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. Evacuations resume after Kabul bombings as death toll now over 100:
Evacuation flights from Afghanistan have resumed with new urgency a day after two suicide bombings targeted the thousands of desperate people fleeing the Taliban takeover and killed more than 100.
Military officials have confirmed that 13 U.S. service members were killed including 11 Marines and a Navy medic. The U.S. says further attempted attacks are expected ahead of the Tuesday deadline for foreign troops to leave, ending America’s longest war.
President Joe Biden vowed to complete the evacuation of Afghanistan and hunt down those responsible for the killings.
2. Florida reports 901 more COVID-19 deaths:
Florida reported 901 previously unreported COVID-related deaths on Thursday. Those deaths didn’t all occur in the one day, but instead span back over weeks.
Florida also saw an increase of 21,765 cases on Thursday. More than 26,000 new cases were reported Wednesday, a one-day record.
Florida leads the nation with 16,833 people hospitalized with COVID-19 on Thursday, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
3. Tropical Storm Ida expected to strengthen into major hurricane before landfall
Tropical Storm Ida formed Thursday evening in the Caribbean and is expected to rapidly strengthen into a hurricane over the weekend as it moves into the Gulf of Mexico.
Ida is now expected to strengthen into a major hurricane before landfall across coastal LA/MS Sunday-Monday.
The storm is packing maximum sustained winds near 45 mph with higher gusts and is moving toward the northwest near 15 mph.
4. Judge to rule on Florida's public school mask mandate ban today:
The lawsuit was brought earlier this month by pro-mask parents alleging the ban risks the health and safety of students. The governor and ed officials have said the "Parents’ Bill of Rights," a 2021 law, protects a parent’s decision to opt-out of any school district's mask mandate.
Attorneys for the governor spent Wednesday mounting a fierce defense of the order. They brought before the judge parents who testified masking would harm the education of their children.
Judge John Cooper with Florida's 2nd Judicial Circuit is expected to issue his ruling after a day and a half of review, Friday morning.
5. Ready to set sail? Princess Cruises aren't:
Princess Cruises is pushing back the return of two of its ships and is canceling several sailings amid a recent surge in coronavirus infections.
Passengers booked on a now-canceled cruise can receive either a full refund or a future cruise credit or be moved to an equivalent future cruise.
Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Line now require full vaccinations for guests 12 and older prior to sailing on any of its cruises, including its Florida ports.
Disney Cruise Lines is requiring vaccination for all voyages to the Bahamas including private islands.
On-and-off rainfall throughout most of the day:
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On This Day In History
The most powerful volcanic eruption in recorded history occurs on Krakatoa (also called Krakatau), a small, uninhabited volcanic island located west of Sumatra in Indonesia, on August 27, 1883.
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