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5 Things To Know On Monday, December 6, 2021

Posted at 7:28 AM, Dec 06, 2021

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. Omicron COVID-19 variant driving Florida residents to get vaccinated
State health records show in the week following Thanksgiving, 101,032 residents received the first dose of the vaccine.

Currently, 69% of the states eligible population is now vaccinated, including 89% of seniors 65 and older and 9% of children ages 5-11 years old.

The new variant has yet to be detected in Florida, but has been found in at least 10 states.

Omicron COVID-19 variant drives Florida residents to get vaccinated

2. U.S. expected to announce diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics
The Biden administration is expected to announce a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing this week, a senior administration official said late Sunday.

A diplomatic boycott would mean that no U.S. government officials would attend the games, but that U.S. athletes would still be allowed to compete.

China is threatening to take “firm countermeasures" if the U.S. proceeds with a diplomatic boycott.

U.S. expected to announce diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics

3. Cruise ship with COVID-19 infections arrives in New Orleans
A Norwegian Cruise Line ship with at least 10 passengers and crew members infected with COVID-19 docked Sunday in New Orleans, where health officials said they were trying to disembark people without worsening the spread of the coronavirus illness.

More than 3,200 people were on board the ship. All passengers and crew members were required to have been vaccinated against the coronavirus prior to departure.

Passengers said they were tested for COVID-19 exposure on Saturday before disembarking Sunday. The cruise line also gave passengers take-home rapid tests as they left the ship.

Cruise ship with COVID-19 infections arrives in New Orleans

4. College football announces playoffs and bowl games
Alabama is the No. 1 team in the final College Football Playoff rankings and will face undefeated Cincinnati in the Cotton Bowl, while second-ranked Michigan will take on No. 3 Georgia in the Orange Bowl, potentially setting up a national championship game rematch between the Southeastern Conference champion and the Bulldogs.

The Gators and the Knights won't be traveling far as UF will play UCF on Dec. 23 at the Gasparilla Bowl in Tampa.

Miami will once again meet Washington State on New Year's Eve at the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas.

Georgia Bulldogs receiver Mecole Hardman misses catch against Alabama Crimson Tide cornerback Patrick Surtain II in 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship
Georgia wide receiver Mecole Hardman misses the catch in the end zone against Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II during the first half of the Southeastern Conference Championship game, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, in Atlanta.

5. Ghislaine Maxwell sex-trafficking trial enters second week of testimony
The trial of Ghislaine Maxwell on child-sex trafficking charges will enter its second week of testimony in federal court in Manhattan today.

A folding massage table used by financier Jeffrey Epstein was carried into a Manhattan courtroom and set up in front of a jury on Friday to bolster allegations he teamed up with British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell to sexually exploit underage victims.

The accuser has alleged the massages were used as a pretense for the sexual encounters with Epstein that sometimes included Maxwell.

Ghislaine Maxwell sex-trafficking trial enters second week of testimony

Today's Forecast
Warm and muggy week ahead

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On This Day In History
On December 6, 1865, the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, officially ending the institution of slavery, is ratified. “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” With these words, the single greatest change wrought by the Civil War was officially noted in the Constitution.

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."