National Headlines

Ovidiu Dugulan/iStockBy MORGAN WINSOR, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 984,000 people worldwide.

Over 32.2 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 criteria for diagnosis -- through clinical means or a lab test -- has varied from country-to-country. Still, 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.

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 6.9 million diagnosed cases and at least 203,015 deaths.

California has the most cases of any U.S. state, with more than 799,000 people diagnosed, according to Johns Hopkins data. California is followed by Texas and Florida, with over 747,000 cases and over 693,000 cases, respectively.

Nearly 190 vaccine candidates for COVID-19 are being tracked by the World Health Organization, at least nine of which are in crucial phase three trials.

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

Sep 25, 11:50 am
2 charged for handling of deadly COVID-19 outbreak at Massachusetts veterans' home

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced Friday that criminal neglect charges have been filed against both the former superintendent of the Soldiers' Home in Holyoke as well as its former medical director for their alleged roles in a COVID-19 outbreak that led to the deaths of at least 76 residents at the state-run facility, which provides long-term care and other services to ageing veterans.

"We began this investigation on behalf of the families who lost loved ones under tragic circumstances and to honor these men who bravely served our country," Healey said in a statement. "We allege that the actions of these defendants during the COVID-19 outbreak at the facility put veterans at higher risk of infection and death and warrant criminal charges."

Bennett Walsh, 50, of Springfield, Massachusetts, and Dr. David Clinton, 71, of South Hadley, Massachusetts, were indicted Thursday by a statewide grand jury on five counts each for the charge of caretaker who wantonly or recklessly commits or permits bodily injury to an elder or disabled person and another five counts each for the charge of caretaker who wantonly or recklessly commits or permits abuse, neglect, or mistreatment to an elder or disabled person. Walsh and Clinton will be arraigned in Hampden County Superior Court at a later date, according to the attorney general's office.

Prosecutors allege that the Soldiers' Home in Holyoke, faced with staffing shortages, decided on March 27 to consolidate two dementia units into one, resulting in the placement of symptomatic -- including those who had confirmed cases of COVID-19 -- and asymptomatic residents within feet of each other. Prosecutors allege that those decisions, which they say were ultimately the responsibility of Walsh and Clinton, were reckless and increased the likelihood that asymptomatic veterans would contract COVID-19 and put them at higher risk of death and harm.

ABC News' Aaron Katersky contributed to this report.


Sep 25, 11:18 am
Analysis shows cases rising in at least 32 US states


An ABC News analysis of COVID-19 trends across all 50 U.S. states as well as Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico found there were increases in newly confirmed cases over the past two weeks in 32 states, the nation's capital and the U.S. island territory in the Caribbean.

The analysis also found increases in the daily positivity rate of COVID-19 tests in 21 states, increases in COVID-19 hospitalizations in 17 states and increases in daily COVID-19 death tolls in 9 states.

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.

Three states -- Montana, South Dakota and Utah -- saw a record rise in daily number of new cases, while one state -- North Dakota -- hit a record number of new deaths in a single day. Two states -- South Dakota and Wisconsin -- reported a record number of current COVID-19 hospitalizations.

Over the past week, the seven-day average of new cases has continued to hover around 40,000 in the United States. Since Sept. 12, that average has increased by 16.3%.

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

Sep 25, 10:20 am
Virginia governor and wife test positive for COVID-19


Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and his wife, Pamela, have both tested positive for COVID-19, according to a press release from his office.

The couple was notified Wednesday evening that a member of the governor's official residence staff, who works closely within their living quarters, had developed COVID-19 symptoms and subsequently tested positive for the disease. Both the governor and the first lady received nasal swab tests Thursday afternoon, and the results came back positive.

Northam has no symptoms while his wife is currently experiencing mild symptoms. They are both "in good spirits," according to the press release.

"As I’ve been reminding Virginians throughout this crisis, COVID-19 is very real and very contagious," the governor said in a statement Friday. "The safety and health of our staff and close contacts is of utmost importance to Pam and me, and we are working closely with the Department of Health to ensure that everyone is well taken care of. We are grateful for your thoughts and support, but the best thing you can do for us -- and most importantly, for your fellow Virginians -- is to take this seriously."

The couple will isolate for the next 10 days and evaluate their symptoms. Northam will continue fulfilling his duties as Virginia's governor from their official residence in Richmond, according to the press release.

Sep 25, 9:32 am
Renowned Indian singer dies after being on life support for 'severe COVID-19 pneumonia'


Renowned Indian singer SP Balasubrahmanyam died Friday, weeks after he had been hospitalized for COVID-19 symptoms. He was 74.

Balasubrahmanyam, an iconic playback singer of Indian cinema who reportedly held a Guinness World Record for his more than 40,000 songs, was admitted at MGM Healthcare in Chennai, southeastern India, on Aug. 5. He was placed on life support nine days later for "severe COVID-19 pneumonia," according to a statement from the hospital's assistant director of medical services, Dr. Anuradha Baskaran.

"In a further setback this morning, despite maximal life support measures and the best efforts of the clinical team, his condition deteriorated further and he suffered a cardio-respiratory arrest," Baskaran said. "We express our heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, well-wishers and admirers at their loss during this time of anguish and sorrow."

Sep 25, 7:30 am
Poland reports another record daily rise in cases

Poland reported a record rise in COVID-19 cases for the second straight day on Friday.

The Polish Ministry of Health confirmed another 1,587 new cases of the disease in the past 24 hours, the country's highest daily caseload since the start of the pandemic. An additional 23 coronavirus-related deaths were also reported in the past day.

A majority of the newly confirmed infections were in the central part of the country.

In total, Polish Ministry of Health has identified 84,396 confirmed cases with 2,392 deaths.

Sep 25, 6:44 am
Wisconsin grapples with record-high COVID-19 hospitalizations


A total of 530 people remained hospitalized for COVID-19 in Wisconsin as of Thursday afternoon -- the highest yet since pandemic began.

Among those patients, 371 were receiving mechanical ventilation and 141 were in intensive care units. Currently, 80% of all hospital beds statewide are full, according to the latest data from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Wisconsin topped 500 for the first time Wednesday, according to a report by Madison ABC affiliate WKOW-TV.

"There is no doubt that we are in a significant near-crunch time in a number of regions in the state," Dr. Mark Kaufman, chief medical officer of the Wisconsin Hospital Association, told WKOW.

The rising number of COVID-19 hospitalizations comes as hospitals are also gearing up for flu season.

"We really don't know how people will react if they are co-infected with both COVID and influenza," Kaufman said. "But it is not likely to be good."

Sep 25, 5:43 am
India reports under 90,000 new cases for fifth straight day


India confirmed another 86,052 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.

An additional 1,141 coronavirus-related fatalities were also recorded. The country's cumulative total now stands at 5,818,570 confirmed cases and 92,290 deaths, according to the latest data from the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The daily caseload in the vast county of 1.3 billion people has remained below the 90,000 mark for five consecutive days after hitting a peak of 97,894 on Sept. 16, the highest single-day rise in infections worldwide since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Based on the current rate of infection, India is expected within weeks to become the pandemic's worst-hit nation, surpassing the United States, where more than 6.9 million people have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Sep 25, 5:10 am
UK sees highest single-day rise in cases amid second wave


The United Kingdom reported 6,634 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, its highest daily caseload since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Another 40 coronavirus related-fatalities within 28 days of a positive test result were also registered Thursday, according to data published on the U.K. government's website. The latest daily death toll for COVID-19 is far below the country's record set on April 8 when there were 1,073 new fatalities reported U.K.-wide.

The United Kingdom's cumulative total now stands at 416,363 confirmed cases and 41,902 deaths. The number of new infections started to come down in mid-April after hitting a peak but has been on the rise again since July.

The surge has prompted the British government to tighten restrictions on daily life in an effort to curb the current rate of infection.

The United Kingdom is not the only country seeing a second wave of COVID-19. Other European nations including France and Spain are also grappling with growing outbreaks.

Sep 25, 4:25 am
US caseload edges closer to seven million


There were 44,110 new cases of COVID-19 identified in the United States on Thursday, as the nation's cumulative total edges closer to seven million, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.

Thursday's tally is well below the country’s record set on July 16, when there were 77,255 new cases in a 24-hour-reporting period.

An additional 914 coronavirus-related fatalities were also recorded Thursday, down from a peak of 2,666 new fatalities reported on April 17.

A total of 6,978,874 people in the United States have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and at least 202,818 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 70,000 for the first time in mid-July. The daily tally of new cases has gradually come down since then but has hovered around 40,000 in recent weeks.

An internal memo from the Federal Emergency Management Agency obtained by ABC News on Wednesday night shows that the number of new cases recorded in the United States is increasing by double digits in week-over-week comparisons, while the number of new deaths is down.

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Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty ImagesBy ARIELLE MITROPOULOS and AARON KATERSKY, ABC News

(HOLYOKE, Mass.) -- Two former leaders of the Holyoke Soldiers' Home in Massachusetts have been indicted in connection with the COVID-19 deaths of nearly a dozen veterans, Attorney General Maura Healey announced Friday.

Former Superintendent Bennett Walsh and former Medical Director Dr. David Clinton each have been charged with criminal neglect following an investigation into the facility, where at least 76 residents died of COVID-19.

Each defendant is facing five counts of charges of caretaker who wantonly or recklessly commits or permits bodily injury to an elder or disabled person, and five counts of caretaker who wantonly or recklessly commits or permits abuse, neglect or mistreatment to an elder or disabled person. Walsh and Clinton will be arraigned in Hampden County Superior Court at a later date.

"This was an outbreak at the home that we know claimed at least 76 lives ... the lives of veterans who served our country bravely and with honor. They risked their lives from the beaches of Normandy to the jungles of Vietnam, and to know that they died under the most horrific circumstances is truly shocking," Healey said.

The prosecution focused on a March 27, 2020, decision to consolidate two dementia units into one, which resulted in the placement of symptomatic residents, including confirmed COVID-19-positive residents, and asymptomatic residents, within feet of each other, increasing their exposure to each other.

Healey alleged that Walsh and Clinton were "ultimately responsible for the decision on March 27 that led to tragic and deadly results," of combining the 42 veterans into a single unit that usually accommodates 25 beds. Six or seven veterans were placed in rooms meant to hold only four people. Because of overcrowding, nine beds also were placed in a dining room.

"Some of the residents in the dining room had symptoms of COVID-19, some did not. The beds of these veterans in the dining room were just a few feet apart from each other," Healey said. "Some were next to the room where confirmed positive residents were located, and residents in the unit were mingling together regardless of their COVID-19 status."

Healey said that these "reckless" decisions placed asymptomatic veterans at greater risk of contracting the virus -- and a greater risk of death.

"While this criminal indictment cannot bring back their loved ones, I do hope, sincerely, that it provides those affected by this tragedy some solace that we are doing everything we can to hold accountable the individuals who we believe are responsible here," Healey said.

In a statement, an attorney for Walsh wrote that "the Attorney General is blaming the effects of a deadly virus that our state and federal governments have not been able to stop on Bennett Walsh. He, like other nursing home administrators throughout the Commonwealth and nation could not prevent the virus from coming to the Home or stop its spread once it arrived there. At all times, Mr. Walsh relied on the medical professionals to do what was best for the veterans given the tragic circumstances of a virus in a home with veterans in close quarters, severe staffing shortages and the lack of outside help from state officials."

An attorney for Walsh told ABC News he intends to plead not guilty and to vigorously defend himself against the allegations. An attorney for Clinton didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from ABC News.

Over 90 families of Holyoke Soldiers' Home veterans have been consulted and interviewed as a part of the investigation.

The attorney general's report is the second of four investigations into failures at the facility. Earlier this summer, an investigation lead by former federal prosecutor Mark Pearlstein also found that the facility's leadership team made substantial errors in responding to the outbreak.

The two other investigations, which are still ongoing, include a federal investigation led U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Andrew E. Lelling and an investigation conducted by the Massachusetts Office of the Inspector General Glenn A. Cunha.

Healey confirmed that her office is actively investigating several other facilities that suffered high numbers of coronavirus-related deaths. Since the beginning of the pandemic, over 6,000 probable or confirmed deaths have been reported in long-term care facilities in Massachusetts -- approximately two-thirds of the state's total reported death count.

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Lawyer Ben Crump speaks at a press conference with Breonna Taylor's family on Sept. 25, 2020. - (ABC News)By EMILY SHAPIRO, ABC News

(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) -- Breonna Taylor's family is demanding the release of grand jury proceeding transcripts after a Kentucky grand jury indicted one officer for endangering Taylor's neighbors during the police shooting that resulted in her death.

Taylor's family is "heartbroken, devastated and outraged and confused," family attorney Ben Crump said at a news conference Friday.

"There seems to be two justice systems in America -- one for Black America and one for white America," he said.

Crump went on, "What did Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron present to the grand jury? Did he present any evidence on Breonna Taylor's behalf? Or did he make a unilateral decision to put his thumb on the scales of justice to help try to exonerate and justify the killing of Breonna Taylor by these police officers? And in doing so, make sure that Breonna Taylor's family never got their day in court."

Brett Hankison, an officer who has since been fired from the Louisville Metro Police Department, was indicted Wednesday on three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment for firing into the apartment directly behind Taylor's.

The neighboring apartment had three people inside, thus the three charges against Hankison, said Cameron. The other officers involved in Taylor's death were not charged.

"Release the transcript so we can have transparency," Crump said. "And if you did everything you could do on Breonna's behalf, you shouldn't have any problems whatsoever, Daniel Cameron, to release the transcript to see you fought for all of Kentucky's citizens."

Crump said the decision in Taylor's case follows a pattern "of the blatant disrespect and marginalization of Black people but especially Black women in America who have been killed by police."

Taylor's aunt, Bianca Austin, wore Taylor's EMT jacket at the news conference and read a statement on behalf of her sister and Taylor's mother, Tamika Palmer.

"This has been emotionally, mentally and physically draining for my sister," Austin said.

Palmer, in her statement, said Cameron "had the power to do the right thing. He had the power to start the healing of this city."

Cameron "helped me realize ... it will always be us against them," Palmer continued. "That we are never safe when it comes to them." She said she has "no faith in the legal system, in the police, in the laws that are not made to protect us Black and brown people."

Palmer said Cameron "alone didn't fail her," and that her daughter was also failed by "the judge who signed the search warrant ... the terrorist who broke down her door ... [and] the system as a whole."

"You didn't just rob me and my family, you robbed the world of a queen ... a queen who was starting to pave her path," Palmer's statement said.

Taylor, 26, was shot dead by police while in her Louisville home on March 13. Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were asleep when three Louisville police officers, including Hankison, tried to execute a "no-knock" search warrant.

The officers were investigating a suspected drug operation linked to Taylor's ex-boyfriend. No drugs were found in the apartment.

Walker contends he asked the officers to identify themselves as they tried to break open the door, but got no response, which prompted him to open fire with his licensed gun.

Cameron said Detective Myles Cosgrove and Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly were "justified" when they opened fire 22 times during the incident since they were returning fire.

Mattingly was shot in the leg, according to Cameron.

Cameron said no shots from Hankison struck Taylor.

Hankison was fired and the other officers involved were placed on administrative duty.

After the grand jury decision, Cameron said at a news conference Wednesday, "According to Kentucky law, the use of force by Mattingly and Cosgrove was justified to protect themselves. This justification bars us from pursuing criminal charges in Ms. Breonna Taylor's death."

"The truth is now before us. The facts have been examined, and a grand jury comprised of our peers and fellow citizens has made a decision," Cameron said. "Justice is not often easy. Our team conducted interviews in this case, and spent thousands of hours examining all of the available evidence."

Federal prosecutors are looking into potential civil rights charges.

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David Roark/DisneyBy GMA TEAM, ABC News

(BAY LAKE, Fla.) -- Meet the new baby female Masai giraffe born at Disney's Animal Kingdom in Florida.

Weighing in at 156 pounds and a little over 6 feet tall, the baby girl is healthy and "feisty," according to the animal care team at the park.

"First time I came and saw her, she was moving around well through the stall, nursing well," Karen Jasmine, animal manager at Disney's Animal, Science and Environment, said. "At her neonatal exam, she was definitely very feisty and strong. I would say she's pretty brave and an independent animal."

The yet-to-be-named baby girl giraffe already has a close bond with her mom, Mara. The new giraffe is a third-generation Masai that's currently at Disney, according to the park.

"We're all super excited here," said animal keeper Rory Dwyer. "Each [giraffe] is different. I'm really excited to see her personality grow. Her mom is a super confident giraffe, her grandma is a super confident giraffe. This little girl has a whole world ahead of her and we're looking forward to being there with her."

This little girl marks the 35th giraffe born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom through the Species Survival Plans, overseen by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to ensure the responsible breeding of endangered species.

"The giraffe here at Disney are ambassadors for their cousins in the wild. Giraffe are undergoing a silent extinction and some sub-species are considered critically endangered. These guys are really important for getting people excited about conservation," said Dwyer.

You can learn more about how Disney cares for giraffe and other animals and helps protect species in the wild in the new Disney docuseries, "Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom.” It’s a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into caring for over 5,000 animals at Walt Disney World Resort.

The news comes as Disney's Animal Kingdom announced on Sept. 22 that three white rhino are expected to give birth at the park as soon as October 2021 -- major news in the world of conservation.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.


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FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty ImagesBy WILLIAM MANSELL, ABC News

(LOS ANGELES) -- A pickup truck hit a protester Thursday night in Hollywood, California, and moments later a second vehicle hit a car participating in the same protest as it tried to leave the area, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

The "largely peaceful" group of protesters began marching around 7 p.m. local time with only isolated reports of vandalism, but shortly after 9 p.m., things turned violent when a blue pickup truck traveling on Sunset Boulevard maneuvered through the crowd and became involved in an altercation, according to authorities. The driver of the truck attempted to get away from the situation, but police said he struck a protester standing in the street.

The protester hit by the truck was transported to a local hospital with minor injuries.

A short time later, a white Prius attempted to drive around the same protest, but a truck involved in the protests pinned the Prius in, forcing it to stop. Police said the driver of the Prius put the car in reverse to leave the area but then hit a green Mustang that was also participating in the protest.

Protesters tried to remove the driver of the Prius from his vehicle, but the LAPD said he was able to get away from the scene. There were no injuries reported in the second incident. Police said they have detained the driver.

All drivers and victims in both altercations have been identified and police said the investigation is ongoing.

Protesters in L.A. and other cities across the United States have been demonstrating following a Kentucky grand jury decision to not charge three police officers in the death of 26-year-old Breonna Taylor.

Taylor was shot dead by police while in her Louisville home on March 13. Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were asleep when three Louisville Metro Police Department officers, including Brett Hankison, tried to execute a "no-knock" search warrant. The officers were investigating a suspected drug operation linked to Taylor's ex-boyfriend. No drugs were found in the apartment.

Former Louisville police officer Hankison was indicted on three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment on Wednesday for allegedly endangering Taylor's neighbors when he fired into the apartment complex. No officers were directly charged in connection with her death.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said Hankison fired no shots that struck Taylor. He said Detective Myles Cosgrove and Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly were "justified" when they opened fire 22 times during the incident since they were returning fire.

In Louisville, where Taylor was killed, at least 24 people were arrested during demonstrations Thursday. Among those was Louisville State Rep. Attica Scott. She was charged, according to the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department, with riot in the 1st degree, failure to disperse and unlawful assembly.

Prior to curfew, Louisville police said protesters caused damage along their route at various locations, including tossing a flare into the Main Library. As curfew neared, protesters made their way to the First Unitarian Church, which let people gathered at the property to stay after curfew, officials said in a statement early Friday morning.

No arrests were made at the church and no National Guard members were deployed there, police said.

Vehicles hitting protesters have become a familiar scene during the protests following Taylor's death. Two protesters were injured in hit-and-run incidents in Colorado and upstate New York on Wednesday night during demonstrations across the U.S.

In Buffalo, New York, video showed a pickup truck drive directly into a group of demonstrators who pounded on the side of the truck and yelled for the driver to stop just before a protester on a bicycle was hit. The footage shows the truck speeding away as protesters on foot chased after it.

A silver Volvo outside the Capitol Building in Denver was surrounded by protesters who told the driver to turn around on Wednesday night, but then the car accelerates and knocked one protester to the ground.

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ABC NewsBy MAX GOLEMBO, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- A new heat wave with bone dry conditions and gusty winds is expected in the West this weekend and into next week.

Already, a red flag warning and wind advisory have been issued for the Rockies and a fire weather watch has been issued for northern California, ahead of the heat wave.

Over the next several days, temperatures will soar close to 100 degrees from Sacramento to Burbank, California.

The worst of the heat will start Sunday and continue into next week.

Gusty winds are expected for northern California on Saturday and Sunday as a storm system moves through to the north. Some of the winds could gust above 30 mph, which will create critical fire conditions.

Meanwhile, in the Great Lakes, a cold front is expected to move through Friday afternoon and evening and is forecast to produce severe thunderstorms with damaging winds, large hail and a few tornadoes.

The highest chance for tornadoes and damaging winds will be in northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

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peepo/iStockBy KATE HOLLAND, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- Two former paperboys for a Gannett-owned newspaper filed a complaint on Friday alleging that they were sexually abused by their supervisor nearly 40 years ago, joining five other former paperboys who have made similar allegations.

Ballard Tackett, 47, and Kelby Ash, 49, allege that they were repeatedly molested by Jack J. Lazeroff, a onetime district sales manager for the Rochester, N.Y.-based Democrat & Chronicle, when Lazeroff oversaw their paper route between 1982 and 1985, when Tackett was 11 to 12 years old and Ash was 11 to 13 years old.

Lazeroff’s misconduct was widely known among D&C staff, the complaint alleges, but the newspaper and its corporate owner Gannett Co., Inc., failed to protect the boys under their care, custody and control, directly resulting in their abuse.

"The D&C negligently hired Lazeroff then failed to properly supervise him … permitted Lazeroff unfettered and unsupervised access to … young children, failed to address sexual abuse that was occurring in plain sight, and exposed Plaintiffs to danger,” the filing reads. "As a result of the wrongful conduct of the D&C, Plaintiffs were sexually abused.”

Lazeroff was arrested in 1987 and charged with disorderly conduct, according to the lawsuit, after an employee at a donut shop told police that Lazeroff came into the donut shop “almost daily with a young paperboy” whom he would touch inappropriately. The police report identifies three D&C paperboys who Lazeroff had taken there. It is unclear, however, how the case was resolved.

Lazeroff was arrested again in 1988, the lawsuit said, and “charged with sexual abuse in the second degree,” but he was reportedly allowed to plead guilty to a lesser charge in order to avoid jail time.

Lazeroff died in 2003, but five other former D&C paperboys have since publicly accused him of sexual abuse, filing two separate claims against the newspaper and parent company in October 2019 and February 2020. All three filings allege that Lazeroff was hired by the D&C after being fired from his position at a Rochester bank for openly abusing high school boys who came in to apply for student loans.

Spokespeople for the newspaper and its parent company did not immediately respond to a request for comment from ABC News.

According to statements from several former employees detailed in the complaints, Lazeroff was ultimately fired from the paper for “messing with a paperboy,” though the exact date is unclear. The D&C has published several articles about Lazeroff, writing in one that the complaints “do not cite any direct evidence” substantiating the reason for Lazeroff’s termination from the paper.

In 2019, the D&C reported that Lazeroff “might have been a sexual predator,” but that “It could not be determined whether any of Lazeroff’s supervisors at the Democrat and Chronicle knew of or acted on the allegations of misconduct against him.”

Child news carriers are largely a relic of the past. A 1987 study conducted by what later became the News Media Alliance reportedly found that newspapers replaced at least 70,000 paperboys and girls with adults during the 1980s.

But an understanding of the dangers of the profession have only just begun to emerge. In 2018, The Columbia Journalism Review reported that at least 12 child newspaper carriers were “abducted, sexually abused or killed” between 1970 and 1993.

With their lawsuit, Tackett and Ash join thousands of other people seeking restitution through the New York State court system under the Child Victims Act, passed in 2019 and recently extended until 2021, that allows victims of childhood sexual abuse to pursue civil claims that would have otherwise expired under the state’s statute of limitations.

According to James Marsh, a partner at Marsh Law Firm PLLC, which represents all seven of Lazeroff’s alleged victims, these cases “highlight the risk that all children face.”

“The realization that it isn’t just scouts or students or alter boys who are at-risk for child sex abuse is profound and these lawsuits are a good example of how predators will take advantage of children wherever and however they can,” Marsh told ABC News in a statement. “Power, access, and opportunity can place any child at risk anywhere from anyone. Even a paperboy trying their best to finish their route before school can be victimized, which, while a shocking realization, also unfortunately makes perfect sense.”

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Oklahoma City Fire/TwitterBy HALEY YAMADA, ABC News

(OKLAHOMA CITY) -- Families in a quiet Oklahoma City neighborhood were left in shock Thursday morning after the home of a family of four exploded, killing a teenage child.

“They are a sweet family -- just the nicest people -- and I’m heartbroken for them,” Patti Woodard, a neighbor of the family, told ABC News affiliate KOCO-TV.

Investigators say that the cause of the explosion was a propane log lighter inside their fireplace that was not up to code.

“The log lighters are illegal,” said Nicholas Nadeau, an investigator with Oklahoma’s Liquefied Petroleum Gas Administration. “They do not have a pilot safety shut off. So in case of an outage of flame, you’re just going to accumulate propane vapor inside a residence that will lead to an explosion.”

“The dad kept saying he plugged in the coffee pot and he was electrocuted and the house blew up. He kept saying that like a thousand times,” neighbor Patty Wommer told KOCO. “His clothes were tattered all over. The explosion almost blew the clothes off him.”

Nadeau said the explosion could have been sparked by the father trying to plug in his coffee machine or even turning on a light.

Wommer said the father walked out of the house calling for his children. He was taken to the hospital in serious condition along with the rest of the family, who needed to be treated for burns.

Benny Fulkerson, district chief public information officer for the Oklahoma City Fire Department, told KOCO that responding to the blast has been emotional. Dozens of firefighters arrived to the scene to find debris scattered everywhere.

“Obviously you don’t ever want to see a child lost in this. It’s tough,” he said. “We’re here to help when we can. Our hearts go out to the family, for sure.”

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Kevin KinardBy SHANNON MCLELLAN, ABC News

(MURFREESBORO, Ark.) -- When our moms told us to stop playing in the dirt as kids, maybe we shouldn't have listened -- that's exactly how 33-year-old Kevin Kinard found a 9-carat diamond at an Arkansas state park.

Kinard and his friends traveled to Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas, on Labor Day to enjoy the outdoors. The state park offers 37.5 acres of land for "diamond digging" where park visitors can sift through soil on what is the world's eighth-largest diamond-bearing volcanic crater.

Park Interpreter Waymon Cox said one or two diamonds are found daily at the park, though they're usually about 20- to 25-point diamonds, or about a fourth of a carat.

No matter the size, park rules state that if you find a diamond it's yours to keep.

Kinard, an Arkansas native, visited Crater of Diamonds State Park for the first time on a field trip in second grade. Since then, he's traveled back once or twice a year to dig for diamonds but had never found one.

Because of the pandemic, Kinard said he and his friends have been spending more time in state parks.

"I had actually already gone to the park in May, but Arkansas state parks started handing out these state park passports where every time you go to a new park you get a stamp," Kinard said. "So, I went back because we wanted to get our passports stamped."

When digging for diamonds, you'll fill your bag and later give it to a park staffer who helps check whether you've found anything.

Kinard said they dug around for about four hours or so and went to get their passports stamped. Since he didn't think he had anything good, he decided to head back to the car without having his bag checked. It was only when his friend decided last minute to get hers checked that he doubled back with her to see if he had anything.

Kinard was pulled into a private room, where the Crater of Diamonds State Park staff told him a 9-carat diamond was in his bag.

"I broke down a little and started tearing up," Kinard said. "It was a very humbling experience. I thank God for everything that I have, so I think it was the Lord."

The diamond is the second-largest ever found at the park after a 16-carat diamond in 1975.

"Our staff gets excited, even though we're not finding the diamonds," Cox said. "We get excited from the people and seeing how they're impacted."

Kinard immediately brought the diamond to the bank where he works to place it in a safe deposit box. He has not yet gotten it appraised and said for now he just wants to enjoy the moment.

"I'm not sure what it's worth, but I can't do anything with a 9-carat diamond," Kinard said. "My boss said, 'You may be a millionaire. Are you going to quit?' I said, 'Absolutely not.' I'm too young for that. I'd still work. I'm just a regular guy."

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iStock/nathanphotoBY: SHANNON MCLELLAN

(HOUSTON) -- It's one small step for a woman, one giant leap for womankind.

NASA gave an official update to their Artemis Plan this week, stating that they will land the first woman on the moon in 2024.

New suit. 🧑‍🚀 New tools. 🛠️ New mission. 🌙@NASA_Astronauts are preparing now for moonwalks planned for when we land the first woman and next man on the Moon -- and they're practicing underwater to evaluate how we'll train for #Artemis missions. More: https://t.co/DPqGRKfmxH pic.twitter.com/hflHIWTbsj

— Johnson Space Center (@NASA_Johnson) September 23, 2020


NASA plans to land the next man on the moon in the same mission. This will be the first time sending humans to the moon since the last Apollo lunar mission in 1972.

"We're going back to the Moon for scientific discovery, economic benefits, and inspiration for a new a generation of explorers," NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a press release. "As we build up a sustainable presence, we're also building momentum toward those first human steps on the Red Planet."

LIVE NOW: We are going to the Moon, and here's how.

Administrator @JimBridenstine and other senior leadership discuss our #Artemis Phase 1 plan to return humanity to lunar surface by 2024.

🎙️ Listen in: https://t.co/f1K1MFXFRn pic.twitter.com/18GNq62Elw

— NASA (@NASA) September 21, 2020


NASA will launch their powerful new rocket, the Space Launch System, and the Orion spacecraft together from Kennedy Space Center in 2021 for two flight tests around the moon.

In addition to sending the first woman to the moon, the Artemis Plan will work to search for resources, such as water. Due to new landing technologies, astronauts will also be able to travel farther in order to explore new regions of the moon.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Twitter/@AshleyroweWKBWBY: BILL HUTCHINSON

(WASHINGTON) -- Two protesters were injured in hit-and-run incidents in Colorado and upstate New York on Wednesday night as demonstrations erupted across the county over a Kentucky grand jury's decision not to charge three police officers in the death of Breonna Taylor.

The chants for justice were quickly overcome by screams of horror as drivers in Denver and Buffalo plowed into protesters who spilled into the streets in the hours following the announcement of the grand jury's decision in the Louisville police shooting of 26-year-old Taylor, a certified emergency medical technician killed in her own apartment.

The incident in Buffalo unfolded about 8:45 p.m. as protesters marched in the street near Niagra Square in the downtown area, police said.

Graphic video taken by ABC affiliate station WKBW-TV in Buffalo showed a maroon and white king-cab pickup truck drive directly into a group of demonstrators who pounded on the side of the truck and yelled for the driver to stop just before a protester on a bicycle was hit. The footage shows the truck speeding away as protesters on foot chased after it.

Buffalo police officials said the driver was eventually stopped by officers and detained for questioning. The name of the driver was not released and it remained unclear Thursday if any charges will be filed in the incident.

Calls to a police department spokesperson by ABC News were not immediately returned.

***Warning: Graphic video*** our @wkbw photographer captured the moment a truck drove through a crowd of protesters and struck a person outside Buffalo City Hall. Important to note: police say the person struck has non-life threatening injuries. pic.twitter.com/Vo9IORTYoF

— Ashley Rowe (@AshleyroweWKBW) September 24, 2020


Police said Wednesday night that the protester struck by the truck suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to Erie County Medical Center for treatment.

A spokesperson for Slow Roll Buffalo, a nonprofit community group of bicycle enthusiasts, told WKBW that the woman who was hit by the truck is a member of its board of directors. The spokesperson said the woman suffered broken bones and was in stable condition Thursday morning.

A similar incident unfolded in Denver outside the state Capitol Building, police said. Video taken by ABC affiliate station KMGH-TV in Denver showed a silver Volvo station wagon approach demonstrators marching in the street and stop.

In the footage, a small group of protesters gathered around the car and instructed the driver to turn around. Several protesters were standing in front of the vehicle and banging on its hood as the car began to move forward and accelerate, knocking one female protester to the ground.

The driver sped away but was stopped by police a short time later and detained, police said on Twitter. The driver's name was not immediately released and charges against him are pending further investigation, a Denver police spokesman said in an email to ABC News on Thursday.

Police said in a Twitter post that no one was injured in the incident. But the video shot by KMGH showed the protester, who was knocked down, apparently shaken up, sitting on the sidewalk with other demonstrators who rushed to provide her with emergency aid. The woman told the Denver Post that she was not badly injured.

The two incidents came just hours after a Kentucky grand jury indicted former Louisville police officer Brett Hankison on three counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree in the shooting that killed Taylor, but neither he nor the other two officers involved in the fatal encounter were charged in her death.

An investigation headed by Kentucky State Attorney General Daniel Cameron determined that Louisville Metro Police Department officers Myles Cosgrove and Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly were justified in using deadly force because Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired at them first when they broke down Taylor's apartment door on March 13 while serving a warrant.

Cameron said the officers knocked first and announced them themselves before ramming the door open when they didn't get an answer, a statement disputed by attorneys for Taylor's family.

The two hit-and-runs on Wednesday mark the latest in a series of incidents in recent months in which protesters have been struck while marching in demonstrations against police brutality and racial injustice.

The most serious incident occurred on July 4 when a protester was killed and another was injured when a car barreled into a Black Lives Matter protest on a closed freeway in Seattle.

Protester Summer Taylor, 24, died from injuries she suffered when she was struck by the car on Interstate 5 in Seattle. Demonstrator Diaz Love, 32, was seriously injured in the episode, according to police.

The driver in the fatal Seattle incident, Dawit Kelete, 27, has pleaded not guilty to charges of vehicular manslaughter, vehicular assault and reckless driving. He remains in custody in King County Jail on $1.2 million bail, according to online jail records.

Kelete’s lawyer, John Henry Browne, said his client did not intentionally hit the protesters. He said the crash was a “horrible, horrible accident."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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narvikk/iStockBy MORGAN WINSOR, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 979,000 people worldwide.

Over 32 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 criteria for diagnosis -- through clinical means or a lab test -- has varied from country-to-country. Still, 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.

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 6.9 million diagnosed cases and at least 202,563 deaths.

California has the most cases of any U.S. state, with more than 797,000 people diagnosed, according to Johns Hopkins data. California is followed by Texas and Florida, with over 743,000 cases and over 693,000 cases, respectively.

Nearly 170 vaccine candidates for COVID-19 are being tracked by the World Health Organization, at least six of which are in crucial phase three trials.

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

Sep 24, 4:33 pm
France reports record case increase


There were 16,096 new COVID-19 cases reported in France on Thursday, marking the highest one-day rise since the beginning of the outbreak, French health authorities said.

The nation now has over 497,000 people diagnosed with COVID-19.

The death toll increased by 52 on Thursday, bringing the fatality total to 31,511.

France reported 4,258 new hospitalizations in the last week, including 718 patients in intensive care.

France on Wednesday announced new restrictions to combat the rise in cases.

Starting Monday in Paris and seven other major cities, outdoor gatherings will be limited to 10 people. Bars must shut their doors at 10 p.m., gyms will be closed and sporting events will be limited to 1,000 spectators.

Marseille, Aix-en-Provence and Guadeloupe are enacting stricter rules; starting Monday all bars and restaurants will be closed.

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

Sep 24, 3:38 pm
CDC forecasts 214,000-226,000 deaths by Oct. 17

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention forecasts that the U.S. will lose another 3,400 to 7,400 lives to COVID-19 by Oct. 17, bringing the nationwide death toll to between 214,000 and 226,000.

The national death toll currently stands at 202,404, according to Johns Hopkins University.

ABC News' Anne Flaherty contributed to this report.

Sep 24, 3:29 pm
Boulder bans gatherings for 18 to 22 year olds


In Boulder, Colorado, people ages 18 to 22 will soon be banned from all gatherings, whether indoors, outdoors, or with people outside that age range, the Boulder County Public Health Department announced.

This comes after nearly three weeks of cases rising in Boulder County, "with the vast majority" connected to 18 to 22 year olds, "particularly those attending the University of Colorado Boulder," the department said.

"While there has been little evidence of spread of the virus beyond the 18-22 age group, the continued increase in new cases in the city of Boulder prompted the Public Health Order to help prevent the spread to other community members," the department said.

The health department also calls out 36 addresses where the department claims residents "repeatedly engaged in activities that violate public health orders." Those residents must stay in their homes for two weeks, only leaving for essential services, according to the Health Department.

The order will last for two weeks, beginning at 4 p.m. local time on Thursday.

Residents in the 18 to 22 age group are exempt for exercising outside alone, studying outside alone and going to work if they don’t live in one of the homes with stay-at-home requirements.

Young adults can interact with relatives they live with, and those in high school can participate in school activities, the department added.

"While there has been little evidence of spread of the virus beyond the 18-22 age group, the continued increase in new cases in the city of Boulder prompted the Public Health Order to help prevent the spread to other community members," the department said.

ABC News' Jennifer Watts contributed to this report.

Sep 24, 1:47 pm
UK reports highest number of new daily cases


The United Kingdom reported 6,634 daily COVID-19 cases on Thursday, reaching a new record high.

The U.K. now has over 412,000 coronavirus cases and at least 41,951 fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins data.

ABC News' Mike Trew contributed to this report.


Sep 24, 1:02 pm
Contact tracing app launched in England, Wales


The United Kingdom’s long-awaited contact tracing app launched in England and Wales on Thursday.

The app, available to download for free on iPhones and Androids, alerts users if they've come into contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19.

"The app will advise you to self-isolate if you have been in close contact with a confirmed case," the Department of Health and Social Care said. "It will also enable you to check symptoms, book a free test if needed and get your test results."

The BBC reported that over 1 million people have already downloaded the app.

ABC News' Mike Trew contributed to this report.


Sep 24, 12:15 pm
Africa sees steady decline of new cases


Africa has seen a steady decline in the number of new COVID-19 cases being reported across the continent since July 20, the World Health Organization said Thursday.

Over the past four weeks, there were 77,147 new cases recorded in Africa, down from 131,647 reported in the previous four weeks. Some of the continent's most-affected countries including Algeria, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa have all seen infections drop every week over the past two months. Deaths attributed to COVID-19 have also remained low in the region.

Africa was the only region in the world to report a decline in both new COVID-19 cases and deaths for the week of Sept. 14-20.

The WHO credited the decline to "a variety of socio-ecological factors as well as early and strong public health measures taken by governments across the region." The socio-ecological factors include low population density and mobility, hot and humid climate and lower age group.

"The downward trend that we have seen in Africa over the past two months is undoubtedly a positive development and speaks to the robust and decisive public health measures taken by governments across the region," Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO's regional director for Africa, said in a statement Thursday. "But we must not become complacent. Other regions of the world have experienced similar trends only to find that as social and public health measures are relaxed, cases start ramping up again."

Africa's COVID-19 cases have largely been among a younger age group and more pronounced in a few nations rather than continent-wide, suggesting country-specific aspects are driving the pattern of disease and death. About 91% of infections in sub-Saharan Africa are among people below the age of 60, while over 80% of cases are asymptomatic, according to the WHO.

Although African governments have made efforts to improve COVID-19 testing, the level remains low. Nevertheless, the WHO said missed COVID-19 cases are largely because they are asymptomatic and that there is no evidence of miscalculation of death figures.

"Africa has not witnessed an exponential spread of COVID-19 as many initially feared," Moeti said. "But the slower spread of infection in the region means we expect the pandemic to continue to smolder for some time, with occasional flare-ups."

Sep 24, 10:40 am
Russia sees highest daily caseload since July


Russia confirmed 6,595 new cases of COVID-19 over the last 24 hours, the country’s highest single-day increase since July.

An additional 149 coronavirus-related deaths were also recorded in the past day, according to Russia’s coronavirus response headquarters.

Meanwhile, Moscow reported more than 1,000 new cases over the last 24 hours for the first time since June. The Russian capital also registered 15 new deaths.

Russia’s cumulative total now stands at over 1.12 million confirmed cases -- the fourth highest caseload in the world -- and nearly 20,000 deaths.

Last month, Russia became the first country in the world to officially register a COVID-19 vaccine and declare it ready for use. The Russian government approved the vaccine before completing its final Phase III trial, and no scientific data has been released from the early trials so far.

ABC News' Alina Lobzina contributed to this report.


Sep 24, 10:09 am
870,000 more Americans filed for 1st-time unemployment last week


Another 870,000 Americans filed for first-time unemployment benefits last week, the U.S. Department of Labor said Thursday.

While the number of people filing for unemployment insurance in the United States has stagnated in recent weeks, the latest figure shows a concerning uptick of 4,000 compared with the previous week's revised figure. It is also the 27th straight week of historically high weekly jobless claims.

Despite the number falling significantly since March, when 6.9 million people applied for unemployment benefits in a single week, the latest figure also shows that workers are continuing to be laid off at an unprecedented rate some six months into the coronavirus pandemic.

More than 26 million Americans are still receiving some sort of unemployment insurance benefits as of the week ending Sept. 5, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. For the same period last year, that figure was 1.5 million.

ABC News' Catherine Thorbecke and Zunaira Zaki contributed to this report.

Sep 24, 8:17 am
Swiss authorities quarantine university's undergraduate students

Swiss authorities have ordered a quarantine for the entire undergraduate student population of a prestigious hospitality management school after "significant outbreaks" of COVID-19.

Health officials in Switzerland's Vaud canton, or region, announced Wednesday that all 2,500 undergraduate students at the "Ecole hoteliere de Lausanne" (EHL) must self-quarantine until at least Monday, whether they live on- or off-campus. Those who develop symptoms are advised to get tested for COVID-19, if necessary.

"Significant outbreaks of infection have appeared in several levels of training, making it impossible to close more targeted than that of the 2,500 students concerned," health officials said in a statement, adding that student parties are suspected to "be at the origin of these numerous outbreaks of infection."

Classes will continue online in the meantime.

Health officials said the school's administrators are taking "all the necessary measures" to ensure that learning isn't disrupted and to reinforce health measures on campus.

ABC News has reached out to the school for comment.

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Switzerland's Federal Office of Public Health has reported at least 51,492 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 4,809 hospitalizations and 1,776 deaths.

Sep 24, 6:43 am
Israel moves to tighten restrictions as cases climb


Israel's government has decided to tighten coronavirus-related restrictions as cases continue to climb, despite a second nationwide lockdown.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet voted early Thursday to close all nonessential businesses, including open-air markets. The cabinet also agreed that prayers and political demonstrations should be limited to open spaces with a cap of 20 people and that participants should not be allowed to travel more than 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) from home to attend either.

The new measures are set to go into effect Friday afternoon, as the Jewish state shuts down for the weekly Sabbath ahead of Yom Kippur on Sunday and Monday. The restrictions on demonstrations, however, are subject to approval by Israel's parliament, the Knesset.

Israel has seen one of the world's highest per capita rates of COVID-19 infections over the past two weeks. The country entered a second lockdown last Friday and it's slated to last until mid-October.

Sep 24, 5:57 am
22 US states and territories in upward trajectory of new cases


An internal memo from the Federal Emergency Management Agency obtained by ABC News on Wednesday night shows that 22 U.S. states and territories are in an upward trajectory of COVID-19 infections, while 13 jurisdictions are at a plateau and 21 others are in a downward trend.

The number of new cases and the number of new deaths recorded in the United States are both increasing in week-over-week comparisons. There also continues to be a steady rise in the number of hospitals nationwide where more than 80% of beds in intensive care units are filled, according to the memo.

In Alabama's Limestone County, 90% of ICU beds across two hospitals were in use. The Alabama Hospital Association confirmed that a shortage of nurses is a statewide issue in both hospitals and universities due to a lack of faculty, facilities and funds, the memo said.

Florida's Leon County reported a 20% increase in COVID-19 cases among children since Aug. 10, around the start of the new school year, coinciding with a 20% increase in pediatric hospitalizations, according to the memo.

Meanwhile, the number of new cases recorded in Kentucky have increased by 21% since Sept. 13. The state's seven-day fatality rate has doubled since then, from 13.4 to 26.4 per 1 million population. The number of COVID-19 tests being conducted statewide declined by 45.2% during the week ending Sept. 17, compared with the previous week, according to the memo.

Michigan's seven-day case rate increased by 154.4% from Sept. 13 to Sept. 20. The state also reported a 38.1% week-to-week relative increase in COVID-19 testing on Sept. 17. Officials attribute the surge to schools and colleges, with 20-year-olds making up the largest portion of total cases, the memo said.

Sep 24, 4:51 am
US records over 1,000 new deaths


An additional 1,098 coronavirus-related fatalities were recorded in the United States on Wednesday, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.

Wednesday's tally of COVID-19 deaths is lower than the country's record set on April 17, when there were 2,666 new fatalities in a 24-hour reporting period.

There were also 36,330 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed across the nation on Sunday, down from a peak of 77,255 new cases reported on July 16.

A total of 6,934,205 people in the United States have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and at least 201,909 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 70,000 for the first time in mid-July. The daily tally of new cases has gradually come down since then.

An internal memo from the Federal Emergency Management Agency obtained by ABC News on Wednesday night shows that the number of new cases and the number of new deaths recorded in the United States are both increasing in week-over-week comparisons.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty ImagesBY: EMILY SHAPIRO, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- Protests ignited in Louisville and swept across the U.S. overnight as Americans unleashed outrage after a Kentucky grand jury indicted one officer for allegedly endangering the neighbors of Breonna Taylor during the police shooting that resulted in her death.

Former Louisville officer Brett Hankison was indicted Wednesday on three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment for allegedly endangering Taylor's neighbors when he fired into the apartment complex.

The neighboring apartment had three people inside, thus the three charges against Hankison, said Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron. The other officers involved in Taylor's death were not charged.

Taylor family attorney Ben Crump tweeted, "NOTHING for the murder of Breonna Taylor. This is outrageous and offensive!"

The news fueled protests in Louisville, where over 100 were arrested and two officers were shot. Both officers' injuries were non-life-threatening.

Protests, mostly peaceful, spread across the country.

New York

In New York City, hundreds of peaceful protesters gathered in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

No one was arrested, according to ABC New York station WABC.

Hundreds at 59th and 5th Ave right now demanding #JusticeForBreonnaTaylor #blm #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/noeuHVuooY

— CeFaan Kim (@CeFaanKim) September 23, 2020

Dozens on bikes encircling the group, forming a buffer between protest and police. #BarclaysCenter #abc7ny #BreonnaTaylor pic.twitter.com/KWhR5zbt3V

— Josh Einiger (@JoshEiniger7) September 23, 2020

NOW: Several hundred protesters converge on #BarclayCenter. #BreonnaTaylor pic.twitter.com/9jnxWAhhPG

— Josh Einiger (@JoshEiniger7) September 23, 2020


Seattle

Protests turned violent in Seattle when protesters violently clashed with authorities.

Video captured a police officer who was walking his bicycle walk the bike over a protester who was lying on the ground.

That officer has been placed on administrative leave and the incident has been sent to the King County Sheriff’s Office for a potential criminal investigation, said Seattle police.

Police bicycle pushed over man’s neck as he lies on the ground at Breonna Taylor protest in Seattle. https://t.co/zzsFffiTBp pic.twitter.com/SGTGjXaTiG

— ABC News (@ABC) September 24, 2020


When protesters approached the East Precinct, someone threw an explosive that went through a gate and exploded near bike officers. A few minutes later, wires that power the security cameras to the precinct were cut, police said.

An unlawful assembly was declared after multiple fires were set and explosives were thrown at officers, according to police.

"Protestors continue to throw rocks, bottles, and even a fire extinguisher at officers," the Seattle police said.

Multiple officers were injured, including one who was hit with a baseball bat, which cracked his helmet, according to police.

Officers "deployed pepper spray and blast balls," police said.

More than a dozen people were arrested with charges ranging from property destruction, resisting arrest and assault on an officer, police said.

Commanders on scene have declared the ongoing protest an unlawful assembly after multiple fires have been set, explosives have been thrown at officers, and property damage in the surrounding area. Leave the area immediately or you may be subject to arrest.

— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) September 24, 2020


Buffalo, New York

In Buffalo, New York, a pickup truck hit a protester, authorities said.

The victim was not seriously hurt, the Buffalo News reported.The victim was taken to a hospital, according to ABC Buffalo affiliate WKBW.

***Warning: Graphic video*** our @wkbw photographer captured the moment a truck drove through a crowd of protesters and struck a person outside Buffalo City Hall. Important to note: police say the person struck has non-life threatening injuries. pic.twitter.com/Vo9IORTYoF

— Ashley Rowe (@AshleyroweWKBW) September 24, 2020


The suspected driver was stopped by police, according to WKBW. It's unclear whether the protester was hit intentionally.
Washington, DC

In Washington, D.C., a crowd gathered at Black Lives Matter Plaza, near the White House.

8:50 pm: Here you can see the crowd gathered on Black Lives Matter Plaza, the White House behind them. pic.twitter.com/j2odDpUeIQ

— Heather Graf (@ABC7HeatherGraf) September 24, 2020

More mpd bikers are trying to get in but protesters are blocking them again things are getting very intense #BlackLivesMatter #BreonnaTaylor #JusticeForBreonnaTaylor#dcprotest #dcprotests #blmprotest #BLM #HappeningNow #BLMDC#Breakingnews #ACAB #DC #WashingtonDC #Breakingnews pic.twitter.com/pp6FBHscv2

— RawsMedia (@rawsmedia) September 24, 2020


Atlanta

In Atlanta, demonstrators recited Taylor's name and chanted: "What do we want?" "Justice!" When do we want it?" "Now!"

Another #JusticeForBreonnaTaylor rally Happening RIGHT NOW in Atlanta.@wsbtv #BreonnaTaylor pic.twitter.com/jYW0daHmAf

— Audrey Washington (@AudreyWSBTV) September 23, 2020

"To think that I could be asleep in my bed and then officers barge in and kill me and nothing happens to the officers. Enough is enough!"#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor rally#BreonnaTalyor @wsbtv pic.twitter.com/InY6FPgzSi

— Audrey Washington (@AudreyWSBTV) September 23, 2020


After hours of protesting, a crowd headed to the Capitol Building, where Georgia State Patrol Troopers used tear gas to get people to disperse,reported ABC Atlanta affiliate WSB.

The large #JusticeForBreonnaTaylor rally I told you about an hour ago has moved from Woodruff Park to the State Capitol.@wsbtv #Breonna pic.twitter.com/b1zvNek9fL

— Audrey Washington (@AudreyWSBTV) September 24, 2020


Some people were arrested.

Denver

In Denver, a man was detained for driving through a crowd of demonstrators, reported ABC Denver affiliate KMGH. A protester hit by the car told The Denver Post she was not seriously hurt.

March for Breonna Taylor has been going on peaceful as hundreds have marched from the Capital to the Federal Building in protest on the ruling on the death of Breonna Taylor in Kentucky @DenverChannel pic.twitter.com/SdtCPmwe2f

— Cameron Duckworth (@CameronDenver7) September 24, 2020


Chicago


Hundreds protested in Chicago, from the South Side to police headquarters.

"The grand jury today couldn't even say her name," said Father Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina Church, reported ABC Chicago station WLS.

"When you take someone's life, it shouldn't matter who it is or who you are. You should be held accountable," protester Teyonna Lofton told WLS.

"She didn't get the justice that she deserved," protester Anna Acosta added to WLS.

A couch was set on fire in a street and officers put the blaze out, WLS reported.

Portland

On the streets of Portland, a Molotov cocktail was thrown toward officers, police said.

Portland police said an awning outside a precinct was lit on fire and "multiple rocks" were thrown, leaving substantial damage.

'Say her name'

Demonstrations also broke out in other cities, from Los Angeles to Nashville to Philadelphia.

Protest for #BreonnaTaylor still underway in Philadelphia | LIVE VIDEO: https://t.co/kmU88EGOV7 pic.twitter.com/BrWAGkHLR4

— Action News on 6abc (@6abc) September 24, 2020


Many protesters across the country chanted "say her name," a rallying cry to remember 26-year-old Taylor who was shot dead by police while in her Louisville home on March 13.

Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were asleep when three Louisville police officers, including Hankison, tried to execute a "no-knock" search warrant.

The officers were investigating a suspected drug operation linked to Taylor's ex-boyfriend. No drugs were found in the apartment.

Walker contends he asked the officers to identify themselves as they tried to break open the door, but got no response, which prompted him to open fire with his licensed gun.

Camerson said Detective Myles Cosgrove and Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly were "justified" when they opened fire 22 times during the incident since they were returning fire.

Mattingly was shot in the leg, according to Cameron.

Cameron said no shots from Hankison struck Taylor.

Hankison was fired and the other officers involved were placed on administrative duty.

Federal prosecutors are looking into potential civil rights charges.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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iStock/ChiccoDodiFCBy EMILY SHAPIRO and IVAN PEREIRA, ABC News

(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) -- Two Louisville police officers shot during Wednesday night's protests are doing well and will survive their injuries, announced interim police chief Robert Schroeder, who also said that more than 100 people were arrested during the demonstrations that followed the grand jury's decision in the Breonna Taylor case.

Maj. Aubrey Gregory, who is the commander of Louisville police department's special operations division, was shot while leading the protest response on the ground, Schroeder said. Gregory has since been treated and released from a hospital for a gunshot wound to the hip, Schroeder said.

The other officer who was shot is Robinson Desroches, who was struck in the abdomen. He underwent surgery and is in stable condition and expected to recover, the interim chief said.

One suspect was arrested and charged with two counts of first-degree assault and 14 counts of wanton endangerment directed against police officers, Schroeder said.

President Donald Trump, who earlier Wednesday said he was not familiar enough with the case to comment, tweeted Wednesday night that he was praying for the officers.

"The Federal Government stands behind you and is ready to help. Spoke to @GovAndyBeshear and we are prepared to work together, immediately upon request!" he wrote.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden tweeted, "Even amidst the profound grief & anger today's decision generated, violence is never & can never be the answer. Those who engage in it must be held accountable. Jill & I are keeping the officers shot tonight in Louisville in our prayers. We wish them both a swift & full recovery."

The shooting followed hours of protests throughout Louisville, which erupted after a Kentucky grand jury on Wednesday indicted one officer on charges of endangering Taylor's neighbors during the police shooting that resulted in her death.

After the sole indictment was announced, some wept, some chanted and some marched. Many chanted Taylor's name and "Black Lives Matter," as a line of officers stood shoulder-to-shoulder, blocking them from parts of the city.

Schroeder said during Wednesday night's protests there were several instances of unlawful behavior -- including looting, damage to businesses, damage to a public works vehicle and the moving of barricades -- during which police intervened.

Demonstrators and police in riot gear squared off after some protesters allegedly knocked over patio furniture at a business, according to Louisville ABC affiliate WHAS. Officers allegedly used pepper balls to disperse the crowd.

Louisville police made 127 arrests Wednesday night, Schroeder said.

Maj. Stephen Martin, a spokesman for the Kentucky National Guard, told ABC News that Gov. Andy Beshear authorized the deployment of a portion of the Kentucky National Guard to Louisville.

The governor later activated 500 guardsmen.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced a 72-hour curfew starting at 9 p.m. The police officers were shot Wednesday just before the 9 p.m. curfew went into effect.

On Wednesday, former Louisville police officer Brett Hankison was indicted on three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment for allegedly endangering Taylor's neighbors when he fired into the apartment complex.

The neighboring apartment had three people inside, thus the three charges against Hankison, said Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron. The other officers involved in Taylor's death were not charged.

Taylor family attorney Ben Crump tweeted Wednesday, "NOTHING for the murder of Breonna Taylor. This is outrageous and offensive!"

"If Brett Hankison's behavior was wanton endangerment to people in neighboring apartments, then it should have been wanton endangerment in Breonna Taylor's apartment too. In fact, it should have been ruled wanton murder!" he wrote.

Taylor's sister, Ju'Niyah Palmer, posted to Instagram, "Sister I am so sorry."

In an Instagram story, Palmer said Taylor, who had previously worked as an EMT for the city, was "failed by a system" she "worked hard for."

Protests spread across the country Wednesday night, from New York City to to Portland to Seattle to Chicago to Atlanta to Washington, D.C., in remembrance of the 26-year-old Taylor.

Taylor was shot dead by police while in her Louisville home on March 13. Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were asleep when three Louisville Metro Police Department officers, including Hankison, tried to execute a "no-knock" search warrant. The officers were investigating a suspected drug operation linked to Taylor's ex-boyfriend. No drugs were found in the apartment.

Walker contends he asked the officers to identify themselves as they tried to break open the door, but got no response, which prompted him to open fire with his licensed gun. Mattingly was shot in the leg, according to Cameron.

The attorney general said Hankison fired no shots that struck Taylor. He added Detective Myles Cosgrove and Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly were "justified" when they opened fire 22 times during the incident since they were returning fire.

Hankison was fired and the other officers involved were placed on administrative duty.

People also turned to social media Wednesday to voice their frustration and anger.

Chanelle Helm, an organizer of Black Lives Matter Louisville, said, "We shouldn't be too surprised at what's happening."

"What is frustrating is that white supremacy, this government and its elected officials continue to deny us healing and any taste of what real justice looks like. Justice in this country is nonexistent," Helm said in a statement. "This country hasn't changed. This country hasn't come to the realization that fascism was its only goal. We move every day for capitalism and not for humanity. Instead of bringing in paths for healing, we keep bringing in more law enforcement, more military and more representations of the systems we desperately need to dismantle."

The ACLU of Kentucky called this "the latest miscarriage of justice in our nation's long history of denying that Black lives matter."

"We join the Taylor family and the community in protesting and mourning the Commonwealth's choice to deny justice for Breonna," the ACLU said in a statement. "Breonna Taylor was killed when plainclothes officers used a no-knock warrant to enter her home in the middle of the night. They did not even perform life-saving measures as she took her last breaths after they shot her five times. Throughout this tragic series of events, including today, the police and prosecutors continuously have failed Breonna Taylor, her family, and Black Kentuckians.

"This outcome shows us that true police accountability does not exist in Kentucky," the ACLU said. "The results of this investigation reflect insufficient standards for police use of force, government-sanctioned violence and terror in communities of color, and a need to completely rebuild our justice system."

Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP, tweeted, "Breonna Taylor deserves justice. This was not justice. 1 of the 3 officers was indicted for wanton endangerment. No one was charged for her murder."

"We must take this anger to the polls, and vote this November like we've never voted before," he said. "Black Lives Matter."

Cameron said federal prosecutors are looking into potential civil rights charges.

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ABC NewsBy MAX GOLEMBO, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- Remnants of Beta continue to soak the South, as 4 to 7 inches of rain fell in Louisiana, southern Arkansas and Mississippi in the last 48 hours, which produced flash flooding.

Flood watches have been issued for Mississippi, Alabama and southern Tennessee Thursday morning, as remnants of Beta slowly move northeast.

The heaviest rain will move into northern Alabama and southern Tennessee, where some areas could see 1 to 2 inches of rain per hour Thursday night.

The flood threat moves into the southern Appalachian mountains and the western Carolinas on Friday, including Asheville and Charlotte, North Carolina.

Raleigh and eastern Carolinas get into the heavy rain by Friday afternoon.

The forecasted rainfall totals could reach 2 to 5 inches from Alabama to Tennessee and into the Carolinas.

Meanwhile, in the West, 21 wildfires are still burning in California alone, including the Bobcat fire, which is 113,733 acres. Containment for that blaze almost doubled Wednesday to 39%.

The Creek Fire in northern California is a whopping 289,695 acres, which is the single largest fire in California history. It is only 34% contained.

The worst of the winds will be in the Rockies from Montana down to Utah, where red flag warnings and wind alerts have been issued Thursday.

A fire weather watch has been issued for the northern half of California for this weekend.

Also, some much-needed rain is moving through Washington, Oregon and even northern California Thursday.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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