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Hester Ford, the oldest living American, has died

Mon, 2021-04-19 07:07

(CNN) — Hester Ford, a North Carolina woman who was recognized as the oldest living American, died peacefully on Saturday in her home in Charlotte, North Carolina, her great-granddaughter Tanisha Patterson-Powe confirmed.

Ford was at least 115 years and 245 days old at the time of her death, according to the Gerontology Research Group, who verified her as the oldest living American in 2019. Her family, however, told CNN she was born on August 15, 1904, which would make her 116 years old.

Ford was born in Lancaster, South Carolina, to Peter and Frances McCardell. She went on to marry John Ford and had 12 children — eight girls and four boys.

“It is overwhelming, yet an awakening experience to realize my grandmother wasn’t just an ordinary woman, she was E-X-T-R-A-ordinary,” Patterson-Powe told CNN in an email.

“She never ‘fit into a one size fit all box’ as she was a master inventor and innovator — a trailblazer setting her own trends within the community and her home,” she said.

Patterson-Powe described her great-grandmother as steadfast and unmovable in the face of adversity.

“She never complained, never showed defeat or entertained a pity-party,” Patterson-Powe said.

With Ford’s passing, the Gerontology Research Group lists Thelma Sutcliffe of Nebraska, born in 1906, as the oldest living American. The world’s oldest person is Kane Tanaka of Japan at 118 years old, it says.

The US has reported at least 50 mass shootings since the Atlanta spa shootings

Mon, 2021-04-19 07:05

(CNN) — At least three people were killed and two were injured in a shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin, early Sunday, continuing the long string of similar incidents that preceded it.

Since March 16, when eight people were killed and one wounded at three Atlanta-area spas, the United States has had at least 50 mass shootings, according to CNN reporting and an analysis of data from the Gun Violence Archive (GVA), local media and police reports.

Analysis: A return to normal in America means a return to violence

The United States has seen at least 150 mass shootings in 2021, according to data from the GVA, a non-profit based in Washington.

CNN considers an incident to be a mass shooting if four or more people are shot, wounded or killed, excluding the gunman; so does the GVA.

Here are the incidents reported since March 16.

 

April 18: Kenosha, Wisconsin

 

Three people were killed and three others wounded in a shooting at The Somers House tavern in Kenosha County, Wisconsin, according to the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Office.

 

April 17: Columbus, Ohio

 

A shooting at a vigil in Columbus, Ohio, left one dead and five others — including a 12-year-old child — wounded, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office said. No suspects are in custody.

 

April 16: Detroit

 

Four people were wounded in a shooting during a vigil on Detroit’s east side when an unknown person fired into the crowd, CNN affiliate WDIV reported. The victims were expected to recover.

 

April 15: Indianapolis

 

Eight people were killed and several others wounded in a mass shooting at an Indianapolis FedEx facility, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department spokeswoman Genae Cook said.

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April 15: Pensacola, Florida

 

At least six people were injured at an Escambia County apartment complex, as reported by CNN affiliate WEAR-TV. No suspects are in custody.

 

April 15: Washington, DC

 

Four people were shot, including a teenage girl, in Northeast Washington, DC, affiliate WRC reported.

 

April 13: Baltimore

 

Police said a dice game turned violent when two people opened fire on a group, wounding four, according to CNN affiliate WJZ-TV.

 

April 12: Chicago

 

Four people were shot, one fatally, and a fifth person was hit by a car in a shooting just after midnight on the Eisenhower Expressway, affiliate WMAQ reported.

 

April 11: Wichita, Kansas

 

One person was killed and three others injured in a shooting at a house party at an East Wichita Airbnb, as reported by CNN affiliate KWCH.

 

April 11: Seattle

 

A toddler and three other people were injured when suspects fired into a business parking lot, according to CNN affiliate KIRO 7.

 

April 10: Memphis, Tennessee

 

One person was killed and three others, including a mother and child, were injured after gunfire was exchanged in a Memphis neighborhood, according to CNN affiliate WHBQ.

 

April 10: Koshkonong, Missouri

 

One person was killed and three others injured in a shooting at a convenience store, according to CNN affiliate KY3.

 

April 10: Waterbury, Connecticut

 

Police responded to calls of a weapons complaint and found blood trails and four injured victims, reported CNN affiliate WFSB.

 

April 10: Allendale, Michigan

 

An incident outside a house party resulted in four people being shot and one critically injured, according to CNN affiliate WWMT.

 

April 9: Fort Worth, Texas

 

One person was killed and at least five others injured when people in two vehicles shot at each other on a Fort Worth, Texas, freeway, officials said.

 

April 8: Bryan, Texas

 

A gunman killed one person and wounded at least five others — four of them critically — at a cabinet manufacturer, police said.

 

April 7: Rock Hill, South Carolina

 

A former NFL player killed six people — including a prominent doctor, his wife and their two young grandchildren — before killing himself, authorities said.

 

April 7: Milwaukee

 

A 26-year-old man was charged with the shooting that killed two people and injured two others at a gas station, according to CNN affiliate WDJT.

 

April 6: Detroit

 

One person was killed and three others injured after gunfire erupted from a car, according to CNN affiliate WDIV.

 

April 5: Chicago

 

Seven people were wounded on Chicago’s South Side, CNN affiliate WLS reported, when gunfire erupted after a fight on a sidewalk. The victims — six men and one woman — ranged in age from 18 to 39.

 

April 5: Baltimore

 

Five victims were taken to a hospital with multiple gunshot wounds, Baltimore police said.

 

April 4: Monroe, Louisiana

 

Police responded to Bobo’s Bar, where they found six victims with gunshot wounds, according to CNN affiliate KNOE.

 

April 4: Birmingham, Alabama

 

An argument between two groups of men devolved into more than 30 shots fired at a park on Easter — killing a woman and wounding five other people, including four children, police said.

 

April 4: Beaumont, Texas

 

A man arrived at a home, threatening several people with a firearm before shooting four people, according to Beaumont Police.

 

April 3: Wilmington, North Carolina

 

Three people were killed and four others injured in a mass shooting at a house party, according to CNN affiliate WECT.

 

April 3: Tuscaloosa, Alabama

 

Two men were arrested and charged with attempted murder after five people were injured during a shooting outside an Alabama bar, police said.

 

April 3: Dallas

 

In what police said was an apparent murder-suicide plot between 21-year-old and 19-year-old brothers, they killed their parents, sister, grandmother and then themselves, according to CNN affiliate KLTV.

 

April 3: Quincy, Florida

 

Seven people were injured by gunfire near a nightclub after a fight broke out, according to CNN affiliate WCTV.

 

March 31: Orange, California

 

Four people, including a child, were killed and another person wounded in a mass shooting at an office complex in Orange, California, according to authorities.

 

March 31: Washington, DC

 

Five people were shot in Washington, the DC Police Department said. The incident started as a dispute and ended with two people dead and three injured.

 

March 28: Cleveland

 

Seven people were shot at a Cleveland nightclub, according to CNN affiliate WOIO. The victims, four men and three women, were all between 20 and 30 years old, and police believe several people fired inside the nightclub, the station reported.

 

March 28: Chicago

 

Four people in an SUV were shot on the I-57 expressway, according to CNN affiliate WLS. All were taken to hospitals in critical condition.

 

March 28: Essex, Maryland

 

A man fatally shot his parents before shooting three people at a convenience store, killing two of them, CNN affiliate WBOC reported, citing Baltimore County police. The suspect died by suicide.

 

March 27: Chicago

 

Four people were shot in Chicago’s South Austin neighborhood, according to CNN affiliate WBBM. The victims, who included men ages 42, 53 and 64, were near a sidewalk when they were shot, the station reported.

 

March 27: Yazoo City, Mississippi

 

At least seven people were injured in a mass shooting at a nightclub, CNN affiliate WLBT reported. At least six people were shot and another person suffered a laceration, the station reported.

 

March 27: River Grove, Illinois

 

A shooting on a party bus left three people injured and one dead, according to CNN affiliate WLS. Police say the occupants of another vehicle fired at the bus while stopped at an intersection, the station reported.

 

March 26: Virginia Beach, Virginia

 

Three shootings in the city left eight people injured and two dead, according to the City of Virginia Beach.

 

March 26: Chicago

 

A gathering in Chicago’s Wrightwood neighborhood turned into a mass shooting, according to CNN affiliate WLS. Two gunmen opened fire inside the gathering, wounding seven people and fatally shooting a 26-year-old man, the station reported.

 

March 26: Norfolk, Virginia

 

Police responded to a shooting that left four people wounded, CNN affiliate WTKR reported. The victims — two 18-year-old men, a 17-year-old girl and a 21-year-old woman — sustained non-life-threatening gunshot wounds.

 

March 26: Memphis, Tennessee

 

Five people were shot, the Memphis Police Department said on Twitter. Three victims were pronounced dead at the scene, two were taken to a hospital in critical condition, and one was in non-critical condition, the tweet said.

Michael Tucker, the man identified as the suspect, was found dead in a motel in Nashville on April 1. Police spokesman Don Aaron said it is believed Tucker died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

 

March 26: Philadelphia

 

Outside of the Golf and Social Club, police say two suspects shot seven people, CNN affiliate WPVI reported. Video released by police shows two suspects approaching a gathering crowd and opening fire.

 

March 23: Aliceville, Alabama

 

A shooting reported at an Aliceville home left two people dead and two injured, according to CNN affiliate WVTM.

 

March 23: Boulder, Colorado

 

Ten people, including a Boulder police officer, were killed in a shooting at a King Soopers supermarket, according to police.

 

March 20: Philadelphia

 

One person was killed and another five were injured in a shooting at an illegal party, CNN affiliate KYW reported. “There were at least 150 people in there that fled and believed they had to flee for their lives,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said.

 

March 20: Dallas

 

Eight people were shot, one fatally, by an unknown assailant, according to police.

 

March 20: Houston

 

Five people were shot after a disturbance inside a club, according to police. One was in critical condition after being shot in the neck, and the rest were in stable condition, according to CNN affiliate KPRC.

 

March 18: New Orleans

 

Four people were wounded in a shooting in New Orleans’ Seventh Ward, CNN affiliate WDSU reported.

 

March 18: Gresham, Oregon

 

Four victims were taken to the hospital after a shooting in the city east of Portland, police said in an initial report.

 

March 17: Stockton, California

 

Five people who were preparing a vigil in Stockton, in California’s Central Valley, were shot in a drive-by shooting, the San Joaquin Sheriff’s Department said. None had life-threatening injuries.

 

March 16: Atlanta

 

Eight people, including six Asian women, were killed when a White gunman stormed three spas, police said. One person was wounded.

1 dead, 6 injured after hit-and-run in NW Miami-Dade

Mon, 2021-04-19 06:55

One person has died and six others were injured after a hit-and-run in Northwest Miami-Dade.

The crash took place near Northwest 119th Street and 22nd Avenue, at around 12:35 a.m., Monday.

7SkyForce hovered over the scene where a mangled car could be seen in the roadway.

A 23-year-old victim was transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center in critical condition. They later succumbed to their injuries.

The remaining six victims remain in stable condition.

The mother of the deceased victim is pleading for anyone who saw anything, to say something.

Officials said the person responsible for the crash fled the scene on foot.

Both eastbound and westbound traffic has been shut down on Northwest 119th Street.

Miami-Dade Police is now investigating the crash.

If you have any information on this fatal hit-and-run, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.

Bald eaglet rescued after nest collapse in Pembroke Pines nature preserve

Mon, 2021-04-19 01:39

Crews recovered a baby bald eagle after it fell from a nest at a nature preserve in Pembroke Pines, thanks to two devoted wildlife photographers.

Lazaro De Jesus is part of a group of photographers that come out to take pictures in the Chapel Trail Nature Preserve, Sunday afternoon.

He was the first one to notice the eaglet had fallen from its nestin the area of near Northwest 208th Avenue and Johnson Street.

“When we find out [about] the missing baby eagle, we feel very sad,” he said.

De Jesus called his friend Phil Martin for help.

“Another photographer comes, and I tell him … and he [gets in] contact with people with the rescue,” said De Jesus, “and they come, go inside of the bushes, and finally, they find out the baby eagle is still alive.”

Martin said he has been watching that nest for more than a decade.

“Today, one of the eagle watchers called me to notify me that the nest had collapsed, and would I come out and check it out,” he said. “I have a background in wildlife rescue, and when I came, the next, in fact, did collapse, and I could hear one of the eagles crying.”

Martin called in several animal rescue groups and firefighters to come to the preserve and rescue the eaglet.

“I notified Pelican Harbor, Wildlife Rescue, I asked them to respond, and I enlisted the help of the Pembroke Pines Fire Department,” he said. “We did a cursory examination on the eaglet, and it appeared to have a broken wing in several places, but there was no blood or other trauma visible.”

Martin said he put the bird in his car and transported it to the Pelican Harbor Seabird Station’s wildlife facility for medical care.

“I love these birds. They’re the symbol of our great nation,” said Martin. “I’m just so happy and blessed that we were able to retrieve this eaglet, who is approximately six weeks old, and bring her to the medical professionals who will give her a chance on life.”

Martin said this has happened before, and he relies on eagle watchers and photographers to stay vigilant.

Driver arrested after allegedly doing ‘donuts’ at South Beach intersection

Mon, 2021-04-19 01:08

A driver who, police said, was busted doing “donuts” at an intersection in South Beach has been caught and cuffed.

According to Miami Beach Police, 18-year-old Rollin Malik Cherry was caught driving recklessly at the corner of South Pointe and Ocean drives, bringing traffic to a standstill, early Sunday morning.

Officers responded shortly after to stop the dangerous drive.

Cherry was arrested on several charges, including reckless driving and driving with a suspended license.

Crews work to repair water main break in Fort Lauderdale neighborhood

Mon, 2021-04-19 00:11

Crews worked to repair a water main that ruptured in a Fort Lauderdale neighborhood.

7News cameras captured crews in the area of Northwest 13th Street, between Seventh Avenue and Seventh Terrace, Sunday afternoon.

Crews stopped the water from flowing to fix the 24-inch break.

A portion of the road was shut down while they made repairs.

‘I’m grateful’: Man who lost leg after Little Havana hit-and-run shares ordeal

Sun, 2021-04-18 23:21

A man who lost a leg after, police said, he was run over by a hit-and-run driver in Miami’s Little Havana section said he’s thankful to be alive and only remembers part of his harrowing ordeal.

Mickey Barroso spoke to 7News through FaceTime from his bed at Jackson Memorial Hospital, Sunday.

The 37-year-old described the moment he knew something had gone terribly wrong.

“What I remember was when I woke up, [and caregivers were] taking out the tubes, and I felt like I had a dream,” he said.

Barroso said he then looked down at his lower extremities.

“I just saw my leg gushing blood, and me screaming, like pointing at it, and then I just [started] screaming to the top of my lungs,” he said,

The patient, who occasionally winced and struggled to speak during his interview, said he has been in pain ever since Wednesday night’s crash.

“it’s excruciating pain,” he said. “My leg, I got amputated in my right leg.”

Barroso has since undergo multiple surgeries.

“They did another surgery yesterday for it. They took off more of the same leg,” he said, “just to wrap it up real good, with stitches and stuff,” he said.

City of Miami Police said the crash happened near the intersection of Southwest Seventh Street and Eighth Avenue as Barroso was walking home.

Good Samaritans nearby did what they could to help him, but his injuries were too severe.

Barroso said that night is still a blur.

“I don’t remember nothing. Like, I remember a little bit, but not when I got hit or anything,” he said.

The patient has been unable to see his family in person and can only speak to them on FaceTime.

Meanwhile, detectives continue their search for the driver of a white Maserati Levante with damage to the front and windshield.

Despite his injury and long road to recovery, Barroso said he still feels blessed.

“It’s no joke, excruciating pain. I don’t even know what I’m feeling, but I’m actually feeling grateful, way too grateful, infinitely, universally,” he said, “because I’m alive, and I know I could’ve died.”

Varroso said he doesn’t know when he will be released from the hospital, but he hopes it happens soon.

If you have any information on this hit-and-run or the driver’s whereabouts, call City of Miami Police or Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.

MDFR crews help Husky with head stuck in tire

Sun, 2021-04-18 22:39

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue crews and a local animal clinic came to the aid of a Husky after it got its head stuck in a tire.

MDFR crews and staff from Knowles Animal Clinic were able to pull off the “ruff” rescue in an unspecified part of the county, Sunday.

After they lightly sedated the dog, crews were able to slip its head out.

Firefighters said the best thing to do in a situation like this is to keep the animal calm.

Minneapolis and other US cities increase security ahead of Derek Chauvin trial verdict

Sun, 2021-04-18 22:27

(CNN) — With jury deliberations in Derek Chauvin’s trial in the death of George Floyd expected next week, Minneapolis and other US cities are preparing for protests and possible civil unrest.

The verdict in one of the most closely watched police brutality trials in decades could come next week as the Minneapolis metropolitan area and other cities reel from police-involved deaths, including the fatal shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright by an officer in Brooklyn Center last weekend just miles from the courthouse.

Chicago has been on edge this week since authorities released body-worn camera footage showing an officer firing a single shot that killed 13-year-old Adam Toledo, who had been holding a handgun he appeared to ditch at the end of a foot chase, according to police.

A nationwide reckoning on policing and systemic racial injustice reignited by Floyd’s death last summer has prompted new, sometimes violent, protests this week.

Minneapolis Public Schools will move to remote learning starting on Wednesday in anticipation of a trial verdict, according a letter to students and parents from Superintendent Ed Graff.

Closing arguments will be delivered Monday in the trial of the former officer who neeled on Floyd’s neck and back for nine minutes and 29 seconds last May. Chauvin, 45, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges.

Graff said all students will do distance learning from Wednesday through the end of the week. Athletic events and before and after school childcare will not take place.

“The racism and violence that has been highlighted in these tragic incidents may be widely discussed among some students in our schools,” Graff said in the letter posted on the school system’s website.

“As appropriate and as they are comfortable, teachers will give students the opportunity to process their feelings, how this feels to them personally and how they are impacted by having the eyes of the world on Minneapolis.”

In downtown Minneapolis, where the sequestered jury will hold deliberations, crews were seen this week installing razor wire around a police building. Similar measures were being taken at other police precincts, according to Minneapolis police spokesman John Elder.

National Guard troops have been deployed in parts of downtown Minneapolis.

Mayor Jacob Frey said before the trial that up to 2,000 National Guard members will be prepared to respond along with up to 1,100 law enforcement pooled from 12 other jurisdictions.

The Hennepin County Government Center has been surrounded by fencing and barricades since jury selection began last month.

Other US cities prepare for verdict and protests

In Los Angeles, police have stepped up community outreach efforts and planned to make additional officers available, according to Capt. Stacy Spell.

“We are also strongly encouraging that if those people who want to express themselves see something, that they say something,” he said. “We don’t want small groups of individuals with malicious intent to hijack what would otherwise be a peaceful demonstration.”

In San Francisco, police said discretionary days off for officers have been canceled and additional officers will be deployed.

The Atlanta Police Department said in a statement that it’s coordinating efforts with local, state, and federal law enforcement and have officers prepared to respond quickly.

In New York City, police were preparing for protests.

“We’re in constant, literally daily conversations,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “Obviously, so much will happen based on what the verdict is and how it’s expressed.”

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said the city has averaged 10 to 20 protests a day basically since last year. “It’s never really ended,” he told 1010 WINS radio on Wednesday.

“We’re just asking anyone that, that may come out to voice their, you know, concerns over this trial to let’s just work together, do it peacefully, no property damage and we’ll get all through it together,” Shea said.

The Philadelphia Police Department said it is prepared “with additional personnel to secure and patrol strategic locations.”

In the nation’s capital, the Metropolitan Police Department will be “fully activated with members on 12-hour shifts starting Monday,” according to spokesman Hugh Carew.

MDC North site to administer Pfizer doses amid clot concerns with J&J vaccine

Sun, 2021-04-18 21:57

As South Florida COVID-19 vaccination sites gear up for another week of inoculations, a major change is coming to one of the largest in the state.

Starting Tuesday, the site at Miami Dade College’s North Campus in Northwest Miami-Dade will administer first and second doses of Pfizer. The change comes after the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was put on pause over clot concerns.

Meanwhile, the site at Hard Rock Stadium continues to administer doses until 10 p.m. every day.

7News cameras captured a line of vehicles waiting to receive their shots. This site offers Pfizer doses to anyone 16 and older.

Mike Jachles with the Florida Division of Emergency Management had a word of advice to patients planning to head to the Miami Gardens location.

“You can come down here. Chances are you can get in and out very quickly,” he said. “No appointment is required anymore. However, we are urging people to pre-register for the Hard Rock site.”

This weekend’s rollout happened as health officials marked a milestone in the effort to vaccinate Americans. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about half of the adults in the U.S. have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

For more information about vaccination sites in Florida, click here. To pre-register for the Hard Rock Stadium site, click here.

Anyone with questions and concerns about the coronavirus can call the Florida Department of Health’s 24-hour hotline at 1-866-779-6121.

Find out which countries are welcoming US tourists back

Sun, 2021-04-18 21:06

(CNN) — Once one of the world’s most powerful travel documents, the might of the United States passport has been diminished during the pandemic. With US COVID-19 cases now past the 31.6 million mark, some nations continue to view vacationers warily even as more Americans get vaccinated.

In the end, it’s up to you to decide whether travel to international destinations is a good idea. The health risks are obvious. Variants of the virus have emerged. Nations might change their rules at any time. You may have to adhere to strict curfews and mask mandates. Violations could involve big fines and even jail time.

If you want expert input into your decision, the US State Department and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide COVID-19 risk assessments by country. The CDC rates many of the countries open to US travelers at Level 4, at the highest risk for COVID-19.

Also, keep this in mind: All air passengers 2 and older must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test that’s no more than 72 hours old to enter the United States. That includes US citizens returning from trips to other countries. Check here for the latest CDC international travel guidance for fully vaccinated people.

What follows is an alphabetical list of countries and territories where it’s still possible for US passport holders to go for a vacation:

Albania

Set on the Adriatic Sea, Albania remains open. While there’s no COVID-19 test requirements or quarantine to enter, expect a health screening. More info: US Embassy.

Anguilla

UPDATE: This British territory in the Caribbean is accepting US visitors. You must be approved first. Click here to start the process and read up on extensive COVID-19 testing requirements, as well as entry fees, insurance and mandatory quarantines depending on vaccination status. More details: The US Embassy.

 

Antigua and Barbuda

 

US travelers 12 and older to Antigua and Barbuda arriving by air must present a negative Covid-19-RT-PCR (real time polymerase chain reaction) test result, using a nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swab. It must be taken within seven days of the flight.

Visitors are subject to monitoring by health officials for 14 days and another COVID-19 test may be required, which could mean quarantining while waiting for the result. More info: US Embassy | Antigua and Barbuda government website.

Armenia

From the historical capital of Yerevan to wild national parks, Armenia is open to US tourists. To enter, you must have a negative result from a COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival or take a test upon arrival for about $40 and self-isolate until you get your result. More info: US Embassy | Armenia’s official COVID-19 travel website

Aruba

Scroll down to the “Dutch Caribbean” entry below for information on Aruba and other islands in this group.

The Bahamas

Visitors 11 and older must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test result no more than five days old before arrival. Once you have the negative result, you can apply for a Bahamas Travel Health Visa here, where you must opt in for Covid-19 health insurance. You must also take a rapid test on day 5 unless you’re leaving. Get updates: US Embassy | Bahamas’ travel website.

Bangladesh

UPDATE: US citizens may travel to this culturally rich South Asian nation, though a flight suspension was in effect through at least April 20. To enter, you must have a medical certificate with English translation stating you’re negative for COVID-19, with the PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel. You must also “home quarantine” for 14 days even with a negative result. . More details: US Embassy.

Barbados

New protocols start May 8. Until then, US citizens must complete an online travel form and submit it 24 hours before leaving. You must present a valid negative COVID-19 PCR test result, taken within 72 hours of arrival. All travelers must take a rapid antigen test on arrival.

As the US is designated a high-risk country, you must still quarantine at an approved hotel or resort until you get a second test and negative result. The quarantine is a minimum of five nights. You must also wear an electronic tracking bracelet. More info: US Embassy | Visit Barbados website.

Belize

Known for diving and jungle wildlife, this Central American nation is open. To enter, you must download the Belize Health App and input your information no more than 72 hours before arriving.

You can bring an official vaccine card reflecting that you’ve gotten inoculated at least two weeks before arrival. Otherwise, have a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 96 hours of arrival or a rapid test within 48 hours of arrival. Or you can be tested upon arrival at a cost of $50. More info: US Embassy | Belize Tourism Board.

Bermuda

This Atlantic island requires each inbound passenger 10 and older to apply for travel authorization at the cost of $75 per adult and $30 for flight crew and children 9 and younger. Upon arrival, passengers must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken no more than five days before departure.

You’ll be tested again at the airport and quarantined while awaiting for those results. More tests are required on days four, eight and 14 of your visit. Click here for specific instructions for immunized travelers. More: US Embassy | Bermuda Tourism Authority.

Bolivia

UPDATE: This landlocked South American country of wildly varying landscapes allows US visitors but has recently tightened requirements. To enter, those 6 and older must have a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure. Expect a health screening. You must quarantine for 10 days and take another PCR test on day seven. More details: US Embassy.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

US citizens may enter Bosnia and Herzegovina, known for cosmopolitan Sarajevo and gorgeous lakeswith a negative COVID-19 PCR test result that’s no more than 48 hours old. More info: US Embassy | Bosnia Border Police

Botswana

US citizens can enter this safari favorite with a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken no more than 72 hours before departure. If you fail to provide test results or show coronavirus symptoms, you will have to quarantine for 14 days at your own expense. Expect “inconsistent application of rules” or sudden changes in policy. Learn more: US Embassy.

Brazil

South America’s largest country has banned entry by land and sea (with a few exceptions) and put stricter measures on visitors by air. You must fill out a health declaration and present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken with 72 hours of boarding the flight. Be sure to read about the requirements for various ages. Get details: US Embassy.

British Virgin Islands

US citizens need a travel certificate that you can get at the BVI Gateway website. There’s a $175 entry fee. You need a negative COVID-19 test result taken five days or less before travel to enter. You’ll also get another test on arrival and must quarantine four days while waiting for results. More info: US Embassy | BVI government website.

Colombia

All arriving passengers to Colombia should either have a negative result from a COVID-19 PCR test taken no more than 96 hours before departing; take a test upon arrival and quarantine while waiting for a negative result; or go into mandatory isolation for 14 days. Find out more: US Embassy | Colombia’s travel website

Costa Rica

US visitors must complete a health pass form but are not required to take a COVID-19 PCR test. You must have proof of travel medical insurance, which you can get in Costa Rica. More details: US Embassy | Visit Costa Rica website

Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

US citizens must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test result no more than five days old before arrival. You must fill out a travel declaration form and pay the fee online. You’re encouraged but not required to quarantine for two weeks. Learn more: US Embassy website.

Croatia

Croatia is once again open to US leisure travelers, but access requirements are stricter than they had been previously. You must have proof of a negative result from a COVID-19 PCR test that’s no more than 48 hours old upon arrival, or you can take a PCR test immediately upon arriving and self-isolate until getting a negative result. You must also have evidence of an accommodation paid in advance and in full. A reservation alone is not enough. More details: US Embassy.

Dominica

This Eastern Caribbean island is open. All travelers must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result, recorded between 24 and 72 hours before arrival. You must fill an electronic Immigration and Customs form via Dominica’s online portal 24 hours before traveling. US travelers must take a rapid test upon arrival and expect further testing as the United States is deemed a high-risk country. More info: US Embassy | Discover Dominica.

Dominican Republic

All arriving and departing passengers must fill out an electronic entry and exit form (in effect since April 1). COVID-19 tests aren’t required, but Dominican Republic authorities will give breath tests to a small percentage of random passengers plus anyone showing symptoms.

The Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism now offers free viral antigen testing to all international visitors staying in hotels. The US Embassy says PCR test results have been reliably available within 72 hours but could be affected by increased demand. More info: US Embassy | GoDominicanRepublic.com

Dubai

Scroll down to the United Arab Emirates entry below.

Dutch Caribbean islands

Find out the important details on these various Dutch islands in the Caribbean by clicking on the links:

Aruba: All US visitors 15 and older must fill out a health assessment and have a negative COVID-19 test result. JetBlue passengers can take an at-home, saliva-based test. You must fill out an embarkation and disembarkation card and purchase Aruba Visitors Insurance. More info: Aruba’s official tourism site.

Bonaire: You must fill an online health declaration form. A negative result from a COVID-19 test is required to enter. Find out more on the tests and other details: Bonaire Crisis.

Curaçao (Update): All US visitors must present proof of a negative Covid-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours of traveling. You must fill out a digital immigration card and passenger locator card at dicardcuracao.com. Starting April 20, people from high-risk countries, which includes the United States, must take a rapid antigen test on day three of their visit. A curfew is in effect that tightens tourist activities. More info: Traveling to Curaçao | Curaçao news bulletins.

Sint Maarten: An autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Sint Maarten shares an island with the French collectivity of Saint-Martin. To visit Sint Maarten, US visitors must fill out a mandatory health authorization application. You must also have a negative result from a PCR for COVID-19 taken within 120 hours or less or from an antigen test that’s taken with 48 hours of departure. COVID-19 health insurance is mandatory.

Get more US consulate information on all these Dutch islands by clicking here.

Ecuador

Travelers 3 and older must have proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR or rapid antigen test taken within three days of arrival to avoid quarantine. Or you can present a completed vaccination card. Testing is available for those who don’t arrive with a negative result. You must quarantine at an approved facility while waiting for results. The US Embassy suggests you advise a lab that you need test results within 72 hours for your return flight to the US. The Galapagos Islands have additional entry requirements. More info: US Embassy.

Egypt

UPDATE: US travelers to Egypt need to present a negative PCR COVID-19 test result. Carefully read the US Embassy’s advice on the timing of the test — from North America, it should be no older than 96 hours before flight departure. Travelers must present paper copies; digital copies aren’t accepted. Children 5 and younger are exempt. You may be required to show proof of health insurance. You may travel to the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el Sheikh without a PCR test, but you must be tested upon arrival and quarantine until you get a negative result. Details: US Embassy.

Ethiopia

Ethiopia requires arriving US citizens to have a medical certificate with a negative COVID-19 PCR test before boarding their flight that’s no more than 120 hours old. There’s also a seven-day quarantine. Before you travel there, closely monitor news reports about human rights abuses and killings in the northern Tigray region on the border with Eritrea. More info: US Embassy.

Georgia

US travelers can visit Georgia, a geographical and cultural crossroads at the Caucasus Mountains. Fully vaccinated people can enter with documentation. Otherwise, you need to complete an application form and show negative results from a COVID-19 PCR test result taken within the past 72 hours. You’ll need to get a follow-up test on your third day. More: US Embassy.

Ghana

This West African cultural jewel is open US travelers. You must have a negative result from a COVID-19 PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before departure. Arriving passengers then must take a second test that costs $150. There’s also a temperature screening. Details: US Embassy.

Grenada

This Caribbean island is welcoming US visitors, but they must do the following: Have health insurance that covers COVID-19 illnesses; present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result within 72 hours of departure (for 6 and older); apply for travel authorization with the Ministry of Health; take a second test on day five to be allowed to move about or remain at the hotel for the rest of the vacation. Details: US Embassy | Grenada’s Ministry of Health.

Guatemala

People 10 and older entering Guatemala by air and land must have one of the three following: 1. A negative result from a COVID-19 PCR test or antigen test taken 72 hours or less upon arrival. 2. Evidence of a COVID-19 vaccine completed at least two weeks before arrival. 3. Evidence you’ve had COVID-19 and recovered in the past three months. You must fill out an online health pass. No quarantine. Travelers who have been to the UK or South Africa may be denied entry. More details: US Embassy.

Honduras

Travel to Honduras is permitted with a negative result from a COVID-19 PCR or serology test. You must also fill out an online precheck form. Travelers who have been to the UK or South Africa must quarantine for 14 days. Learn more: US Embassy.

Iceland

Starting April 6, US travelers who have proof of being fully vaccinated or those with proof of contracting COVID-19 but are now recovered may enter Iceland. This exempts US visitors from testing and quarantine requirements. Important details: US Embassy.

Ireland

US travelers are still allowed to visit, but restrictions on movement could make it a very limited vacation. You must fill out a passenger locator form — failure to do so could result in fine or even jail time. You must present a negative COVID-19 RT- PCR test result taken within the previous 72 hours to enter. There’s a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all arriving Americans regardless of COVID-19 or vaccination status. Additional info: US Embassy | Irish government travel page.

 

Jamaica

Jamaica requires that you fill out an online travel authorization form. There’s the possibility of being tested upon arrival. All passengers arriving from the United States 12 or older are required to upload negative results from a COVID-19 PCR or antigen test within three days of the travel date. More details: US Embassy in Jamaica | Visit Jamaica website.

Kenya

Kenya is open to US travelers with a negative COVID-19 test result taken 96 hours or less upon arrival and who pass a strict health screening. No quarantine. Outgoing visitors must comply with the Trusted Travel initiative. More info: US Embassy.

The Maldives

All arriving tourists to The Maldives who are 1 or older must have a negative result for a PCR COVID-19 test taken within 96 hours of arrival. There is no mandatory quarantine. More: US Embassy | Maldives’ official tourism website.

Malta

US travelers with a long vacation and who wish to sidestep the EU travel ban can visit. Passengers who transit via a “safe corridor country” that allows US visitors may enter Malta after they’ve been in that country for 14 days. For example, US travelers can stay 14 days in Turkey or Ireland and then be eligible to enter Malta. All passengers must fill out Public Health Travel Declaration and the Passenger Locator forms before departure. Details: US Embassy.

Mexico

The land border between the US and Mexico remains closed through at least April 21, but US travelers can still fly there. No testing requirements are in place to enter, but the State Department lists numerous states to avoid because of crime. You can expect temperature checks and other screenings upon arrival. More: US Embassy.

Montenegro

This Balkan nation is allowing US travelers with any of the following: 1. A negative result from a COVID-19 PCR test issued by a registered lab that’s no more than 72 hours old upon arrival. 2. A positive result for IgG antibodies not older than 30 days. 3. Proof of a second vaccine dose received seven days ago or longer. Get more information: US Embassy Institute of Public Health of Montenegro.

Morocco

UPDATE: This North Africa favorite is open to specific US travelers only. You should fly directly from the US as Morocco has suspended flights from many other nations until May 10 under its “Health State of Emergency.” You must have reservations with a Moroccan hotel or travel agency or be invited by a Moroccan company. A printed, negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours before departure is required to enter. Expect a health screening. No mandatory quarantines are in place, but local curfews are. Details: US Embassy | Visit Morocco.

Namibia

US citizens can visit this southern African desert nation, which requires a negative COVID-19 PCR or rapid antigen test result that’s not older than seven days. If the test is older than seven days, you’ll be tested and placed in quarantine at your own expense as you await the results. More info: US Embassy.

Nepal

US travelers can visit the landlocked Himalayan nation. You’ll need a negative result from a COVID-19 PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before departure or proof of full COVID-19 vaccination to enter. You’ll be tested again upon arrival and must quarantine until you get the results. You’ll also need proof you’ve booked accommodations and proof of travel insurance that covers rescues and treatment. Hikers and mountain climbers have special requirements, including insurance. Find out more: US Embassy.

Nicaragua

Home to historical buildings and tropical beaches, Nicaragua is open. You must have a negative result from a COVID-19 PCR or serology test. No time frame is provided for how recent it must be. More: US Embassy.

North Macedonia

North Macedonia is open. No tests are required. There’s no quarantine unless you’re arriving via Africa. Airports conduct thermal screenings for all passengers. Details: US Embassy | TAV Macedonia.

Panama

A COVID-19 PCR or antigen test with a negative result, taken 48 hours or less before arrival time, is required to visit Panama. If the test results are older than 48 hours, you must take a rapid COVID-19 test at the airport. Read the government’s detailed requirements here. You must also fill out an online health affidavit. Cruise ship passengers can’t disembark here. More info: US Embassy.

Peru

Travelers from the United States 12 and older may enter Peru for tourism with a negative result from a COVID-19 PCR test or antigen test or a medical certificate of epidemiological discharge, all no more than 72 hours old. There’s still a 14-day quarantine on arrival, but if you test negative on an antigen test once you’ve entered the country, you can suspend the quarantine. You must also fill out an affidavit of health. More details: US Embassy | Lima airport protocols.

Rwanda

Visitors to Rwanda must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result, taken within 72 hours of departure. They also must take a second test upon arrival, shelter in a hotel and receive their results within a day. The national parks are open, including primate tracking. To enter a park, you must have a negative test result less than 72 hours old. Additional info: US Embassy | Visit Rwanda

Senegal

Senegal, known for its beaches and music, welcomes US tourists. To enter, all people 2 and older must present an original COVID-19 PCR test certificate with a negative result that was taken five days or less before arrival. There’s no quarantine. More: US Embassy.

Serbia

US citizens need to provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within the previous 48 hours to visit. More info: US Embassy.

Seychelles

These Indian Ocean islands are open. You must show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken no more than 72 hours before traveling and have valid health insurance to cover COVID-19 related costs. Vaccination status will not affect entry. You must apply for a travel authorization online. More information: Seychelles Travel Advisory Updates

South Africa

One of the most popular destinations in Africa has reopened to US citizens. You need a negative COVID-19 PCR or serology test result taken within 72 hours of departure to enter. The US Embassy is getting reports of shortages of PCR tests and some results taking longer than the 72-hour window required for the return flight. More: US Embassy.

South Korea

US visitors to South Korea must provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours of departure. US travelers must also quarantine for 14 days upon arrival even with a negative test or full vaccination. You must also submit to health screenings and download a self-diagnosis app with daily reports. More: US Embassy.

Sri Lanka

The tropical island off India’s southeastern coast has opened back up to all nations. You must have a negative result from a COVID-19 test to enter and stay at least 14 days at an approved hotel or resort. More official information: US Embassy | Sri Lanka Tourism.

St. Kitts and Nevis

To visit, you must fill out a travel authorization form before arrival and upload a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken 72 hours or less before you start your trip. You must stay on approved hotel property for your first seven days.

You must take another test on day seven of your visit if you’re staying longer. If it’s negative, you can move about on a limited basis. For stays of 14 days or longer, a third test is required. The islands aren’t accepting PCR tests for international travelers and other categories of travelers done by LabCorp. Additional information: US Embassy | St. Kitts Tourism.

St. Lucia

US citizens 5 and older must provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test that’s taken within five days of arrival. Visitors must also complete a travel registration form and arrive with a printed copy. You must have confirmed reservations at a COVID-certified property for the duration of the trip. More information: US Embassy | St. Lucia travel website.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

La Soufrière volcano has been erupting in recent days, prompting evacuations. Check CNN for the latest news on this evolving story. US travelers must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken 72 hours or less before arrival. You’ll be retested upon arrival. As the United States is considered a high-risk country, a quarantine of 14 days and additional testing is mandatory. You must also fill out a prearrival form. You can get official COVID-19 protocol documents here. Learn more: US Embassy.

Tanzania

A favorite for safaris and beaches, Tanzania is open to tourists. Incoming passengers are required to fill out a health surveillance form and have a health screening. You might also have to take a COVID-19 test if the airline you’re flying with requires it. For return trips to America, the US Embassy says 72 hour results aren’t readily available. More info: US Embassy.

Thailand

US passport holders can again visit this popular Asian destination. You must have a negative result from a COVID-19 PCR test no more than 72 hours old upon arrival. There’s a mandatory quarantine of 10 days, plus additional testing requirements during your stay. Get crucial details here: US Embassy | Royal Thai Embassy.

Tunisia

Home to sunny Mediterranean beaches and ancient Roman ruins, Tunisia is open to US passport holders. You need to complete this online questionnaire before you arrive. You need a negative result from a COVID-19 PCR or serology test taken no more than 72 hours before the start of travel to enter. You must also quarantine for five days and then take a second test. More info: US Embassy.

Turkey

Turkey requires that US citizens 6 years and older have a negative Covid-19 test result taken 72 hours or less before their flight to enter. Passengers must fill out a form for entry and prepare to be checked for coronavirus symptoms. More details: US Embassy.

Turks and Caicos

Visitors must fill out a travel authorization form and provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within five days of arrival. Children 9 and younger are exempt. Travelers must complete an online health questionnaire and carry travel medical insurance to cover any COVID-19-related costs. More info: US Embassy | Visit Turks and Caicos

Uganda

This lush nation in Central Africa is open to US tourists who have a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken no more than 120 hours before departure. More info: US Embassy.

United Arab Emirates

Tourist visas for US citizens are being issued at the Abu Dhabi and Dubai airports. Travelers 12 and older must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result within 96 hours of departure. Even with a negative test, you might still need to quarantine (depending on the emirate) and take a follow-up test. More info: US Embassy.

United Kingdom

Technically, US travelers may still travel to the United Kingdom, but travel for leisure is being highly discouraged. You should closely follow news reports on virus variants and watch for updates on the US Embassy link here before making any plans. If you still choose to go, you must have a negative COVID-19 test result taken 72 hours before departure to enter and quarantine for 10 days. You must fill out a declaration form. Also note that rules may vary between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Click this UK government link for more details.

Zambia

Known for Victoria Falls and wildlife, Zambia is allowing all international travelers to enter. You’ll need a negative COVID-19 test result taken at least 14 days before arrival. There’s a mandatory 14-day quarantine. The US Embassy has not posted information on the speed of test results for your return to the US. More: US Embassy.

Recently removed from the open list

The following countries had been allowing US citizens to enter but have closed again or were removed by CNN Travel for other reasons:

— Cambodia: The US Embassy reports the Southeast Asian nation has stopped issuing tourist visas; you can still apply for business-linked visas.
— Chile: It has closed its borders to tourists during April.
— French Polynesia: Temporarily closed to all tourists.
 Saba: The very extensive entry requirements currently exclude all but a few US citizens from this small Caribbean island.
— St. Barts: Temporarily closed to all tourists.

Omitted countries

This is a curated list. CNN Travel has omitted certain open countries if they had very limited numbers of US travelers before the pandemic; have ongoing or recent armed conflicts, terrorism or rampant crime and unrest; or have entry requirements so extensive and complicated that they put the country out of reach of almost all US citizens. However, you can click here to check for the status and entry requirements of any country or territory in the world.

Mexico’s President will propose a migration agreement during US climate summit

Sun, 2021-04-18 20:18

(CNN) — Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador will propose a new migration agreement between the countries of North and Central America this week, he announced on Sunday.

His proposal would ask Central American migrants as well as Mexicans considering emigration to work planting trees and crops across Mexico for three years in return for an eventual six-month US work visa, López Obrador said in a video posted to his YouTube channel. Eventually, participants in the program should be able to apply for US citizenship, he said.

The Mexican President plans to present the plan during Thursday’s virtual Climate Summit, convened by US President Joe Biden.

“We could make an agreement and say: ‘Let’s see, we support you to plant your land. If you are going to plant coffee, if you are going to plant cocoa for three years, we support you for three years and even more, but after those three years, once you have your harvest, you already have the automatic right to a six-month work visa for the United States,” López Obrador said from Palenque, in Chiapas.

“You’ll go six months (to the US) and then you will return to your town. And then, three years after having your work visa, with good behavior, you already have the right to apply for your US citizenship,” he added.

The White House and State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the proposal.

Thousands of Central Americans have been driven northward by the economic pain of the pandemic and two devastating Category 4 hurricanes last year. The recent influx of migrants, especially unaccompanied minors, at the US southern border has overwhelmed the American government’s resources in the last month.

Biden’s administration has asked Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala to tighten their borders and stem the flow of migrants, and has also placed around 28,000 radio ads in Latin America to discourage people from making the trip.

Aiming to find in environmental reforestation a solution to the migration crisis, López Obrador’s proposal would extend the existing Mexican government welfare program Sembrando Vida, or Sowing Life.

According to the Mexican Ministry of Welfare, Sembrando Vida seeks to address rural poverty and environmental degradation by connecting poor families to work on reforestation projects with economic support and other incentives.

“We can plant three million hectares in three years and give up to 1.2-1.3 million jobs to Central American brothers and to Mexicans from Chiapas, Campeche, Veracruz, Oaxaca, Tabasco. This will also allow us to order the migratory flow,” López Obrador said in his video.

The initiative would include the US, Canada, Mexico and the Central American countries, he also said.

The Mexican President is one of 40 world leaders who have been invited to participate in the climate summit.

Demonstrators march in downtown Miami to protest Daunte Wright shooting

Sun, 2021-04-18 19:22

Protesters took to the streets of downtown Miami to demand justice for a Black man whom authorities said, was killed by a police officer in Minnesota.

The group gathered Sunday afternoon near the Torch of Friendship before they marched through nearby streets in protest of the shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright and others who have died at the hands of police officers.

Demonstrators chanted, held up signs and waved Black Lives Matter flags, as they called for change in the wake of a series of police-involved shootings across the country that also include the March 29 shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo in Chicago.

Authorities said Wright was killed by Brooklyn Center Police Officer Kim Porter, who mistakenly shot him with her handgun instead of her Taser during a traffic stop, April 11.

Porter has since resigned from the department and has been charged with second-degree manslaughter.

Wright’s killing has sparked protests in a state already on edge. Early Sunday, officials said, two National Guardsmen suffered minor injuries after someone opened fire on them during a protest in Minneapolis.

With closing arguments in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former officer charged in the death of George Floyd, set for Monday, authorities in Minneapolis remain on high alert.

Homicide investigation underway after body found inside charred car in Hollywood

Sun, 2021-04-18 18:56

Police said they are investigating a body found inside a car that was engulfed in flames as a homicide.

Cellphone video captured fierce flames coming from the sedan along the 2300 block of Thomas Street, near Boggs Field, Sunday morning.

According to Hollywood Police, they received a call about a structure fire at around 7 a.m.

“When we arrived on scene, further investigation revealed that there was a fully engulfed vehicle,” said Hollywood Police spokesperson Christian Lata.

Officials said the burning vehicle was located in a rear south alley. The fire was so intense that it began spreading into a backyard.

Inside the home connected, a family was sleeping.

“We were asleep one minute, and the next minute we get banging on the door saying, ‘Get out! It’s a fire,'” said a woman who lives in the home.

Hollywood Fire Rescue crews rushed to contain the flames and were able to stop them before there was any more damage to nearby homes.

The fire destroyed part of the wooden fence that divides the affected home from the alley and also caused some damage to the top portion of the house.

Police said they found the body once the fire was out.

Residents said they’re concerned about how this happened.

“I feel uncomfortable and not even safe in my home anymore,” said a woman who lives nearby. “It’s pretty disturbing.”

Officials said the fire department is handling the arson aspect of the incident, and police is handling the homicide investigation.

If you have any information that could help investigators, call Hollywood Police at 954-764-4357.

Remote workers can get paid $12,000 to move to West Virginia

Sun, 2021-04-18 17:56

(CNN) — During the pandemic, cities such as Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Natchez, Mississippi, have offered remote workers cash to relocate there, while exotic destinations like Aruba have promoted their islands for stay-at-home jobs.

Now, West Virginia wants to pay remote workers $12,000 to move to its country roads.

On April 12, Gov. Jim Justice announced a program, Ascend WV, that “will allow adventurers to enjoy world-class recreation, uncrowded spaces, and a low cost of living while staying fully connected to their jobs.”

West Virginia’s new program comes as many major companies including Uber and Microsoft bring their employees back to the office, or have at least started thinking about it as COVID-19 vaccinations ramp up. But that doesn’t mean it’s too late for the Mountain State’s offer. Some companies — including Twitter and Slack — are letting at least some employees work remotely permanently.

The $12,000 West Virginia is offering is paid over two years, with $10,000 divided in monthly payments for the first year and $2,000 paid at the end of the second year, according to the program’s website. If you move early, you keep the money that you’ve earned so far.

The incentive package also includes a year’s worth of free outdoor recreation, bringing the total value to $20,000, the website said. That includes a year of access to activities such as whitewater rafting and downhill skiing, as well as two years of free outdoor gear rentals, such as camping gear or paddleboarding equipment.

Applicants must be 18 or older with a full-time remote job at a company located outside of West Virginia.

The first three host cities are Shepherdstown, Lewisburg and Morgantown. More than 2,000 people have applied for the 50 spots in Morgantown, the first to open applications, according to CNN affiliate WCHS.

Applications are open until the end of May in Morgantown, and open in early 2022 in Shepherdstown and Lewisburg.

The program is supported in part by former Intuit CEO and West Virginia native Brad Smith and his wife, Alys, the governor’s office said. The couple donated $25 million to West Virginia University to get the program off the ground, according to the school.

“Alys and I are committed to the success of this program and its ability to leverage West Virginia’s outdoor assets to attract fresh talent, cultivate dynamic communities and continue to fuel the entrepreneurial and innovative thinking that are hallmarks of the state,” Smith said. The Smiths hope the program will eventually include all of the states’ 55 counties.

Restaurant offers free burgers for a year if you get a tattoo for life

Sun, 2021-04-18 16:49

(CNN) — Restaurants offer freebies all the time, but here’s one that is asking for a permanent commitment.

A California-based restaurant chain is offering free burgers for a year to anyone who gets a permanent tattoo — offered for free — bearing the restaurant’s name.

Farmer Boys is partnering with a West Hollywood tattoo parlor, The Honorable Society, and Las Vegas’ Rockin’ Ink Tattoo for the promotion celebrating the burger chain’s 40th anniversary. Those wanting to participate must fill out a form online by May 21 to schedule an appointment. They must be 18 years or older.

Farmer Boys enthusiasts can choose from three permanent color designs measuring 2 inches by 2 inches, according to the form on the restaurant’s website. All three designs feature the restaurant’s name and a burger.

Farmer Boys posted on Instagram that, “Due to the sheer volume of request, not all who send a query will receive an appointment.”

For those turned off by getting permanently inked, the restaurant chain is also offering free temporary tattoos with all in-store purchases. If you share the temporary tattoo on social media, you’ll be entered to win a free burger, according an Instagram post by the restaurant.

Faith leaders across US join in decrying voting restrictions

Sun, 2021-04-18 16:08

(AP) — In Georgia, faith leaders are asking corporate executives to condemn laws restricting voting access — or face a boycott. In Arizona and Texas, clergy have assembled outside the state capitols to decry what they view as voter-suppression measures targeting Black and Hispanic people.

Similar initiatives have been undertaken in Florida, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and elsewhere as many faith leaders perceive a threat to voting rights that warrants their intervention in a volatile political issue.

“It is very much in a part of our tradition, as Christians, to be engaged in the public square,” said the Rev. Dr. Eric Ledermann, pastor at University Presbyterian Church in Tempe, Arizona, after the event outside the Statehouse.

“When people say, ‘Let’s not get political in the church’ — Jesus was very political,” Ledermann said. “He was engaged in how his culture, his community was being shaped, and who was being left out of the decision-making process.”

Georgia already has enacted legislation with various restrictive voting provisions. More than 350 voting bills are now under consideration in dozens of other states, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, a public policy think tank. Among the proposals: tightening requirements for voter IDs, reducing the number of ballot drop boxes and curtailing early voting.

African Methodist Episcopal Bishop Reginald Jackson, who oversees AME churches in Georgia, has been urging corporate leaders to do more to fight voting restrictions. So far, he’s dissatisfied with the response, and says he may call for boycotts of some companies.

In numerous states, voting rights activism is being led by multifaith coalitions that include Christian, Jewish and Muslim groups. Here is what some of the faith leaders are saying:

___

The Rev. Dr. Cassandra Gould, executive director of Missouri Faith Voices, for whom the issue is “very personal”:

“I’m from Alabama, a little town called Demopolis. It’s 47 miles west of Selma, where my mother fought for rights, went to jail on Bloody Sunday (in 1965). … So those are the stories that I grew up with. I never imagined that I would still be fighting the same fight.”

“There is a playbook to suppress votes, to shrink the electorate. And we believe fundamentally, as a tenet of faith, that it should be expanded so that people are included, not excluded.”

___

The Rev. Dr. Warren H. Stewart, Sr., senior pastor at First Institutional Baptist Church in Phoenix and chairman of Arizona’s African American Christian Clergy Coalition:

“If you read the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, it talks about justice, talks about being on the side of the oppressed, the downtrodden, the orphan, the poor. And this whole voter-suppression issue is about fighting against those who would oppress people of color, the poor, people who are struggling to make it in life. So it is a faith issue as much as a justice issue. They’re not disconnected.”

“The reaction of the Republican Party, to the most people ever voting in the history of the United States, is that ‘we’re gonna lose in the future.’ So it’s very obvious that this is not about accountability or about ethics, it’s about politics. And that’s unjust, and so that’s why we’re out here.”

___

The Rev. Frederick Haynes III, pastor of Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas:

“We have those in leadership — in Texas government — who have in their ideological DNA the same mindset of those slave masters who denied the humanity of Black people. The same mindset of those individuals who upheld Jim and Jane Crow segregation. … Gov. (Greg) Abbot and his Republican cronies have decided to dress up Jim and Jane Crow in a tuxedo of what they call voter integrity, but it’s still Jim and Jane Crow. … You are simply trying to create a problem for voters you don’t want to vote.”

___

The Rev. Edwin Robinson, organizer of Dallas Black Clergy:

“No matter what side of the political aisle you find yourself, any attempt to hinder voting is an attempt to take away our greatest freedom and liberty. … We should be doing everything to protect our greatest freedoms — and make ways for our citizens to enthusiastically vote and do so free from fear and intimidation.”

___

The Rev. Anne Ellsworth, priest at St. Augustine’s Episcopal Parish in Tempe:

“I am a pastor in a white congregation. I am a priest in a church, the Episcopal Church, that is famous for our white, Christian, moderate stance. … My interest is in awakening knowledge in other white, moderate, Christian women who have remained silent or who have felt powerless or think that it doesn’t matter to them. My guiding light is a quote from Martin Luther King: ‘There are not enough white people who value or who cherish democratic principles more than white privilege.’”

“White Christian women know what it is to have our voices silenced. And we cannot stand by while other people’s voices are also being silenced. We need to recognize our privilege and use it as leverage to fight voter suppression aimed at Black Americans.”

___

Rabbi Lydia Medwin of The Temple in Atlanta:

“The Jewish community has responded to the call of our African American brothers and sisters since the since the Civil Rights era began. When our partners and people that we care deeply about say to us, ‘We’re hurting, we’re being treated unfairly,’ we have no other response but to step up.”

___

Rabbi David Segal, Texas organizer for the Religious Action Center for Judaism Reform:

“The backlash against Georgia passing legislation is actually helping us in Texas, because we’re able to point to that and organize the anger around those laws to try and stop it here. … People of faith stand for inclusion and stand for respect and stand for acceptance and a different kind of justice.”

Police: Suspect on the run in fatal shooting of 3 in Austin

Sun, 2021-04-18 15:55

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A 41-year-old man is wanted in the fatal shooting of three people in Austin, Texas, and police officials searching the surrounding area Sunday warned residents that the suspect might take a hostage.

Interim Austin Police Chief Joseph Chacon said the suspect, Stephen Broderick, was considered armed and dangerous. He asked area residents to continue to shelter in place and to call their neighbors to check on them.

“We are concerned he might possibly take a hostage and be himself sheltered somewhere waiting for us to leave,” Chacon said during a news conference Sunday afternoon.

He said Broderick is 5 feet, 7 inches (1.7 meters) tall and Black. He was wearing a gray hoodie, sunglasses and a baseball cap.

Chacon said Broderick is suspected in the killing of two Hispanic women and one Black man . He said Broderick knew the victims but didn’t elaborate on how or provide a motive for the shootings. Chacon also said a child was involved but that the child has been located and is safe.

Brenda Torres said she was driving by when she saw a little boy flag down a car and a Black man lying facedown on the ground

“I saw the little boy point down the street,” Torres said. “There was someone lying on the ground. I thought someone had just fallen down or something. As my light turns green and I’m driving, I see cop car after cop car after cop car rushing toward where I just was.”

The Austin-Travis County EMS said it has received no reports of victims other than the three adults who were shot dead. EMS spokeswoman Capt. Christa Stedman said the first 911 call came in at 11:44 a.m.

Chacon said the three were not shot in a building but did not give any further details.

Images from the scene showed a large presence of emergency responders, including dozens of police cars. There were also several ambulances and two SWAT trucks at the scene, and two police helicopters.

The area includes a strip mall containing several retail stores and large apartment complexes situated near wooded rolling hills.

Josh Katzowitz, who had been shopping at the nearby Trader Joe’s, said police and ambulances came “pouring in” to the area as he was leaving. He didn’t hear any shooting.

“The cops had their guns out,” he said. “Some had pistols, some had rifles and they were strapping on bulletproof vests. There were all of a sudden ambulances, sirens and police cars There were cops coming from everywhere.”

Police said a portion of a nearby highway would be shut down in both directions.

Egypt says 11 killed in train crash north of Cairo

Sun, 2021-04-18 14:51

CAIRO (AP) — A passenger train derailed Sunday north of Cairo, killing at least 11 people, Egyptian authorities said. It was the latest of several rail accidents to hit the country in recent years.

Four train wagons ran off the railway at the city of Banha in Qalyubia province, just outside Cairo, the railway authority said in a statement. Videos on social media showed wagons overturned and passengers escaping to safety along the railway.

The train was travelling to the Nile Delta city of Mansoura from the Egyptian capital, the statement said.

The Health Ministry said in a statement that besides the dead, at least 98 people were injured, with most of them suffering from broken bones, cuts and bruises.

At least 60 ambulances were sent to the scene and the injured were taken to nearby hospitals, the ministry added.

Salvage teams could be seen searching for survivors and removing the derailed wagons. It was not immediately clear what caused the train to derail. Prosecutors said they were investigating the causes of the crash.

Last week, at least 15 people were injured when train carriages derailed in the Nile Delta province of Sharqia.

Sunday’s train accident came three weeks after two passenger trains collided in the province of Sohag, killing at least 18 people and injuring 200 others, including children.

Prosecutors said they found that gross negligence by railway employees was behind the deadly March 25 crash, which caused public outcry across the country.

Train wrecks and mishaps are common in Egypt, where the railway system has a history of badly maintained equipment and mismanagement. The government says it has launched a broad renovation and modernization initiative. President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi said in March 2018 that the government needs about 250 billion Egyptian pounds, or $14.1 billion, to overhaul the run-down rail system.

Hundreds of train accidents are reported every year. In February 2019 an unmanned locomotive slammed into a barrier inside Cairo’s main Ramses railway station, causing a huge explosion and a fire that killed at least 25 people. That crash prompted the then-transportation minister to resign.

In August 2017, two passenger trains collided just outside the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, killing 43 people. In 2016, at least 51 people were killed when two commuter trains collided near Cairo.

Egypt’s deadliest train crash was in 2002, when over 300 people were killed after a fire broke out in an overnight train traveling from Cairo to southern Egypt.

FDOH reports over 6,000 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday

Sun, 2021-04-18 14:20

There have now been more than 2.16 million reported cases of the coronavirus in Florida, with 34,439 deaths.

As of 2 p.m. Sunday, the Florida Department of Health reported 2,168,901 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 6,473 from Saturday’s update.

The state also reported a single-day increase of 35 deaths.

There are now 470,668 total confirmed cases in Miami-Dade County and 228,502 total cases in Broward.

The total number of cases in Palm Beach County has now reached 138,967 and 6,742 total cases have been reported in Monroe County.

Health officials reported 88,213 hospital admissions statewide.

For a full breakdown of the cases in Florida, click here.