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U.S. to begin lifting restrictions for fully vaccinated international travelers on Nov. 8

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Monday that the Biden administration will lift a nearly two-year travel suspension early next month, allowing fully vaccinated travelers from 33 countries to fly into the United States. The CDC said in a press release Monday that beginning Nov. 8, non-immigrant travelers will be permitted to travel to the United States if they are able to provide proof that they are fully vaccinated along with a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than three days before boarding their flight.

President Biden said in a proclamation announcing the order: “I have determined that it is in the interests of the United States to move away from the country-by-country restrictions previously applied during the COVID-19 pandemic and to adopt an air travel policy that relies primarily on vaccination to advance the safe resumption of international air travel to the United States.” The CDC added there would be “very limited” exceptions to the vaccination requirement for certain non-U.S. citizens who are not immigrants, including children younger than 18. For travelers who are not fully vaccinated, regulations will tighten to require that they provide a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than one day before traveling to the United States.

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Two killed, four injured in shooting at mall in Boise, Idaho

Officials confirmed that two people were killed and at least four others injured — including a police officer — after a shooter opened fire in a mall in Boise, Idaho, on Monday afternoon. Boise Police Chief Ryan Lee said during a press conference that officers responded to reports of shots fired at the Boise Towne Square Mall at 1:50 p.m. where they exchanged gunfire with a person matching the description of the suspect.

Police Chief Lee added that the suspect was taken into custody following the shootout and police did not believe there were any additional suspects, saying: “At this time, the majority of the mall has been cleared. We’re still actively clearing the mall to both look for any additional concerns and any additional victims, but at this time we believe that there was only a single shooter involved and that there is no ongoing danger to the community at large from this incident.”  Lee did not provide any additional details regarding a potential motive for the shooting or the conditions of the injured victims, citing an ongoing investigation into the incident.

Idaho Gov. Brad Little offered condolences to the victims on Twitter, writing: “Those injured in today’s unthinkable shooting at the Boise Towne Square mall are in my prayers. The state of Idaho stands prepared to assist the Boise Police Department as they investigate the shooting.” Boise Mayor Lauren McLean also offered thanks to first responders and mall employees, saying during a press conference: “I want to thank the shopkeepers, the people in the mall that reacted so quickly to take care of folks that were there. You showed in a tough and chaotic moment how much you care and what you’re willing to do to support and care for strangers.”

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Green Bay Packers place wide receiver Davante Adams on the COVID-19 list

Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst announced Monday that the Packers have placed wide receiver Davante Adams on the COVID-19 list. Players are put on the list if they have either tested positive for COVID-19 or were in close contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus. It’s unclear is Adams tested positive or was in close contact with someone who did; howeer, this puts the star wide receiver’s status up in the air for the team’s Thursday night game against the undefeated Cardinals. Thursday Night Football is scheduled for a 8:20 p.m. kickoff in Arizona.

Earlier on Monday, Packers coach Matt LaFleur told reporters that the team is in advanced COVID-19 protocols due to a potential outbreak stemming from defensive coordinator Joe Barry’s positive COVID-19 test. All of Green Bay’s meetings are now virtual, players are required to wear masks and daily testing is mandatory regardless of vaccination status. Green Bay’s latest COVID-19 issues and the shortened week means the team could be without Adams against the top-seeded Cardinals.  Adams leads the team in receiving yards (744) and catches (52).

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Philadelphia Eagles trade veteran QB Joe Flacco to NY Jets

The New York Jets have acquired veteran quarterback Joe Flacco in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles, according to the NFL Network. The move returns Flacco to the Jets, where he spent last season mostly as a backup QB. The 36-year-old Flacco signed a one-year deal with Philadelphia this offseason but has not appeared in a game. He played in five games last year with New York, including four starts. Flacco completed 55.2% of his passes for 864 yards, six touchdowns and three interceptions, with the Jets losing all four starts.

The acquisition of Flacco comes after rookie QB Zack Wilson suffered a sprained PCL in his right knee on Sunday, that is expected to sideline him for two to four weeks. The only other quarterback on the active roster is Mike White, a fourth-year player who made his NFL debut on Sunday in relief of Wilson in what turned into a 54-13 loss to the Patriots.

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Twitter suspends Indiana Rep. Jim Banks for misgendering Assistant Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine

Indiana Rep. Jim Banks’s official Twitter account has been suspended after he intentionally misgendered Department of Health and Human Services assistant secretary for health Rachel Levine in a tweet. Banks shared a screenshot of the tweet where he referred to Levine, the first openly transgender Cabinet official confirmed by the Senate, as “a man” after she was named the first female and first transgender four-star officer of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.

A Twitter representative confirmed that Banks’ account had been temporarily locked for violating the social network’s ‘Hateful Conduct’ policy which includes “targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals” as a violation of the policy. The Twitter representative added: “The account owner is required to delete the violative Tweet before regaining access to their account.”

Banks described the tweet as a “statement of fact” and said he would continue to post from his personal account while the suspension is in place. He wrote in a statement tweeted from his personal account: “Big Tech doesn’t have to agree with me, but they shouldn’t be able to cancel me. If they silence me, they will silence you.” Banks added that if Republicans gain a majority in the House next year that they must “restore honesty to our public forums and hold Big Tech accountable.”

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Potentially historic rain, massive bomb cyclone and ‘atmospheric river’ slams Northern California

A “bomb cyclone” slammed the Pacific Ocean on Sunday in Northern California, soaking the West Coast with heavy rain, damaging winds, flooding and mudslides. Over 160,000 homes and businesses in California, more than 170,000 in Washington, and over 28,000 in Oregon were left without power on Sunday due to the extreme weather.
A bomb cyclone forms when air pressure rapidly drops as the storm explosively strengthens. The phenomenon was pulling deep tropical moisture from the Pacific, creating an “atmospheric river.” AccuWeather Meteorologist Jon Porter described the river as a “firehose of moisture in the sky” capable of unleashing intense rain and mountain snow.

Flooding across the San Francisco Bay Area closed streets in Berkeley and inundated the Bay Bridge toll plaza in Oakland, with some roads under two feet of water in San Rafael. The National Weather Service in Sacramento warned of “potentially historic” rain for the city’s downtown. California’s Highway Patrol closed down State Route 70 due to mudslides and debris flows near the now-contained Caldor Fire, which scorched more than 346 square miles of the Sierra Nevada and burned hundreds of homes. Although the fire is now 100% contained, wildfires strip away vegetation and prevent the soil from absorbing water, leaving the burned area vulnerable to mudslides and flash flooding.

The storm was forecast to dump over a foot of rain and up to 8 feet of snow over the mountains, forecasters said. “Conditions will continue to deteriorate,” the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center warned. “Strong winds, high surf, and heavy rain will lead to major impacts. Heavy snow in the Sierra starting tonight.”

Drought-plagued Northern California is in dire need of rain, and California Gov. Gavin Newsom just last week declared a drought emergency for the entire state, citing three years of drought across the West. Seventeen major wildfires are burning in California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. Wildfires have burned almost 2 million acres in California in 2021 alone. The storms will effectively end the wildfire season in much of the region.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady throws 600th career touchdown pass

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady became the NFL’s all-time leader in career passing yards earlier this season, and on Sunday against the Chicago Bears, Brady found Mike Evans late in the first quarter for a 9-yard touchdown, marking the first time in NFL history a quarterback has thrown for 600 touchdowns. Brady joined the 500 touchdown pass club in 2018 and is one of four quarterbacks to surpass that threshold, along with Drew Brees (571), Peyton Manning (539) and Brett Favre (508).

Initially Evans gave away Brady’s 600th career touchdown ball, tossing it to a fan in the stands in celebration. Team officials had to negotiate with the fan for something in return for the monumental football, and wound up promising they received a replacement game ball and a $1,000 gift card to the Bucs’s team store.

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New York Jets QB Zach Wilson to undergo MRI on injured knee after Sunday’s loss vs. Patriots

New York Jets QB Zach Wilson lasted just over one quarter in Sunday’s game before exited Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium just after the first quarter with a painful right knee injury after pass rusher Matthew Judon landed on his leg.

Wilson was ruled out for the remainder of the contest and confirmed he’ll have an MRI on the knee Monday. According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, it’s a PCL injury that likely will cause Wilson to miss some time. After the game, Wilson offered an update, saying, “The dude (Judon) kind of fell on it with all his weight. It kind of felt like it twisted and heard a pop in there. Obviously thinking of the worst scenario in my head, which sucks. But making sure it’s going to be all right, hopefully.”

Backup Mike White took over for Wilson against New England, but the Patriots dominated New York and earned 54-13 blowout win. The Jets next face Cincinnati on Sunday at MetLife Stadium, then will play at Indianapolis on Thursday night, Nov. 4.

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Cinematographer dead, director injured on film set after prop gun fired by actor Alec Baldwin misfires

Authorities confirmed on Thursday that a cinematographer working on the film “Rust” has died, and the director has been hospitalized, after an accident during filming involving actor Alec Baldwin misfiring a prop gun. The Western, starring Baldwin and Jensen Ackles of “Supernatural,” began filming this month at Bonanza Creek Movie Ranch, a film location in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that deputies with the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office responded to the film set around 2 p.m. local time after a 911 caller “reported a shooting on the set.” Two people were shot after a prop firearm was discharged during filming, authorities said. Baldwin fired the prop gun, striking the film’s director, Joel Souza, and director of photography, Halyna Hutchins, the sheriff’s office said in a follow-up statement Thursday night. Detectives are still determining “how and what type of projectile was discharged,” the sheriff’s office said earlier.

Hutchins, 42, was transported via helicopter to University of New Mexico Hospital, the state’s only Level 1 trauma center, “in critical condition,” according to sheriff’s deputies and the hospital. She later succumbed to her injuries, the sheriff’s office said. Souza, 48, was brought in an ambulance to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center and is receiving emergency care, authorities said.

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NLCS Game 5: Los Angeles Dodgers defeat Atlanta Braves 11-2 to force Game 6

Los Angeles Dodgers’ third baseman Chris Taylor hit three homers, drove in six runs, and produced four hits in Thursday’s game, helping bring the Dodgers’ an 11-2 win over the Atlanta Braves in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series. Taylor is the 12th hitter in history to produce three homers in a postseason game, and the first since Kike’ Hernandez for the Dodgers in Game 5 of the 2017 NLCS.

The Dodgers trail 3-games-to- 2 in the best-of-seven NLCS, with the series moving back to Atlanta for Game 6.
NLCS Game 6 is slated for Saturday, Oct. 23 at 5:08 p.m. ET at Truist Park.

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