Editor’s Note: This listicle is part of a weekly series by The Ball State Daily News summarizing five stories from around the world. All summaries are based on stories published by The Associated Press.
This week's national stories include uncertainity surrounding COVID-19 antibody tests, California ultility companies turning off power amid wildfires, the Rochester mayor promising police reform, hope for a fifth coronavirus relief package fading and a southwest heat wave bringing additional health concerns.
At the height of the coronavirus lockdown, President Donald Trump and his top health advisers trumpeted a new test that would help Americans reclaim their lives — one that would tell them if they already had the virus and were protected from getting it again. Their arrival would help “get Americans back to work” by showing those who might have “the wonderful, beautiful immunity,” said Trump, a point repeated at the daily briefings last April. Months later, the U.S. is awash in the tests but the bold predictions about their usefulness have yet to materialize.
New wildfires ravaged bone-dry California during a scorching Labor Day weekend that saw a dramatic airlift of more than 200 people trapped by flames and ended with the state’s largest utility turning off power to 172,000 customers to try to prevent its power lines and other equipment from sparking more fires. California is heading into what traditionally is the teeth of the wildfire season, and already it has set a record with 2 million acres burned this year.
The mayor of Rochester promised reforms are coming to the city’s police department as community elders sought to bring calmer minds to a fifth night of demonstrations Sunday over the death of Daniel Prude, who lost consciousness after police held him down with a hood over his head. Prude, 41, was naked at the time of his arrest on the light-snowy day in March. He died a week later after he was taken off life support. Mayor Lovely Warren suspended the seven officers involved in Prude’s death last week after his family released police video from the March night when he was restrained on a city street.
As lawmakers straggle back to Washington for an abbreviated preelection session, hopes are dimming for another coronavirus relief bill — or much else. Talks between top Democrats and the Trump administration broke off last month and remain off track, with the bipartisan unity that drove almost $3 trillion in COVID-19 rescue legislation into law this spring replaced by toxic partisanship and a return to Washington dysfunction. Expectations in July and August that a fifth bipartisan pandemic response bill would eventually be birthed despite increased obstacles has been replaced by genuine pessimism.
As people around them sat and napped, some sipping water in an air-conditioned shelter on another sweltering day in a summer of record-breaking heat, Gary Goodman and Lena Stewart spoke of the fatal dangers of living on the street. They can’t say with certainty if those they know died as a direct result of the heat, but the numbers back up their suspicions. Between June and August, Phoenix reported 50 days with a high temperature of at least 110 degrees (43 Celsius), surpassing the record of 33 days set in 2011.