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National News – ABC News Radio How activists are navigating the US immigration system New satellite that tracks ocean level rise lifts off Exclusive: Quawan Charles’ mother on the investigation of son’s death Coronavirus live updates: Donald Trump Jr tests positive for COVID-19 Fauci says Santa has ‘innate immunity,’ won’t spread COVID-19 for Christmas Woman who alleges affair with former Hillsong Church pastor Carl Lentz speaks out News and Headlines From ABC News RadioSat, 21 Nov 2020 22:40:33 +0000(c) 2012 ABC News Radioen-USSquarespace V5 Site Server v5.13.594-SNAPSHOT-1 ( AudioSat, 21 Nov 2020 22:40:27 +0000
Evgenia Parajanian/iStockBy MARWA MOUAKI, ABC News

(NEW YORK) – For years, thousands of immigrant parents and children have been separated at the border between the United States and Mexico. Most recently, news broke out revealing  the parents of more than 500 children separated at the border cannot be found.

Justice in Motion is a nonprofit which works to reunite parents with their children after they’re separated at the border.

“When people cross borders, they often leave their rights behind,” says Cathleen Caron, the founder and executive director of Justice in Motion.

With a network of over 44 human rights organizations and individual human rights lawyers in Mexico and Central America, Cathleen says Justice in Motion works to ensure that those crossing borders have access to justice. Although news broke of the missing parents recently, Justice in Motion has been searching door to door for parents separated from their children at the border since 2018, when the ACLU filed the lawsuit to stop the zero tolerance policy in June.

“When the lawsuit first happened, it applied to all the children who are currently in government custody. So that number ended up being 2,400. What was not revealed to us until January 2019 through an internal government report was that they had started piloting the program back as early as August 2017, and there were an additional 1,500 families separated.”

The 500+ missing pairs of parents are actually what’s left of the original 4,000+ that were missing in 2017, and Cathleen says that most of those parents are going to be deported at this point.

With an endless amount of research, fliers and physical searching on the ground in Mexico and Central America, Justice in Motion has been able to locate thousands of parents. However, a reunion does not mean the story is over and that there’s a happy ending.

“These families that we find, they’re deeply traumatized by the experience and the happy videos don’t always tell the full story. In their minds, their parents abandoned them. It’s too hard for a young child to understand all that went down and why they were separated at the border,” Cathleen shares.

So what does this all mean to someone living through the nation’s immigration crisis? What happens when someone from one of those families channels trauma into action? Daihana Estrada is a Mexican American law student. At just 17 years old, she witnessed her parents being deported.

“I still remember when they got deported. It was a really hard transition for our family and ultimately that led me to pursue a career in law.”

In June, Daihana tweeted, “Who would have thought that the 17 year old girl from Utah who witnessed her parents being deported would appear before an immigration judge today for her first case as a law student. I couldn’t change my parents outcome but I will do my best to change someone else’s.”

After the court case, she told herself, “Daihana, take a step back, realize what just happened. You just appeared for your first immigration case as a law student.”

Listen to the full interview and the rest of this past week’s highlights here.

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(LOS ANGELES) — A SpaceX rocket launched a new American-European satellite that will monitor global sea levels and help our understanding of climate change on Saturday.

The Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite, a collaboration between NASA and the European Space Agency, lifted off at 12:17 p.m. ET from Space Launch Complex 4 East at California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base. It was carried to the cosmos by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

The launch was broadcast live on NASA’s website.

“What we expect to see, the new science coming out of Sentinel-6: that it would open up new frequencies and give us a fuller picture of what do we know about the oceans,” NASA program scientist Nadya Vinogradova-Shiffer said during a launch press briefing Saturday.

While its primary goal is monitoring Earth’s oceans and sea level rise, the spacecraft also carries sensitive equipment that can track hurricanes and provide data that will improve weather forecasts and climate models on Earth.

One instrument will “help us do all sorts of improvements to forecasts, including using the atmospheric measurements to monitor hurricanes from their formation all the way through their whole life and dissipation,” Eric Leuliette of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Saturday.

It is the first of two twin satellites with the same mission. The second is set to launch in 2025.

“The satellite will map 95% of Earth’s ice-free ocean every 10 days and provide crucial information for operational oceanography and climate studies,” the ESA said in a statement. “Since sea-level rise is a key indicator of climate change, accurately monitoring the changing height of the sea surface over decades is essential for climate science, for policy-making and for protecting those in low-lying regions at risk.”

The work of a handful of multinational organizations went into Saturday’s mission, including the European Commission, the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites, U.S.’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the French space agency CNES.

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]]> AudioSat, 21 Nov 2020 19:28:17 +0000

(NEW YORK) — Quawan Charles, a Black teen who was found dead in a Louisiana sugar cane field earlier this month, will be laid to rest on Saturday. But his family is still seeking answers around the death of the 15-year-old, whom his mother described as a “good kid” and “loving child.”

“I loved him and he loved me,” Roxanne Nelson told Janai Norman in an exclusive interview with “Good Morning America.”

Nelson called local police on Oct. 30, the day Charles went missing from his father’s home in Baldwin, Louisiana. A video released by Baldwin police shows Charles getting into a car with a friend and the friend’s mother that day, officials said. On Nov. 3, Charles’ body was found in a sugar cane field about 20 miles away. The local coroner’s office ruled Charles’ likely cause of death as drowning.

“I cannot sleep at night, like I want to,” Nelson said. “I’m constantly thinking about my son and trying to figure out exactly how he died.”

Nelson believes police could have saved her son had they acted faster.

“They could’ve done more. They didn’t. They didn’t do what they were supposed to do,” Nelson said. “Had they done what they were supposed to do, my son would be alive today. I feel because my son was Black, it didn’t matter to them.”

Baldwin police did not notify state police to issue an Amber Alert, nor did they report Charles’ disappearance to local media. Charles was entered into the National Crime Information Center as a missing person or runaway, according to the Baldwin police report.

According to Chase Trichell, an attorney for the family, under a recently modified statute, any Louisiana law enforcement agency that becomes aware of a missing child must immediately notify the state police, which then determines whether it’s an Amber Alert or media advisory case. The latter would have alerted neighboring parishes like Iberia, he said, where Charles’ body was found four days after he was first reported missing.

“Which begs the question, had they followed state law, would Quawan be alive today?” Trichell told “Good Morning America.”

Baldwin Assistant Police Chief Sam Wise told Lafayette ABC affiliate KATC that Charles’s disappearance didn’t appear to indicate he was in danger.

“We didn’t see where it felt it met the criteria of an abduction or kidnapping,” Wise told the station. “Because there were no eyewitnesses or no one to say that he had jumped in the vehicle or even beat him and took him into that vehicle. So it didn’t meet the criteria to get in touch with state police.”

“We did put him [in the] NCIC, we did comb the area,” he told KATC.

Trichell said he has found cases of missing children from the past two years where the Baldwin Police Department or St. Mary Parish “followed a protocol whereby they disseminated the information to local media and those children in large part were found.”

“In other cases where the missing people were different from him demographically, they did do everything they could, and those people were found,” he said.

Trichell and Charles’ family are also questioning why Baldwin police didn’t ping his cellphone when he was first reported missing. Wise told KATC that the department does not have the technology to ping phones.

“We tried reaching out to the young man the entire weekend by calling and texting him and just trying to get a hold of him,” he told the station.

Trichell has charged that the department could have contacted Charles’ cell carrier to ping the cellphone for them. “The results would have come back probably within half an hour,” he said.

Nelson reported her son missing to the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office on Nov. 3, who found him that day after pinging his cell phone, Trichell said.

The Baldwin Police Department was not able to provide “Good Morning America” with a comment by press time.

Iberia Parish sheriffs, who are handling the homicide investigation, said they have interviewed the people last seen with Charles and are actively tracking their whereabouts. They have also said they obtained video evidence that showed Charles alone near where his body was later found.

A final autopsy report and toxicology report are still pending, as the family awaits more answers.

“My baby is dead,” Nelson said. “I will never, ever see my child again on this earth. And I love my child. And I’m missing him like crazy. It’s tearing me up.”

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

]]> AudioSat, 21 Nov 2020 00:29:34 +0000

(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 1.3 million people worldwide.

Over 57 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some national governments are hiding or downplaying the scope of their outbreaks. The criteria for diagnosis — through clinical means or a lab test — has also varied from country to country.

The United States is the worst-affected nation, with more than 11.7 million diagnosed cases and at least 253,309 deaths.

Nearly 200 vaccine candidates for COVID-19 are being tracked by the World Health Organization, at least 10 of which are in crucial phase three studies. Of those 10 potential vaccines in late-stage trials, there are currently five that will be available in the United States if approved.

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

Nov 20, 6:13 pm
Donald Trump Jr. has tested positive for COVID-19

Donald Trump. Jr. is the latest person connected to the White House to test positive for the coronavirus, a spokesman confirmed to ABC News.

“Don tested positive at the start of the week and has been quarantining out at his cabin since the result. He’s been completely asymptomatic so far and is following all medically recommended COVID-19 guidelines,” the spokesman said in a statement.

The president’s eldest son is the second of his children to test positive for the virus, following Barron Trump’s diagnosis last month.

ABC News’ John Santucci contributed to this report

Nov 20, 5:52 pm
FDA to review Pfizer vaccine on Dec. 10

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday that its vaccine advisory committee will meet Dec. 10 to discuss the request for emergency use authorization of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

The public meeting will be a chance for both FDA career scientists and members of the independent advisory board to ask Pfizer questions about its product.

After that, the board will make a recommendation, which the FDA will take into account when it decides whether to authorize the vaccine.

Officials said they cannot predict how long the FDA’s review will take, but that it will be “as expeditiously as possible, while still doing so in a thorough and science-based manner.”

ABC News’ Anne Flaherty contributed to this report

Nov 20, 5:17 pm
California sets new record with more than 13,000 daily cases

California broke its daily case record with 13,005 newly recorded cases.

California’s seven-day positivity rate stands at 5.9%.

With over 1.07 million cases, California trails only Texas, which last reported 1.1 million cases.

ABC News’ Alex Stone contributed to this report.

Nov 20, 3:15 pm
FDA could approve emergency use of Pfizer vaccine in December

Pfizer said it’s completed its submission to the Food and Drug Administration in which the company requests emergency use authorization for its vaccine.

The FDA is expected to start digging into the efficacy and safety data immediately, and it could make a decision as early as mid-December.

ABC News’ Sony Salzman contributed to this report.
Nov 20, 1:43 pm
Cases double in Kansas counties without mask mandate

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Kansas counties that opted out of a statewide July 3 mask mandate saw COVID-19 cases jump 100% from July 3 to Aug. 23.

While 81 counties opted out of the mandate, the 24 that adhered to it saw a 6% decrease in cases, according to the CDC.

ABC News’ Sony Salzman contributed to this report.

Nov 20, 12:45 pm
More than half of El Paso cases coming from retail shopping

In hard-hit El Paso, Texas, rising cases are due to community spread, primarily through retail shopping, Mayor Dee Margo said.

“We did a deep dive from Oct. 10 to Oct. 16 in our contact tracing,” he told “GMA 3: What You Need To Know.” We found out that 55.11% of our positives were coming from retail shopping. Primarily in what we would term the big major retailers, the big-box stores. So it’s a community spread.”

El Paso is in the middle of its fifth week of its latest COVID-19 spike, the mayor said. With so many fatalities, the county Thursday put out a call for morgue staffing.

With 1,000 cases reported on Friday, the Texas city has had at least 79,000 — and 845 fatalities.

ABC News’ Ariane Nalty contributed to this report.

Nov 20, 12:27 pm
More cases in past 4 weeks than in first 6 months of pandemic

There have been more COVID-19 cases worldwide in the last four weeks than in the first six months of the pandemic, said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization.

He again urged people, despite promising news on vaccines, to continue using all tools to interrupt chains of transmission and save lives now.

ABC News’ Kirit Radia contributed to this report.

Nov 20, 9:57 am
Florida Sen. Rick Scott tests positive, urges everyone to wear masks

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fl., announced Friday that he has tested positive for COVID-19.

After returning to Florida last week, Scott came into contact with someone who subsequently tested positive. The Republican senator has been quarantining at his home in Naples since then. He took multiple rapid tests earlier this week, all of which were negative, but a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test he took Tuesday came back positive Friday morning, according to a press release from his office.

“After several negative tests, I learned I was positive this morning,” Scott said in a statement Friday. “I am feeling good and experiencing very mild symptoms. I will be working from home in Naples until it is safe for me to return to Washington, D.C.”

Scott is the eighth member of Congress to test positive for COVID-19 just this week.

“I want to remind everyone to be careful and do the right things to protect yourselves and others. Wear a mask. Social distance. Quarantine if you come in contact with someone positive like I did,” he said. “As we approach Thanksgiving, we know this holiday will be different this year. But, listen to public health officials and follow their guidance. We will beat this together, but we all have to be responsible.”

ABC News’ Mariam Khan contributed to this report.

Nov 20, 8:54 am
US Army general says there’s 40 million vaccine doses ready to go once FDA grants authorization

A top U.S. Army general who is co-leading the federal government’s COVID-19 vaccine initiative said they will start distributing doses throughout the nation 24 hours after the Food and Drug Administration grants emergency use authorization (EUA).

“We have about 40 million doses of vaccine, give or take, exactly when the EUA comes out,” Gen. Gustave Perna, chief operations officer for Operation Warp Speed, told ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos in an interview Friday on Good Morning America.

“We’re going to execute fair and equitable distribution based on the population of the jurisdictions — jurisdictions identified as the 50 states, eight territories and six metropolitan cities,” he added, noting that governors will then “make sure the priority for the execution of the vaccine within the state will be implemented.”

“We’re going to get it down to the states. The states are going to tell us exactly where they want it to be,” the general said. “We will ensure that the vaccine gets there in a timely manner. We’ll make an initial push — once EUA is approved — of everything we have on the shelf, and then every week we’re going to maintain a cadence of delivery of vaccine so the states have access and prior planning knowledge to ensure it gets to the right places and the right times.”

Perna said the news that Pfizer and partner BioNTech will submit a EUA request to the FDA on Friday for their COVID-19 vaccine candidate is “really remarkable.” He expressed “100% confidence” that Operation Warp Speed’s distribution plan will be a success — a process he said began some six months ago.

“We started with the development, manufacturing. We have taken no shortcuts to this end,” he said. “It has been a well regulated and accounted for process that we are ensuring occurs the right way.”

The general said Operation Warp Speed has also teamed up with companies like Walgreens and CVS.

“I’ve sat down with their CEOS and their teams — very elaborate, very comprehensive, operational plans on how they can partner with states to deliver vaccines from inner cities to rural America,” he said, “and I’m incredibly confident that they can do that.”

When asked whether outgoing President Donald Trump’s refusal to cooperate with President-elect Joe Biden and his transition team has hindered vaccine efforts, Perna replied, “Absolutely not.”

Nov 20, 6:45 am
Pfizer and BioNTech to submit emergency authorization request to FDA today

Pfizer and partner BioNTech announced they will submit a request on Friday to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization of their COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

The submission, which is based on a vaccine efficacy rate of 95% demonstrated in the Phase 3 clinical study with no serious safety concerns to date, will potentially enable use of the drug in high-risk populations in the United States by the middle to end of December.

“Our work to deliver a safe and effective vaccine has never been more urgent, as we continue to see an alarming rise in the number of cases of COVID-19 globally,” Dr. Albert Bourla, chairman and CEO of Pfizer, said in a statement Friday. “Filing in the U.S. represents a critical milestone in our journey to deliver a COVID-19 vaccine to the world and we now have a more complete picture of both the efficacy and safety profile of our vaccine, giving us confidence in its potential.”

The companies have already initiated rolling submissions with several drug regulatory agencies around the world, including in Australia, Canada, Europe, Japan and the United Kingdom, and plan to submit applications to others in the coming days. The companies said they will be ready to distribute the vaccine within hours after authorization.

Based on current projects, the companies said they expect to produce globally up to 50 million doses in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021.

“Filing for Emergency Use Authorization in the U.S. is a critical step in making our vaccine candidate available to the global population as quickly as possible,” Dr. Ugur Sahin, CEO and co-founder of BioNTech, said in a statement Friday. “We intend to continue to work with regulatory agencies worldwide to enable the rapid distribution of our vaccine globally. As a company located in Germany in the heart of Europe, our interactions with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) are of particular importance to us and we have continuously provided data to them as part of our rolling review process.”

Nov 20, 6:40 am
Russia reports record high of over 24K new cases

Russia confirmed 24,318 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, according to the country’s coronavirus response headquarters.

It’s the highest single-day tally of COVID-19 infections that Russia has reported since the start of the pandemic, and it marks the second straight day that the country has set a new record for its daily case counts.

An additional 461 fatalities from COVID-19 were also registered nationwide over the past day, just under Russia’s peak of 463 deaths recorded the previous day. The country’s cumulative total now stands at 2,039,926 cases, including 35,311 deaths, according to the coronavirus response headquarters.

The Eastern European nation of 145 million people has the fifth-highest tally of COVID-19 cases in the world, behind only the United States, India, Brazil and France, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.

Nov 20, 6:02 am
North Carolina college student dies from COVID-19 complications

A 23-year-old college student in North Carolina died from COVID-19 complications on Thursday morning.

Jamesha Waddell was a senior at Livingstone College, a private, historically black Christian college in Salisbury, about 45 miles northeast of Charlotte. She left campus on Sept. 19 and was self-isolating at home after testing positive for COVID-19, according to Livingstone College president Jimmy Jenkins.

“While isolating at home, Jamesha’s condition worsened, and she required hospitalization and intensive care,” Jenkins said in a statement Thursday. “This morning, her spirit transitioned due to complications related to the COVID-19 virus.”

As students prepare to leave campus next week for winter, Jenkins urged them to “remain vigilant in mitigating the spread of this virus” by wearing a face mask, practicing social distancing and washing hands frequently.

Nov 20, 5:31 am
India becomes second country in the world to reach nine million cases

India’s tally of COVID-19 cases has hit the nine million mark, becoming only the second country in the world to do so.

The Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare confirmed 45,882 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, along with an additional 584 deaths from the disease. That brings the country’s cumulative total to 9,004,365 cases with 132,162 deaths.

Despite surpassing the grim milestone, India has seen a steady decline in its infection rate since reaching a peak of 97,894 new cases on Sept. 16.

India has the second-highest tally of COVID-19 cases in the world, behind only the United States, and the third-highest death toll from the pandemic, after the United States and Brazil. The relatively low death toll in a vast county of 1.3 billion people has raised questions about how India is counting COVID-19 fatalities.

Nov 20, 4:20 am
US records all-time high of over 187K new cases

There were 187,833 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the United States on Thursday, marking the highest single-day increase in infections worldwide since the pandemic began, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.

It’s the first time that the United States has reported over 180,000 newly diagnosed infections. Thursday’s count shatters the country’s previous record of 177,224 new cases on Nov. 13.

An additional 2,015 fatalities from COVID-19 were also registered nationwide on Thursday, the highest since May 6 but still under a peak of 2,609 new deaths on April 15, according to Johns Hopkins data.

A total of 11,717,947 people in the United States have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and at least 252,555 of them have died, according to Johns Hopkins data. The cases include people from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C. and other U.S. territories as well as repatriated citizens.

Much of the country was under lockdown by the end of March as the first wave of pandemic hit. By May 20, all U.S. states had begun lifting stay-at-home orders and other restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The day-to-day increase in the country’s cases then hovered around 20,000 for a couple of weeks before shooting back up and crossing 100,000 for the first time on Nov. 4.

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]]> AudioFri, 20 Nov 2020 16:02:00 +0000
sdominick/iStockBy GENEVIEVE SHAW BROWN, ABC News

(NEW YORK) — Not even a global pandemic can get in the way of Santa’s sleigh.

That’s according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert. He told USA Today, “Santa is exempt from this because Santa, of all the good qualities, has a lot of good innate immunity.”

Kids have been worried — for both themselves and for Santa’s arrival.

“Santa is not going to be spreading any infections to anybody,” he said.

Fauci isn’t the only notable person declaring Santa safe from spreading COVID-19. Last week, Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte responded in a Facebook post to a letter from a 5-year-old boy named Thomas what’s been on the mind of children the world over as the holidays draw near: Will Santa come this year?

Conte reassured the boy that Santa has an “international self-certification: he can travel everywhere and distribute gifts to all children around the world. Without any limitation. He then confirmed that he always uses a mask and keeps the right distance to protect himself and all the people he meets.”

He urged the little boy from Cesano Maderno, in Northern Italy, to not “waste a chance at an extra gift” by asking Santa to send away the coronavirus. “We adults will manage to kick out the coronavirus, all together,” he wrote.

“The idea of letting them find under the tree, besides hot milk and cookies, even sanitizing liquid seems excellent,” Conte wrote, adding it would allow Santa to restart safely.

And there’s no need for Thomas to tell Santa he’s been a good boy this year, Conte said. The prime minister has already done it for him.

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