutralize the virus, and the response is maintained for many months," Florian Krammer, a senior author of the paper and a professor of vaccinology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, said in a statement.

"Determining the duration and levels of antibody that protect us from reinfection" is "essential for effective vaccine development," Krammer added.
 
The study included data from 30,082 people.

Oct 28, 3:55 pm
France braces for partial lockdown

French President Emmanuel Macron announced a partial lockdown on Wednesday.

Bars and restaurants will be closed and private and public gatherings will be prohibited nationwide.

Permission slips will be required for outings, but schools and various public institutions and factories will remain open.

The restrictions, which will be reviewed every 15 days, go into effect Thursday night and will last through at least Dec. 1.

Macron's announcement follows an alarming spike in deaths from the virus as in addition to record numbers of new cases across France.

"The virus is circulating in France at a speed that even the most pessimistic forecasts had not predicted," Macron said. "If we do not put the brakes on hard today our hospitals will be overwhelmed."

On Tuesday, France lost 527 lives to COVID-19, Macron said. As of Wednesday, the nation's positivity rate was 18.6%.

France's public health agency has confirmed over 1,198,000 cases and 35,541 deaths.

ABC News' Ibtissem Guenfoud and Christine Theodorou contributed to this report.

Oct 28, 3:30 pm
MLB slams Dodgers player for returning to field after testing positive

Major League Baseball criticized Justin Turner for returning to the field Tuesday night when his team won the World Series after the Dodgers' third baseman was removed from the game because he tested positive for COVID-19.

Turner was put into isolation, according to a statement from MLB, but he "chose to disregard the agreed-upon joint protocols and the instructions he was given regarding the safety and protection of others."

"Turner’s decision to leave isolation and enter the field was wrong and put everyone he came in contact with at risk," MLB said. "When MLB Security raised the matter of being on the field with Turner, he emphatically refused to comply."

The Commissioner’s Office is investigating.

The Dodgers were tested Tuesday night, and both the Rays and Dodgers were tested again Wednesday, MLB said, adding that the teams' "travel back to their home cities will be determined after being approved by the appropriate authorities."

The Dodgers said Wednesday that the team will wait to celebrate with the fans "until it is safe to do so."

Oct 28, 2:32 pm
April 2021 Boston Marathon postponed


The Boston Marathon set for April 2021 will be postponed until at least the fall of 2021, the Boston Athletic Association announced Wednesday.

The postponement comes amid a rise of coronavirus cases in Massachusetts. This year's marathon was canceled.

Monday marked the state’s highest daily case count since the spring, the Boston Herald reported. Last week brought multiple days of daily case counts over 1,000, which the state hadn’t seen since the spring, the Herald said.

Massachusetts now has over 149,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and at least 9,664 fatalities.

ABC News’ Leo Mayorga contributed to this report.

Oct 28, 1:28 pm
Italy, Greece report record increases again


Italy and Greece both reached new records for daily COVID-19 cases for the second day in a row.

Italy reported 24,991 new cases on Wednesday, breaking the record of 21,994 cases from Tuesday, according to the Civil Protection Agency.

Italy now has over 589,000 COVID-19 cases and at least 37,905 fatalities.

Greece set a new record with 1,547 new cases on Wednesday, up from Tuesday’s record of 1,259, according to the National Public Health Organization.

Greece now has over 34,000 COVID-19 cases and at least 603 deaths.

ABC News' Christine Theodorou contributed to this report.

Oct 28, 12:32 pm
Dodgers delay World Series celebration after Turner's positive test

One day after winning the World Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers said Wednesday that the team will wait to celebrate with the fans “until it is safe to do so.”

While the Dodgers were playing the Tampa Bay Rays Tuesday night, third baseman Justin Turner tested positive for COVID-19 and was pulled from the series-winning game, ESPN reported.

Turner tweeted that he had no symptoms and “just experienced every emotion you can possibly imagine.” 

 

Thanks to everyone reaching out! I feel great, no symptoms at all. Just experienced every emotion you can possibly imagine. Can’t believe I couldn’t be out there to celebrate with my guys! So proud of this team & unbelievably happy for the City of LA#WorldSeriesChamps

— Justin Turner (@redturn2) October 28, 2020

 

Oct 28, 12:18 pm
Fauci says we won’t have ‘some semblance of normality’ until at least 2021

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told Australians on Wednesday, "I think it will be easily by the end of 2021, and perhaps into the next year, before we start having some semblance of normality."

Fauci defined "normal" as packing theaters and restaurants operating at full capacity, according to The Age.

Fauci applauded Australia's response to the pandemic.

"Australia is one of the countries that has done quite well. New Zealand has done well," he said, according to The Age.

"I would like to say the same for the U.S., but the numbers speak for themselves," Fauci said, describing the U.S. as "getting worse and worse." 

Oct 28, 11:47 am
Wisconsin football on pause following 12 COVID-19 cases


The University of Wisconsin football team is pausing all activities for at least one week following an “elevated number” of COVID-19 cases, the team announced.
 
As of Wednesday morning, 12 people -- six athletes and six staff members -- had tested positive within the last five days, the team said.

Wisconsin was set to plan Nebraska on Saturday but the game has been canceled.

Oct 28, 10:29 am
France braces for possible nationwide lockdown


French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to announce further restrictions to curb a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

Macron is slated to make a televised address on Wednesday evening, after holding emergency meetings with government officials to discuss the COVID-19 response. A four-week nationwide lockdown is reportedly among the options being considered, according to French media.

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin told France Inter radio on Tuesday that citizens "must expect difficult decisions."

Macron's announcement would follow an alarming spike in deaths from COVID-19 as well as record numbers of new cases across France. Nighttime curfews have already been imposed in many areas, including Paris.

France's public health agency has confirmed 1,198,695 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, including 35,541 deaths.

Oct 28, 9:07 am
Poland sees record rise in new cases


Poland confirmed another 18,820 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, its highest single-day increase yet.

An additional 236 fatalities from COVID-19 were also registered across the Central European country in the past 24 hours, according to the Polish Ministry of Health.

Poland's cumulative total currently stands at 299,049 cases with 4,851 deaths.

Meanwhile, nearly 14,000 COVID-19 patients remained hospitalized in Poland as of Wednesday morning, including 1,150 who are on ventilators, the health ministry said.

Oct 28, 8:03 am
Eli Lilly to supply US with 300,000 vials of experimental antibody drug


Eli Lilly and Company announced Wednesday an initial agreement with the U.S. government to supply 300,000 vials of one of its experimental antibody treatments for $375 million to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.

The federal government will accept the vials of bamlanivimab, a monoclonal antibody drug, if it is granted emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The initial agreement also provides the option for the federal government to purchase up to an additional 650,000 vials through June 2021, according to a press release from Eli Lilly and Company.

The Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical firm submitted a request earlier this month for the FDA to authorize emergency use of bamlanivimab in non-hospitalized, high-risk individuals with mild to moderate cases of COVID-19.

"The U.S. is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases and associated hospitalizations," said David Ricks, chairman and CEO of Eli Lilly and Company, "and we believe bamlanivimab could be an important therapeutic option that can bring value to the overall healthcare system, as it has shown a potential benefit in clinical outcomes with a reduction in viral load and rates of symptoms and hospitalizations."

If the FDA authorizes use of the therapeutic, the federal government will allocate the doses to state and territorial health departments which will then determine which health care facilities receive the drug for use in outpatient care. The government-purchased doses would become available to Americans at no cost, though health care professionals could charge for administering the intravenous infusion, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

"This agreement with Eli Lilly is part of Operation Warp Speed’s efforts to position the federal government to distribute potential therapeutics, allowing faster distribution if trials are successful," said Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar.

The deal comes after the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases announced Monday that it has stopped testing a combination of bamlanivimab with the antiviral medication remedesivir in hospitalized COVID-19 patients, after an independent review of results found a "lack of clinical benefit." Eli Lilly and Company said that all other studies of bamlanivimab, including its own phase 3 clinical trials, will continue and that it remains "confident" that the drug may help prevent progression of COVID-19 for individuals earlier in the course of their disease.

Oct 28, 6:06 am
Russia's daily death toll reaches record high for second straight day


Russia registered 346 more deaths from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, setting a new national record, according to the country's coronavirus response headquarters.

The country's previous record of 320 deaths in a 24-hour reporting period was set just a day earlier.

An additional 16,202 new cases of COVID-19 were also confirmed in the past day, down from Sunday's peak of 17,347, according to Russia's coronavirus response headquarters.

Moscow remains the epicenter of the country's outbreak and recent surge. More than 22% of the new cases -- 3,670 -- and over 21% of the new deaths -- 61 -- were reported in the Russian capital.

The nationwide, cumulative total now stands at 1,563,976 cases with 26,935 deaths, according to Russia's coronavirus response headquarters.

The Eastern European country of 145 million people has the fourth-highest tally of COVID-19 cases in the world, behind only the United States, India and Brazil, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.

Oct 28, 5:52 am
South Africa's president enters self-quarantine


South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is under self-quarantine after a guest at a dinner he attended over the weekend tested positive for COVID-19.

"The President is showing no symptoms at this time and will, in line with COVID-19 health advice, be tested should symptoms manifest," Ramaphosa's office said in a statement Wednesday. "The President will perform his duties remotely and will observe the guidelines that apply to self-quarantine."

Ramaphosa attended a fundraising dinner for the Adopt-a-School Foundation at a hotel in Johannesburg on Saturday evening. Thirty-five guests were in attendance at the event and were the only people hosted by the venue at that time.

"The event adhered stringently to COVID-19 protocols and directives on screening, social distancing and the wearing of masks," Ramaphosa's office said. "As was the case with all guests, the President himself removed his mask only when dining and addressing the guests."

On Tuesday, the Adopt-a-School Foundation advised the dinner guests that an attendee had tested positive for COVID-19 after showing symptoms on Sunday. The South African president had already attended two other events Tuesday morning before being alerted of the infected guest, who is currently "receiving medical attention," according to Ramaphosa's office.

"The President is screened regularly by the South African Military Health Service and subjects himself to screening at venues where he participates in engagements," his office said.

South Africa has confirmed more than 717,000 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, including at least 19,053 deaths. The country accounts for almost half of all diagnosed cases on the African continent, according to data from the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Oct 28, 5:19 am
Russia's foreign minister in self-isolation


Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is self-isolating after coming into contact with someone infected with COVID-19.

Lavrov, however, is "feeling well," according to Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"Following a contact with an individual infected with Covid-19, Sergei Lavrov will opt for self-isolation," the ministry said in a statement Tuesday. "The visits and meetings planned earlier are postponed."

Oct 28, 4:24 am
US reports over 73,000 new cases, nearly 1,000 deaths


There were 73,240 new cases of COVID-19 identified in the United States on Tuesday, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.

The latest daily tally is nearly 6,500 more than the previous day but still less than the country's all-time high of 83,757 new cases set on Friday.

An additional 985 fatalities from COVID-19 were also registered nationwide Tuesday, more than double the previous day's count but still down from a peak of 2,666 new deaths in mid-April.

A total of 8,779,653 people in the United States have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and at least 226,723 of them have died, according to Johns Hopkins. The cases include people from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C. and other U.S. territories as well as repatriated citizens.

By May 20, all U.S. states had begun lifting stay-at-home orders and other restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The day-to-day increase in the country's cases then hovered around 20,000 for a couple of weeks before shooting back up and crossing 80,000 for the first time on Oct. 23.

An internal memo from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that was obtained by ABC News on Tuesday night shows the number of new COVID-19 cases recorded across the nation has increased substantially in week-over-week comparisons, as has the number of new deaths from the disease.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Body camera turned on after fatal shooting of unarmed Black couple in Illinois, footage shows

aijohn784/iStockBy MEREDITH DELISO and WILL GRETSKY, ABC News

(WAKEGAN, Ill.) -- A police officer involved in a fatal shooting in Waukegan, Illinois, did not turn his body-worn camera on until after the deadly confrontation with an unarmed Black couple, footage released by the police department showed.

Marcellis Stinnette, 19, was fatally shot and his girlfriend, Tafara Williams, 20, was seriously wounded during the Oct. 20 altercation in the suburban Chicago city after the officer opened fired into a car Williams was driving.

On Wednesday, the city released six videos related to the incident from body-worn cameras, dash cameras and building surveillance cameras. None capture the shooting itself.

The officer who shot Stinnette and Williams did not turn his body camera on until after the shooting, the footage shows.

Once the officer, who has not been identified, turns on the body camera, he appears to be standing several yards away from the crashed car. About 30 seconds in, he says, "I was right behind you, and you almost tried to run me over." Another officer can be seen running toward the car and its passengers, yelling, "Are you OK? What happened? Who shot you?" as Williams can be heard screaming for help.

A few seconds later, the officer who ran toward the car backs away and asks several officers gathered at and arriving at the scene, "Who shot them?"

The officer who is wearing the body camera says, "I did," and the other officer responds, "You did?"

The videos show the car reversing into a building.

The lawyers for the families of the victims spoke to reporters after viewing the footage Wednesday.

"We don't have the transparency, we don't have the truth," said lawyer Antonio M. Romanucci, who is representing the family along with prominent civil rights attorney Ben Crump.

"We see over and over again, in other communities, in other neighborhoods, you show great restraint, you show de-escalation," Crump said. "What is it about young Black people that makes police officers want to pull a trigger?"

On Tuesday, Williams spoke for the first time about the incident that killed the father of her 7-month-old child.

"There was a crash and I lost control. The officer was shooting at us. The car ended up slamming into a building," she said from her hospital bed. "I kept screaming, 'I don't have a gun.' But he kept shooting. He told me to get out of the car. I had my hands up and I couldn't move because I had been shot. Marcellis had his hands up. I kept asking him why, why he was shooting."

An independent investigation by the Illinois State Police and the FBI is ongoing. The unidentified officer involved in the shooting was fired late Friday, according to Waukegan Chief of Police Wayne Walles, after finding he allegedly violated numerous department policies and procedures when he unleashed a barrage of gunfire on the couple.

Walles has declined to elaborate on the violations allegedly made by the five-year veteran of the force, who authorities described as Hispanic.

Police officials initially said the former officer claimed he opened fire out of fear for his life after Williams' car reversed toward him as he approached it.

Waukegan Police Department Cmdr. Edgar Navarro said earlier this week that Stinnette was sitting in the passenger seat of a "suspicious" car that was approached by an officer. The car fled and was later pulled over by a second officer.

"That officer exited his vehicle and the vehicle that he was investigating began to reverse toward the officer," Navarro alleged. "The officer then pulled out his duty weapon and fired into the vehicle that was reversing. Both occupants were struck."

Willams was struck in the hand and stomach.

The officer who initially approached the car has been placed on administrative duty during the investigation.

ABC News' Bill Hutchinson contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


'They didn't give a damn': Mother of slain Walter Wallace says police knew her son was in a mental crisis

Kali9/iStockBy BILL HUTCHINSON, ABC News

(PHILADELPHIA) -- The mother of the 27-year-old Philadelphia man who was gunned down by officers Monday in front of his family's home said police knew he was having a mental crisis because she told them and begged them not to shoot him.

The killing of Walter Wallace Jr. has sparked protests as well as rioting and looting in Philadelphia and beyond, and mirrors what experts say is an ongoing problem nationwide of law enforcement officers using deadly force on mentally ill people.

Wallace's mother, Cathy Wallace, said police were called to her home three times on Monday but were not able to help her and her family deal with the mental-health emergency her son was experiencing. She said that when officers returned to her home the third time, they ended up shooting her son multiple times when he broke free of her and appeared to step toward two officers with a knife.

"I was telling the police to stop, 'Don't shoot my son, please, don't shoot my son,'" Cathy Wallace said at a news conference Tuesday night. "They paid me no mind and they just shot him."

She said the first two times the police came to her home on Monday, they only irritated her son, the father of nine children, instead of helping him.

"They weren't trying to help us, they didn't give a damn about us," Cathy Wallace alleged. "My son said, 'Look at them, they standing there laughing at us.' So I took my son and I and walked down the street and left the cops standing out there."

The shooting erupted around 4 p.m. on Monday after Wallace's brother called 911 and requested an ambulance and medical intervention for Wallace. The police showed up again, Cathy Wallace said, even though the family had only asked for an ambulance.

Regarding her son's history of mental health issues, Cathy Wallace said "they already knew about it; it's already on his record," due to the dozens of times the police had been called to her home in the past.

Graphic cell phone video of the encounter showed Cathy Wallace trying desperately to separate her son, who was holding a knife, from the police, pleading with him to walk away as two officers drew their guns.

But Walter Wallace Jr. appeared to brush off his mother, circle around a parked car, and follow the officers as they backpedaled into the middle of the street while ordering him to put down the knife. When Wallace refused to comply and took several steps toward them, the officers unleashed a barrage of 14 shots, hitting him several times as his mother screamed.

"It was wrong, it was deadly wrong, but God is gonna serve and protect us," Cathy Wallace said.

The family's attorney, Shaka Johnson, said the episode is just the latest example of how police are ill-equipped to deal with mentally ill people.

"When you come to a scene where somebody is in a mental crisis [and] the only tool you have to deal with it is a gun, that's a problem," Johnson said. "I'll tell you this as well, the police department should have a problem with that because they are setting their officers up for failure. If you ill-equip someone and ill-train someone, woe unto police officers."

Johnson called the shooting "unjustified," and said Wallace's pregnant wife, Dominique Wallace, who is scheduled to have labor induced on Wednesday, told officers when they arrived at her family's home for the third time on Monday that her husband had bipolar disorder.

"Officers who are properly trained should notice certain things when they arrive at a scene," Johnson said. "Especially when his wife tells you, 'Stand down officers, he's manic bipolar.'"

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said at a news conference on Tuesday that the two officers involved in the shooting did not have less-lethal tools, like stun guns, due to a department-wide lack of resources.

"We have to adapt our training," said Outlaw, who was appointed Philadelphia's police commissioner in February after serving as chief of the Portland, Oregon, Police Bureau.

In 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice recommended that all Philadelphia officers be issued stun guns to carry at all times. Outlaw said that while the department has equipped many officers with stun guns, it is still working to ensure all 6,300 officers have them.

She said they still need another 2,000 stun guns to equip the entire police force.

Outlaw said during a Zoom news conference on Wednesday afternoon that she has requested a review of the department's training in handling mentally ill people and is exploring other models to address the problem.

"It's a plethora of things; it's not just how we respond to someone with a weapon, it's how we respond to someone in crisis," Outlaw said. "And that's not just at the patrol level. We also need to look at what we're dispatching, how we're dispatching, the types of questions that we're asking, what information is relayed to responding officers to help us determine response, and then shall we require a supervisor to be in route as well to assist with scene coordination?"

Outlaw also said she plans to release 911 calls and bodycamera footage of Monday's shooting to the public in the near future. She said she hopes to arrange for Wallace's family to review the footage within the next couple of days before it's released.

A study published this year in The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law found that of the nearly 1,000 people shot by police officers in 2018, a quarter of them had a mental illness.

Some mental health experts warned in a report by ABC News earlier this year that sending officers to calls involving people who are experiencing severe suicidal thoughts or having a violent psychological episode can result in dire consequences.

Although officers are trained to handle tense situations, foiling a robbery or assault is not the same as someone who is in deep mental distress, Dr. Adwoa Akhu, a clinical psychologist and an adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, told ABC News in June.

"Police officers who are trained as paramilitary may not recognize a mental health crisis and treat it as something else," Akhu said.

Outlaw declined to answer when asked how many times police had visited Wallace's home on the day of the shooting or previously. She also did not answer questions about whether the officers who shot Wallace were aware of his mental health issues.

The commissioner said she was committing to a 48- to 72-hour timeline to announce if she would release the names of the officers and other pieces of evidence. The officers involved in the shooting have been placed on desk duty pending the outcome of the investigation.

"We not only remain dedicated to holding ourselves accountable but we are committed and dedicated to being a learning organization," Outlaw said during a community meeting Tuesday night.

Cathy Wallace and her husband, Walter Wallace Sr., a retired Philadelphia city streets department employee, called for calm Tuesday evening after protests on Monday devolved into widespread looting, vandalism and violence that left 53 officers injured. At least 172 people were arrested Monday night and into Tuesday, most on charges of burglary and assaulting police, after officers had bricks, fireworks and other debris hurled at them, according to authorities.

"I don't condone no violence," the senior Wallace told reporters, asking people to "stop the chaos."

"I'm sending out an SOS to help, not hurt," he said.

Despite pleas from the parents, numerous businesses in Philadelphia were ransacked and looted Tuesday night, police said.

At least 81 people were arrested Tuesday night and into Wednesday, including eight charged with assault on police officers and 53 charged with burglary, city officials said on Wednesday afternoon. At least 23 officers suffered minor injuries on the second night of unrest, nine police vehicles were damaged, and nine ATM machines were blown up, officials said. They said there have been a total of 297 looting incidents and that more than 200 businesses have been damaged since Monday's shooting.

Bracing for more violence, city officials enacted a curfew to run from 9 p.m. Wednesday until 6 a.m. Thursday.

Philadelphia Police Deputy Commissioner Melvin Singleton said at Wednesday afternoon's news conference that some of the looting is being done by large groups of agitators and that they appear to coordinated, possibly through a mass group text.

"We know that we're not seeing anything on social media about these pop-up locations. We believe they're not using those platforms. We believe that they're using their handheld cell phone devices and making decisions to join up at particular locations," Singleton said.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney suggested that some of the looters and vandals are from out of town.

"Anecdotally, we've also gotten reports of a number of [cars with] New Jersey and New York plates in places that were hit that are close to bridges ... to get into the city and out of the city quickly," Kenney said.

At least 30 people were arrested Tuesday night in the Brooklyn borough of New York City when peaceful protests over Wallace's killing gave way to rioting and looting of businesses, according to the New York City Police Department. Five officers were injured and nine NYPD vehicles were damaged, mostly with broken windows and graffiti, officials said.

At least 39 commercial properties in Brooklyn were also vandalized, police said.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Hurricane Zeta, a Category 2 storm, nearing landfall in Louisiana

ABC NewsBy MAX GOLEMBO and EMILY SHAPIRO, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- Hurricane Zeta, a Category 2 storm, makes landfall in Louisiana

Fast-moving Hurricane Zeta, a Category 2 storm, made landfall on the southeastern coast of Louisiana, potentially delivering a storm surge of up to 11 feet.

The storm landed near Cocodrie, Louisiana, around 5:15 p.m. with wind speeds reaching 110 mph. This is the strongest hurricane landfall in the continental U.S. this late in the season in over 100 years.

Hurricane warnings had been issued for southeastern Louisiana, including New Orleans, and for southern Mississippi, including Gulfport and Biloxi.

Tropical storm watches were issued from Mississippi to Alabama to the Florida panhandle, and even parts of the western Carolinas, including Greenville and Asheville.

The forecast

A major threat will be a storm surge of up to 9 feet in Alabama and Mississippi.

Gulfport and Biloxi could see wind gusts topping 90 mph.

Powerful wind gusts could also reach 90 mph in New Orleans. The city canceled all public school classes for the day.

New Orleans Regional Transit Authority is suspending all bus, streetcar and ferry services beginning at noon.

Rain won't be as big of a threat. Some areas could see up to 6 inches of rainfall and possible flooding.

Tornadoes are possible in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

Louisiana has been especially hard-hit this hurricane season. Zeta is the third hurricane to make landfall in Louisiana in two months.

Because Zeta is moving so quickly, heavy rain and powerful wind gusts will extend well inland across the Southeast, which could cause power outages overnight. Wind gusts Thursday morning could top 50 mph from Atlanta to the western Carolinas.

Zeta's remnants will then slam the Northeast with rain and snow Thursday into Friday. The first accumulating, widespread snowfall of the season is possible for Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New York's Hudson Valley.

The last time a hurricane made landfall in the U.S. so late in the calendar year was Hurricane Kate in November 1985.

Hurricane Zeta is the 27th named storm of the season. In 2005, there were 28.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Five arrested, charged as illegal agents for China

cbarnesphotography/iStockBy AARON KATERSKY, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- Five people were arrested Wednesday, and one more was being sought, on charges they acted as illegal agents of China.

The six acted at the direction of Chinese government officials as they tried to force Chinese nationals in the United States to return to China through a multi-year campaign of stalking and harassment, according to federal prosecutors in Brooklyn.

Hongru Jin, Zhu Yong and Michael McMahon were arrested in the Northeast. Rong Jing and Zheng Congving were arrested in California. Zhu Feng remains at large.

"The defendants assisted PRC officials in a scheme to coerce certain individuals to return to the PRC against their will," said acting United States Attorney Seth DuCharme.

The alleged campaign -- known in China as either Operation Fox Hunt or Operation Skynet -- targeted Chinese nationals living abroad who are alleged to have committed crimes in China. Rather than rely on official channels for repatriation, federal prosecutors said the campaign used "clandestine, unsanctioned and illegal conduct with the United States."

Among the targets was a resident of New Jersey identified in court records as John Doe-1, whose elderly father was brought to the U.S. from China against his will "to use the surprise arrival ... to threaten and attempt to coerce John Doe-1's return to the PRC," prosecutors said.

As part of the campaign to exert pressure on John Doe-1 his adult daughter was put under surveillance and targeted for online harassment, according to court records. Later, unsolicited packages were sent to his residence with letters and videos threatening harm to family members if he did not return.

"The United States will not tolerate the conduct of PRC official business on U.S. soil without notice to and coordination with the appropriate U.S. authorities. Nor will we tolerate the unlawful harassment and stalking of U.S. residents to further PRC objectives," DuCharme said.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Ice storm to combine with Zeta Remnants bringing heavy rain and snow Northeast

ABC NewsBy MAX GOLEMBO, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- More than 300,000 people are without power overnight as ice storms continue for Oklahoma and parts of northern Texas in what is the earliest ice storm ever recorded in Oklahoma.

Almost 1 inch of ice accumulated in Oklahoma bringing trees down on top of power lines.

As the storm moves east it is expected to combine with remnants of Zeta and bring heavy rain and even the first snow of the season for parts of the Northeast.

Take a look at all the alerts issued for 17 states from New Mexico to Virginia:

ABC News

As the winter storm and remnants of Zeta combine and move east over the next three days, some areas could see up to half a foot of rain.

Some areas in New Mexico already saw almost 2 feet of snow with an additional 6 inches possible there.

As the combination of the winter storm and Zeta remnants get into the Northeast, the first accumulating snow of the season is expected to fall from Pennsylvania into New York’s Hudson Valley and into Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

Some areas could see several inches of snow, especially in the higher elevations.

Meanwhile, in the West, gusty winds are finally subsiding and all Red Flag Warnings have been allowed to expire.

Even though winds will be lighter, bone dry conditions with dry vegetation will be enough to fuel existing fires as evacuations are still in place for fires burning in southern California.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Looting, protests underway in Philadelphia for second night after fatal police shooting

kali9/iStockBy BILL HUTCHINSON and JOSH HOYOS, ABC News

(PHILADELPHIA) -- A knife-wielding Black man was in the throes of a mental health crisis, according to his family, when two Philadelphia police officers opened fire 14 times and killed him.

The confrontation that cost 27-year-old Walter Wallace Jr. his life on Monday afternoon set off protests that devolved into rioting, looting and led to 30 cops being injured and 91 people being arrested, officials said. A second night of unrest was underway Tuesday, with Philadelphia police warning residents in the northern and western sections of the city to remain indoors due to looting, including among a crowd of approximately 1,000 protesters in one area, authorities said.

City Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw declined to say at a news conference on Tuesday afternoon how many times Wallace was hit by the barrage of bullets fired at him when he allegedly refused to put down a knife and appeared to charge at the officers.

Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Frank Vanore said each officer fired seven rounds.

The shooting came as Wallace's pregnant wife is preparing to have labor induced on Wednesday, the family's lawyers, Shaka Johnson and Kevin O'Brien, told reporters from the steps of the Wallace family home on Tuesday.

The shooting unfolded shortly before 4 p.m. on Monday on a street in the Cobbs Creek neighborhood of West Philadelphia. Witnesses and community activists have questioned why the police officers immediately resorted to deadly force instead of taking less-lethal action, such as deploying stun guns.

Outlaw said the two officers involved in the shooting, whose names have not been released, were not equipped with stun guns due to the department's limited resources.

"We have to adapt our training," Outlaw said.

The protests over Wallace's death also led to unrest in New York City Tuesday night.

At least 30 people were arrested Tuesday night, 29 of them in the vicinity of Atlantic Avenue, according to the New York City Police Department. One officer was treated for an arm and leg injury after a car sped off from a group of officers, authorities said.

At least nine NYPD vehicles were damaged with graffiti and broken windows, while some local businesses were also damaged.

After viewing a video of the shooting, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said the incident "presents difficult questions that must be answered."

The incident began when police responded to a radio call involving a person with a weapon and encountered Wallace on a residential street brandishing a knife and waving it erratically, police officials said.

Officers ordered the man to drop the knife, then fired when he followed them with the weapon, police said.

A video posted to social media appeared to show the man, later identified by officials as Wallace, circling around a parked car and walking toward officers as they backed away from him, shouting, "Put the knife down!"

Outlaw also would not confirm on Tuesday that the initial call was a mental health call. She also refused to say whether officers had responded to Wallace's residence on Sunday or Monday prior to the shooting.

Kenney said he spoke with Wallace's wife and parents Tuesday night and promised to continue to reach out to them. He added that he has confidence in the investigation.

Wallace's father, Walter Wallace Sr., told the Philadelphia Inquirer that his son appeared to have been shot 10 times in the episode. The father was among those who questioned why police immediately resorted to deadly force.

He said his son's mother was trying to defuse the situation when police opened fire.

The senior Wallace told the newspaper that his son was on medication for mental health issues.

"He has mental health issues. Why you have to gun him down?" the father said.

Johnson, one of the attorneys representing the Wallace family, said the initial 911 call was for an ambulance for Wallace, and that police were not requested in the call.

Johnson said Wallace was on a regime of lithium, which is used to treat bipolar disorder.

"The folks who called the authorities didn't deem the police necessary, which is why they called and specifically requested for an ambulance," Johnson said.

Johnson claimed the dispatcher who took the call announced over the radio that it was call for a medical crisis.

Outlaw said she was committing to a 48- to 72-hour timeline to announce if she would release the names of the officers, body-worn camera footage or other pieces of evidence. She is scheduled to participate in a community meeting Tuesday night.

Large protests erupted across the city following Wallace's death. The protests escalated into looting, rioting and numerous assaults on police officers, officials said.

At least 30 police officers were injured during the violence, including one, a sergeant, who was struck by a pickup truck and was hospitalized with a broken leg, officials said.

In total, 29 other officers were treated and released for their injuries at various hospitals and police officials said most of the injuries were the result of being struck by bricks, rocks, fireworks and other debris hurled at the officers.

"This completely caught us off guard. ... Once we arrived there, we knew there would be civil unrest," Outlaw said.

At least 91 people were arrested in protests overnight, including 11 for allegedly assaulting police officers and 76 on burglary charges, police said. Three people arrested were allegedly in possession of guns, officials said.

Officials said that eight police cruisers were damaged during the violence, including one that was set on fire. The windshield of a medical unit was also smashed.

"Last night, we saw anguish of Black and brown residents," Kenney said, but added, "looting is not protest; vandalism is not protest."

The senior Wallace also spoke out against looting Tuesday night.

"I don't condone no violence," he told reporters, and asked people to "stop the chaos."

"I'm sending out an SOS to help, not hurt," he said.

Similar to other protests across the county after the death of George Floyd, the White House blamed "Liberal Democrats" for the unrest in Philadelphia this week.

"The facts must be followed wherever they lead to ensure fair and just results. In America, we resolve conflicts through the courts and the justice system," a statement from the White House press secretary said. "We can never allow mob rule. The Trump Administration stands proudly with law enforcement, and stands ready, upon request, to deploy any and all Federal resources to end these riots."

Outlaw said the police department was planning to beef up its presence in key areas of the city on Tuesday night and had requested mutual aid from surrounding counties and state agencies.

Chad Wolf, acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, offered the resources of his agency to help quell the violence in Philadelphia.

"This violence towards police officers is an unacceptable threat to the rule of law, our national security, and our way of life," Wolf said in a statement posted on Twitter. "It cannot and will not stand."

The National Guard was mobilized in the city at the request of Gov. Tom Wolf.

"Assisting civil authorities during times of need is one of our core missions in the National Guard and our Citizen Soldiers and Airmen are well-trained and well-prepared to assist our commonwealth and our communities in any way we can," Lt. Col. Keith Hickox, of the Pennsylvania National Guard, said in a statement. "We are able to conduct operations in support of civil authorities to enhance local law enforcement’s ability to provide continued public safety and critical infrastructure security."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


7-year-old student, driver killed in school bus crash in Tennessee

carlballou/iStockBy MARK OSBORNE and MATT FOSTER, ABC News

(CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.) -- At least two people have been killed in a school bus accident in Meigs County, Tennessee, according to officials.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol said a 7-year-old passenger and the driver of the bus were killed in the accident. Five other children were injured, including a student in critical condition, police said. They were being treated at Children's Hospital at Erlanger in Chattanooga.

The bus, which was carrying school children home for the day, crashed into a utility service vehicle on Highway 58 in Decatur, about an hour northeast of Chattanooga, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol. The utility truck appears to have swerved into the southbound lane where it ran into the bus head-on.

Officials said there were 22 passengers on the bus at the time of the accident.

The Tennessee Department of Education sent condolences to the families of those lost in the accident.

"I and the entire staff at the Tennessee Department of Education are deeply saddened to hear about the fatal bus crash in Meigs County earlier this afternoon. No words can express our sympathies for those lives that were lost," Tennessee Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn said in a statement. "We send our deepest condolences to the students, families, school staff and leaders, district staff and the entire Meigs County community affected by this tragic accident and wish healing for all those injured. The department has communicated with district leaders and staff in Meigs County and surrounding areas and is mobilizing to support this community in safety response and services."

Meigs County Board of Education said all parents had been contacted and were either reunited with their children or taken to area hospitals.

"I'm deeply saddened to hear the news coming out of Meigs County this evening about a serious school bus crash," Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke said in a statement on Twitter. "My thoughts are with these children and their families. Until we have more information, we will hope for the best and keep them in our prayers."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Coronavirus updates: New cases, deaths see double-digit increases in past week: HHS

Ovidiu Dugulan/iStockBy MORGAN WINSOR and EMILY SHAPIRO, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 1.1 million people worldwide.

Over 43.6 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the virus has rapidly spread to every continent except Antarctica.

The United States is the worst-affected country, with more than 8.7 million diagnosed cases and at least 226,606 deaths.

Here's how the news developed Tuesday. All times Eastern: 

Oct 27, 9:28 pm
New cases, deaths see double-digit increases in past week: HHS

New COVID-19 cases and deaths saw double-digit increases in the past week in the U.S., according to an internal Health and Human Services memo obtained by ABC News.
 
The number of new cases reported nationally from Oct. 20 to 26 increased 22.7% compared to the previous seven-day period, and recorded deaths increased 10.5% during that time period, HHS found.

The national test-positivity rate increased to 6.2% from 5.8% in week-to-week comparisons, as 41 states and territories are in an upward trajectory of new cases, according to the memo.

Across the country, 20% of hospitals have more than 80% of their ICU beds filled. That number was 17% to 18% during the summertime peak.

In Montana, new deaths increased by 50% in the week ending Oct. 20, compared to the prior week.

And in Minnesota, more than 70 outbreaks and 600 cases of COVID-19 have been tied to weddings, the memo noted.

Oct 27, 4:30 pm
Belgium reports 21.1% positivity rate

COVID-19 cases in Belgium have increased by 38% in the last week and the nation’s positivity rate stands at 21.1%, according to the Belgian Scientific Institute of Public Health.

Hospitalizations have hit a record high with 689 new admissions in the last day, surpassing the record of 629 set in March.

Hospitalizations have now reached a total of 5,554. During the first wave, the highest was 5,715.

Germany will take in Belgian patients if needed, German ambassador Martin Kotthaus said on Belgian TV.

Europe accounts for the great proportion of new cases, contributing nearly half of all new cases reported globally in the last week, according to a report from the World Health Organization. In Europe deaths have increased by 37% over the previous week.

ABC News’ Christine Theodorou contributed to this report.

Oct 27, 4:09 pm
Cases skyrocketing in Wisconsin

Wisconsin has now surpassed 200,000 COVID-19 cases. While it took Wisconsin a little over seven months to reach 100,000 cases, it took a fraction of that time -- just 36 days -- to reach 200,000, Gov. Tony Evers said.

With 5,262 new cases and 64 more deaths, Tuesday marked Wisconsin’s largest single-day increase for cases and fatalities, said Secretary-Designee Andrea Palm.

Hospitals across the state are strained and operating with critical and imminent staffing shortages, Palm said.

Evers urged residents to avoid gatherings and only leave their homes when absolutely necessary.

ABC News’ Rachel Katz contributed to this report.

Oct 27, 4:08 pm
New Yorkers urged to stay home for Thanksgiving

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is urging New Yorkers to avoid traveling over Thanksgiving to keep high COVID-19 numbers from returning to the city.

“You could be putting your family and yourself in danger and bringing the disease back here," the mayor said, according to ABC New York station WABC. "Everyone is going to make their own decision, I know there are painful choices. I get it. But my recommendation is to avoid travel this holiday season. Stay safe, to keep us all safe.”

Oct 27, 3:21 pm
California added to New York’s travel advisory list

California has been added to New York’s growing travel advisory list, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday.

Forty-five states and territories now meet the travel advisory requirements, Cuomo said. Those who come to New York must quarantine for two weeks if they travel from areas with positive test rates above 10 per 100,000 residents over a one-week average, or an area with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a one-week average.

These are the states and territories on the list: Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania meet the criteria for the travel advisory list, but Cuomo said it’s not practical to enforce a quarantine with neighboring states. New Yorkers are discouraged from nonessential travel to those states.

ABC News’ Josh Hoyos contributed to this report.

Oct 27, 3:04 pm
Greece, Italy report record rise in cases

Greece reported 1,259 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, a record 24-hour increase, surpassing the 935 new infections reported on Saturday, according to the National Public Health Organization.

The small Mediterranean country now has over 32,000 cases.

Twelve new deaths were reported on Tuesday, pushing Greece's fatality total to 593.

Meanwhile, Italy on Tuesday also reported a record 24-hour increase -- 21,994 newly diagnosed cases -- breaking a record set on Sunday, according to the Civil Protection Agency.

Italy now has more than 564,000 cases and at least 37,700 fatalities.

Walter Ricciardi, a top Italian physician and adviser to Health Minister Roberto Speranza, called for Naples and Milan to be locked down on Tuesday, saying "in Milan and Naples you can get COVID by walking into a bar or a restaurant or catching a bus."

ABC News’ Christine Theodorou contributed to this report.

Oct 27, 1:04 pm
Greece, Italy report record rise in cases


Greece reported 1,259 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, a record 24-hour increase, surpassing the 935 new infections reported on Saturday, according to the National Public Health Organization.

The small Mediterranean country now has over 32,000 cases.

Twelve new deaths were reported on Tuesday, pushing Greece's fatality total to 593.

Meanwhile, Italy on Tuesday also reported a record 24-hour increase -- 21,994 newly diagnosed cases -- breaking a record set on Sunday, according to the Civil Protection Agency.

Italy now has more than 564,000 cases and at least 37,700 fatalities.

Walter Ricciardi, a top Italian physician and adviser to Health Minister Roberto Speranza, called for Naples and Milan to be locked down on Tuesday, saying "in Milan and Naples you can get COVID by walking into a bar or a restaurant or catching a bus."

ABC News’ Christine Theodorou contributed to this report.

Oct 27, 12:25 pm
Birx blasts ND city for having lowest mask use of anywhere she’s visited


White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx visited shops and restaurants in Bismark, North Dakota, on Monday, where she said she saw the lowest make use of anywhere she’s visited, local TV station KFYR-TV reported.

“There is not only evidence that masks work, there is evidence that masks used as a public health mitigation effort works,” Birx said, according to KFYR-TV.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum is against a statewide mask ruling, instead leaving it up to local governments, KFYR said. In Bismark, the city commission is expected to vote on a mask order Tuesday night, according to KFYR.

Oct 27, 9:57 am
New cases are up 26% in US while deaths increase 15%, HHS memo says

The number of new cases of COVID-19 recorded across the United States has increased substantially, as has the number of new deaths from the disease, according to an internal memo from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that was obtained by ABC News on Monday night.

The memo, which is circulated among the highest levels of the federal government and is used to determine daily priorities for the agencies working on a COVID-19 response, said 40 U.S. states and territories are in an upward trajectory of new infections, while nine jurisdictions are at a plateau and seven others are in a downward trend.

There were 488,498 new cases confirmed during the period of Oct. 19-25, a 26% increase from the previous week. There were also 5,615 fatalities from COVID-19 recorded during the same period, a 15.1% increase compared with the week prior, according to the memo.

The national positivity rate for COVID-19 tests increased from 5.6% to 6.1% in week-to-week comparisons. Meanwhile, 22% of hospitals across the country have intensive care units that are more than 80% occupied. That figure is up from the summertime peak, when 17-18% of U.S. hospitals had 80% of ICU beds full, the memo said.

Arizona reported 848 COVID-19 hospitalizations on Oct. 21, its highest count since Aug. 26, according to the memo.

In the U.S. territory of Guam, which continues to be classified as a "red zone" for COVID-19 infections, an average of 89.7% of inpatient beds and 80.2% of ICU beds were occupied in the week ending Oct. 20, the memo said.

North Dakota saw a record high of 1,036 new cases on Oct. 20, surpassing the 1,000 mark of daily incident cases for the first time, according to the memo.

New Jersey reported 852 daily COVID-19 hospitalizations on Oct. 22, its highest since late July, the memo said.

Oklahoma reached a record 956 COVID-19 hospitalizations on Oct. 22. The previous record was set just two days earlier, according to the memo.

Utah reported an all-time high of 314 COVID-19 hospitalizations on Oct. 21, as several hospitals in the state reached capacity, the memo said.

ABC News' Josh Margolin contributed to this report.

Oct 27, 9:23 am
Indian minister says he's been hospitalized after testing positive


India's Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale said Tuesday that he has tested positive for COVID-19 and, per doctors' recommendations, has been hospitalized for a few days.

"Those who have come in contact with me are advised to get COVID-19 tests done," Athawale wrote on his official Twitter account.

It's the latest Indian minister to contract the virus, as the country's cumulative case count nears eight million. Only the United States has a higher tally of diagnosed cases.

The Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare confirmed 36,470 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, the lowest single-day tally since mid-July. The ministry also registered another 488 fatalities from COVID-19, bringing the country's death toll to 119,502.

Oct 27, 8:24 am
Violent protests erupt in Italy over new restrictions


Protesters took to the streets in Milan, Turin and several other Italian cities on Monday in anger over the latest COVID-19 restrictions, which have shuttered cinemas, gyms and other leisure venues and have forced cafes and restaurants to close early.

The protests, at times, turned violent as some people smashed storefront windows, looted shops, set fires and hurled objects at police, who used tear gas to clear the tumultuous crowds.

A number of people were detained overnight in connection to the violence and vandalism in various cities and towns. More than two dozen people were reportedly arrested in Milan alone.

Italy, once the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, has seen an increase in infections in recent weeks. Over the weekend, the country's civil protection agency confirmed a record 21,273 new cases of COVID-19. As of Monday night, the cumulative total was 542,789 cases with 37,479 deaths.

Oct 27, 7:28 am
Study stops using Eli Lilly's antibody treatment for COVID-19 patients due to 'lack of clinical benefit'


Researchers have stopped testing a combination of remedesivir with one of Eli Lilly and Company's experimental antibody treatments in hospitalized COVID-19 patients, after an independent review of results found a "lack of clinical benefit."

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is funding the clinical trial, said in a statement Monday that it plans to test other experimental drugs as COVID-19 treatments in the study.

Eli Lilly and Company said that all other studies of its monoclonal antibody drug, bamlanivimab, will continue, including one in recently diagnosed COVID-19 patients with mild to moderate cases and another in people at risk of infection.

"While there was insufficient evidence that bamlanivimab improved clinical outcomes when added to other treatments in hospitalized patients with COVID-19, we remain confident based on data from Lilly’s BLAZE-1 study that bamlanivimab monotherapy may prevent progression of disease for those earlier in the course of COVID-19," Eli Lilly and Company said in a statement Monday.

Earlier this month, the Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical company asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to authorize emergency use of bamlanivimab in non-hospitalized individuals with mild to moderate cases of COVID-19.

Oct 27, 6:07 am
Russia's daily death toll reaches all-time high


Russia registered 320 more deaths from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, setting a new national record, according to the country's coronavirus response headquarters.

The country's previous record of 317 deaths in a 24-hour reporting period was set less than a week ago.

An additional 16,550 new cases of COVID-19 were also confirmed in the past day, down from a peak of 17,347 the day prior, according to Russia's coronavirus response headquarters.

Moscow remains the epicenter of the country's outbreak and recent surge. More than 26% of the new cases -- 4,312 -- and over 19% of the new deaths -- 61 -- were reported in the capital.

The nationwide, cumulative total now stands at 1,547,774 cases with 26,589 deaths, according to Russia's coronavirus response headquarters.

The Eastern European country of 145 million people has the fourth-highest tally of COVID-19 cases in the world, behind only the United States, India and Brazil, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.

Oct 27, 5:10 am
US reports more than 66,000 new cases


There were 66,784 new cases of COVID-19 identified in the United States on Monday, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.

The latest daily tally is nearly 6,000 more than the previous day but still less than the national record of 83,757 new cases set on Friday.

An additional 481 fatalities from COVID-19 were also registered nationwide Monday, almost half the previous day's count and down from a peak of 2,666 new deaths in mid-April.

A total of 8,704,524 people in the United States have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and at least 225,735 of them have died, according to Johns Hopkins. The cases include people from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C. and other U.S. territories as well as repatriated citizens.

By May 20, all U.S. states had begun lifting stay-at-home orders and other restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The day-to-day increase in the country's cases then hovered around 20,000 for a couple of weeks before shooting back up and crossing 80,000 for the first time on Oct. 23.

Oct 27, 4:34 am
Analysis shows COVID-19 positivity rates rising in 37 US states


An ABC News analysis of COVID-19 trends across all 50 U.S. states as well as Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and Guam found there were increases in the daily positivity rate of COVID-19 tests in 37 states.

The analysis also found increases in COVID-19 hospitalizations in 35 states plus Puerto Rico and Guam, as well as increases in daily COVID-19 death tolls in 27 states.

Meanwhile, case numbers are higher -- a daily average of at least 15 new cases per 100,000 people over the past week -- and staying high in 33 states plus Puerto Rico and Guam, and case numbers are lower -- a daily average of under 15 new cases per 100,000 people over the past week -- but are going up in nine states.

Six states hit a record number of current hospitalizations in a day, while 16 states saw a record number of current hospitalizations in a week. Twenty states plus Puerto Rico reported a record number of new cases in a week. Six states reached a record number of new deaths in a week.

The United States is rapidly approaching an average of 70,000 new cases a day, the highest it has been since the start of the pandemic. Just a week ago, the country was averaging 57,000 new cases a day. That average has doubled in the last six weeks. Friday and Saturday marked the two highest days on record for the country, with a combined 165,678 new cases over the 48-hour reporting period.

The month of October is now on track to become the second-highest month on record for COVID-19 cases in the United States. Nearly 1.4 million daily cases have been reported since Oct. 1, and nearly half a million of those cases have been reported in the last seven days alone.

Midwestern states continue to struggle, reaching record-high daily figures on Saturday. But the Midwest is not alone. Since Oct. 3, the seven-day average of new cases in the South have risen by 45%, and the West is now reporting daily case numbers not seen since mid-August.

Even the Northeast, which had consistently reported improving trends after COVID-19 struck in the spring, has seen a concerning resurgence of the virus. Rhode Island hit an all-time high of new cases last week, and the average rate of positivity has now surpassed 5% in Massachusetts.

The number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized nationwide continues to hover around 41,000. Just in the last month, current hospitalizations have increased by 40%.

In the Northeast, hospitalizations are nearing the 4,000 mark. The number of patients hospitalized in the Midwest is now the highest on record.

The trends were all analyzed from data collected and published by the COVID Tracking Project over the past two weeks, using the linear regression trend line of the seven-day moving average to examine whether a state's key indicators were increasing, decreasing or remained flat.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


San Francisco passes CAREN Act to criminalize phony 911 calls based on race

LordRunar/iStockBy IVAN PEREIRA, ABC News

(SAN FRANCISCO) -- San Francisco leaders voted to crack down on so-called "Karens" who use 911 calls to discriminate against minorities.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed the Caution Against Racially and Exploitative Non-Emergencies, or CAREN, Act on Tuesday, which amends the city's police code and allows anyone harmed by such calls to sue.

The bill, nicknamed for the slang term given to people who make the baseless calls, means violators would be liable in court to general damages of at least $1,000 plus costs and attorney's fees, and punitive damages.

Supervisor Shamann Walton, who introduced the bill in July, said in a statement that the act should make residents think twice before calling the police on their Black or minority neighbors over a non-emergency.

"Rather than calling the police or law enforcement on your neighbor, or someone who you think doesn't look like they should be your neighbor, try talking to them and getting to know them. Let's build relationships in our communities," he said in a statement.

The act expands the city's definition of a protected class "to prevent false emergency calls with the specific intent to discriminate against a person or otherwise infringe the person's rights or cause the person specified harms on the basis of the person's race, color, ancestry, national origin, place of birth, sex, age, religion, creed, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, weight, or height."

Mayor London Breed has said she supports the bill, which would go into law 30 days after it's signed.

The false reports have gained more attention in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd and the racial reckoning it prompted in the U.S.

One of the most prominent cases came in May when a woman in New York's Central Park called police on a birdwatcher who had asked her to put her dog on a leash. She claimed an "African American man" was threatening her and "tried to assault her" -- neither of which was true. She is expected to plead guilty to falsely reporting an incident at a court date next month.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed a similar bill into law Tuesday.

The bill, HB 5098, expands the state's definition of hate crimes to include "false 911 calls or reports to law enforcement against another person made on the basis of race, religious conviction, gender, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, color, or national origin."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Almost half of South Dakota's prison population tests positive for COVID-19

pinkomelet/iStockBy ERIN SCHUMAKER, ABC News

(PIERRE, S.D.) -- Nearly half of South Dakota's 3,347-person prison population has tested positive for COVID-19, according to the most recent data released by the state's department of corrections Tuesday.

"Unfortunately, the result was predictable," said Leo Beletsky, a professor of law and health sciences at Northeastern University. "In many states, the top hotspots for COVID spread have been prisons and jails."

South Dakota's concerning rate of COVID-19 in prisons is part of a larger narrative. Like so many aspects of the pandemic, the virus has shined a light on vulnerable communities and weak spots in the health care system. Prisons and jails, many of which are chronically overcrowded dormitory settings with shared toilets and showers, and where basic hygiene is hard to uphold, are primed for infectious disease outbreaks.

"People don't even have access to soap," Beletsky added.

Then there's the population itself. Incarcerated people have higher rates of underlying conditions than the general population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which puts them at risk for severe complications and death if they contract the virus.

"The reality is that people are living on top of each other and breathing infected air," said Kate Chatfield, senior adviser for legislation and policy at The Justice Collaborative, a criminal justice research and advocacy organization.

In conjunction with the state health department, the corrections department is doing mass testing in all facilities, according to Mike Leidholt, secretary of corrections. In addition to screening for COVID-19 symptoms and quarantining those who test positive and their close contacts, they've restricted access to community work programs and suspended in-person visitation and volunteer opportunities.

In a statement to ABC News, Leidholt detailed additional changes, including: "revised schedules to increase social distancing, bolstered disinfection efforts and laundry services, implemented physical plant changes and adjusted admission and intake processes."

"All inmates and staff are wearing masks," Leidholt added.

Importantly, COVID-19 infections in South Dakota prisons don't exist in a bubble. By every available metric, South Dakota's COVID-19 outbreak is worsening. On Tuesday, daily infections, hospitalizations, testing positivity rate and deaths were all rising in South Dakota, according to an ABC News analysis of data from The COVID Tracking Project.

"This idea that a correctional facility can be cordoned off and sealed doesn't reflect reality," Beletsky said. "That’s magical thinking."

Instead, prison staff enter and leave the premises, meaning they can seed infections at prisons and can also carry infections contracted at work into the community. "It’s worth mentioning that the folks behind bars aren't the only ones affected," Beletsky said. "This is also an occupational safety concern for the staff."

In a rural state like South Dakota, community spread can be devastating. "Prisons tend to be in rural areas, and often rural areas do not have robust hospital and health care systems," Chatfield said. Outbreaks in rural areas are especially scary, she added, because they strain the health care system.

Rural communities' health resources were dwindling before the pandemic. Many rural communities that used to have hospitals recently lost them -- 95 rural hospitals closed between January 2010 and January 2019, according to the Department of Health and Human Services's Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Of those facilities, 32 were critical access hospitals.

Nationwide, 152,955 people in prison had tested positive as of Oct. 20, according to data from the Marshall Project.

ABC News' Soorin Kim, Brian Hartman, Benjamin Bell and Arielle Mitropoulos contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


NXIVM founder Keith Raniere sentenced to 120 years in prison

Marilyn Nieves/iStockBy AARON KATERSKY, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- Keith Raniere was sentenced to 120 years in prison at a Brooklyn federal court on Tuesday for running NXIVM, a self-help organization prosecutors labeled a "criminal enterprise" exploited by Raniere for power, profit and sex.

To followers, he was known as Vanguard, but prosecutors cast Raniere as a con artist who did "immeasurable damage" to victims over 15 years of crime and exploitation. They had asked he receive a life sentence.

"You have done irreparable harm to peoples psyches, to their self-esteem, their belief in themselves and their experience of sanity and well being," filmmaker Mark Vicente, a former member of NXIVM turned whistleblower, said in an impact statement delivered at Raniere's sentencing.

"I believed in you. I believed in your mission. Because I thought it was the same as mine," Vicente added. "I believed you knew what goodness was. Finding out the truth about you and your actual motives turned my world upside down."

"Raniere and his co-conspirators maintained control over the Enterprise by, among other means, obtaining sensitive information about members and associates of the Enterprise; inducing shame and guilt in order to influence and control members and associates of the Enterprise; isolating associates and others from friends and family and making them dependent on the Enterprise for their financial well-being and legal status within the United States; and encouraging associates and others to take expensive NXIVM courses, and incur debt to do so," prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memo.

The U.S. attorney in charge of the case said he was satisfied with the result.

"The judge's sentence incapacitates Keith Raniere for the rest of his life," said Seth DuCharme, acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. "Keith Raniere will not be able to victimize people anymore after today's sentence and we're very grateful for that."

Raniere has been jailed since his June 2019 conviction on charges including sexual exploitation, forced labor and sex trafficking.

"Members of the Enterprise recruited and groomed sexual partners for Raniere ... and many were themselves in sexual relationships with Raniere that involved pledges of loyalty, penances for ethical breaches and collateral," the memo said.

Unapologetic, Raniere asserted his "complete innocence," defense attorneys said.

"Simply put, he remains proud of his life's work. He also remains determined to fight this case, which he views as a terrible injustice and, respectfully, an affront to what should be one of the great systems of justice to ever exist," his attorneys said in their sentencing memo.

The judge rejected Raniere's latest bid for a new trial on Friday.

"This complex situation of personal motives, individual regrets and life choices has no place in a federal courtroom. Yet, the government seeks a life sentence for Keith Raniere in a case that has no guns, no knives and no force. No one was shot, stabbed, punched, kicked, slapped or even yelled at," the defense memo said.

At trial, Raniere was accused of forming a group within NXIVM composed of female "slaves" who were branded with his initials and coerced into having sex with him after giving him nude photographs or revealing embarrassing secrets.

"Every single person making the decision to get branded or not get branded ... or to make any one of a thousand other decisions was a free-thinking adult," the defense said.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Virginia Military Institute leader resigns after state opens investigation into ongoing racism

wellesenterprises/iStockBy EMILY SHAPIRO, ABC News

(LEXINGTON, Va.) -- The superintendent of Virginia Military Institute has resigned after state officials alleged there's "ongoing structural racism" at the school.

Retired Army Gen. J.H. Binford Peay III wrote Monday in his resignation letter to the Board of Visitors -- the school's 16-member supervisory board -- that he was stepping down because Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's "chief of staff conveyed that the governor and certain legislative leaders had lost confidence in my leadership."

Northam's press secretary, Alena Yarmosky, said in a statement to ABC News, "Change is overdue at VMI, and the Board of Visitors bears a deep responsibility to embrace it."

Peay's resignation comes after The Washington Post reported this month that Black students -- about 8% of the student body -- face an "atmosphere of hostility and cultural insensitivity" as well as "relentless racism."

The Post referenced a recent graduate who lodged a complaint last year, claiming a white professor "reminisced in class about her father’s Ku Klux Klan membership." The professor continues to teach, according to the Post.

In 2018, a white student told a Black freshman during Hell Week that he'd "lynch" him, according to the Post. The student was suspended but not expelled, according to the Post.

Last month, two Black students were punished for boycotting a speech by Vice President Mike Pence, the Post reported.

Two days after the Post article was published, Northam, along with several other legislative leaders including the state's attorney general and lieutenant governor, wrote to the president of the VMI Board of Visitors, blasting the school for what they called a "clear and appalling culture of ongoing structural racism."

"Black cadets at VMI have long faced repeated instances of racism on campus, including horrifying new revelations of threats about lynching, vicious attacks on social media, and even a professor who spoke fondly of her family’s history in the Ku Klux Klan," the letter said. "This culture is unacceptable for any Virginia institution in the 21st century, especially one funded by taxpayers."

The state officials said they're ordering "an independent, third-party review of VMI’s culture, policies, practices, and equity in disciplinary procedures." The state's requesting preliminary results by the end of the year.

Virginia's chief diversity officer and secretary of education will meet with the Virginia Military Institute's Board at least three times this year to review best practices and help with its diversity plan, the governor's letter said, stressing that there's a "clear expectation" that "the culture of VMI will change."

The president of the VMI Board of Visitors, John Boland, denied the existence of systemic racism at the school, writing in a letter to the governor on Oct. 20: "Virtually all colleges in the 50 states can point to inappropriate behavior by their students or faculty members. VMI is not immune. However, systemic racism does not exist here and a fair and independent review will find that to be true."

Boland said, "the incidents detailed in The Washington Post article, several of which are many years old, had more to do with an individual’s lapse of judgment than they do with the culture of the Institute. Each one, as is the case with any allegation of racism or discrimination, was investigated thoroughly and appropriate action was meted out in a timely fashion. These incidents were perpetrated by few individuals and were in no way condoned by the Institute."

Boland said he welcomes "an objective, independent review of VMI’s culture and the Institute’s handling of allegations of racism and/or discrimination."

"We have spent countless hours seeking the input of a diverse group including of cadets, faculty, staff, alumni, and community leaders," Boland continued.

"Administrators have already begun a review of nearly 30 operational elements of the Institute including traditions, ceremonies, culture, and the relationship between our cadets and alumni just to name a few," he said. "The way forward was thoroughly reviewed and discussed at the September 2020 Board of Visitors meeting and was endorsed as a path toward ensuring an Institute free from racism and discrimination."

Boland said Monday that Peay's resignation was accepted "with deep regret."

"General Peay has served VMI as superintendent exceptionally well for more than 17 years," Boland wrote. "General Peay is a great American, patriot, and hero. He has profoundly changed our school for the better in all respects."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Thirty officers injured in protests after shooting of knife-wielding man by Philadelphia police

WPVI-TVBy MARC NATHANSON and JON HAWORTH, ABC News

(PHILADELPHIA) -- At least 30 police officers have been injured and 33 people have been arrested as protests continued overnight in Philadelphia over the shooting death of a Black man by police in West Philadelphia on Monday afternoon.

The Philadelphia Police Department confirmed that a 56-year-old female PPD sergeant was struck by a black pickup truck in the area of 52nd and Walnut streets at approximately 12:44 a.m. on Tuesday morning. She was subsequently transported to a local area hospital where she is currently in stable condition with a broken leg and other injuries.

In total, 29 other officers were treated and released for their injuries at various hospitals and the Philadelphia Police Department say that most of the injuries were the result of being struck by projectiles such as bricks, rocks and other assorted debris.

There have been at least 33 arrests overnight as well ranging on charges such as rioting, assault on police officers, looting and possession of firearms.

The mayor of Philadelphia says the shooting death on Monday afternoon "presents difficult questions that must be answered."

The incident began when police responding to a radio call involving a person with a weapon encountered a man on a residential street brandishing a knife and waving it erratically, Philadelphia Police said.

Officers ordered the man to drop the knife, then fired at him after he followed them with the weapon, police said.

A video posted to social media appeared to show the man, later identified by officials as 27-year-old Walter Wallace, circling around a parked car and walking toward officers as they backed away from him, shouting, "Put the knife down!"

The officers were then seen firing several shots.

Police said an officer took Wallace to the hospital, where he died from his injuries.

Officers told Wallace "several times" to drop the knife before they discharged their weapons, police Sgt. Eric Gripp told reporters.

A neighbor, Jada Hilton, said police could have done more.

"You could have pulled out a Taser. You could have shot him in the leg," Hilton told Philadelphia ABC station WPVI-TV.

"My prayers are with the family and friends of Walter Wallace," Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement. "I have watched the video of this tragic incident and it presents difficult questions that must be answered. I spoke tonight with Mr. Wallace’s family, and will continue to reach out to hear their concerns first-hand, and to answer their questions to the extent that I am able."

Kenney said the police department's Officer Involved Shooting Investigation Unit will conduct a full investigation.

"I look forward to a speedy and transparent resolution for the sake of Mr. Wallace, his family, the officers, and for Philadelphia," he said.

"The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office takes its obligation to try to be fair and to seek evenhanded justice seriously," District Attorney Larry Krasner said in a separate statement. "We intend to go where the facts and law lead us and to do so carefully, without rushing to judgment and without bias of any kind."

The officers involved in the incident have been placed on desk duty until the investigation is over, Gripp said.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Cenla Broadcasting History

Creative Services

Award Winning Creative Services

Rich Joyce

Louisiana Assoc. Of Broadcasters

Weather

Why Radio?

Why HD?