National News


(NEW YORK) -- As many as 20 people were injured when three hot air balloons crashed in Wyoming Monday morning.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson, each balloon "landed hard under unknown circumstances" shortly after 8 a.m. local time in Teton Village, near Jackson in western Wyoming.

Teton County Sheriff Matt Carr told ABC affiliate KIFI-TV that emergency responders were treating between 16 and 20 people for a wide range of injuries. No deaths have been reported.

A local hospital confirmed to ABC News that as of mid-afternoon Monday it had received 10 people involved in the crashes. Two were admitted, three were still being evaluated and five were treated and released, the hospital said.

Passenger Clinton Phillips was visiting Wyoming from Austin, Texas, with his wife and three children, and said a hot air balloon ride was on their "bucket list." The family was in the largest balloon that crashed and saw the other two balloons hit the ground first, Phillips told ABC News.

The winds were "pushing up hard sideways," he said, and the second balloon was "getting tossed around" before it crashed and tipped over.

"While we were so busy looking at that, we didn't realize that we were coming down," Phillips said. "Our pilot hadn't said anything, and I turned around and looked and I shouted, 'Brace for impact!'"

"People were screaming for their lives and sobbing," he said. "It was horrific."

Phillips said that one of his daughters fainted in the ordeal, he believes his son has a concussion, and that his wife's ribs are "very likely" broken. She was one of over 20 people, he estimated, who went to a hospital. One person was airlifted, he said.

"I was in tears, just so relieved that everybody was OK and not dead," he said.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crashes. They may have been weather-related, Carr told KIFI-TV.

ABC News' Amanda Maile contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


iStock/niratBy: IVAN PEREIRA, ABC News

(RICHMOND, Va.) -- The legal battle over the future of the Robert E. Lee statue in Richmond, Virginia, had two major developments on Monday.

Judge W. Reilly Merchant dismissed a case filed by one resident who is blocking Gov. Ralph Northam's June 4 order to remove the statue from Monument Avenue. He also granted an injunction on a second suit that’s aiming to keep the Confederate statue in place.

In the first case, the resident, who is a great-grandson of one of the statue's land donors, contended that the state didn't have the legal authority to remove the statue of the Confederate leader. Judge Merchant ruled the plaintiff's claims "fail as a matter of law."

"The plaintiff has articulated no substantial legal right sufficient for the court to create a declaratory judgment," Merchant wrote in his ruling.

Meanwhile, another lawsuit filed against Northam's order continues to play out in the courts. Merchant ordered a 90-day injunction on Monday against the removal while residents of Monument Avenue make their case against the governor's order.

"The fact obviates the need for the court to address the remaining...counts," the judge's order said.

A spokeswoman for Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring's office said in a statement that he filed a motion to dismiss that suit.

"Attorney General Herring remains committed to ensuring this divisive, antiquated relic is removed as soon as possible," the spokeswoman said in a statement.

The statue's removal is among the monuments to Confederate leaders that have come under extra scrutiny following the Black Lives Matter protests. Statues and other monuments around Virginia have been removed over the last few months, including busts from inside the state Capitol.

A descendant of Robert E. Lee told ABC News he supports the removal, calling it a "no-brainer." And Lee himself opposed statues to Confederate leaders. “I think it wiser,” he wrote in 1869, “…not to keep open the sores of war but to follow the examples of those nations who endeavored to obliterate the marks of civil strife, to commit to oblivion the feelings engendered.”

The statue's opponents have held rallies outside the statue since the end of May and on several occasions projected images of Black figures, including the late Rep. John Lewis, on the statue to decry racism.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Myriam Borzee/iStockBy JON HAWORTH and EMILY SHAPIRO, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 690,000 people worldwide.

Over 18.1 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.

Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than 4.6 million diagnosed cases and at least 155,191 deaths.

Latest headlines:

- White House requiring staff to participate in random testing
- Detroit Tigers - St. Louis Cardinals games postponed due to positive tests

Here's how the news is developing today. All times Eastern.

4:20 p.m.: White House requiring staff to participate in random testing

The White House is now requiring random testing of those in the President's Executive Office staff, a screening procedure that had been voluntary, a White House official said Monday.

"As part of our ongoing efforts to protect the health and safety of the entire White House Complex, randomized testing of Executive Office of the President staff, which has been ongoing for several months, will become mandatory rather than voluntary," the official said.

President Donald Trump has said he is tested several times a week for coronavirus. The White House also tests people who are expected to be in close proximity to the president.

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, who had planned to ride on Air Force One to Texas with the president, recently tested positive at a White House pre-screening for the virus.

4 p.m.: Detroit Tigers - St. Louis Cardinals games postponed due to positive tests

A four-game series set for this week between the Detroit Tigers and St. Louis Cardinals has been postponed after 13 Cardinals members tested positive for COVID-19 in the last week, Major League Baseball said Monday.

The 13 include seven players and six staff members, MLB said.

Players on the Cardinals have been quarantining since Thursday and will continue to be tested daily, the MLB said.

The Cardinals are tentatively still set to play the Chicago Cubs in St. Louis on Friday, the league said.

2:20 p.m.: New indoor gathering rules announced in New Jersey

In New Jersey, the rate of transmission continues to climb.

The rate of transmission now stands at 1.48. One month ago it was 0.87, Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday.

Part of the increase is attributable to the number of indoor house parties this summer, he said. New restrictions on indoor gatherings will be implemented, he added.

Indoor groups will now be limited to 25% of a room’s capacity with a maximum of 25 people. This won't apply to weddings, funerals, memorial services and religious services.

New Jersey has over 182,000 coronavirus cases. At least 13,971 people in the state have died.  

1:25 p.m.: Hospitalizations reach new low in New York

In New York, which was once the U.S. epicenter of the pandemic, hospitalizations, ICU patients and intubations have all reached new lows, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday.

The number of hospitalizations in the state has fallen to 536. The number of coronavirus patients in ICUs is at a new low of 136, while the number of intubations is at the record low of 62, the governor said.

Cuomo called New York's progress "even better than we expected."

"We started reopening May 15," Cuomo said. "Since the reopening, the numbers continued to go down. No expert predicted that. So New Yorkers are doing better than anyone else even expected."

12:30 p.m.: White House considers unilateral action as coronavirus relief package appears deadlocked in Congress

While millions of Americans who lost their jobs in shutdowns are waiting for an extension to federal unemployment benefits, a deal appears deadlocked in Congress.

The Trump administration is also considering taking unilateral action on a coronavirus relief package if no deal is reached with Congress, a senior White House official confirmed to ABC News Monday.

"Unilateral action is certainly an option if the democrats continue to find a plethora of ways to say no to reasonable options," the official said.

It's unclear what unilateral steps the White House could take without Congress.

12 p.m.: WHO points to Vietnam as example of how to combat the pandemic

The coronavirus "has two dangerous combinations: it moves fast and at the same time, it's a killer," Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), said Monday.

Tedros said the effects of the pandemic will be felt "for decades to come."

Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO's COVID-19 technical lead, on Monday pointed to Vietnam as an example of a country that is "applying the public health tools that can bring these outbreaks under control."

"Vietnam has a lot of experience in dealing with infectious disease outbreaks and what they're doing is applying the tools," Van Kerkhove said. "They're acting fast, they're acting comprehensively, and, again, they have the system in place that can bring these outbreaks under control."

People observe social distancing while waiting to be tested at a makeshift rapid testing centre in Hanoi on Aug. 1, 2020, as Vietnam records a rise in cases of COVID-19.

"They're not doing just one thing -- they're doing it all," she continued. "They're bringing everything together on active case finding, contact tracing, the use of public health measures, testing, communicating. And this is what we need to see from all countries."

11:18 a.m.: Florida has 4 counties with no available ICU beds

In hard-hit Florida, 46 hospitals have no open ICU beds and 26 hospitals have just one available ICU bed, according to the state's Agency for Healthcare Administration.

In four counties -- Jackson, Monroe, Nassau, Okeechobee -- no ICU beds were available as of Monday morning, the agency said.

These numbers are expected to fluctuate throughout the day as hospitals and medical centers provide updates.

10:30 a.m.: NYC outdoor dining to return in 2021

With the success of New York City's outdoor dining during the pandemic, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday that open restaurants will return next summer, starting June 1, 2021.

Open restaurants may be extended to spring 2021, he said.

9:30 a.m.: Cases reported on football team as school gets ready to open

As North Paulding High School near Atlanta gears up to open for the school year, "new positive tests and potential symptoms" have been reported among football players, school principal Gabe Carmona said Sunday in a letter to families.

Football practices have been canceled, Carmona said.

School begins Monday with both in-class and virtual learning options, reported ABC Atlanta affiliate WSB.

5:01 a.m.: Thousands take part in Moscow half-marathon amid mass events ban

Moscow hosted a half-marathon with over 16,000 participants on Sunday.

"Many marathons have been canceled abroad and we are showing to the whole world how to continue living as normal in very tough conditions," Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matitsyn said at the event's opening.

He said the event was to celebrate victory over coronavirus.

On Sunday morning, city authorities said 664 new coronavirus infections were diagnosed in the city. The number of daily cases had been declining but consistently remains above 600 per day.

On Wednesday, Moscow's mayor, Sergey Sobyanin, said all mass events were banned in the city until Aug. 16, even though that announcement did not affect the half-marathon event.

4:49 a.m.: Kosovo PM tests positive for COVID-19

Kosovo’s Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti said late Sunday he has tested positive for COVID-19, though he does not have serious symptoms.

Hoti, who has only been in office since June, wrote in a post on his official Facebook page that he does not have symptoms “except a very mild cough,” and will self-isolate for two weeks while working from home.

3:15 a.m.: Arrests after illicit party boat with 170 guests cruises around New York City

The owners and captain of The Liberty Belle, a large riverboat that can fit up to 600 guests with four bars and three outdoor decks, have been arrested after flouting the rules and hosting a party in New York City on Saturday with more than 170 guests on board.

Ronny Vargas and Alex Suazo, the boat's owners, were arrested on Saturday night and accused of violating a number of state law provisions.

"Deputy Sheriffs intercept the Liberty Belle at Pier 36 & arrest owners and captain for illegal party: violation of social distancing provisions of the Mayor's and Governor's Emergency Orders, Alcohol Beverage Control Law: unlicensed bar & bottle club & Navigation Law," the Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

The Sheriff's Office also said that the captain of the boat, who was not identified, was issued a summons for not displaying its identification number.

This comes just a week after New York's governor Andrew Cuomo slammed an event where The Chainsmokers were performing at a packed concert in the Hamptons, which saw audience members clustering together and outright defying social distancing guidelines.

Cuomo blasted The Chainsmokers last Tuesday saying the performance was "grossly disrespectful to fellow New Yorkers" considering how hard the state fought to control the spread of COVID-19.

"The concert that happened in the town of Southampton was just a gross violation of not only the public health rules, it was a gross violation of common sense," the governor fumed during his daily press conference regarding the novel coronavirus.

The Chainsmokers and those involved in the show now face potential civil or criminal repercussions, with the governor saying that violations of "public health law has civil fines and a potential for criminal liability, so we’re taking that very seriously."

1:38 a.m.: Lord & Taylor files for bankruptcy as retail collapses pile up

Lord & Taylor has become the latest retailer to file for bankruptcy as the coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on retail chains and sales around the country.

The company filed for bankruptcy protection in the Eastern Court of Virginia on Sunday.

"Today, we announced or search for a new owner who believes in our legacy and values," the company said in a statement on its website. "Part of our announcement also includes filing for Chapter 11 protection to overcome the unprecedented strain the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on our business."

Just last year Lord & Taylor sold its flagship building on New York City's Fifth Avenue after more than a century in the 11-story building.

"Thank you for your support, now more than ever," the statement continued. "Our mission is to continue to serve you, your family and your community for generations to come."

ABC News' Libby Cathey, Katherine Faulders, Will Gretsky, Dragana Jovanovic, Alina Lobzina, Ben Siegel, Megan Stone, Christine Theodorou, J. Gabriel Ware and Scott Withers contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



(NEW YORK) -- Tropical Storm Isaias is working its way up the southeast coast of the U.S. and is expected to make landfall in the Carolinas late Monday night.

With winds around 70 mph, the storm would have to strengthen a bit to make landfall as a Category 1 hurricane with winds of 74-95 mph.

Hurricane warnings have been issued for parts of the Carolinas and tropical storm alerts stretch from Florida to New England as the storm approaches northeastern South Carolina and southern North Carolina.

Isaias is forecast to bring torrential rain, flash flooding and storm surge to the East Coast, as well as dangerous winds to the Northeast.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency on Friday. Some coastal communities are under evacuation orders.

The rainfall total may reach seven inches, Cooper said Monday.

He urged residents to stay inside during heavy winds and warned them to be mindful of downed trees and powerlines.

The last hurricane to make landfall in North Carolina was Dorian in 2019. The last hurricane to make landfall in South Carolina was Matthew in 2016.

After landfall in the Carolinas, Isaias will weaken and make its way up the East Coast.

Isaias will reach the Mid-Atlantic by early morning Tuesday and the Northeast by Tuesday night.

Over six inches of rain are forecast for the Mid-Atlantic.

The heaviest rainfall is expected to hit along the Interstate 95 corridor from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia to New York City.

Damaging winds are also forecast for New Jersey, New York City and Long Island.

Wind gusts may climb over 70 mph on the Jersey Shore, which could cause widespread power outages.

Rip currents and storm surge are also expected at the Jersey Shore, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy warned Monday, recommending that residents stay inside on Tuesday.

New York City is expected to get hit by tropical-storm force winds, storm surge and several inches of rain, city officials said.

Lower Manhattan is particularly vulnerable to storm surge, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday. Emergency management crews are deploying flood protection measures, he said.

"We are not taking any chances at all," de Blasio said.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



(NEW YORK) -- Officials say social distancing was not being enforced on the Liberty Bell and the boat did not have a license to serve alcohol.

New York City officials shut down a party boat with more than 170 people aboard, as the city strives to keep the coronavirus at bay.

Ronny Vargas and Alex Suazo, the owners of the Liberty Belle, were arrested Saturday night for violating the state's ban on large crowds and for running a bar without a license, the New York City's Sheriff's Office said. The office also said that the captain of the boat, who was not identified, was issued a summons for not displaying its identification number.

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer said she alerted the sheriff after receiving complaints from residents who observed the boat out in the waters of Manhattan and were concerned about the large crowd.

Brewer noted on Twitter on Sunday that the city, which was once the epicenter of the pandemic, recorded no COVID-19 deaths that day.

"If we want to see MORE days with zero deaths and if we want a return to a life WITHOUT social distancing, that means we need to avoid reckless behavior like booze cruises that put fellow New Yorkers at risk, no matter how much we miss our friends and meeting new people," she tweeted.

Empire Cruises, the company that runs the Liberty Belle, didn't immediately return messages for comment. The boat owners were given a summons to appear in court for their violation.

Empire Cruises touts that the Liberty Belle, which is a classicly styled riverboat, can fit a maximum of 600 guests standing and has "four ample decks including three indoor decks and three outdoor decks," according to Empire Cruise's website.

The incident marks the latest in a series of crackdowns of large-scale gatherings and parties instituted by state and city officials in the last few weeks. Under Gov. Andrew Cuomo's COVID-19 executive order, crowds of non-essential workers are capped at 50 people at indoor events.

On Sunday alone, the State Liquor Authority issued violations for 24 city establishments that violated the social distancing guidelines, according to the New York Governor's office.

The state is also investigating several large parties and concerts including the July 25 outdoor charity concert in the Hamptons that drew an estimated 2,000 people.

New York City has had 222,330 total coronavirus cases and 18,915 confirmed COVID-19 deaths as of Aug. 2, according to the city's Health Department.

The seven-day average of newly reported cases in the city was 281 as of Aug. 2 compared to the peak seven-day average of 5,426 on April 15, according to the Health Department.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


filo/iStockBy JON HAWORTH, ABC News

(ST. LOUIS) -- Catch up on the developing stories making headlines.

A 27-day-old elephant with developmental impairments that limited his ability to feed since he was born has died at the St. Louis Zoo.

The male Asian elephant calf named Avi was born to his mother, named Rani, on July 6 but after intensive care efforts and life support measures, including assistance with feedings and continuous intravenous treatments, the zoo’s elephant care team made the decision to humanely euthanize the baby elephant after the calf’s already compromised health deteriorated rapidly over the previous two days.

"Everyone here is just devastated right now," said Jeffrey P. Bonner, Ph.D. and Dana Brown, the president and CEO of the Saint Louis Zoo in a statement on the zoo’s website. "Our team of professional elephant care experts did everything possible to help improve the calf's health. Unfortunately, in the end, it just wasn't enough as his health complications were too severe."

The Elephant Care Team said they had prepared for his arrival for almost three years and decided to name him Avi -- which means "the sun and air” -- during that period.

"The animal care team who worked so closely with this calf every day of his short life, and all those who loved him, are understandably grieving," said vice president of animal collections at the Saint Louis Zoo. Luis Padilla, "Avi will be missed, but never forgotten."

Padilla continued: "The community followed Rani’s journey from pregnancy to birth and provided support and positive thoughts for the calf and the Elephant Care Team when they learned of the calf's developmental and health impairments. The outpouring of support that we have received from the community has been incredible. I know everyone joins us in our sense of loss, and that helps our team get through these difficult times.”

According to the St. Louis Zoo, there are fewer than 35,000 Asian elephants left in the wild and they face extinction due to challenges like poaching for ivory and habitat destruction.

The zoo said that Avi was Rani’s third baby and that she has previously given birth to Jade in 2007 and Kenzi in 2011, although Kenzi passed away at the age of seven in 2018. The father, 27-year-old Raja, was the first ever Asian elephant born at the St. Louis Zoo in 1992.

“An elephant pregnancy lasts about 22 months and a newborn weighs about 250-350 pounds,” the zoo’s statement read. “Rani received regular prenatal health checkups by the zoo's elephant care team throughout her pregnancy.”

The veterinary team at the zoo have confirmed that they will now conduct a full necropsy on Avi and that the results will be available in several weeks.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Brett Carlsen/Getty ImagesBy MARK HANRAHAN, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- The U.S. Navy SEALS have announced an investigation into a video showing a man wearing a Colin Kaepernick jersey being attacked by dogs at a demonstration at a Florida museum with links to several former SEALs.

The first video shows a man in protective clothing and a Kaepernick jersey being bitten by SEAL attack dogs as part of a demonstration in front of a crowd of spectators.

Another video of the same event shows men in military clothing performing a mock capture of the man after the dogs have been removed. As he lies on the ground, he says “Oh man, I’ll stand,” eliciting laughter from the watching crowd.

The videos were originally shared on Instagram in January 2020, but went viral in the first weekend of August.

In a statement on their official Twitter account, the U.S. Navy SEALs said: "The inherent message of this video is completely inconsistent with the values and ethos of Naval Special Warfare and the U.S. Navy.”

The statement added that the SEALs are investigating the incident and that “initial indications” were that there were no active duty Navy personnel or equipment involved in the display.

The event depicted in the videos took place at the Navy Seal Museum in Fort Pierce, Florida. The museum is not officially affiliated with the SEALs or the U.S. military, but it lists several retired SEALs on its board of directors and advisory board.

The dog demonstration incident is not the only one associated with the museum and Kaepernick's protests. Video of the museum's 33rd Annual Muster event in November 2018, showed a mock military engagement in which an SUV with "Take a knee," and "Nike" painted in large letters on the side was a target.

Nike hired Kaepernick to appear in a commercial after he had stopped playing in the NFL and also released a Kaepernick-branded shoe.

The clip, embedded below, shows a group enter the display area in the vehicle, before they are subject to a mock assault by men in military fatigues, one of whom is seen carrying an American flag on his back. In the video, the car appears at around the two minute 24 second mark.

The mock soldiers proceed to fire their weapons at the car, and the people who arrived in it lie down, acting as though they had been shot.

Kaepernick played six seasons as a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, but has not played in the NFL since 2016, when he began kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice.

Kaepernick and other players who chose to protest during the anthem attracted criticism with many, including President Donald Trump, who said that players who did not stand for the anthem “shouldn’t be in the country.”

The NFL subsequently brought in a rule banning players from kneeling on the field during the anthem.

In the wake of the nationwide racial injustice protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell admitted that the league had been wrong not to listen to its players about racism.

"We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all players to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the National Football League, believe that black lives matter," he said in a video statement, reported by ESPN.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Esther Salas/YouTubeBy JON HAWORTH, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- Judge Esther Salas has released a nine-minute videotaped statement about last month’s shooting death of her son and the wounding of her husband, and it's the first time she has spoken publicly since the shooting two weeks ago.

In the remarks, Salas said the gunman had targeted her because of her position as a federal judge.

“Two weeks ago, my life as I knew it changed in an instant, and my family will never be the same,” Salas began. “A madman, who I believe was targeting me because of my position as a federal judge, came to my house.”

She goes on to say that her family had just finished a weekend celebration in honor of her son’s 20th birthday and that he had asked her and her husband about hosting a party for a few of his Catholic University of America friends.

Salas, holding back tears, begins to detail the harrowing incident.

“Daniel and I went downstairs to the basement and we were chatting, as we always do. And Daniel said 'Mom, let’s keep talking, I love talking to you, Mom.' It was at that exact moment that the doorbell rang, and Daniel looked at me and said, ‘Who is that?’ And before I could say a word, he sprinted upstairs. Within seconds, I heard the sound of bullets and someone screaming, ‘No!’” she recalled.

Salas said that her son Daniel protected his father and he took the shooter’s first bullet directly to the chest before the man, later identified as Roy Den Hollander, turned his attention to her husband and shot him three times: one bullet entering his right chest, the other his left abdomen, and the last one in the right forearm.

“We are living every parent’s worst nightmare -- making preparations to bury our only child, Daniel,” Salas continued. “My family has experienced a pain that no one should ever have to endure.”

The judge then pivots, saying that federal judges’ addresses and other information is readily available on the internet and that there are companies selling personal data that can be “leveraged for nefarious purposes,” she says.

“In my case, this monster knew where I lived and what church we attended and had a complete dossier on me and my family,” said Salas. “At the moment there is nothing we can do to stop it, and that is unacceptable.”

The gunman, Roy Den Hollander, died by suicide. When he was found in Sullivan County, New York, about two hours north of the judge’s home, authorities discovered the names of several other people they believe he wanted to target, including at least one other judge.

She continues: “My son’s death cannot be in vain, which is why I am begging those in power to do something to help my brothers and sisters on the bench. Now, more than ever, we need to identify a solution that keeps the lives of federal judges private. I know this is a complicated issue, and I don’t pretend to know or have all answers, but together we can find a way. Let’s commence a national dialogue, let’s work collaboratively to find a solution that will safeguard the privacy of federal judges.”

Salas concludes the video by thanking everybody who has supported her and her family in the weeks after the tragedy.

“To everyone who reached out, and to everyone who said a prayer, and to everyone who is keeping my family in your thoughts -- thank you. The outpouring of love has been overwhelming and I can tell you it has lifted us during our darkest hours. I just want to say thank you to you all and I love you,” she says.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


deepblue4you/iStockBy: KELLY MCCARTHY, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- A malfunctioning automobile exhaust appears to be the cause of the massive Apple Fire that has scorched 26,450 acres in Riverside County, California, and was only 5% contained as of Monday morning.

The blaze, which has destroyed at least one home and two outbuildings, began shortly before 5 p.m. local time on Friday in the Cherry Valley area.

No injuries have been reported, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Based on eyewitness accounts and supporting evidence, officials said they determined the cause of the fire to be a malfunctioning diesel-fueled car that had emitted burning carbon from its exhaust system.

Over 8,000 people were forced to evacuate their homes, which posed a particular challenge for families seeking a safe place to stay amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

"We had a lot of trouble finding a place to stay last night, because of so many people being evacuated at the same time," Ket Sengchan told ABC News about evacuating with her young daughter. "Me and the baby kinda stayed in the car last night. I should be at home. I shouldn't have to be running the streets looking for somewhere to sleep."

Nearly 2,600 homes were affected by the evacuation orders, fire officials said, adding they do not have a time frame for repopulating evacuated areas, according to ABC News Los Angeles station KABC-TV.

The American Red Cross was also assisting evacuees by temporarily housing them in hotels.

California Office of Emergency Services said FEMA approved a request from the Cal OES director and Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday for a Fire Management Assistance Grant for the Apple Fire. Officials said the approval "will ensure the availability of vital resources" for Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.

More than 2,200 firefighters were deployed to battle the flames both in the air and on the ground and crews dropped 19,000 gallons of flame retardant from helicopters on Saturday to help create containment lines and protect personnel on the ground, KABC-TV reported. The northern and eastern edges of the fire are in steep, rugged hillsides not accessible to firefighting vehicles, officials said.

The National Weather Service said that the Southwest part of California has been elevated to critical fire weather conditions "due to hot temperatures, very low humidities, and locally gusty winds.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Illinois State PoliceBy JON HAWORTH, ABC News

(CHICAGO) -- A Dunkin’ Donuts employee has been arrested after a police officer found a “large, thick piece of mucus which was later confirmed to be saliva” in his coffee.

The incident occurred at approximately 10:20 p.m. on July 30 when an Illinois State Police (ISP) District Chicago Trooper bought a large black coffee from a Dunkin’ Donuts establishment located on Archer Avenue in Chicago, Illinois.

“Due to the coffee being extremely hot, the Trooper removed the lid from the top of the cup to cool it down,” the Illinois State Police said in a statement.

It was then that the officer noticed the mucus and saliva floating inside his coffee cup.

The ISP immediately began an investigation into the incident which culminated just a couple of hours later with the arrest of 25-year-old Dunkin’ Donuts employee Vincent J. Sessler.

Sessler was taken into custody without incident by the ISP District Chicago Troopers and has been charged with Disorderly Conduct and Battery to a Peace Officer.

ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly issued a stern statement about the incident.

“This is outrageous and disgusting,” said Kelly. “The men and women of the Illinois State Police put their heart and soul into protecting the lives and rights of all people in this state every day. They deserve better than this insulting and dangerous treatment.”

Kelly also said that ISP officers and employees will now be prohibited from patronizing that Dunkin’ Donuts location for their own safety.

Sessler currently remains in custody at the Chicago Police Department’s 8th District while the investigation continues.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



(NEW YORK) -- A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 687,000 people worldwide.

Over 18 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.

Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than 4.6 million diagnosed cases and at least 154,841 deaths.

Here's how the news developed on Sunday. All times Eastern:

11:10 p.m.: Worldwide coronavirus cases top 18 million

For the second time in a week, the number of global coronavirus cases has increased by one million.

There are now 18 million cases of COVID-19 globally, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

The pandemic surpassed 17 million cases on Friday after topping 16 million cases last Sunday.

From the time the virus became known in December, it took about six months until worldwide cases reached nine million on June 22 -- but only six weeks for another nine million to become infected.

10:15 p.m.: Philadelphia Eagles head coach has COVID-19

Doug Pederson, head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, has tested positive for COVID-19.

The team released a statement Sunday night confirming the diagnosis, noting that Pederson is currently asymptomatic and is "doing well." He is self-quarantining, the statement said, and anyone who has been in close contact with Pederson at the team's facility has been notified and is following protocols including daily testing.

The NFL team opened its training camp on July 28.

Pederson is the second known NFL head coach to test positive, after the New Orleans Saints' Sean Payton contracted the virus and recovered in the spring.

Several MLB coaches, including those on the staffs of the Philadelphia Phillies and Miami Marlins, have also had tested positive for the virus since the league returned last month.

8:24 p.m.: Michigan state senator tests positive

A Michigan state senator is the latest lawmaker to test positive for the coronavirus.

Tom Barrett of Michigan's 24th Senate District said in a statement that he was informed Sunday evening that he had tested positive, according to Grand Rapids ABC affiliate WZZM-TV.

Barrett, an Army veteran who currently serves with the Michigan Army National Guard, was tested on July 31 as part of the National Guard's screening policy, WZZM said.

In his statement, Barrett said that he has no significant symptoms at this time, and that he will be self-isolating according to medical guidelines.

4:40 p.m.: Mets outfielder won't play this season due to virus concerns

New York Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes has decided to skip this season over COVID-19 concerns, ESPN reported, citing General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen.

Cespedes did not show up for Sunday's game and his agent informed the team that he was opting out, ESPN reported.

2:43 p.m.: Kids make up 10% of new cases in Louisiana

Of the 3,477 new coronavirus cases in Louisiana since Friday, 33% are among people between 18 and 29 years old, according to the state's Department of Health.

Children under 18 years old account for 10% of the 3,477 new coronavirus cases -- higher than the over 70 age group, the department said.

Louisiana has over 119,000 coronavirus cases. At least 3,893 people in the state have died, according to the Department of Health.

12:36 p.m.: If you go on vacation in a hot spot, 'assume you're infected,' Birx says

Dr. Deborah Birx, the coronavirus response coordinator for the White House task force, told CNN Sunday that anyone on vacation in a hot spot should "assume you're infected."

Despite discussions on staying home and promoting social distancing, Birx told CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday: "I traveled around the country. I saw all of America moving."

"I think it's our job, as public health officials, to be able to get a message to each American that says if you have chosen to go on vacation into a hot spot, you really need to come back and protect those with comorbidities and assume you're infected," Birx said.

Birx said the current stage of the pandemic "is different from March and April."

"It is extraordinarily widespread ... it's both rural and urban," Birx said.

"More importantly, if you're in multigenerational households, and there's an outbreak in your rural area or in your city, you need to really consider wearing a mask at home, assuming that you're positive, if you have individuals in your households with comorbidities," she advised.

11:26 a.m.: Florida's daily test-positivity rate falls below 10%

In hard-hit Florida, the Department of Health reported a daily test-positivity rate of 9.28% on Sunday -- the first time the daily test-positivity rate fell below 10% in several weeks.

As of Sunday, just 19.24% of Florida's adult ICU beds are available, according to the state Agency for Healthcare Administration.

Forty-two hospitals have no available ICU beds, while 30 hospitals have just one remaining ICU bed, the agency said.

These numbers are expected to fluctuate throughout the day as hospitals and medical centers provide updates.

More than 487,000 people across the state have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Florida is the second highest state for number of cases, behind California.

10:35 a.m.: Australia's Victoria enters 'State of Disaster'

Australia had largely avoided widespread community transmission, but cases have been increasing exponentially in Victoria. On Sunday, State Premier Dan Andrews announced that Victoria will enter a "State of Disaster."

The "State of Disaster" imposes a six-week lockdown with restrictions including: an overnight curfew; mandatory face coverings; remote learning; and shopping limited to one-person per household per day.

Victoria reported over 2,500 new coronavirus cases between July 23 and 29, up from 2,200 cases reported in the week prior, according to Australia's Ministry of Health.

Overall, Australia has a total of 17,895 COVID-19 cases and 208 deaths.

While cases have spanned all age groups, recent diagnoses are Victoria residents between the ages of 10 and 49.

About 6% of those recently diagnosed have been admitted to hospitals.

Workplace restrictions are expected to be announced Monday.

4:32 a.m.: Red Sox player out for season due to COVID-19 related heart issue

The Boston Red Sox have ruled out the return of its top starting pitcher for the 2020 season.

The 27-year-old left-hander tested positive for the coronavirus before the start of summer camp but was cleared and returned to workouts on July 18.

He hasn’t had another positive coronavirus test, but said an MRI revealed a condition called myocarditis, that the team’s medical staff felt was serious enough to shut him down for at least a week.

Rodriguez has been restricted from baseball activities since July 23.

3:37 a.m.: FBI says COVID-19 tests at Texas facility 'should not have been used'

FBI San Antonio is seeking to warn members of the public who were tested for COVID-19 at Living Health Holistic Healthcare in New Braunfels, Texas, in the last several weeks.

Authorities have reason to suspect the COVID-19 tests administered at the facility should not have been used to diagnose or rule out an active COVID-19 infection.

Individuals who were tested at this facility are asked to contact the FBI and those individuals are also encouraged to contact their primary care physician, local health department, free-standing ER, or nearby urgent care facility for re-testing.

1:14 a.m.: Cardinals games postponed following more positive COVID-19 tests

The weekend series between the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers has been postponed after one player and multiple members of the Cardinals staff tested positive for COVID-19.

According to ESPN, three staff members tested positive for COVID-19 on the rapid tests. The team expects the complete results of saliva testing later Saturday, MLB said.

In addition to Saturday's game, both games of Sunday's doubleheader between the teams have also been postponed.

"Due to additional testing and monitoring of the St. Louis Cardinals’ players and staff members, the Sunday doubleheader between the host Milwaukee Brewers and the Cardinals at Miller Park has been postponed," said Major League Baseball in a statement. The Cardinals will play four games against the Tigers in Detroit from Tuesday-Thursday, including a Wednesday doubleheader. The Cardinals and Tigers will serve as the home Club for two games each at Comerica Park. The Brewers will play this week’s home-and-home series vs. the Chicago White Sox as scheduled. Major League Baseball will continue to provide updates regarding its schedule."

Just last week multiple members of the Miami Marlins tested positive for the coronavirus causing games to be coronavirus testing is underway, the league confirmed in a statement.

The Miami Marlins canceled their home opener against the Baltimore Orioles scheduled for last Monday after multiple members of the team tested positive for the coronavirus,

Since the Philadelphia Phillies played Miami one week ago at Citizens Bank Park, the Marlins have now had 20 positive tests, including 18 players.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred told MLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark on Friday that if the sport doesn't do a better job of managing the coronavirus, it could shut down for the season, sources familiar with the conversation told ESPN.

The two positive tests by the St. Louis Cardinals players on Friday have only exacerbated concerns inside the sport about the presence of the coronavirus and whether players are following MLB's protocols are being followed properly to prevent outbreaks similar to Miami's.

Should another outbreak materialize, Manfred, who has the power to shut the season down, could move in that direction. Multiple players briefed on the call fear that season could be shut down as soon as Monday if positive tests jump or if players continue not to strictly abide by the league's protocols.

ABC News' Alex Faul, Matt Foster, Ahmad Hemingway, Josh Hoyos, Christine Theodorou and Scott Withers contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) -- Tropical storm watches and warnings stretch from Florida to parts of the southern New England coast as Tropical Storm Isaias makes its way toward the Florida coast.

The storm, in Atlantic waters and moving north-northwest, is expected to make its way up the East Coast after bringing downpours and gusty winds to the Florida Peninsula.

As of late Sunday night, Isaias was about 50 miles east of Cape Canaveral and about 365 miles from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Isaias is expected to move arrive just off the northeast coast of Florida by Monday morning.

It could unleash six inches of rain on parts of eastern Florida, with a storm surge of 1-4 feet.

In St. Lucie County, officials on Sunday urged residents to avoid the beaches for several days due to rough surf and rip currents. Officials said they're also concerned about power outages.

The storm will then pick up speed as it races up the East Coast.

It is expected to strengthen, possibly becoming a low-end Category 1 hurricane, before hitting the Carolinas. A hurricane watch has been issued along parts of the South Carolina and North Carolina coastline. Into Monday night, the Carolinas may see up to six inches of rain.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said he's activated up to 150 National Guard soldiers to help with the storm.

"The forecast has the storm moving quickly, which we hope means the rain and wind won't last as long," he tweeted Sunday afternoon. "But a lot of rain is expected to fall at once, so be on alert for flash flooding and river flooding."

Widespread power outages should be expected, the governor added.

Isaias will gradually weaken as it moves north.

Throughout Tuesday, Isaias will bring heavy rain to much of the Northeast, from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia and New York City, and eventually to parts of New England.

Parts of the mid-Atlantic could see 4-6 inches of rain, likely triggering flash flooding.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



(PENSACOLA, Fla.) -- The first NASA-SpaceX astronauts are en route back to Earth, with the Crew Dragon capsule expected to splashdown near Pensacola, Florida, at 2:48 p.m. ET.

The weather conditions appear "great" for the splashdown, tweeted NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

Crew Dragon Endeavour's deorbit burn began at 1:56 p.m. and was completed at about 2:13 p.m. ET. As the capsule nears Earth, there will be a communications blackout lasting about six minutes.

Astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, who left Earth on May 30, undocked from the International Space Station at about 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday.

Stakes are high as the astronauts only have 48 hours of oxygen in their capsule after undocking.

A recovery boat with several dozen crew members, including NASA flight surgeons, is waiting in the Gulf of Mexico.

Once the astronauts reach the port in Pensacola, they will board the NASA Gulfstream and head to Houston for a ceremony at Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base.

Behnken said Friday he was most excited to see his family and his 6-year-old son, saying, "He's changed a lot in the couple of months that we've been up here."

On Sunday morning Hurley and Behnken woke up to a message from their children who were all excited for their return.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


iStock/niratBy: MEREDITH DELISO, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- For years, Roy Den Hollander railed against what he saw as an infringement of men's rights by feminists. A self-proclaimed anti-feminist lawyer, he took on cases against feminist causes, such as "ladies' night" and women's studies college classes. His websites host hundreds of pages of openly misogynistic writings.

In those screeds, the court seemed to be the target of much of his ire, saying the justice system "stepped on my rights" and was biased against men.

In a document on his website, Den Hollander wrote disparagingly of several female judges, including Esther Salas, the first Latina to serve on the federal bench in New Jersey, who had presided over one of his cases.

Salas appears to have been the target, investigators said, when, on July 20, Den Hollander opened fire at her New Jersey home, killing her 20-year-old son and critically injuring her husband. Salas was in the basement at the time and was unharmed.

The next day, Den Hollander, 72, the only suspect named in the case so far, was found dead by police in an apparent suicide, according to investigators.

The tragedy highlights a surge in threats to federal judges and their families, and experts say that being a woman and being a minority only make matters worse.

While judges -- male and female -- face threats for a variety of reasons, the courts have in recent decades become a venue where advocates of so-called men's rights activism have taken root. The movement, which primarily argues that men are discriminated against in areas such as the government and justice system, has been criticized for the hateful messaging or violence of extreme adherents, like Den Hollander.

And experts say that not only women, but the men connected to them, face danger from this misogyny.

According to the U.S. Marshals Service, there were 4,449 threats and inappropriate communications against federal judges, prosecutors and court officials in 2019. In 2015, that number was 926. Over that same period, the number of threats investigated rose from 305 to 373, peaking at 531 in 2018. The U.S. Marshals Service does not break down this data by gender.

Deadly attacks on federal judges are relatively rare and have primarily involved men, who, according to the Center for American Progress, make up the majority of the seats. Among the handful or so who have been killed was Arizona federal judge John Roll, one of six people who died in the 2011 shooting massacre targeting U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

In 2005, Illinois federal judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow lost her husband and mother in a targeted attack at her Chicago home.

Julie Kocurek, the first female criminal district judge in Travis County, survived an attempted assassination outside her home in Austin in 2015, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

According to the New York Times, investigators found a list in Den Hollander's rental car with the names of three other female judges on it, one of them -- like Salas -- is also a federal judge. Another was New York Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, her spokesman had previously confirmed to ABC News. The third was a state judge who had presided over one of Den Hollander's cases, the Times reported.

"Being a federal judge in general is a role that can make enemies. People can be pretty upset about your decisions," Emily Martin, vice president of education and workplace justice for the National Women's Law Center, told ABC News. "When you layer that with the fact that if you are a woman, if you are a person of color, there's a deeper vein of hostility and hatred that those reactions can tap into."

The attack on Salas' family "reminds us that there are people who want to kill us solely because of our gender, the color of our skin, our ethnic background -- or just because we are different," Hispanic National Bar Association National President Irene Oria said in a statement last week when the suspected gunman's racist, misogynistic writings came to light.

That the July 20 attack targeted someone in the legal sector was "not a surprise" to Lecia Brooks, chief of staff for the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups and other extremists, including male supremacists.

The suspect "had an ill-conceived belief that women controlled the legal system," Brooks told ABC News. "He felt like women who controlled the legal system were able to grant greater leniency and rights upon women. He had this whole warped belief about what was true."

Den Hollander had "adopted" victimization language common among so-called men's rights activists, Martin said, "to try to position men as somehow being harmed and victimized by women's equality."

The court is one area where men's rights activism has played out, particularly in child custody cases, Brooks said.

"Around the 1980s it began gaining traction with men who were disgruntled by the results of their experiences with family court," Brooks said. "It was at that time that no-fault divorce laws began to crop up, and they felt like child custody rulings were discriminating against them."

Over the years, domestic violence charges have been another area of pushback, Brooks said.

Of late, higher education has been a focus of men's rights activists, particularly regarding students' due process rights in disciplining cases of sexual harassment and sexual assault on college campuses, Martin said.

The National Women's Law Center is behind one of four lawsuits against the Department of Education's controversial new Title IX sexual harassment regulations, which address due process. One of the changes will allow those accused of sexual harassment or assault to cross-examine their accusers. In its claim, the National Women's Law Center argues that the regulations, scheduled to take effect on Aug. 14, favor those accused of sexual misconduct and make the process "more intimidating and traumatizing for victims."

Brooks, another critic of the guidelines, finds that they play "into the hand of this male victimhood narrative."

In acts of violence where suspects have demonstrated extreme misogyny, women aren't necessarily the only victims. In addition to Salas' son, Daniel Anderl, the FBI has tied Den Hollander to the murder in California earlier this month of men's rights attorney Marc Angelucci.

That aspect of this case reminded Kate Manne, an associate philosophy professor at Cornell University and author of the forthcoming book “Entitled: How Male Privilege Hurts Women," of another shooting. In 2014, 22-year-old Elliot Rodger killed six people and injured more than a dozen others near the University of California, Santa Barbara. Rodger left behind misogynistic rants that included a video where he vowed "retribution" for women rejecting him. Those murdered included four men.

The cases, Manne told ABC News, showed how "misogyny can really distort someone's worldview so that they're a danger to pretty much anyone."

ABC News' Aaron Katersky contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



(MIAMI) -- Isaias, previously a Category 1 hurricane, delivered torrential rains and high winds to the Bahamas Friday before heading toward Florida, according to forecasters.

Early Saturday evening, Isaias was downgraded to a tropical storm.

Forecasters predict the storm will travel northwest and arrive in southeast Florida on Saturday and Sunday. Parts of the state could see 2 to 4 inches of rain, with isolated maximum totals of 6 inches, according to the current forecast.

"These rainfall amounts could result in isolated flash and urban flooding, especially in low-lying and poorly drained areas," the National Hurricane Center said.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced on Friday that he's declared a state of emergency in every coastal county on the east side of the state, from Miami-Dade to Nassau Counties.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam also declared a state of emergency in advance of the storm, which is expected to affect parts of coastal Virginia starting on Monday.

Here's how the news is developing. All times Eastern. Please refresh for the latest updates.

8 p.m. Isaias remains a tropical storm

As of 8 p.m. ET, Isaias remains a tropical storm with sustained winds of 70 mph. Movement has slowed down further, now northwest at 9 mph and the center is currently about 100 miles southeast of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Isaias continues to batter the northwestern Bahamas bringing heavy rain, strong winds and storm surge.

The hurricane warning was canceled for the central Bahamas. No other changes to alerts were made with the 8 p.m. update.

Isaias' forward speed will continue to decrease overnight and into Saturday. The latest forecast has Isaias becoming a minimal category 1 hurricane once again as it moves near the east coast of Florida throughout the day on Sunday. However, either as a hurricane or tropical storm the impacts will be essentially the same and most dependent on the exact track the storm takes up the Florida coast.

5 p.m.: Isaias downgraded

With sustained winds of approximately 70 mph, Isaias was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm early Saturday evening.

The storm's movement has slowed a bit, with Isaias now heading northwest at about 10 mph. The storm's center is about 115 miles southeast of Fort Lauderdale.

It's possible the storm could regain strength overnight and transform back into a hurricane.

2 p.m.: Isaias batters Bahamas but slightly weakens

As of 2 p.m. ET, Isaias remains a minimal Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds now at 75 mph. It is moving NW at 12 mph and the center is currently about 140 miles SE of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

There is now the chance that Isaias could weaken to a tropical storm at some point later today, according to forecasters.

Little change in strength is forecast over the next 24 hours as Isaias moves near the east coast of Florida later tonight through Sunday.

Isaias will then race up the East Coast Monday into Tuesday, continuing to weaken, but likely remaining a tropical storm bringing heavy rain and gusty winds up the coast early next week.

In the coming hours and into this evening, more of the outer bands will begin to impact the south Florida coast with downpours and gusty winds.

Sunday morning, the storm will pass near the southeast coast of Florida, bringing areas of heavy rain and strong winds. The magnitude of the impacts will come down to how close the storm actually gets to the coast tomorrow.

Right now there it looks like wind gusts of 40 to 60 mph will be possible right along the coast, from West Palm Beach to Jupiter and Port St. Lucie, Florida.

11:04 a.m.: Isaias makes landfall on Northern Andros Island in the Bahamas

The brunt of Isaias is hitting northern Andros, New Providence, (including Nassau) and other parts of the central/northwestern Bahamas right now.

Heavy rain, strong winds and storm surge will continue to impact these areas and overspread the rest of the northwestern Bahamas through the afternoon hours.

As of 11 a.m. ET, Isaias remains a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds at 80 mph. It is moving NW at 12 mph and the center is currently about 135 miles SSE of Freeport, Grand Bahamas Island.

In the U.S., a tropical storm watch has now been issued for portions of the southeast coast of Georgia. A hurricane /tropical storm warning remains in effect along most of the east coast of Florida.

Further decrease in forward speed is forecast over the next 24 hours, with little change in strength expected as Isaias moves near the east coast of the Florida Peninsula tonight through Sunday.

Isaias batters Bahamas but slightly weakens

As of 2 p.m. ET, Isaias remains a minimal Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds now at 75 mph. It is moving NW at 12 mph and the center is currently about 140 miles SE of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

There is now the chance that Isaias could weaken to a tropical storm at some point later today, according to forecasters.

Little change in strength is forecast over the next 24 hours as Isaias moves near the east coast of Florida later tonight through Sunday.

Isaias will then race up the East Coast Monday into Tuesday, continuing to weaken, but likely remaining a tropical storm bringing heavy rain and gusty winds up the coast early next week.

In the coming hours and into this evening, more of the outer bands will begin to impact the south Florida coast with downpours and gusty winds.

Sunday morning, the storm will pass near the southeast coast of Florida, bringing areas of heavy rain and strong winds. The magnitude of the impacts will come down to how close the storm actually gets to the coast tomorrow.

Right now there it looks like wind gusts of 40 to 60 mph will be possible right along the coast, from West Palm Beach to Jupiter and Port St. Lucie, Florida.

10:43 a.m.: North Carolina governor declares state of emergency

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency in preperation for Hurricane Isaias.

The declaration allows trucks and supplies to move where help is needed. The state's Emergency Operations Center -- already activated for COVID-19 -- is preparing for the storm as well, and state and local response teams are at the ready.

"Although the track and arrival of the hurricane could still change, now is the time for North Carolinians to prepare," said Gov. Cooper. "Hurricane preparations will be different given the COVID-19 pandemic, and families need to keep that in mind as they get ready."

The current forecast is for Hurricane Isaias to increase in intensity over the next 24 hours. The storm shifted west Friday afternoon, and its speed and path indicate it could reach North Carolina as early as Monday, making its greatest impact Monday night and Tuesday. However, the state is already seeing signs of the storm with high risk of dangerous rip currents along the coast, and the danger of tropical storm force winds is increasing.

The North Carolina National Guard has 75 guardsman and high-water vehicles on standby should they be activated to respond. The state's Department of Transportation has more than 1,800 personnel, 1,550 pieces of equipment and more than 1,000 chainsaws ready to respond if needed.

They have also suspended passenger ferry today, began voluntary evacuations of Ocracoke, waived tolls on evacuation routes, and are preparing facilities and mooring plans for vessels for storm conditions.

Some local governments have already issued evacuation orders. While the state is still combating the COVID-19 pandemic, the state is urging people to make every effort to stay with family and friends, or even a hotel, as a first option. The state will coordinate shelters for those who need to evacuate.

9:00 am: President approves Federal Disaster Declaration ahead of Isaias

During a press conference Saturday morning, Florida Gov. DeSantis said that the president signed a Federal Disaster Declaration in expectation of Hurricane Isaias.

On Friday, DeSantis signed an executive order for a state of emergency for every coastal Florida county on the East Coast yesterday.

Twelve Floria counties have declared a state of emergency. The Division of Emergency Management is sending 25 shelter kits with PPE to counties in the path of the storm. Each kit provides PPE for up to 400 people for 96 hours, the governor said.

"The State of Florida is fully prepared for this," DeSantis said and that his administration has been in contact with local area hospitals. The hospitals aren't anticipating the need to evacuate patients at this time, but one smaller hospital is going to move some COVID patients to another hospital in Brevard county.

DeSantis said everyone in Isaias' path "should have enough food, water and medicine for seven days" and said there is still time to get supplies.

7:53 a.m.: Hurricane Isaias has winds of 85 mph, approaching Florida later today.

Hurricane Isais remains a Category 1 storm sustaining winds of 80 mph. The hurricane's eye is near Andros Island Bahamas. Isaias is expected to move through the Bahamas today and near Florida tonight into Sunday.

Forecasts warn of a dangerous storm surge. Heavy rains are a main concern as Isaias nears the Florida coast. The storm is expected to run up the East Coast and impact the Carolinas, the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast. Significant rainfall in the Carolinas and the major Northeast cities is expected.

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