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5 Things To Know On Friday, August 20, 2021

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Posted at 7:05 AM, Aug 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-20 07:05:43-04

While you were sleeping, we compiled the biggest stories of the day in one place. Each story has a quick and easy summary, so you're prepared for whatever the day brings. Just click on the links if you want to know more!

1. DeSantis responds to Florida school districts' mask mandates:
School districts in Palm Beach County, Miami-Dade and Hillsborough counties voted Wednesday to join Broward and Alachua to universally mandate face coverings, with the only exceptions being for medical reasons.

DeSantis said the decisions by those five school districts have taken away the freedom of choice among Florida parents and accused the Biden Administration of interference.

"They want to take that decision away from the parent, and they want to vest that in local government," DeSantis said. "As a parent, I'm offended that the federal government thinks that they know better than we do as parents. And in Florida, we want to make sure that we're standing by our parents."

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' office calls Palm Beach County's school mask mandate 'disappointing'

2. Friday night lights will have to wait and Saturdays face the same:
Palm Beach County announced Thursday afternoon that three football games have been canceled because of COVID-19 cases.

The canceled games include:

  • Santaluces High School vs. Inlet Grove
  • Royal Palm Beach High School vs. Pahokee High School
  • Lake Worth High School vs. Wellington High School

The ACC, the conference of Florida State and Miami, announced its COVID-19 policy and protocols. Among the changes from last season is that teams that don't have enough players will be forced to forfeit and credited with a loss in the conference standings. The opposing team would be assigned a win.

High school football games canceled in Palm Beach County due to COVID-19

3. The latest in Afghanistan:
Amnesty International says Taliban fighters recently tortured and killed members of an ethnic minority in Afghanistan, fueling fears that they will again impose a brutal rule.

Terrified that the new de facto rulers would commit such abuses, thousands have raced to Kabul’s airport. Others have taken to the streets to protest the takeover, and Taliban fighters have violently suppressed those demonstrations.

The Taliban have sought to project moderation and have pledged to restore security and forgive those who fought them in the 20 years since a U.S.-led invasion. But many Afghans are skeptical.

Taliban Power Challenged With Protests On Independence Day

4. "Blue moon," Saturn's rings, Jupiter to appear in sky this weekend:
Spectators are in for a treat this week as they turn to the sky for a blue moon and a bright Saturn and Jupiter.

According to NASA, the next full moon of the summer will occur on Sunday when the "blue moon" will rise into the night sky.

On Friday, you'll be able to spot the rings of Saturn and a bright Jupiter.

5. Biden administration to forgive student loan debt for permanently disabled Americans:
The Biden administration announced Thursday it is forgiving student loan debt to more than 323,000 borrowers who have a total and permanent disability.

The students will be identified through existing data that matches with the Social Security Administration, the government said.

The debt forgiveness process will begin in September, according to the Department of Education.

Biden administration to forgive student loan debt for permanently disabled Americans

Today's Forecast
Saharan Dust will limit rain chances, heat index values in the triple digits:

Latest Weather Forecast: Friday 5 a.m.

Get your complete hour-by-hour forecast here.

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On This Day In History
On August 20, 1920, professional football was born. Seven men, including legendary all-around athlete and football star Jim Thorpe, meet to organize a professional football league. The meeting led to the creation of the American Professional Football Conference (APFC), the forerunner to the hugely successful National Football League.

Remember, you can join Mike Trim and Ashleigh Walters every weekday on WPTV NewsChannel 5 beginning at 4:30 a.m. And you can always watch the latest news from WPTV anytime on your favorite streaming device. Just search for "WPTV."