5 issues you must know on Thursday
Ida brings shocking, massive flooding to NYC, the northeast
Relentless rain from the remnants of Hurricane Ida and the heavy flooding that accompanied it sent New York – including New York City – and New Jersey into a state of emergency early Thursday as the storm moved north. New York Governor Kathy Hochul and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy each declared a state of emergency late Wednesday, as the National Weather Service also warned that New Jersey with water was at risk from tornadoes. Dozens of photos and videos on social media showed water pouring into New York City subways. The service was extremely limited on all lines due to the weather, said the Metropolitan Transit Authority. Other videos showed flooded streets and water pouring into basement apartments. Shattering footage showed water in Newark Liberty International Airport and water pouring into baggage facilities. The airport announced on Wednesday evening that it had suspended all flight activities.
The Supreme Court refuses to block Texas’s controversial abortion law
Many people will wake up Thursday to the news that the Supreme Court has rejected an attempt by abortion rights groups to stop a Texas law banning women from the process after six weeks of pregnancy. The 5-4 ruling, passed a minute before midnight on Wednesday, came a day after the law went into effect. The court declined to block enforcement of the nation’s most restrictive law after appeals from Chief Justice John Roberts and the three Liberal aldermen – Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan. To circumvent the High Court’s abortion precedent, Texas law encourages individuals to sue anyone who helps a woman get an abortion after a heartbeat is detected. The majority opinion cited that the enforcement mechanism was part of the reason not to intervene and stressed that their decision was not based on “any conclusion about the constitutionality of Texas law”.
Hearing on George Floyd’s death to discuss transferring the ex-cops trial
At a hearing on Thursday, attorneys for two former Minneapolis police officers charged with the death of George Floyd will ask a judge to prohibit the broadcast of their upcoming trial, saying that some witnesses will not testify if they are broadcast . The petition from Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng’s attorneys is a U-turn on their earlier motion to broadcast the trial and has been denied by prosecutors and the news media. Lane, Kueng and Tou Thao are due to go on trial next March for complicity in the second degree murder and manslaughter of Floyd’s 2020 death. Her co-defendant, Derek Chauvin, was convicted of murder and manslaughter in April. Another question that is expected to be raised ahead of the trial is whether the jury will remain anonymous. Kueng’s attorney Thomas Plunkett rejects an anonymous jury because it violates his client’s right to a fair and open trial. The jury from the Chauvin case remains anonymous.
US men’s soccer team opens World Cup qualification
The US men’s national soccer team will play their first qualifying game for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar against El Salvador on Thursday evening (10 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network and Paramount +) at the Estadio Cuscatlán in San Salvador. This is the USMNT’s first World Cup qualifier since that terrible night in Couva, Trinidad and Tobago in October 2017 when it failed to make it to the 2018 World Cup. US coach Gregg Berhalter has called on an inexperienced group of players to successfully start the team’s World Cup qualification. There are 13 players who are 23 years old or younger. Only six players in the squad – Christian Pulisic, DeAndre Yedlin, Kellyn Acosta, Tim Ream, John Brooks and Sebastian Lleget – already have experience in qualifying for the World Cup. And only Brooks and Yedlin have played in a World Cup before. Unfortunately for the US, Pulisic – arguably the team’s most talented player – will miss the game against El Salvador after testing positive for COVID-19.
Weekend traffic on Labor Day begins
While the CDC advises unvaccinated Americans to stay home this Labor Day weekend, traffic in certain corridors is expected to spike between Sept. 2-7 as travelers use the three-day weekend, according to transportation analyst INRIX. “Thursday and Friday are definitely the toughest days to go out of town,” INRIX analyst Bob Pishue told USA TODAY. “It’s that kind of from early afternoon to early evening” that often overlaps with work traffic and errands. For those planning on traveling by car this year, according to INRIX, there are some of the best – and worst – times to hit the streets.