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Experts warn of omicron variant
Dr. Anthony Fauci warned Sunday the omicron mutation of the coronavirus "strongly suggests" it is easily transmitted and might elude immunity protections gained by previous infections and even vaccination. Omicron, first reported to the World Health Organization Tuesday, has been labeled a "variant of concern," the most serious type. The outbreak of the omicron variant in South Africa was like a "vertical line," according to Dr. Eric Topol, executive vice president for research at Scripps Research in La Jolla, California. "We haven't seen anything like that."
The Netherlands confirmed 13 cases of the omicron variant on Sunday, and Australia found two – the latest nations to detect it in travelers arriving from southern Africa. The United States, which lifted a pandemic-long travel ban from dozens of countries including South Africa on Nov. 8, will reinstitute the ban for foreign nationals from eight African countries on Monday.
The omicron variant has sparked new travel restrictions. Are more rules ahead?
Virgil Abloh, trailblazing Louis Vuitton director, dies after cancer battle
Virgil Abloh, a pioneer in the fashion world who served as the first Black artistic director for Louis Vuitton menswear and founded the fashion house Off-White, has died after a private battle with a "rare, aggressive form of cancer," according to posts from the brands. He was 41. The trailblazer and frequent celebrity collaborator had cardiac angiosarcoma, a type of sarcoma that blocks blood flow to the heart. "He chose to endure his battle privately since his diagnosis in 2019, undergoing numerous challenging treatments, all while helming several significant institutions that span fashion, art, and culture," Abloh's Instagram read. Abloh was just one of two people of color in charge of a major fashion house, along with Balmain's Olivier Rousteing.
Winter weather impacts Thanksgiving weekend travel
Storms dropped snow across Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York, complicating Thanksgiving weekend travel across the country. Cold air blasted from central Canada fueled fast-moving storms with snow into the United States. Forecasters expected the system to produce as much as a foot of snow east of Lake Erie, according to the National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center. AccuWeather senior meteorologist Tom Kines told USA TODAY road travel would be hazardous in some areas and that the weather could delay flights. Drivers who get caught in the snow should be careful, Kines said: "That first snow of the year is always a slippery one because we don't remember how bad it can get."
300 to 400 FedEx packages were dumped in an Alabama ravine: 'It was just a river of boxes.'
Biden's bet on child care is closer to reality, but could it boost expenses for some?
Musical theater legend Stephen Sondheim died Friday, leaving behind a remarkable legacy.
Question looms over Vanessa Bryant's lawsuit against Los Angeles County.
Releasing petroleum? Fed chair? What else can Biden do to try to tame inflation?
Magnitude 7.5 earthquake in Peru topples centuries-old church tower
A strong earthquake rocked northern Peru on Sunday, collapsing a 16th-century Catholic church tower. No deaths or serious injuries were immediately reported. The quake struck at the sparsely populated region at 5:52 local time, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. The quake was deep, about 70 miles below the Earth's surface, a factor that can sometimes reduce damage to buildings and infrastructure. The epicenter was 25 miles northwest of Barranca, a coastal city of 63,000 people. Walter Culqui, mayor of the city of Jalca Grande, told RPP Noticias that, of the 3,000 families in the city, "60 or 70%" had some damage to their homes. Three people suffered minor injuries, he said.
Michigan makes big move in college football poll after Ohio State win
Championship Week is at hand, and the top teams in the USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll now have clearly defined missions as they present closing arguments to the College Football Playoff committee. Georgia, still the unanimous No. 1 choice, is set to take on Alabama for the SEC crown. The Crimson Tide holds on at No. 2 in the poll, but that position appears tenuous after the team needed a late drive and four overtimes to survive archrival Auburn. One of the weekend’s biggest winners was Michigan. After conquering longtime nemesis Ohio State, the Wolverines vault three places into the No. 3 spot and are sure to be in the playoff if they get past No. 12 Iowa in next week’s Big Ten finale.
College Football Playoff: Where do teams stand after Week 13?
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This is a compilation of stories from across the USA TODAY Network. Contributing: Associated Press.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Omicron variant, Virgil Abloh: Biggest news you missed