Five national stories of the week

The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 22, 2020, in Washington, D.C. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images/TNS)
The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 22, 2020, in Washington, D.C. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images/TNS)

Editor’s Note: This listicle is part of a 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.

The US hits encouraging milestones for virus deaths and shots, the GOP is ready to block an elections bill in a Senate showdown, Iran's election unsettles Biden's hope for a nuclear deal, a tornado sweeps through suburban Chicago and a Supreme Court win for college athletes makes up this week's national stories.

US hits encouraging milestones on virus deaths and shots

COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. have dipped below 300 a day for the first time since the early days of the disaster in March 2020, while the drive to put shots in arms hit another encouraging milestone Monday: 150 million Americans fully vaccinated. The coronavirus was the third leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2020, behind heart disease and cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But now, as the outbreak loosens its grip, it has fallen down the list of the biggest killers. CDC data suggests that more Americans are dying every day from accidents, chronic lower respiratory diseases, strokes or Alzheimer’s disease than from COVID-19.

GOP ready to block elections bill in Senate showdown

The Democrats’ expansive elections and voting bill is all but certain to be rejected in a key test vote in the Senate, providing a dramatic example of Republicans’ use of the filibuster to block legislation and forcing hard questions for Democrats over next steps. The far-reaching proposal, at nearly 900 pages, is viewed by backers as the civil rights issue of the era, legislation that is suddenly of the highest priority after the 2020 election as states impose restrictive new laws that could make it more difficult to vote.

Iran's election unsettles Biden's hope for a nuclear deal

Biden administration officials are insisting that the election of a hard-liner as Iran’s president won’t affect prospects for reviving the faltering 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran. But there are already signs that their goal of locking in a deal just got tougher. Optimism that a deal was imminent faded as the latest talks ended Sunday without tangible indications of significant progress. And on Monday, in his first public comments since the vote, incoming Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi rejected a key Biden goal of expanding on the nuclear deal if negotiators are able to salvage the old one.

Tornado sweeps through suburban Chicago, causing damage

A tornado swept through communities in heavily populated suburban Chicago, damaging more than 100 homes, toppling trees, knocking out power and causing multiple injuries, officials said. There was relief Monday, though, as authorities reported that it appeared no one had died. Less than a dozen people were hurt in the tornado that touched down after 11 p.m. Sunday, and all were expected to recover. At least eight people were hospitalized in Naperville, where 22 homes were left “uninhabitable” and more than 130 homes were damaged in the suburb of 147,500 people that’s about 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of Chicago.

Supreme Court win for college athletes in compensation case

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday the NCAA can’t limit education-related benefits — like computers and paid internships — that colleges can offer their sports stars, a victory for athletes that could help open the door to further easing in the decades-old fight over paying student-athletes. Schools recruiting top athletes could now offer tens of thousands of dollars in education-related benefits that also include study-abroad programs and graduate scholarships. However, the case doesn’t decide whether students can simply be paid salaries for the benefits their efforts bring — measured in tens of millions for many universities.

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