Rescuers search for survivors after catastrophic tornadoes
Rescuers continue to pick through the rubble of shattered buildings and communities Monday from a series of tornadoes that roared across five states. More than 30 tornadoes were reported late Friday and early Saturday. Kentucky was hardest hit, with dozens of fatalities. A candle company with 110 people inside that was destroyed by a tornado said on Sunday that eight people were confirmed dead, eight remained missing and more than 90 others had been located. That death toll was lower than initially feared. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear had said Sunday morning that the state’s toll could exceed 100. But after state officials heard the company’s update, he said that afternoon it might be as low as 50. At least 14 people were killed in Illinois, Tennessee, Arkansas and Missouri.
It’s been one year since the COVID-19 vaccine was introduced to the world
Millions wept, cheered and prayed one year ago as the first doses of a vaccine against the coronavirus rolled out of the plant on Dec. 13, destined for arms and the promise of ending the pandemic. It was a difficult time in American history. COVID-19 had killed more than 300,000 people. Hospitals brimming with patients had to turn the sick away. Mortuaries overflowed. Much of the nation was on lockdown, and the outlook for Christmas was bleak. In just 11 months, a vaccine had been created to fight a newfound human scourge. It was the fastest ever created, beating out the vaccine for mumps, which took four years. And as of this week, according to the CDC, more than 237 million Americans have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 60.5% of the population is fully vaccinated.
Indoor mask mandate takes effect in New York
Starting Monday, masks will be required to be worn in all indoor public places in New York unless businesses or venues implement a vaccine requirement for entry. The new measure, announced Friday by Gov. Kathy Hochul, comes as COVID-19 cases spiked statewide more than 43% since Thanksgiving, straining the health care system amid staffing shortages. The mandates aim to curb COVID-19 outbreaks during the holidays when more time is spent shopping and gathering indoors, where the virus can spread more easily, Hochul said. The measure will remain in place until Jan. 15, after which the state will re-evaluate.
Michigan school shooting suspect back in court
Michigan school shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley is expected to have a probable cause hearing Monday as prosecutors and defense attorneys discuss how to proceed with the case. Crumbley, 15, is accused of killing four people and injuring seven others in a shooting at Oxford High School on Nov. 30. He’s been charged with 24 counts, including four counts of first-degree murder and terrorism causing death. Legal experts said Crumbley’s defense could seek a mental competency evaluation to determine whether he understands the charges against him. Meanwhile, the suspect’s parents, Jennifer Crumbley, 43, and James Crumbley, 45, are facing involuntary manslaughter charges for their alleged roles in the shooting. They have a probable cause hearing set for Tuesday.
Cardinals and Rams face off in crucial ‘Monday Night Football’ matchup
The Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams will take the field for a “Monday Night Football” matchup that could have notable playoff ramifications. The Cardinals enter the game with the NFL’s best record at 10-2, and can wrap up a playoff spot with a win at home. On the other end, the division-rival Rams stand at 8-4 and are currently on pace to claim one of the NFC’s Wild Card spots. Plenty of attention will be focused on the two quarterbacks – Arizona’s Kyler Murray, who has thrown for 2,399 yards and scored 28 touchdowns in nine games this season, and Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford, who has thrown for 3,611 yards with 30 touchdowns in 12 contests. Monday’s game kicks off at 8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Contributing: The Associated Press