Reunited after two years: Til Wagenaar greets her son, Joost Wagenaar, after she flew from the Netherlands at Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, N.J., Monday, Nov. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
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U.S. lifts inbound travel ban

According to BBC News, the United States reopened its borders Monday to vaccinated travelers 20 months after President Donald Trump imposed a travel ban due to COVID-19.

During the ban, non-U.S. citizens from more than 30 countries were not allowed entry into the country, which affected tourism and separated families. 

The new regulations for entry into the country require visitors to show their vaccination records, a negative COVID-19 test result within three days of travel and contact information.

The requirements will allow foreign travelers immediate entry with no need to quarantine. 

United Airlines expects that the ban being lifted will increase international inbound travel by 50% and Delta’s chief executive, Ed Bastian, expects long lines and some disorder with the influx of travelers.

Low approval ratings for President Biden could affect Democrats in midterms

President Joe Biden responds to a question about the U.S. border as he speaks in the State Dinning Room of the White House, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

According to a USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll, President Biden’s approval rating dropped to 38%, a new low. 

President Biden’s support has significantly decreased among independent voters who helped him secure the election over President Donald Trump in 2020. 

The low approval rating will be an issue if the trend continues into next year’s midterm elections on Nov. 8, 2022, determining which political party controls Congress.

Typically, when approval ratings drop below 50%, it leads to a loss for the political party in the midterm elections.

Of those surveyed, 48% said they would vote for their Republican congressional candidate, while 38% said they would vote for their Democratic one.

Results favoring Republicans would help the GOP, which needs five seats in the House and one in the Senate to gain a majority. 

If that were to happen, it would make passing legislation even more difficult for Biden, who already struggles in a Democratic-controlled Congress.   

The survey reports that 46% of Americans believe Biden has done a worse job as president than expected, 64% say they don’t want Biden to run for a second term, 66% say the country is on the wrong track and 51% of Americans disapprove of the job Vice President Kamala Harris is doing.

Victims identified, lawsuits from Travis Scott’s festival in Houston

Two people who knew an unidentified victim of a fatal incident at the Houston Astroworld concert embrace at a memorial on Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Robert Bumsted)

Rappers Travis Scott and Drake have been targeted in a lawsuit over the incident at Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival that killed eight people, according to Fox News.

Texas attorney Thomas J. Henry filed a lawsuit on Sunday, Nov. 7 against Travis Scott. The suit was filed on behalf of Kristian Paredes, a 23-year-old who was injured at the concert. The suit is seeking more than $1 million in damages alleging that the rappers “incited the crowd” and left him injured.

When Drake made an appearance on stage at the Astroworld Festival, the crowd surged forward, causing several attendees to be trampled and leading to the death of eight people.

As of Monday, the victims were identified as Danish Baig, 27, Madison Dubiski, 23, Jacob “Jake” Jurinek, 20, Franco Patino, 21, John Hilgert, 14, Brianna Rodriguez, 16, Axel Acosta, 21 and Rudy Peña, 23.

The exact cause of death for each of the victims has not been determined

Romania hit hard by COVID-19, fighting anti-vaccine call by many

An anti-vaccine movement has taken hold in Romania, the country with the world’s highest COVID-19 death rate, according to The New York Times.

A new wave of the coronavirus swept across Eastern Europe in October, crushing unvaccinated communities.

Bishops in the country encouraged congregations not to worry about COVID-19 or rush to get vaccinated. This anti-vaccine message has been reinforced by politicians and social media.

Bishop Ambrose of Giurgiu is under criminal investigation for spreading detrimental disinformation, but the information has already reached the population.

Almost 600 Romanians died on Tuesday, Nov. 2. This is the highest daily rate of the pandemic. Romania’s per capita death rate is nearly seven times higher than that of the United States.

Hospitals are struggling to find space for all those who need treatment for COVID-19. Doctors said this devastating wave could have been avoided if more people were vaccinated.

The discouragement of vaccination by religious and political officials has caused Romania to have Europe’s second-lowest vaccination rate.

First Lady Jill Biden and Surgeon General encourage vaccines for children

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden arrive on the South Lawn of the White House after spending the weekend in Rehoboth Beach, Del., Monday, Nov. 8, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

According to CBS News, First Lady Jill Biden and U.S. surgeon general Dr. Vivek Murthy will begin their campaign to encourage the vaccination of children ages 5-11. 

On Nov. 2, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorsed Pfizer’s pediatric vaccine and recommended the shot to families. 

Jill Biden and Murthy will begin their campaign at a children’s vaccination clinic at a school in McLean, Virginia, which was the first school in the nation to give children the polio vaccine in 1954.

School, county and state leaders will meet with Jill Biden and Murthy, along with children and their parents who have received the vaccine.

The campaign will travel to COVID-19 vaccination clinics at schools, hospitals and other community sites. 

The Biden administration is trying to get schools across the country to place vaccine clinics on their property with American Rescue Plan funds.

Los Angeles and other cities require vaccination proof to enter businesses and venues

According to NPR, the city of Los Angeles passed a vaccine mandate that took effect Monday which requires people to show proof of their vaccination to enter business establishments like malls, movie theaters, salons, museums and other venues. 

Many other cities in the U.S. are requiring proof of vaccination to enter into indoor public spaces.

In LA County, 80% of residents have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine, and 71% are fully vaccinated according to public health officials. 

The LA City Council voted 11-2 for the vaccine mandate to be passed which requires people ages 12 and above to be fully vaccinated unless they have religious or medical exemptions. In the case of people with exemptions, a negative coronavirus test from the past 72 hours will be required for entry into establishments. 

City officials will not enforce the mandate until Nov. 29 but once it begins the fines can reach up to $5,000 for not following the new rule.

Missing girl found using hand sign for help that went viral on TikTok

According to BBC News, a 16-year-old girl who was reported missing on Nov. 2 by her parents in North Carolina was found two days later after using a hand sign designed to help domestic abuse victims to communicate with a passing driver.

Police were alerted by the driver that a female passenger made a hand gesture that they recognized from TikTok as a call for help. 

To make the hand gesture, one holds up their hand and folds their thumb into their palm and then closes their hand over their thumb. 

Authorities arrested James Herbert Brick, a 61-year-old man from North Carolina.

The girl said that she had been taken through North Carolina, Tennesee, Kentucky and Ohio. 

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