Reuters US Domestic News Summary
The delay of the in-person meeting in Geneva https://www.reuters.com/business/wto-postpones-major-meeting-over-covid-19-concerns-sources-2021-11-26 over travel restrictions and concerns about the spread of the new Omicron COVID-19 variant complicates Tai's plans to push her vision for WTO reform and rekindling the spirit of dynamism and compromise that led to the trade body's creation in 1995. Gun violence sends Black Friday shoppers scurrying in North Carolina, Washington state Gun violence erupted at retail outlets crowded with post-Thanksgiving holiday shoppers in North Carolina and Washington state on Friday, sending bystanders at both locations scurrying for cover and injuring a total of seven people, police said.
Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.
U.S. issues 'Do Not Travel' advisory for eight African countries
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and State Department on Saturday advised against travel to eight southern African countries after the White House announced new travel restrictions in response to a new COVID-19 variant. The CDC raised its travel recommendation to "Level Four: Very High" for South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Mozambique, Malawi, Lesotho, Eswatini and Botswana while the State Department issued parallel "Do Not Travel" advisories Saturday. On Monday, the CDC had lowered its COVID-19 travel advisory for South Africa to "Level 1: Low" from "Level 3: High"
No cases of new COVID-19 variant detected in South Africa have been identified in the United States to date, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday. The World Health Organization (WHO) designated the B.1.1.529 variant, dubbed Omicron, as being "of concern," the fifth variant to be classified as such.
U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have been briefed on the latest situation regarding the new Omicron variant of COVID-19, the White House said on Saturday, as Britain, Germany and Italy reported detecting cases. Biden, who is spending Thanksgiving with his family in Nantucket, Massachusetts, told reporters on Friday, "We don't know a lot about the variant except that it is of great concern, seems to spread rapidly."
Republican Representative Lauren Boebert, a loyal supporter of former U.S. President Donald Trump, apologized on Friday after suggesting that a liberal Democratic colleague, Representative Ilhan Omar, had been part of a "jihad squad" on Capitol Hill. "I apologize to anyone in the Muslim community I offended with my comment about Rep. Omar. I have reached out to her office to speak with her directly. There are plenty of policy differences to focus on without this unnecessary distraction," Boebert said on Twitter.
New York governor declares 'disaster emergency' over rising COVID-19 infection rates
New York Governor Kathy Hochul issued a COVID-19 "disaster emergency" declaration on Friday, citing increasing rates of infections and hospitalizations.
U.S. Black Friday shoppers tapered online splurge, as some returned to stores
U.S. shoppers spent slightly less online during Black Friday this year, with many venturing back to physical stores despite coronavirus fears, tight supplies, and retailers' efforts to encourage earlier holiday purchases. For the first time ever, spending online during Black Friday - traditionally one of the biggest shopping days of the year - fell, reversing the growth of recent years, according to data from Adobe Analytics, a wing of Adobe's business that specializes in data insights and tracks transactions at 80 of the top 100 U.S. retailers.
Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim, whose work transformed musical theater, dead at 91
Broadway composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, who helped American musical theater evolve beyond pure entertainment and reach new artistic heights with such works as "West Side Story," "Into the Woods" and "Sweeney Todd," died early Friday at the age of 91, his publicist said. The musical great died at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut, spokesperson Kathryn Zuckerman told Reuters by email, saying she had little additional information. The news was reported earlier by the New York Times.
U.S. trade chief to keep pushing on vaccine IP, WTO reform after meeting delay
U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said the United States would continue to push for World Trade Organization members to agree on an intellectual property framework for COVID-19 vaccines after a major WTO ministerial meeting set for next week was postponed on Friday. The delay of the in-person meeting in Geneva https://www.reuters.com/business/wto-postpones-major-meeting-over-covid-19-concerns-sources-2021-11-26 over travel restrictions and concerns about the spread of the new Omicron COVID-19 variant complicates Tai's plans to push her vision for WTO reform and rekindling the spirit of dynamism and compromise that led to the trade body's creation in 1995.
Gun violence erupted at retail outlets crowded with post-Thanksgiving holiday shoppers in North Carolina and Washington state on Friday, sending bystanders at both locations scurrying for cover and injuring a total of seven people, police said. At a shopping mall in Durham, North Carolina, a late-afternoon shootout between "two groups who knew each other" left three people struck by ricocheting gunfire and three others injured in the ensuing chaos, city Police Chief Patrice Andrews said.
'Flash mob' thieves target U.S. retail stores on Black Friday
Black Friday shoppers weren't the only ones out hunting for bargains on the day after Thanksgiving. Thieves were busy as well. Police in Los Angeles and cities elsewhere across the country spent much of their holiday weekend patrols looking for suspects in a spate of "flash mob" robberies on Friday, part of a surging U.S. crime trend in which groups of thieves swarm a store, ransack the shelves and flee.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)