Florida

Isaias has become a Category 1 hurricane as it heads toward Bahamas and South Florida

A midnight update from the National Hurricane Center upgraded Tropical Storm Isaias to a Category 1 hurricane a day before earlier predictions called for, while it continued on track toward the Bahamas and South Florida.

The late-night update showed Hurricane Isaias had lost some forward speed but grown more powerful, with 80 mph winds, shortly after passing through Hispaniola..

The center of Isaias was forecast to move near or over the Southeastern Bahamas late Thursday night, then move near or over the Northwestern Bahamas and near South Florida on Saturday.

The storm has already crossed the mountains of Hispaniola while flooding roads and homes in Puerto Rico and blowing roofs away in Haiti.

The tropical storm watch is in effect from Ocean Reef northward to Sebastian Inlet, Florida.

Miami-Dade County also announced that all facilities operated by the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department, including beaches and parks,

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Tropical Storm Watch issued for South Florida; Isaias expected to become a hurricane

South Florida was put under a tropical storm watch Thursday afternoon with Isaias expected to approach Florida and the Bahamas as a Category 1 hurricane by Saturday.

In an 8 p.m. update, the National Hurricane Center said Tropical Storm Isaias has lost some forward speed but is still expected over the next couple of days. The center of Isaias is forecast to be near the Central Bahamas Friday night and move near or over the Northwestern Bahamas and near South Florida on Saturday.

The storm has already crossed the mountains of Hispaniola while flooding roads and homes in Puerto Rico and blowing roofs away in Haiti.

The NHC ordered a tropical storm watch from Ocean Reef northward to Sebastian Inlet, Florida, Thursday afternoon, and the government of the Bahamas has issued a hurricane warning for the Northwestern Bahamas, which includes the Abacos Islands, Grand Bahamas Island and Andros Island.

The

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Tropical Storm Watch issued for South Florida as Isaias expected to become a hurricane

South Florida was put under a tropical storm watch Thursday afternoon with Isaias expected to approach Florida and the Bahamas as a Category 1 hurricane by Saturday.

In a 8 p.m. update, the National Hurricane Center said Tropical Storm Isaias has lost some forward speed, but is still expected over teh next couple of days. The center of Isaias is forecast to be near the Central Bahamas Friday night and move near or over the Northwestern Bahamas and near South Florida on Saturday.

The storm has already crossed the mountains of Hispaniola while flooding roads and homes in Puerto Rico and blowing roofs away in Haiti.

The NHC ordered a tropical storm watch from Ocean Reef northward to Sebastian Inlet, Florida Thursday afternoon and the government of the Bahamas has issued a hurricane warning for the Northwestern Bahamas, which includes Abacos Islands, Grand Bahamas Island and Andros Island.

The Bahamas

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Florida Has Record Deaths Again; Vaccine Progress: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) — Almost 10,000 people in the U.K. have been given an experimental Covid-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca Plc and the University of Oxford, a key step toward finding a shot that will help control the pandemic. Johnson & Johnson wants to start Phase 3 trials of its vaccine in September.

The U.S. economy suffered its sharpest downturn on record and the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose for a second straight week. President Donald Trump raised the notion of delaying the next U.S. election scheduled for November.

Mexico’s economy also sank the most on record. Germany reported the highest number of new cases in about six weeks and its economy shrank by a record 10% in the second quarter.

Key Developments:

Global Tracker: Cases exceed 17 million; deaths pass 667,700Virus relief talks in Congress stalemated as time runs shortKitchen table beats office for 335,000 bankers working from homeVirus

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Florida reports 2nd day of record-setting deaths

The novel coronavirus pandemic has now killed more than 662,000 people worldwide.

Over 16.8 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 governments are hiding or downplaying the scope of their nations’ outbreaks.

The United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than 4.3 million diagnosed cases and at least 149,873 deaths.

Latest headlines:

Alabama gov. extends statewide mask mandate, encourages in-classroom learning Rep. Louis Gohmert diagnosed with COVID-19

Here is how the news is developing today. All times Eastern. Check back for updates.

1:54 p.m.: Georgetown moving classes all online

Georgetown University is moving classes fully online this fall for undergraduate and

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Florida sets record for deaths in a day; COVID killing a Texan every 6 minutes, 16 seconds; Marlins’ season paused

The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 was nearing 150,000 on Tuesday as several states set weekly fatality records and Florida reported a one-day record for deaths. Further confirming the Sunshine State’s troubles with the coronavirus, the Miami Marlins’ season was temporarily suspended after 15 players and two staff members tested positive.

Dr. Anthony Fauci of the president’s coronavirus task force said the Marlins’ outbreak could endanger the Major League Baseball season, although he told ABC’s “Good Morning America” he doesn’t believe games need to stop now.

Florida’s 186 deaths raised the toll there to more than 6,000. Gov. Ron DeSantis, who three weeks ago ordered in-classroom learning when schools reopen next month, has eased his rhetoric in recent days. He now wants schools to ensure parents have “the choice between in-person and distance learning” for their kids.

In Tennessee, Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, urged Gov.

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Florida college courses should remain online-only in fall, faculty union says

Courses at Florida’s college and universities should remain online-only this fall, said the union that represents faculty members across the state, citing fears of the spread of coronavirus.

Leaders from the United Faculty of Florida, which represents instructors at all 12 public universities and 14 state colleges, and the Florida Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union, said Monday during a press conference that sending students back to campus next month would be dangerous.

As of Monday, the state has reported 432,747 coronavirus cases and 5,931 deaths since the pandemic began. The first day of fall classes varies between campuses. The University of Central Florida plans to return Aug. 24.

“Opening the colleges and universities at this time can only make things worse, and it is a step in the wrong direction,” said Jaffar Ali Shahul-Hameed, a vice president for the union and an associate professor at Florida Gulf Coast

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Florida GOP Congressman ‘Devastated’ After Longtime Staffer Dies From COVID-19

A longtime staffer for Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) died Friday from COVID-19.

Buchanan tweeted he was “devastated” by the death of 66-year-old Gary Tibbetts, a field representative who’d worked for him since 2011.

Tibbetts died at Manatee Memorial Hospital in Bradenton, Florida.

The state is currently experiencing a devastating spike in daily confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

Buchanan described his aide as “the consummate professional and a true public servant in every sense of the word.”

“He touched so many lives and was loved and respected by those who knew him,” he continued. “I will never forget his uplifting spirit, sense of humor and sheer joy at helping others.”

“Sandy and I offer our deepest sympathies to his wife, Valerie and family,” Buchanan added. “He will be missed greatly.”

Buchanan had announced Tibbetts’ hospitalization on July 15.

Tributes were paid to Tibbetts, who served as a sergeant with the Manchester

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Trump cancels Florida portion of GOP convention as coronavirus cases surge: ‘Not the right time’

President Donald Trump announced Thursday that he’s told the Republican National Committee to cancel convention events in Jacksonville, Florida, as cases of the novel coronavirus surge in the state, saying “it’s not the right time.”

“I told my team it’s time to cancel the Jacksonville, Florida, component of the GOP convention,” he said at a White House news conference on the crisis, adding the convention will start in North Carolina, “as has always been planned,” weeks after cancelling most convention events there.

MORE: Trump to give nomination acceptance speech in Florida after standoff with North Carolina

Back in June, Trump had demanded the Republican National Committee find another place other than Charlotte, North Carolina, for the August convention — in large part to avoid social distancing and mask requirements.

On Thursday, Trump announced he’s canceling the convention for the same reason.

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Florida teachers union sues DeSantis, Corcoran over schools’ ‘reckless, unsafe reopening’

Florida’s top teachers’ union, joined by local educators — including one from Miami-Dade County — sued Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state education commissioner Monday to stop the “reckless and unsafe reopening of schools” this fall amid Florida’s surging COVID-19 cases.

The Florida Education Association was joined by plaintiffs who are educators in Miami-Dade, Broward and Orange counties in the suit, filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court.

The Miami-Dade plaintiff, Mindy Grimes-Festge, is the secretary/treasurer of the United Teachers of Dade. She and her husband, Don, have been educators for 28 years. They have a son, who is a rising high school senior with a compromised immune system and unable to return to school during the pandemic.

The lawsuit has gained traction, with the NAACP joining as a plaintiff in the suit, which names DeSantis and Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran as defendants. Corcoran has ordered the public schools to reopen.

“No

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