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Bridge collapses in Pittsburgh, three hospitalized

Bridge collapses in Pittsburgh, three hospitalized

Pittsburgh Public Safety via Twitter

(PITTSBURGH) -- A bridge collapsed in Pittsburgh on Friday morning, sending three people to local hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries, officials said.

Five cars and a Port Authority bus were on the bridge at the time of the collapse, around 6:39 a.m. local time, city officials said.

Port Authority bus driver Daryl Luciani told ABC Pittsburgh affiliate WTAE he was driving over the bridge when he could feel it collapsing.

"I could just feel it. The bus was bouncing and shaking," he said.

Ten people reported minor injuries, including the three who were hospitalized, Pittsburgh Fire Chief Darryl Jones said. First responders trying to help in the icy conditions were among the injured, he said.

Responders rappelled about 150 feet to reach the collapse site, Jones said. Crews also made human chains to conduct rescues.

Officials are now working to make sure there are no victims under the collapsed bridge, Jones said.

The cause of the collapse is under investigation.

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman called the bridge "a vital infrastructure artery" for the city, adding, "It's surreal this morning to see it completely collapsed."

"Thank God that school buses were delayed due to weather, so there was less traffic than normal. Thank God there have been no casualties reported at this point. I wish all of those who were injured a safe and swift recovery," Fetterman said.

The bridge was built in 1970 and has a length of 447 feet and a deck area of roughly 28,000-square-feet, according to Pennsylvania's Department of Transportation (PennDOT).

A September 2021 inspection by PennDOT listed the overall condition of the bridge as "poor," according to city documents.

The collapse occurred on the same day President Joe Biden was traveling to Pittsburgh to tout his bipartisan infrastructure law, which would provide $1.63 billion for bridges in the state. The program would provide $27 billion for bridges nationwide.

Biden visited the collapse site Friday afternoon, where officers told him a jogger passing by helped rescue people from cars.

As Biden surveyed the damage, he told local officials, "I've been coming to Pittsburgh a long time -- and as a former Pennsylvanian -- but I didn't realize there are literally more bridges in Pittsburgh than any other city in the world."

Biden vowed, "We're going to -- you're going to -- fix them all. Not a joke."

Pennsylvania has 3,353 bridges in poor condition, the second most after Iowa, according to federal data.

The Biden administration has repeatedly said it's up to local officials to determine which bridges receive federal funding.

"This collapse is just the latest in a long line of preventable, man-made disasters that prove what so many of us in Pennsylvania and around the country have been saying for years: Our infrastructure is failing our people," Fetterman said in a statement.

"We need to make use of the legislation President Biden ushered in, rebuild our roads and bridges, and fix our faulty infrastructure," he added.

The National Transportation Safety Board is sending a team to the scene.

ABC News' Sarah Kolinovsky, Victoria Arancio, Justin Gomez and Joshua Hoyos contributed to this report.

 

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Blizzard conditions headed to Northeast, Boston may face 'historic storm'

Blizzard conditions headed to Northeast, Boston may face 'historic storm'

ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- The East Coast is bracing for a weekend snow storm stretching from the Carolinas to Maine and bringing blizzard conditions to some areas.

The snow, set to begin Friday night, may hit especially hard in Boston where Boston Mayor Michelle Wu warned, "this has the potential to be a historic storm."

With 1 to 2 feet of snow expected, Wu has declared a snow emergency and warned residents to stay home.

"It's going to be a big one," Wu told reporters Friday.

"I'm very relieved that this is happening on a Saturday," Wu said, adding that she expects schools to be open on Monday.

Blizzard warnings are in effect from coastal Virginia up to Maine, including Atlantic City, Long Island, Connecticut, Boston and Portland. This marks the first blizzard warning for Boston and the Jersey Shore in four years.

Nearly 1,000 flights are canceled in the U.S. Friday and more than 2,200 are already canceled for Saturday.

The snowfall is forecast to start on the East Coast late Friday night and continue into Saturday evening in New England, before the storm exits the area.

By Saturday morning heavy snow will be falling from Virginia to New England. Snowfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour are expected. Around Cape Cod and Long Island, snowfall rates may reach 2 to 4 inches per hour. The light and fluffy nature of this snow will help it pile up even faster.

The latest forecast has 1 to 2 feet of snow for Boston, 6 to 12 inches for New York City and Connecticut, 4 to 8 inches for Philadelphia and 1 to 3 inches for Washington, D.C.

Whiteout conditions and blinding wind gusts over 60 mph are expected, which will make travel extremely dangerous in the Northeast on Saturday.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, have declared a state of emergency and urged residents to stay off the roads.

There's also the possibility of coastal flooding, from Maryland to New Jersey and into parts of Long Island and New England. With wind gusts forecast to be over 50 mph for many areas from Maine to New Jersey, the strong winds could blow ocean water onto the shore and create flooding.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

 

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Blizzard conditions headed to East Coast, Boston mayor declares snow emergency

Blizzard conditions headed to East Coast, Boston mayor declares snow emergency

ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- Millions of Americans are bracing for a snow storm that's expected to hammer the East Coast with blizzard conditions this weekend.

The storm, set to begin Friday night, will stretch from the Carolinas to Maine.

Blizzard warnings are in effect from coastal Virginia up to Maine, including Atlantic City, Long Island, Connecticut, Boston and Portland. This marks the first blizzard warning for Boston and the Jersey Shore in four years.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu has declared a snow emergency and warned residents to stay home.

The snowfall is forecast to start on the East Coast late Friday night and continue into Saturday evening in New England, before the storm exits the area, according to ABC News meteorologists.

Snowfall totals are estimated to be higher than previously expected due to a number of factors. The storm is expected to move closer to shore, bringing heavy bands of snow inland, with a snowfall rate of 2 to 3 inches per hour. The light and fluffy nature of this snow will help it stack up higher than the wet, heavy snow that typically comes with coastal storms.

The latest forecast has 12 to 20 inches of snow for Boston, 6 to 12 inches for New York City, 4 to 6 inches for Philadelphia and 1 to 2 inches for Washington, D.C.

The frigid air in the forecast will allow the snow to accumulate quickly and create very slick conditions on roads.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin has declared a state of emergency. He warned residents to be mindful of heavy snow and high winds as well as the possibility of tidal flooding and power outages.

Meanwhile, the wind chill on Saturday morning could make the temperature feel like it's in the single digits for the Interstate 95 corridor and in the teens for the Carolinas, according to ABC News meteorologists.

Wind gusts are forecast to be over 50 mph for many areas from Maine to New Jersey on...
There's also the possibility of coastal flooding, from Maryland to New Jersey and into parts of Long Island and New England. With wind gusts forecast to be over 50 mph for many areas from Maine to New Jersey, the strong winds could blow ocean water onto the shore and create flooding.

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Obama Center honors Hadiya Pendleton, the Chicago girl who was shot and killed in 2013

Obama Center honors Hadiya Pendleton, the Chicago girl who was shot and killed in 2013

Scott Olson/Getty Images

(CHICAGO) -- It has been nearly a decade since 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton was shot dead in Chicago, but the Obamas are still keeping her legacy alive in the South Side at the Obama Presidential Center.

Former first lady Michelle Obama, who attended Pendleton's funeral in 2013, announced in a video message Friday that the Winter Garden at the Obama Presidential Center will be named after Pendleton.

"To this day, I carry Hadiya's story with me everywhere I go," she said. "I know that Hadiya's loss is still raw and devastating for so many of us, especially on the South Side. But hopefully this garden can help share her light with even more people for generations to come."

Pendleton, a Black girl who attended King College Prep High School, was shot in the back and killed on Jan. 29, 2013, about a mile away from the Obamas' Chicago neighborhood. She was a majorette in school and one week before she was killed, her drill team performed at Obama's second inauguration.

The then-first lady attended Pendleton's funeral in 2013, where she met with Hadiya's family and friends.

In the video, Obama said that while she never met Hadiya in person, she saw the "extraordinary power and potential that lay inside of this young woman" through speaking with her loved ones.

During the presidency of Barack Obama, Pendleton became a symbol for the tragedy of gun violence in Chicago, and her story became a rallying cry for gun reform around the country.

Her mother, Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton, also became outspoken about the issue of gun control since her daughter's death and delivered an address at the Democratic National Convention in 2016 on the issue.

Lessons from a 'violence interrupter' as shootings continue to ravage Chicago

In a video message shared by the Obama Presidential Center, Cowley-Pendleton said that her "heart just melted" when she found out that the Winter Garden would be named in honor of her daughter, because she "knew people would be saying her name."

Hadiya's parents were guests of the Obamas at the 2013 State of the Union address, where the then-president mentioned Hadiya by name in a message about gun violence.

"One of those we lost was a young girl named Hadiya Pendleton. She was 15 years old. She loved Fig Newtons and lip gloss. She was a majorette. She was so good to her friends they all thought they were her best friend," Obama said in his Feb. 12, 2013 address to the nation.

"Hadiya's parents, Nate and Cleo, are in this chamber tonight, along with more than two dozen Americans whose lives have been torn apart by gun violence. They deserve a vote. They deserve a vote," Obama added, calling on Congress to pass bipartisan gun control legislation.

In August 2018, two men were charged with first-degree murder for Pendleton's killing.
2 found guilty of murder in shooting of 15-year-old Chicago schoolgirl

Ahead of the September 2021 groundbreaking of the Obama Presidential Center, the former president reflected on the gun violence that has plagued Chicago in an exclusive interview with Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts.

"Chicago alone can't solve the gun problem," Obama said, adding that Congress needs to pass "common sense gun safety measures."

The former president said that tackling the problem is a "generational project" -- one that he intends to address through Obama Presidential Center programs like My Brother's Keeper, which works to create opportunities for boys and men of color in underserved communities.

"If we're doing that in a systemic way, year after year, then over time we can reduce these incidents of violence," he said.

Gun violence has continued to skyrocket in Chicago, and according to a January 2022 report from the Cook County medical examiner's office, more people were shot to death in Chicago and the surrounding Cook County in 2021 than in any other year on record.

Report paints grim picture of Chicago-area gun deaths.

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What's at stake as Supreme Court revisits affirmative action in college admissions

What's at stake as Supreme Court revisits affirmative action in college admissions

Rudy Sulgan/Getty Images

(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. Supreme Court will once again revisit the legality of affirmative action in higher education, after last upholding the decades-old precedent in 2016.

On Monday, the high court said it would take up a pair of cases that challenge the use of race as a factor in undergraduate admissions at Harvard University, the nation's oldest private college, and the University of North Carolina, the nation's oldest public state university.

That the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the cases together is seen by some experts as an indication that the conservative-leaning body could be willing to revisit its precedents and end race-conscious admissions in higher education -- which proponents say will have wide-reaching implications for schools, and beyond.

Some studies suggest the policies -- which consider race as one of many factors when reviewing applicants to further a diverse student body -- have had a profound effect on opportunities for minority applicants, which in turn impact their job chances and careers. And they suggest that stopping them not only decreases the number of Black and Latino students enrolling in colleges but increases those of advantaged groups.

"It is a very, very significant threat to the continued constitutionality of affirmative action," Tanya Washington, a professor of law at Georgia State University whose research focuses on educational equity, told ABC News.

Opponents -- including the conservative group Students for Fair Admissions, which has brought both cases against the universities -- have argued that the policies are discriminatory and violate students' civil rights and the Constitution's guarantee of equal protection.

Since 1978, the court has said that race could be used as one factor among many in college admissions, barring the use of quotas or mathematical formulas to diversify a class.

In the landmark 2003 case Grutter vs. Bollinger, which the cases against Harvard and UNC are seeking to overturn, the court said that the goal of a diverse student body justifies the use of race, along with other factors, in admissions policies.

The court set the bar higher for schools with its 2013 decision in the case of Abigail Fisher, a white woman who attempted to end the consideration of race in the University of Texas' admissions policies. In the majority opinion, former Justice Anthony Kennedy said that institutions must first exhaust all race-neutral means of achieving racial diversity, such as recruitment and socio-economic indicators, before considering race, Washington said.

The court last upheld affirmative action in 2016 when it again considered Fisher's case, in a narrow vote that many at the time had expected to upend race-conscious admissions policies.

Since that decision, the makeup of the court has changed in a way that makes it seem likely the precedent could be overturned, according to Washington.

"The court has shifted to a more conservative bloc of justices -- 6 to 3 -- and I think there would be among that group of six a significant receptivity to overruling Grutter v. Bollinger," Washington said, noting that the breakdown is unlikely to change with the retirement of Justice Stephen Breyer.

With this latest case, the court could rule in one of several ways, according to Washington. It could say the use of race in admissions violates the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause and overturn Grutter, ending affirmative action. It could uphold Grutter and find that the use of race in Harvard and UNC's admissions policies was constitutional. Or it could uphold Grutter but find that the use of race in these contexts isn't constitutional.

The court could also potentially further restrict the practice or require "higher standards" for schools to use it, Michael Olivas, the emeritus William B. Bates Distinguished Chair in Law at the University of Houston Law Center, told ABC News.

The consolidation of the two cases signals to Washington that "a majority of the court may be ready to overrule Grutter." That the court also appeared inclined to overrule another long-standing precedent in Roe v. Wade also might indicate the same here, she said.

Against the convention wisdom at the time, Olivas had said the court would uphold affirmative action in the 2016 case. He said he believes the same now, even with a different makeup of the court.

"The world has changed, but the common law hasn't changed," he said. "I would hope that 50 years of very clear law would stand."
'Cataclysmic' impact

Should the court end affirmative action in higher education, the impact will be far-reaching, Washington said, as most institutions -- save for those in several states where it is prohibited at public universities -- are using race-conscious admissions policies.

"This is not just going to impact the elite," Washington said. "What we are going to see, what I predict, is a cataclysmic drop in the numbers of Latino, Black and Indigenous students attending institutions of higher ed."

A 2015 study published in the Journal of Higher Education that looked at the impact of affirmative action bans in six states found that the share of students of color in medical schools dropped after the bans went into effect.

In California, which has banned affirmative action policies at the state's public universities since 1996, the education advocacy group EdSource found there was a double-digit enrollment gap between the percentage of Latino high school graduates and those enrolled in the University of California's 2019 freshman class.

If Harvard were to stop considering race in its admissions process and solely use race-neutral factors, the proportion of African American students admitted to the class of 2019 would have likely dropped from 14% to 6%, and the proportion of Hispanic or "other" students from 14% to 9%, a university committee found. Meanwhile, "this decrease would produce a corresponding increase in students of other races, primarily white students," its report said.

Disparities in admissions have implications for those who enter professional fields, like law or medicine, as well as higher education faculty, Washington said.

"I think it will make the quality of education less robust and less rigorous," she said. "I think it will mean we also end up with fewer racially diverse professors and professionals. It's going to have adverse and broad consequences for our society."

For Olivas, one of the worst consequences of potentially ending affirmative action is the message it sends.

"I think it will send a signal to minority parents that their kids aren't wanted," he said. "I think that would be a mistake for all of us. I want a better-educated group no matter where they're from."

Whether or not affirmative action is upheld, disparities in admissions would still exist through policies like legacy admissions, which tend to disproportionately benefit white applicants, he added.

In the case against Harvard, Students for Fair Admissions alleges that Asian American applicants have been illegally targeted and rejected at a disproportionately higher rate in violation of the students' constitutional rights. In the case against UNC, it alleges the university refused to use race-neutral alternatives to achieve the stated goal of a diverse study body.

"Every college applicant should be judged as a unique individual, not as some representative of a racial or ethnic group," Edward Blum, the president of Students for Fair Admissions and a long-time affirmative action opponent and conservative activist, said in a statement.

In its complaint against Harvard, Students for Fair Admissions also argued that racial classifications "have a stigmatizing effect" on applicants.

"Irrespective of whether an individual African American or Hispanic applicant is admitted to Harvard because of a racial preference, so long as racial preferences exist, it will often be assumed that race is the reason for the applicant's admission to the school," the complaint stated. "This stigma can have a devastating effect on the psyche of impressionable students."

In response to the Supreme Court's decision this week, both Harvard and UNC said their admissions policies have been found to be constitutional by the lower courts.

"Considering race as one factor among many in admissions decisions produces a more diverse student body which strengthens the learning environment for all," Harvard President Lawrence Bacow said in a statement.

Beth Keith, a spokesperson for UNC, said in a statement that its holistic admissions process "allows for an evaluation of each student in a deliberate and thoughtful way."

Many experts, including Washington, expect the Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case during its next term, which starts in October.

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3 Houston police officers 3 Houston police officers shot, suspect barricaded in homeshot, suspect on the run

3 Houston police officers 3 Houston police officers shot, suspect barricaded in homeshot, suspect on the run

KTRK-TV

(HOUSTON) -- Three Houston police officers were shot Thursday afternoon by a suspect who fled, carjacked a white Mercedes and is currently holed up in a home in a standoff with authorities.

Houston police said that the officers are all in stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries. They are being treated at Memorial Hermann Hospital.

The incident took place around 2:40 p.m. local time when officers responded to a domestic call, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner told reporters at an evening news conference outside the hospital. The suspect spotted the officers and fled the scene in a car, with officers giving chase, Finner said.

The suspect crashed into a parking lot gate and then opened fire at the officers with an automatic weapon, according to Finner. The officers returned fire but the suspect escaped, carjacked the Mercedes and continued his flight, the chief said.

One officer was hit in the arm, another was hit in the leg and the third officer was shot in the foot, the police said.

The suspect entered a house in the Fifth Ward and fired on officers who were outside, Finner said. No officer was hurt in this shootout, according to police.

"He is still in the home and we're treating it as barricaded suspect," Finner said at 6 p.m. local time.

It was unknown if the suspect was wounded in either shootout, Finner added.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said he visited each of the officers in the hospital.

"All three officers are in good spirits, all were talkative and we expressed our support of them," he said.

This is the second incident this week in which a law enforcement officer was shot in Houston. Cpl. Charles Galloway of Harris County Constable Precinct 5 was shot and killed on Sunday when the deputy pulled over a car in southwest Houston.

Oscar Rosales, 51, who was arrested on Wednesday after fleeing to Mexico, has been charged with capital murder in that shooting.

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4 people in custody over possible connection to Milwaukee sextuple homicide

4 people in custody over possible connection to Milwaukee sextuple homicide

WISN-TV

(MILWAUKEE, Wis.) -- Multiple persons of interest are in custody in connection with a sextuple homicide in Wisconsin that police believe was a targeted attack.

Six people were found dead inside a Milwaukee home after officers conducted a welfare check at the residence Sunday, police said. All victims -- five men and one woman -- had been shot, police said.

Four persons of interest are now in custody, though no one has been charged yet, Milwaukee Police Chief Jeffrey Norman said during a press briefing Thursday.

"We are still trying to determine what their involvement was, if any, in this homicide," Norman said.

Police believe there were "multiple suspects" involved in the incident. Evidence suggests that the shooting was targeted, and it does not appear to have been a murder-suicide, according to the chief, who said there is no threat to the public at this time.

The motive, exact time of the shooting and exact number of guns used in the shooting are still being determined, Norman said.

ABC Milwaukee affiliate WISN reported that it obtained court records that show that three of the six victims' names appear on a witness list for a pending homicide case in Milwaukee County Court.

When asked if that could be a reason why the victims were targeted, Norman told reporters that he believes it is unrelated to the incident, but that authorities are "looking into all angles."

"Obviously, you never want to use one explanation for a particular incident and stick to that," Norman said. "At this time, we're pretty sure that that is not relative to this particular incident, but we never want to take away any particular explanation for what we're finding in this investigation."

During their investigation, authorities discovered that a woman who claimed she was a victim of a shooting called 911 about 12 hours before the victims were discovered. Police do not believe that she was a victim of this shooting, and her possible connection to the incident remains under investigation.

Acting Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson urged anyone with information in the case to come forward.

"It's time for that person to step forward, to come up, say something," he said during the briefing. "We can't have a city where somebody can go and pull the trigger and kill somebody, and then go sit on somebody's couch. We can't have that."

ABC News' Abigail Bowen contributed to this report.

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3 Houston police officers shot, suspect on the run

3 Houston police officers shot, suspect on the run

KTRK-TV

(HOUSTON) -- Authorities in Houston are searching for the suspect who shot three Houston police officers and fled in a white Mercedes Thursday afternoon.

Houston police tweeted that the officers are all in stable condition.

This is the second incident this week in which a law enforcement officer was shot in Houston. Cpl. Charles Galloway of Harris County Constable Precinct 5 was shot and killed on Sunday when the deputy pulled over a car in southwest Houston.

Oscar Rosales, 51, who was arrested on Wednesday after fleeing to Mexico, has been charged with capital murder in that shooting.

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COVID-19 live updates: US cases dropped by 18% over last 2 weeks

COVID-19 live updates: US cases dropped by 18% over last 2 weeks

John Moore/Getty Images

(NEW YORK) -- As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept the globe, more than 5.6 million people have died from the disease worldwide, including over 876,000 Americans, according to real-time data compiled by Johns Hopkins University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

About 63.5% of the population in the United States is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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

Jan 27, 3:54 pm
San Francisco dropping masks in 'stable cohorts'

San Francisco officials are ending indoor mask mandates for “stable cohorts” where everyone is up to date on vaccinations, like people in an office or gym setting.

The city's health officer Dr. Susan Philip called this change, which begins Feb. 1, doable due to San Francisco's highly vaccinated and boosted population.

"Other COVID-19 safety guidelines in these settings remain in effect and include a means for others who do not or cannot meet the vaccination requirements to join the group with the added safety of showing a negative test and wearing a mask," San Francisco's health department said.

-ABC News' Matt Fuhrman

Jan 27, 12:34 pm
Cases decreasing or at plateau in most states

The U.S. is now reporting an average of 627,000 new COVID-19 cases per day -- an 18% drop over the last two weeks, according to federal data.

Most states are seeing cases decreasing or at a plateau, according to federal data. Just 10 states are seeing at least a 10% increase in cases: Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

Despite this positive news, cases in the U.S. are still extremely high. Since the beginning of January, more than 17.4 million new cases have been reported -- that's nearly three times the number of cases reported in every other month of the pandemic.

-ABC News' Arielle Mitropoulos

Jan 27, 8:01 am
New Hampshire to sell rapid COVID-19 tests at liquor stores

Rapid at-home COVID-19 testing kits will soon be on sale at liquor stores across New Hampshire, according to Gov. Chris Sununu.

Sununu announced Wednesday that the New Hampshire Executive Council unanimously approved a request by the state's Department of Health and Human Services to use federal funds from the American Rescue Plan to secure 1 million over-the-counter antigen test kits for liquor store customers. The tests are expected to hit shelves within the next two weeks.

"In addition to tax-free liquor and lottery tickets, you’ll be able to grab a tax-free test," the governor wrote on Twitter Wednesday.

Sununu said the test kits will be sold "at cost" for about $13, which can be reimbursed through health insurance, though that will vary from company to company.

Jan 26, 6:36 pm
1st participant dosed in Moderna's omicron-specific vaccine

Moderna announced Wednesday that the first participant has been dosed in the phase 2 study of its omicron-specific booster candidate, in case it becomes necessary.

Moderna's trials will include people who received two doses of the original Moderna vaccine and people who received two doses of the original Moderna vaccine and a Moderna booster shot.

Pfizer announced Tuesday that it's initiated clinical studies to evaluate an omicron-based vaccine for adults.

Jan 26, 5:00 pm
NIH trial finds mixing and matching boosters is safe and effective

A study from the National Institutes of Health published in the New England Journal of Medicine found mixing and matching boosters are safe and create a similar immune response to sticking with your initial vaccine.

An earlier version of this study, with more preliminary findings, helped guide the CDC's decision to allow mix-and-match.

The study authors make no claims about specific combinations being more or less effective. The study did find that people who got an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) and then received the Johnson & Johnson booster had a significant increase in T-cell response, a part of immunity.

The trial looked at 458 participants who received a vaccine with no prior COVID-19 infection. This data is only for the first 29 days after receiving the booster; researchers plan to follow the participants for one year, allowing for more data.

-ABC News' Vanya Jain, Sony Salzman, Eric Strauss, Dr. Alexis Carrington

Jan 26, 4:47 pm
Unvaccinated child dies in Mississippi

An unvaccinated child has died in Mississippi from COVID-19, according to the state's health department.

The department confirmed to ABC News that the child was between the ages of 11 and 17, an age bracket that is eligible to receive Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.

This marked the 10th child -- including an infant -- to die in Mississippi from COVID-19. None of the 10 children were vaccinated, according to the health department.

-ABC News' Josh Hoyos

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East Coast braces for snow storm: Latest path

East Coast braces for snow storm: Latest path

ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- A snow storm is bearing down on the East Coast, with snow even expected to reach as far south as coastal North Carolina.

The brunt of the storm will hit from eastern Long Island to coastal Massachusetts, with moderate to major impacts for the Interstate 95 corridor from Philadelphia to New York City to Boston.

The storm will begin in the overnight hours early Saturday for Philadelphia and New York City.

By 7 a.m. it'll be snowing heavily across much of the I-95 corridor. By early Saturday afternoon, the storm will clear out for most of the mid-Atlantic and Northeast, focusing on Rhode Island, Cape Cod, Boston and Maine.

High winds and coastal flooding are a major threat. Wind gusts up to 65 mph are possible along the coast from Delaware to New Jersey to Long Island to Nantucket.

Whiteout conditions are possible from eastern Long Island to Cape Cod to Maine.

Eastern Long Island to Boston and Cape Cod are expected to get the brunt of the heaviest snow, with over 1 foot possible in some places.

New Jersey, Connecticut and New York City are forecast to see 4 to 10 inches of snow, with the higher totals closer to the coast.

North Carolina could get up to 4 inches.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin has declared a state of emergency. He warned residents to be mindful of heavy snow and high winds as well as the possibility of tidal flooding and power outages.

Ahead of the storm is a deep freeze. Bitter cold hit the East Coast Thursday morning with a wind chill -- what temperature it feels like -- at about 8 degrees in New York, 2 degrees in Boston, 15 in Raleigh and 24 in Atlanta.

And behind the snow storm will be the coldest temperatures in years for Florida. Sunday morning the wind chill could plunge to 23 degrees in Orlando and 29 degrees in Miami.

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Alleged Oxford High School shooter, Ethan Crumbley, to claim insanity defense

Alleged Oxford High School shooter, Ethan Crumbley, to claim insanity defense

Will McDuffie, ABC News

(OXFORD, Mich.) -- Ethan Crumbley, the alleged Oxford High School shooter, will plead insanity, his lawyers said in a court filing on Wednesday.

Crumbley was charged last month with multiple felony charges, including terrorism, in connection with the rampage that killed four students and injured several others on Nov. 30. The 15-year-old was charged as an adult.

"As expected, Ethan Crumbley's attorney has requested an evaluation of his criminal responsibility. This is standard procedure. The defendant will be evaluated by a doctor from the Center for Forensic Psychiatry, who will then prepare a written report," David Williams, Chief Assistant Prosecutor for Oakland County told ABC News in a statement Thursday.

According to McDonald, Crumbley opened fire on students and staff just hours after meeting with school counselors over disturbing drawings depicting a gun and the words, "The thoughts won't stop," "help me," and "blood everywhere." Crumbley's parents were called in for a meeting but left without taking their son with them or asking him if he'd brought a weapon to school, according to the prosecutor.

The parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, face charges of their own, accused of involuntary manslaughter, after allegedly neglecting or failing to notice warning signs about their son in the months before the shooting.

James Crumbley bought the gun used in the rampage just days prior, said prosecutors, who say a social media post of Jennifer's suggests the weapon was purchased for their son. The parents allegedly stored the gun in a place to which Ethan had access.

On Thursday, the families of four Oxford students -- including Tate Myre, one of the students killed -- filed a lawsuit accusing school staff and the Crumbley parents of negligence. It was the second lawsuit to be filed against employees of the high school.

Jennifer and James Crumbley are next due in court on Feb. 8. Their son will appear on Feb. 22.

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Police catch teen murder convict who escaped Washington detention center

Police catch teen murder convict who escaped Washington detention center

KOMO-TV

(SNOQUALMIE, Wash.) -- Police apprehended a teenager convicted of murder just hours after he and four other detainees escaped a Washington state juvenile detention center Thursday.

The other unidentified detainees are still on the lam, according to the King County Sheriff's Office.

Around 7:45 a.m. Wednesday, a 15-year-old and the quartet of detainees, aged 14 to 17, escaped the Echo Glen Children's Center in Snoqualmie, Washington, police said.

The escapees fled in a 2018 gray Ford Fusion with Washington license plate number 27545E, according to the sheriff's office.

The teen was convicted last year on first-degree murder and unlawful possession of a firearm charges stemming from a 2020 homicide in southwest King County, the sheriff's office said. The identities and criminal histories of the other escapees were not immediately released.

Around 1:30 a.m. Thursday, police caught the 15-year-old, they said. The whereabouts of the other detainees and the Ford Fusion were still unknown.

Investigators were still trying to determine how he and the others escaped and if they had any assistance, according to a police spokesperson.

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Snow storm takes aim on Northeast: Latest forecast

Snow storm takes aim on Northeast: Latest forecast

ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- A snow storm is bearing down on the East Coast, with snow even expected to reach as far south as coastal North Carolina.

The brunt of the storm will hit from eastern Long Island to coastal Massachusetts, with moderate to major impacts for the Interstate 95 corridor from Philadelphia to New York City to Boston.

The storm will begin in the overnight hours early Saturday for Philadelphia and New York City. Snow will continue into Saturday afternoon in New England.

Boston could see more than 1 foot of snow. New York City is forecast to get 4 to 8 inches of snow while Philadelphia could see about 3 to 5 inches.

The New Jersey coast and the mid-Atlantic could get over 6 inches of snow and North Carolina could get up to 4 inches.

Ahead of the storm is a deep freeze. Bitter cold is hitting the East Coast Thursday morning with a wind chill -- what temperature it feels like -- at about 8 degrees in New York, 2 degrees in Boston, 15 in Raleigh and 24 in Atlanta.

And behind the snow storm will be the coldest temperatures in years for Florida. Sunday morning the wind chill could plunge to 23 degrees in Orlando and 29 degrees in Miami.

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COVID-19 live updates: US deaths increasing to highest point in nearly one year

COVID-19 live updates: US deaths increasing to highest point in nearly one year

John Moore/Getty Images

(NEW YORK) -- As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept the globe, more than 5.6 million people have died from the disease worldwide, including over 876,000 Americans, according to real-time data compiled by Johns Hopkins University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

About 63.5% of the population in the United States is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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

Jan 27, 8:01 am
New Hampshire to sell rapid COVID-19 tests at liquor stores

Rapid at-home COVID-19 testing kits will soon be on sale at liquor stores across New Hampshire, according to Gov. Chris Sununu.

Sununu announced Wednesday that the New Hampshire Executive Council unanimously approved a request by the state's Department of Health and Human Services to use federal funds from the American Rescue Plan to secure 1 million over-the-counter antigen test kits for liquor store customers. The tests are expected to hit shelves within the next two weeks.

"In addition to tax-free liquor and lottery tickets, you’ll be able to grab a tax-free test," the governor wrote on Twitter Wednesday.

Sununu said the test kits will be sold "at cost" for about $13, which can be reimbursed through health insurance, though that will vary from company to company.

Jan 26, 6:36 pm
1st participant dosed in Moderna's omicron-specific vaccine

Moderna announced Wednesday that the first participant has been dosed in the phase 2 study of its omicron-specific booster candidate, in case it becomes necessary.

Moderna's trials will include people who received two doses of the original Moderna vaccine and people who received two doses of the original Moderna vaccine and a Moderna booster shot.

Pfizer announced Tuesday that it's initiated clinical studies to evaluate an omicron-based vaccine for adults.

Jan 26, 5:00 pm
NIH trial finds mixing and matching boosters is safe and effective

A study from the National Institutes of Health published in the New England Journal of Medicine found mixing and matching boosters are safe and create a similar immune response to sticking with your initial vaccine.

An earlier version of this study, with more preliminary findings, helped guide the CDC's decision to allow mix-and-match.

The study authors make no claims about specific combinations being more or less effective. The study did find that people who got an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) and then received the Johnson & Johnson booster had a significant increase in T-cell response, a part of immunity.

The trial looked at 458 participants who received a vaccine with no prior COVID-19 infection. This data is only for the first 29 days after receiving the booster; researchers plan to follow the participants for one year, allowing for more data.

-ABC News' Vanya Jain, Sony Salzman, Eric Strauss, Dr. Alexis Carrington

Jan 26, 4:47 pm
Unvaccinated child dies in Mississippi

An unvaccinated child has died in Mississippi from COVID-19, according to the state's health department.

The department confirmed to ABC News that the child was between the ages of 11 and 17, an age bracket that is eligible to receive Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.

This marked the 10th child -- including an infant -- to die in Mississippi from COVID-19. None of the 10 children were vaccinated, according to the health department.

-ABC News' Josh Hoyos

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'Modern-day lynching': Man found shot dead during trip with co-worker

'Modern-day lynching': Man found shot dead during trip with co-worker

Carmela King via Courtesy of Paul Jubas

(VENANGO COUNTY, Pa.) -- The family of a Jamaican immigrant is calling his death a "modern-day lynching" after he was found shot to death on the front lawn of a rural Pennsylvania cabin.

Peter Bernardo Spencer, 29, was invited by a co-worker to join him at a cabin in Rockland Township, Pennsylvania, on Dec. 11, according to his family.

On Dec. 12, just a few hours later, Spencer was found with nine bullet wounds: one to the mouth, two in his buttocks and six in his abdomen or chest, according to the Venango County Coroner.

"They are trying to sweep this under the rug," Spencer's sister, Tehilah, wrote on a GoFundMe page. "We will not let them ... He was slaughtered and killed in what I consider an act of modern-day lynching!"

Paul Jubas, the family's lawyer, released autopsy photos of Spencer on his social media accounts at the family's request. Jubas said the coroner's assertion that he was shot in the chest and abdomen is a "misrepresentation" and that the photos indicate at least four of the shots were to Spencer's back.

Pennsylvania State Police were called to the home around 2:30 a.m. and found Spencer dead on the front lawn with multiple gunshot wounds. Police say they found multiple firearms, "ballistic evidence" and controlled substances at the home.

Four suspects at the home were detained and questioned but were released after consultation with the Venango County District Attorney's Office, according to officials. Pennsylvania State Police officials said they are investigating this as a homicide and the investigation involving the district attorney's office is ongoing.

Spencer is Black. The former co-worker, as well as the other people at the cabin, were all white, according to the family. The people at the cabin during Spencer's time of death have not been identified by police.

The district attorney's office told ABC News that it will not comment on the ongoing investigation "out of concern for the impact that may have on a case and any potential charges."

"Further disclosure of information may hinder or interfere with the investigation moving forward," the district attorney's office said in a statement to ABC News. "This office takes seriously any possibility that a crime may be fueled by hatred toward a person because of their race, color, religion or national origin. Rest assured, the Venango County District Attorney's office will take every measure to ensure that justice is sought wherever it may be found."

"The Franklin state troopers office will not give Peter's family nor myself any information regarding this incident," Carmela King, Spencer's pregnant fiancee, wrote in a GoFundMe post. "We have been turned away several times while trying to reach out for information regarding what happened."

The Pennsylvania State Police did not respond to ABC News' requests for comment.

No one has been charged with a crime, and Spencer's family is demanding answers, according to a statement from Jubas.

The family is demanding that the Venango County coroner must immediately turn over all photos and other pertinent information; the FBI or Department of Justice gets involved in this investigation and provides transparency for Spencer's family; and the Venango County district attorney refers the case to Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

Spencer loved the outdoors and hunting, according to his family. Several groups, including Hunters of Color, Brown Girl Outdoor World and Outdoor Alliance, have joined forces to demand justice in the murder of Spencer.

A petition from more than 30 groups is urging the county district attorney, state officials and the U.S. attorney general to take action in setting "a precedent so that all future hunters, outdoor recreationists, and people of color know that justice is on their side, and that the outdoors are truly for everyone."

The petition has gotten more than 15,000 signatures online.

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North Carolina mother, young daughter found safely after going missing in 2016

North Carolina mother, young daughter found safely after going missing in 2016

Oliver Helbig/Getty Images

(BUNNLEVEL, N.C.) -- A North Carolina mother who went missing with her young daughter in 2016 have been found safe, according to authorities.

Amber Renaye Weber, then 21 years old and her 1-year-old daughter, Miracle Smith, were last seen on Dec. 4, 2016, in Fayetteville, according to the Fayetteville Police Department. They were reported missing on Jan. 31, 2017, but leads in the case eventually went cold, police said.

The pair were found Tuesday in a home in Bunnlevel, North Carolina, about 20 miles north of Fayetteville. In 2018, they were believed to be nearby in Harnett County after Weber received medical treatment there, but her family was not able to contact her, Raleigh-Durham CBS affiliate WNCN reported.

U.S. Marshals, agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and deputies from the Harnett County Sheriff's Office found Amber Weber and Miracle Smith at a home on Lemon Lane in Bunnlevel, Raleigh-Durham ABC affiliate WTVD reported. Four firearms were seized from the home, and Joe Smith, 59, was taken into custody, according to the U.S. Marshals. He had previously been arrested on Jan. 19 on a charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, authorities said.

The case was reignited in 2021 after Fayetteville police investigative assistant Sonia Roldan partnered with the U.S. Marshalls to seek new leads for Weber and Miracle, police said. Information led investigators to believe Weber and Miracle had an association with Smith in Bunnlevel, authorities said.

Police did not disclose the nature of Smith's relationship with Weber and her daughter.

The search "brought some closure and relief to family and friends of the missing person" as well as removed guns from the hands of a convicted felon, ATF Special Agent in Charge Vince Pallozzi said in a statement.

"The culmination of years of following leads and tips resulted in the outcome that we had all hoped for today; the successful recovery of a child who had been missing since December 2016," Michael East, U.S. marshal for the Eastern District of North Carolina, said in a statement. "The U.S. Marshals Service and our investigative partners will not quit, nor be deterred until these children are rescued."

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Laser temporarily blinds medical helicopter crew member

Laser temporarily blinds medical helicopter crew member

EThamPhoto/Getty Images

(SALT LAKE CITY) -- A paramedic was temporarily blinded after their helicopter was affected by a laser strike earlier this month.

A Utah AirMed helicopter was struck while transporting a patient to the University of Utah hospital. A crew member aboard the flight experienced temporary blindness and blurred vision from the laser.

"They were able to safely land in our hospital, and once they were able to transfer the patient, the crew member was seen in the emergency room," Nathan Morreale, chief flight paramedic for Utah AirMed told ABC News.

The crew member is back on the job but has experienced lingering blindness in his peripheral vision, Morreale said.

"The safety of our patients and our crews are at the forefront of everything we do," Morreale said. "Even though our crews are highly trained for circumstances and scenarios, there's no amount of training that can prepare you for what happens when a laser hits your eye and causes temporary blindness."

The Federal Aviation Administration said its Flight Standards District Office is looking into the incident.

Laser incidents have been on the rise in recent years, according to the agency. The FAA reported 6,852 laser incidents in 2020, up from 6,136 in 2019. It's the highest reported number of incidents since 2016.

Intentionally aiming lasers at aircraft violates federal law. Individuals may face up to $11,000 in civil penalties per violation and up to $30,800 for multiple incidents.

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Letter from Holocaust survivor found from flea market vendor decades later

Letter from Holocaust survivor found from flea market vendor decades later

Courtesy Chelsey Brown

(NEW YORK) -- Thrift stores, antique fairs and flea markets in New York City are prime spots for finding valuable, hidden family heirlooms. When Chelsey Brown, an avid thrifter, was shown a letter written more than 75 years ago at the end of the Holocaust by a survivor, she knew where it belonged.

"The second that I had it transcribed, I just knew it had to go back to the right family," Brown said. She found the note in late 2021.

The letter was written by Ilse Loewenberg, a woman who jumped out of a moving train that was headed to the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1943. She was part of an underground Nazi resistance group called Gemeinschaft für Frieden und Aufbau, or the Association for Peace and Development.

According to later documentation from her sister, Loewenberg walked a three-day-long journey back to Berlin after escaping.

In 1944, she was recaptured and put in solitary confinement in Berlin until she was liberated by Russian troops in July 1945.

Loewenberg lost her mother, father, two sisters and husband in the Holocaust.

After she was freed, she wrote a letter to her living sister, Carla, who had immigrated to England prior to the war. Carla was the only sister and family member of Loewenberg’s to survive the tragedy.

"Through the kindness of our liberators, I am able to give you a sign of life from me after so many years," Loewenberg wrote in German. "Dad, Mom, Grete, Lottchen and Hermann: no one is alive anymore. My pain is unspeakably big. My husband, whom I married 3.5 years ago, was also taken from me! … When there will be a regular mail connection, I will tell you everything in detail."

That's the letter that Brown bought from a flea market vendor.

Brown discovered the details of the family tree through MyHeritage.com, a global family history platform that retains historical records.

She discovered that both Loewenberg and Carla immigrated to the United States and settled in Forest Hills, New York, in 1948. Neither Loewenberg or Carla had children, but they did have extended families via their husbands.

Brown found Jill Butler, the daughter of Loewenberg’s brother-in-law’s brother. Butler and Loewenberg, who used to live near each other, were close before Loewenberg died in 2001.

When Brown sent Butler the letter, Butler and her family were moved.

"My whole family is truly in awe of all you have done for us," Butler said in a letter back to Brown. "We all loved our Great-Aunt Ilse and are thrilled beyond words to read her thoughts in her own handwriting after she emerged from the depths of the European inferno."

She added, "May God bless your noble work, and may you receive many blessings in return for all you do for families like mine."

Brown, whose family also lost members in the Holocaust, now feels a deep connection to Loewenberg and said her story has inspired her.

"She's a bit of inspiration for everyone to be better in life. After the war, Ilse actually sent supplies to the family that helped hide her in Berlin," she said. "She really is an example of doing good in a world or being kind in a world that isn't."

Brown, who has done hundreds of heirloom returns, has said the stories have taught her a lot about life and relationships and that she wishes more people could be reconnected with family heirlooms.

"It does break my heart, because I'm sure that there's a ton of items I could help reunite with her rightful families," Brown said. "We shouldn't be selling these items. It should be illegal. They should be going back to their families."

She added, "The reason why people connected with my heirloom returns on social media is because it shows that there is magic in the lives of average people," Brown said. "We each have our own unique ancestry and story, and I think that's what our world and generation needs right now."

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Letter from Holocaust survivor found at flea market decades later

Letter from Holocaust survivor found at flea market decades later

Courtesy Chelsey Brown

(NEW YORK) -- Thrift stores, antique fairs and flea markets in New York City are prime spots for finding valuable, hidden family heirlooms. When Chelsey Brown, an avid thrifter, was shown a letter written more than 75 years ago at the end of the Holocaust by a survivor, she knew where it belonged.

"The second that I had it transcribed, I just knew it had to go back to the right family," Brown said. She found the note in late 2021.

The letter was written by Ilse Loewenberg, a woman who jumped out of a moving train that was headed to the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1943. She was part of an underground Nazi resistance group called Gemeinschaft für Frieden und Aufbau, or the Association for Peace and Development.

According to later documentation from her sister, Loewenberg walked a three-day-long journey back to Berlin after escaping.

In 1944, she was recaptured and put in solitary confinement in Berlin until she was liberated by Russian troops in July 1945.

Loewenberg lost her mother, father, two sisters and husband in the Holocaust.

After she was freed, she wrote a letter to her living sister, Carla, who had immigrated to England prior to the war. Carla was the only sister and family member of Loewenberg’s to survive the tragedy.

"Through the kindness of our liberators, I am able to give you a sign of life from me after so many years," Loewenberg wrote in German. "Dad, Mom, Grete, Lottchen and Hermann: no one is alive anymore. My pain is unspeakably big. My husband, whom I married 3.5 years ago, was also taken from me! … When there will be a regular mail connection, I will tell you everything in detail."

That's the letter that Brown bought from a flea market vendor.

Brown discovered the details of the family tree through MyHeritage.com, a global family history platform that retains historical records.

She discovered that both Loewenberg and Carla immigrated to the United States and settled in Forest Hills, New York, in 1948. Neither Loewenberg or Carla had children, but they did have extended families via their husbands.

Brown found Jill Butler, the daughter of Loewenberg’s brother-in-law’s brother. Butler and Loewenberg, who used to live near each other, were close before Loewenberg died in 2001.

When Brown sent Butler the letter, Butler and her family were moved.

"My whole family is truly in awe of all you have done for us," Butler said in a letter back to Brown. "We all loved our Great-Aunt Ilse and are thrilled beyond words to read her thoughts in her own handwriting after she emerged from the depths of the European inferno."

She added, "May God bless your noble work, and may you receive many blessings in return for all you do for families like mine."

Brown, whose family also lost members in the Holocaust, now feels a deep connection to Loewenberg and said her story has inspired her.

"She's a bit of inspiration for everyone to be better in life. After the war, Ilse actually sent supplies to the family that helped hide her in Berlin," she said. "She really is an example of doing good in a world or being kind in a world that isn't."

Brown, who has done hundreds of heirloom returns, has said the stories have taught her a lot about life and relationships and that she wishes more people could be reconnected with family heirlooms.

"It does break my heart, because I'm sure that there's a ton of items I could help reunite with her rightful families," Brown said. "We shouldn't be selling these items. It should be illegal. They should be going back to their families."

She added, "The reason why people connected with my heirloom returns on social media is because it shows that there is magic in the lives of average people," Brown said. "We each have our own unique ancestry and story, and I think that's what our world and generation needs right now."

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COVID-19 live updates: US deaths increasing to highest point in nearly 1 year

COVID-19 live updates: US deaths increasing to highest point in nearly 1 year

Go Nakamura/Getty Images

(NEW YORK) -- As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept the globe, more than 5.6 million people have died from the disease worldwide, including over 872,000 Americans, according to real-time data compiled by Johns Hopkins University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

About 63.5% of the population in the United States is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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

Jan 26, 6:36 pm
1st participant dosed in Moderna's omicron-specific vaccine

Moderna announced Wednesday that the first participant has been dosed in the phase 2 study of its omicron-specific booster candidate, in case it becomes necessary.

Moderna's trials will include people who received two doses of the original Moderna vaccine and people who received two doses of the original Moderna vaccine and a Moderna booster shot.

Pfizer announced Tuesday that it's initiated clinical studies to evaluate an omicron-based vaccine for adults.

Jan 26, 5:00 pm
NIH trial finds mixing and matching boosters is safe and effective

A study from the National Institutes of Health published in the New England Journal of Medicine found mixing and matching boosters are safe and create a similar immune response to sticking with your initial vaccine.

An earlier version of this study, with more preliminary findings, helped guide the CDC's decision to allow mix-and-match.

The study authors make no claims about specific combinations being more or less effective. The study did find that people who got an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) and then received the Johnson & Johnson booster had a significant increase in T-cell response, a part of immunity.

The trial looked at 458 participants who received a vaccine with no prior COVID-19 infection. This data is only for the first 29 days after receiving the booster; researchers plan to follow the participants for one year, allowing for more data.

-ABC News' Vanya Jain, Sony Salzman, Eric Strauss, Dr. Alexis Carrington

Jan 26, 4:47 pm
Unvaccinated child dies in Mississippi

An unvaccinated child has died in Mississippi from COVID-19, according to the state's health department.

The department confirmed to ABC News that the child was between the ages of 11 and 17, an age bracket that is eligible to receive Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.

This marked the 10th child -- including an infant -- to die in Mississippi from COVID-19. None of the 10 children were vaccinated, according to the health department.

-ABC News' Josh Hoyos

Jan 26, 10:40 am
US hospital admissions projected to fall for 1st time in months

COVID-19-related hospital admissions in the U.S. are expected to fall in the weeks to come, the first time the nation would see a decline in months, according to forecast models used by the CDC.

Estimates suggest between 4,900 and 27,800 Americans could be admitted to the hospital each day by Feb. 18.

Deaths from COVID-19 are expected to remain stable or have an uncertain trend. Estimates suggest about 33,000 more Americans could die from COVID-19 over the next two weeks.

-ABC News' Arielle Mitropoulos

Jan 25, 6:06 pm
All Super Bowl attendees to get KN95 mask

Every attendee of next month's Super Bowl in Los Angeles will receive a KN95 mask, health officials said Tuesday.

Additionally, "safety team members" will remind fans to keep their masks on unless they are eating or drinking, Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said during a county Board of Supervisors meeting.

Attendees at the Super Bowl Experience will also receive a free at-home rapid test kit, Ferrer said, with messaging to test before the big game on Feb. 13 at SoFi Stadium.

The county expects to distribute over 60,000 take-home kits during the Super Bowl Experience, held at the Los Angeles Convention Center from Feb. 5 to Feb. 12.

-ABC News' Jennifer Watts

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