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Texas woman died of coronavirus 'on the jetway' on flight from Arizona - NBC News
A Texas woman in her 30s died of Covid-19 while traveling on a return flight from Arizona over the summer, officials said Monday.
A Texas woman in her 30s died of Covid-19 while flying home from Arizona this summer, officials said Monday. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins told NBC Dallas-Fort Worth that the woman died in July, but that officials just learned of her official cause of death. It became difficult for her to breathe, and they tried to give her oxygen, he told the station. It was not successful. She died on the jetway. The woman, who was from the Dallas suburb of Garland, had underlying health conditions, according to a Dallas County news release. Additional information about her was not immediately available. The disclosure comes as case counts continued to rise in 25 states, according to a 14-day average maintained by the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. The data showed that new cases jumped in Texas last week after a dip the week before. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has continued relaxing coronavirus restrictions, with an executive order earlier this month allowing some bars to reopen at half capacity. Jenkins criticized the move Monday, saying it can make people believe its safe to have friends over. We keep jumping the gun, and it puts us back in a situation which hurts public health and businesses and schools, he told NBC Dallas-Fort Worth. Experts have warned of a possible third peak of coronavirus cases as the holidays approach with what Dr. Carlos del Rio, an infectious diseases expert at the Emory University School of Medicine, described as six possible superspreader events. We can see a lot of disease happening, he said.
Trump and Biden will have mics cut during opponent's answers in final debate - NBC News
Trump and Biden will have their mics cut off during Thursday’s final presidential debate while their opponent delivers his initial two-minute answers.
President Donald Trump and Joe Biden will have their microphones cut off during Thursdays final presidential debate while their opponent delivers initial two-minute answers to each debate topic, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced Monday. The commission said both microphones will be on, however, during open-discussion segments of the debate. We realize, after discussions with both campaigns, that neither campaign may be totally satisfied with the measures announced today," the commission said in a statement. "One may think they go too far, and one may think they do not go far enough. We are comfortable that these actions strike the right balance and that they are in the interest of the American people, for whom these debates are held. Trump and Bidens only previous debate last month was marred by frequent interruptions from Trump, leading to calls for the debate moderator to have the ability to cut off each candidates microphone while their opponent spoke. The commission said in its statement that both camps had already agreed to each candidate having two minutes of uninterrupted time to make remarks at the beginning of each 15-minute segment of the debate, it was enforcing the rules and not making a complete rule change. After the first presidential debate in Cleveland on Sept. 29, the commission, however, did signal that additional structure" should be added so that there is more order following Trump's disruptive performance. The president and his campaign have excoriated the commission since the first debate, claiming that it is biased. Bill Stepien, Trumps campaign manager, continued that argument in responding to the rule change. President Trump is committed to debating Joe Biden regardless of last minute rule changes from the biased commission in their latest attempt to provide advantage to their favored candidate, Stepien said in a statement. This was supposed to be the foreign policy debate, so the President still looks forward to forcing Biden to answer the number one relevant question of whether hes been compromised by the Communist Party of China. Earlier Monday, Trumps campaign sent a scathing letter objecting to the selected topics for Thursdays debate and said that both campaigns had agreed that the subject would be foreign policy. It claimed that other topics benefit Biden and that there is little focus on foreign policy. "It is completely irresponsible for the Commission to alter the focus of this final debate just days before the event, solely Biden from his own history," Stepien wrote in a letter to the debate commission. Bidens campaign did not immediately comment on the change but disputed that the campaigns had agreed on a foreign policy focus. The campaigns and the Commission agreed months ago that the debate moderator would choose the topics, said TJ Ducklo, the Biden campaigns national spokesman. The Trump campaign is lying about that now because Donald Trump is afraid to face more questions about his disastrous Covid response. NBC News' Kristen Welker is the moderator of Thursdays 90-minute debate, which will be at Belmont University in Nashville. It starts at 9 p.m. ET.
Covid-19 testing lags as cases increase across the United States - NBC News
Coronavirus cases are on the rise in the United States, and experts are worried that the decreasing amount of Covid-19 tests will not be enough to fight the pandemic.
While critics of wide scale testing, including President Donald Trump have asserted that surges in cases can be explained by increased testing, health experts say that a jump in confirmed cases is usually caused by more people getting sick. And those experts, who have long urged that testing is a critical tool in the fight against the pandemic, say that the lack of aggressive and consistent testing has contributed to the viruss spread. If we really wanted to get things under control, frequent testing of almost everybody would be one way to do it and were, of course, nowhere near that, Marc Lipsitch, a professor of epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said. Were doing infrequent testing of almost no one. There are several reasons why states arent conducting enough tests, experts say, including the diminished fear of the virus on the part of some people, who are increasingly getting tired of wearing masks, practicing social distancing and seeking Covid-19 tests. The initial level of fear is not at the level that it was, said Melissa Nolan, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of South Carolina, which has resorted to offering students T-shirts and raffles as an incentive for testing. Testing fatigue and mask-wearing fatigue is real. Without widespread testing, cities and states dont have the ability to track who has the virus and who is at risk of getting it, experts say. There's still a dearth of testing, Lipsitch said, pointing to colleges and sports as areas that are able to operate through the pandemic due to aggressive testing policies. In places with higher resources, such as universities, you can actually figure out where people are getting exposed and infected.
More than 1 million passengers screened for first time since Covid-19 pandemic began - NBC News
The million-plus passengers screened Sunday compares with 2.6 million on the same day last year, according to the Transportation Security Administration.
SILVER SPRING, Md. The number of passengers screened in a single day for flights in the U.S. topped one million for the first time since Covid-19 infections began to spike last March. The notable milestone, reached Sunday, signifies both the progress made since the darkest days of pandemic for the devastated U.S. airline industry, when fewer than 100,000 people were screened per day in April, and how far it still has to go. The million-plus passengers screened Sunday compares with 2.6 million on the same day last year, or roughly 60% fewer, according to the Transportation Security Administration. The TSA said that the 6.1 million passengers at U.S. checkpoints the week of Oct. 12 through Oct. 18 was the greatest volume measured since the start of the pandemic. Vacation plans and business trips were frozen in the spring as millions took shelter. With so little known about the virus, few wanted to board planes or walk through an airport even if they could. Airlines received $50 billion in cash and loans from Congress in March on the condition that they held off on layoffs at least through October. Airlines are now warning of mass layoffs while lobbying Congress and the White House for another $25 billion to pay workers for the next six months. The point at which Congress can deliver broader coronavirus relief before the November election is slipping away. The gap between what is being sought by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her Senate Republican rivals and President Donald Trump seems increasingly insurmountable. Southwest Airlines, which has never laid off employees in its roughly 50-year history, warned this month that it will cut pay for nonunion workers in January and that union workers must also accept less pay or face furloughs next year. And while passenger numbers are increasing, no one knows if that trend will continue. Infections are spiking in the Midwest and stubbornly holding in place or edging higher in other parts of the country as colder weather settles in.
Federal judge halts Trump's proposed food stamp cutback for 700,000 Americans - NBC News
A federal judge struck down a December Trump administration proposal that would have reduced SNAP, or food stamp, benefits to roughly 700,000 people.
A federal judge struck down a Trump administration rule that would have reduced food stamp benefits to nearly 700,000 people. In her Sunday ruling, U.S. District Court Chief Judge Beryl Howell wrote that implementing the change "radically and abruptly alters decades of regulatory practice, leaving States scrambling and exponentially increasing food insecurity for tens of thousands of Americans." In December, the Department of Agriculture formalized a proposal for work requirements for recipients of food stamps, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, that would have disqualified an estimated 688,000 people from food benefits. Secretary Sonny Perdue said at the time that the changes were made "in order to restore the dignity of work to a sizable segment of our population and be respectful of the taxpayers who fund the program." In her ruling Sunday, Howell wrote that the department, which administers the food stamp program, had been "icily silent" about the number of people who would be affected by its proposed reduction in benefits, adding that one estimate from May 2020 found "SNAP rosters have grown by over 17 percent with over 6 million new enrollees." It wasn't the first time Howell ruled against the proposal. In March, she issued a preliminary injunction against the rule that also referred to the food security threat posed by the then-burgeoning coronavirus pandemic. The Department of Agriculture did not immediately respond to a NBC News request for comment. Since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out in March, food pantries across the country have been hamstrung by the consumer run on grocery stores. According to a recent study by Columbia University researchers, more than 8 million Americans slipped into poverty since May, demonstrating the deep impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Indiana officer fired after ties to neo-Nazi internet forum are revealed - NBC News
A police recruit in Lafayette, Indiana, was fired after an anti-fascist flagged his apparent ties to a neo-Nazi internet forum, authorities said Saturday.
A police recruit in Lafayette, Indiana, was fired after an anti-fascist flagged his apparent ties to a neo-Nazi internet forum, authorities said Saturday. The recruit, Joseph Zacharek, is believed to have participated in a forum called Iron March four years ago, Lafayette Police Chief Patrick Flannelly said in a statement. The department was alerted to Zachareks posts on Friday, when a self-described anti-fascist tagged its Twitter account with a link to messages from the forum that were posted on a site called ironmarch exposed. The department opened an investigation and determined that the messages were accurate and credible, the statement said. Joseph Zacharek.Lafayette Police Department Officer Zachareks comments were not in harmony with the spirit of cooperation and inclusion in the community that the Lafayette Police Department values, Flannelly said. Zacharek was hired by the department earlier this year and had "no exposure" to the public, Flannelly said. The statement added that it had conducted a background check on Zacharek but hadn't found any connections to the forum during that process. "We endeavor to learn from this investigation to ensure it never happens again," Flannelly said. Efforts to reach Zacharek on Sunday were unsuccessful. The Indiana Fraternal Order of Police did not respond to a request for comment. In the messages, a person identified as Zacharek posted under the handle Panzerleiter, an apparent reference to the German tanks used in World War II. In one message, he described himself as a 23-year-old former tank crewman in the U.S. Army and garden variety conservative libertarian who discovered a message board on the site 4chan and became fully NatSoc a reference to National Socialism. He said he joined the forum because he wanted to engage in higher level fascist discourse than was available on 4chan. In one message about an ethno-state, he said that a country allowing white immigration while denying any lesser races is the most ideal and lasting solution. In another, he offered anti-Semitic and racist stereotypes. An investigation published last year by the Center for Investigative Reporting found that hundreds of active and retired law enforcement officers from across the United States were involved in extremist groups, including what it described as dozens of private hate groups that operate on Facebook. The reporters joined many of the groups and verified the identities of 400 officers, including one who participated in a group called Ban the NAACP and another who was in The White Privilege Club. A classified FBI Counterterrorism Policy Guide from 2015 obtained by the Intercept found that white supremacists and other right-wing extremists maintain an "active presence" in U.S. law enforcement agencies. An earlier FBI assessment said the groups had a "historical" interest in infiltrating the agencies.
Senior PLO official Saeb Erekat taken to hospital as Covid-19 condition worsens - NBC News
Dr. Saeb Erekat, a senior Palestinian Liberation Organization official was taken to a hospital in Israel on Sunday as his Covid-19 condition worsened.
JERUSALEM Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat was taken by ambulance to a hospital in Israel on Sunday for treatment of a worsening case of Covid-19, the Palestine Liberation Organization said. Witnesses said Erekat, 65, was on a stretcher when he was placed inside an Israeli ambulance outside his home in Jericho, in the occupied West Bank. "Following his contraction of Covid-19, and due to the chronic health problems he faces in the respiratory system, Dr. Erekat's condition now requires medical attention in a hospital," the PLO's Negotiations Affairs Department said in a statement. Erekat, who is also secretary-general of the PLO, would be treated at the Hadassah Ein Karem in Jerusalem, A PLO spokesperson confirmed to NBC News. Download the NBC News app for breaking news and politics Erekat, who disclosed that he had contracted coronavirus on Oct. 8., underwent a lung transplant in the United States in 2017, so there is heightened concern over his vulnerability to the disease. A member of Fatah, the most powerful faction within the PLO, he has been one of the most high-profile faces of the Palestinian leadership for decades and has rubbed shoulders with countless Presidents and world leaders. The professor of political science, who speaks fluent English, has also authored dozens of books. Unlike others he has not totally rejected the peace process with Israel and has instead advocated for a two-state solution based on 1967 borders and remains one of the most senior advisers to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. His negotiating days date back to the earliest public negotiations with Israel in 1991 at the Madrid Conference during the presidency of George H.W. Bush, when Erekat was part of the PLO team. News of Saeb's hospitalization came as Israel began to ease restrictions and open up from a second lockdown imposed last month at the start of High Holy Day season. Reuters contributed to this report.
Tampa Bay Rays win American League pennant, will face Dodgers or Braves in World Series - NBC News
The Tampa Bay Rays beat the Houston Astros to win AL pennant; now wait to play the Atlanta Braves or Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series.
The Tampa Bay Rays won the American League pennant on Saturday, guaranteeing the 2020 World Series champ will be first-time winner of this century. Randy Arozarena slugged a two-run homer and starting pitcher Charlie Morton shut down his former teammates, leading Tampa Bay to a 4-2 victory over the scandal-plagued Houston Astros in Game 7 of the AL Championship Series in San Diego. Arozarena hit his first-inning shot off losing Houston pitcher Lance McCullers Jr., an alum of Tampa's Jesuit High School, which is a mere 20 miles from the Rays' home park, Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. Morton, who won a World Series ring pitching for the Astros in 2017, threw 5 2/3 shutout innings on Saturday. The Rays will face the National League Championship Series winner, either the Atlanta Braves or Los Angeles Dodgers. The deciding Game 7 of the NLCS is set for Sunday, with first pitch at 8:15 p.m. ET. The neutral-site World Series starts Tuesday at Globe Life Field, the new home of the Texas Rangers, in Arlington. "I'm extremely grateful. This hasn't been the easiest road to this point," said Rays catcher Mike Zunino, who also hit a home run Saturday. "My wife's been amazing, she's supported me through this whole thing, I love you babe. But I mean this is what we play for. It's going to be fun. We're ready to head to Dallas." The Astros were trying to cheat history and become only the second team in baseball history to rally from a 3-0 deficit in a best-of-7 playoff series. "These guys fought, I mean they fought to the very end," Astros Manager Dusty Baker said. "This team is a bunch of fighters, a bunch of guys with a tremendous amount of perseverance and fortitude." The ALCS was played at San Diego's Petco Park as MLB hopes bubbles will keep players and staff safe from the coronavirus pandemic. The virus forced much of spring training to be canceled and MLB teams played a truncated 60-game schedule, far less than the normal, annual slate of 162 games. Tampa Bay's 2020 AL title is no fluke, as the Rays were the AL's best team in the regular season, winning 40 of those 60 games. With the Astros, controversial world champions of 2017, now out of the picture, that means the next World Series winner will bring home a trophy not seen in their city for decades - and in the Rays' case, ever.
- Tampa Bay, an expansion team that began play in 1998, won the 2008 AL pennant before falling to the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series. This marks their first trip back to the Fall Classic since.
- Atlanta had been one of baseballs model franchises of the 1990s and early 2000s with the Big Three starting pitchers of John Smoltz, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine. But the Braves consistently fell short in October, and Atlanta captured its only World Series title in 1995 by besting the Cleveland Indians in six games.
- Meanwhile, the Dodgers have baseballs 10th-longest title-less string, in a remarkable run of October futility given L.A.s recent run of April-through-September domination. The Dodgers, champions of the NL West for eight straight seasons, havent won the World Series since 1988, when Ronald Reagan occupied the White House and Blockbuster was still years away from being the dominant force in home entertainment.
Colorado's largest-ever fire brings new round of evacuations - NBC News
A new round of evacuations was ordered as the largest wildfire in Colorado history, the Cameron Peak Fire, sprang to life anew amid dry, windy conditions.
A Colorado fire that's been burning since mid-August flared up anew Saturday amid warm, dry weather and high winds, prompting new mandatory evacuations, authorities said. The Cameron Peak Fire, the largest wildfire in state history, burned through 187,537 acres with 57 percent containment, according to the U.S. Forest Service. The blaze west of Fort Collins thrived as gusty winds blew in ahead of a cold front. The fire has been burning so deep into fall that it snowed more than once, halting progress temporarily but ultimately having little longterm impact, said Cass Cairns, a multi-agency spokeswoman for the incident. "It dries out really quickly," she said. The new evacuations were announced Saturday by the city of Loveland. The evacuation map appears to cover more than 100 square miles. Larimer County Sheriff's Office spokesman Jered Kramer said Saturday that evacuation notices have been sent to 3,000 recipients in the last 24 hours. A Saturday report from the National Interagency Coordination Center said, "Several communities threatened." Investigators have not determined what caused the fire, which started Aug. 13.d This week's wind event was the fourth since mid-August, each occurring before a cold front that brought little relief, Cairns said. Experts have said this year's record fires in the West correlate to climate change. The fire season in Colorado usually ends in September, Cairns said. Ski resorts often start opening in October, but this year some will contend with the Cameron Peak Fire. A spokesman for Loveland Ski Area didn't immediately respond to a request for information. The resort said in a press release Monday that it had received nearly 6 inches of snow Oct. 11 and was producing manmade powder. Last year it opened on Oct. 25, but no opening date has been set yet for 2020. The National Weather Service forecast a high temperature near 70 Saturday for Loveland. The agency warned of "hazardous weather" caused by winds up to 50 mph. Rain and snow were possible Sunday night before warm temperatures were expected to return. The high winds kept water- and retardant-dropping aircraft grounded Saturday, she said. The Cameron Peak Fire comes during a devastating year for wildfires in the West, including the August Complex Fire in California, that state's largest ever. The National Interagency Coordination Center said Saturday there are 29 large, "uncontained" wildfires burning in the United States. Besides local, state and federal firefighters, U.S. Marines and even crews from Mexico have been dispatched to quell some of them, it said.
U.S. to carry out first federal execution of a woman in seven decades - NBC News
The U.S. Justice Department said on Friday it has scheduled the first federal execution of a woman in almost 70 years, setting a Dec. 8 date to put to death Lisa Montgomery, convicted of a 2004 murder.
WASHINGTON The U.S. Justice Department said on Friday it has scheduled the first federal execution of a woman in almost 70 years, setting a Dec. 8 date to put to death Lisa Montgomery, convicted of a 2004 murder. Montgomery, who was found guilty of strangling a pregnant woman in Missouri, will be executed by lethal injection at U.S. Penitentiary Terre Haute, Indiana, the department said in a statement. The last woman to be executed by the U.S. government was Bonnie Heady, who was put to death in a gas chamber in Missouri in 1953, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. Lisa Montgomery.Maryville Daily Forum / via AP file The Justice Department on Friday also scheduled a Dec. 10. execution for Brandon Bernard, who with his accomplices murdered two youth ministers in 1999. The two executions will be the eighth and ninth the federal government has carried out in 2020. The Trump administration ended an informal 17-year-hiatus in federal executions in July, after announcing last year that the Bureau of Prisons was switching to a new single-drug protocol for lethal injections, from a three-drug combination it last used in 2003. The new protocol revived long-running legal challenges to lethal injections. In August, a federal judge in Washington, D.C. ruled the Justice Department was violating the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act in not seeking a doctors prescription to administer the highly regulated barbiturate. But an appeals court held the violation did not in itself amount to irreparable harm and allowed federal executions to proceed. In 2007, a U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri sentenced Montgomery to death after finding her guilty of a federal kidnapping resulting in death. Her attorney, Kelley Henry, said that Montgomery deserves to live because she is mentally ill and suffered childhood abuse. Lisa Montgomery has long accepted full responsibility for her crime, and she will never leave prison, Henry said in a statement. But her severe mental illness and the devastating impacts of her childhood trauma make executing her a profound injustice. Bernards attorney, Robert Owen, said in a statement the federal government misled the jury in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, which in 2000 found Bernard guilty of murder. Its decision was tainted by false testimony, Owen said. This evidence confirms that Mr. Bernard is simply not one of the worst of the worst offenders for whom we reserve the death penalty, and that sparing his life would pose no risk to anyone, Owen said.