Bronx fire, COVID-19, Golden Globes, Brazil cliff: The weekend’s biggest news

January 9, 2022
Firefighters work outside an apartment building after a fire in the Bronx, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, in New York.


At least 19 killed, dozens injured in massive Bronx apartment fire

At least 19 people, including nine children, were killed and dozens were injured in a five-alarm fire that ignited at a Bronx apartment complex on Sunday, Stefan Ringel, a senior adviser to New York City Mayor Eric Adams, confirmed. In all, more than five dozen people were hurt. Victims were found on every floor of the building. The fire broke out in a duplex apartment on the second and third floor of the 19-story Twin Parks North West complex in New York City’s West Bronx, according to the Fire Department of New York. A five-alarm fire is the largest response to a blaze. The fire department said there were over 200 members responding to the scene. At least 32 people were hospitalized, and officials said most of the injuries came from people suffering from smoke inhalation. 

US reaches 700,000 new COVID-19 cases daily

The U.S. is now averaging more than 700,000 new coronavirus cases per day, a USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins University data shows. The country reported about 4.91 million cases in the week ending Saturday. That’s more cases reported in seven days than the country reported in April, May, June and July 2021 combined. At the latest pace, eight Americans are reported positive every second. The last five days of U.S. cases are the five single-highest case counts of the entire pandemic. “I would not be surprised at all if we go over a million cases per day,” Fauci told News 4 New York in an interview Saturday. And while the prevalent omicron variant is milder on a per-case basis, fast-swelling numbers of new cases are burdening hospitals. A federal report released Saturday shows about 138,000 COVID-19 patients in hospital beds, up 32% from the previous week.

Man who bought Kyle Rittenhouse an AR-15 used in Kenosha shootings agrees to plea deal

Kyle Rittenhouse’s friend, who bought him an assault-style rifle when he was only 17, has agreed to plead no contest to contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a non-criminal citation, and avoid convictions on the two felonies he’d been facing. Dominick Black, 20, was charged in November with two counts of delivering a dangerous weapon to a minor, resulting in death. The two counts related to Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, the protesters Rittenhouse fatally shot the night of Aug. 25, 2020, in Kenosha. Black was 18 when he purchased the rifle for Rittenhouse, who was too young then to legally purchase the weapon. In August, Rittenhouse used it to kill two people during protests in Kenosha. In November, a jury found him not guilty, based on his claim of self-defense. Judge Schroeder could reject the deal for Black or still just dismiss the original felony counts based on his ruling about the minors-with-firearms law in the Rittenhouse case.

Real quick

NASA’s $10 billion space telescope takes ‘its final form’

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope deployed its full gold-plated, sunflower-shaped mirror display, marking the completion of a “remarkable feat.” Now, the $10 billion successor to the Hubble telescope has five months of alignment and calibration procedures before it is expected to start sending images back to Earth, the space agency said. Launched on Christmas Day from South America, the Webb telescope is traveling nearly 1 million miles from Earth. Named after former NASA administrator James E. Webb, who oversaw the agency from 1961 to 1968, the Webb telescope is about 100 times more powerful than the Hubble telescope. Scientists hope Webb can capture light streaming from stars and galaxies as far back as 13.7 billion years ago.

Multiple dead after cliff wall collapses on boaters in Brazil

At least six people died, dozens were injured and about 20 were missing when a rock formation tore away from a cliff and slammed onto boats packed with tourists in a tragedy caught on video. Edgard Estevo, commander of the Minas Gerais State Fire Department, said the accident occurred Saturday in a lake between the towns of Sao Jose da Barra and Capitolio. The local fire department deployed divers and helicopters in a frantic effort to rescue the stunned tourists from the lake. Brazil’s Jornal O Globo reported that two more bodies were found, raising the death toll to eight, but that report was not immediately confirmed by government officials. 

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This is a compilation of stories from across the USA TODAY Network. Contributing: Associated Press.


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