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The results from the 2020 census came in, and the United States is diversifying at a rate never seen before. The Pentagon is scrambling to evacuate the U.S. Embassy in Kabul after security conditions deteriorated. And is the delta variant making kids sicker?
👋 It’s Laura. Like the census, I, too, am keeping track of numbers. How many days until the weekend? Check out Thursday’s news while I do the math – we could be here awhile.
But first, don’t let them eat this cake! 🎂 A slice of Princess Diana’s cake from her wedding to Prince Charles – 40 years ago – just sold for over $2,000.
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Census numbers are in
The United States experienced unprecedented multiracial population growth and a decline in the white population for the first time in the nation’s history, according to U.S. Census officials who released data Thursday, revealing the most sweeping picture of America’s racial and ethnic makeup in a decade. The white, non-Hispanic population, which is still the largest ethnic group in the U.S., decreased by 8.6% since 2010. The release bolstered expert predictions and estimates in past years that showed continued expansion of the Hispanic, Black and Asian American populations and growing numbers of multiracial residents – only a fraction in past surveys. The statistics gleaned from the decennial census are used to hand out hundreds of billions annually in federal funding and for everything from drawing school district boundaries to measuring the diversity of police forces
Is the delta variant making kids sicker?
Delta is clearly more contagious than previous variants, and it’s tearing its way across the South, said Dr. James Versalovic, the Texas Children’s interim pediatrician-in-chief. What’s not clear is whether kids are getting any sicker with the delta variant than with others. Versalovic said the children he’s seeing seem to have more fever and congestion than those treated during last summer’s and winter’s surges. Others were less convinced that delta is any different from its predecessors. But the handful of public health experts USA TODAY spoke with said they think it’s crucial for everyone who can be vaccinated against COVID-19 to get the shots. Masks are also helpful, experts said, particularly among children too young to be vaccinated. Unmasked children in close contact with each other – such as in a classroom – could pass on the virus. Experts say the more the virus can be slowed down, the fewer children will catch it.
Vaccine required for HHS health care workers; FDA could OK 3rd dose for immunocompromised. The U.S. has had more than 36.1 million confirmed cases and 618,000 deaths. 👉 Catch up on the latest COVID-19 news.
What everyone’s talking about
US Embassy in Kabul evacuated
With security rapidly deteriorating in Afghanistan, the United States is sending additional troops into the country to help evacuate the embassy in Kabul. The Pentagon scrambled 3,000 troops Thursday to evacuate embassy personnel as a Taliban onslaught threatened to topple the government. Taliban militants have captured a number of provincial capitals with little resistance from American-trained Afghan troops. The militant group’s offensive has taken place with surprising speed and has closed to within 100 miles of the Afghan capital. On Thursday, the State Department warned all Americans to leave Afghanistan immediately, warning that the embassy had extremely limited ability to help.
‘Lucifer’ to blame for record-breaking temps in Europe
Residents on the Italian island of Sicily are facing scorching temperatures that could have broken a 40-year-old record in Europe. Local authorities recorded a high of 119.85 degrees Wednesday afternoon as the country experiences a heat wave and an anticyclone, a high wind system that circulates clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere. Referred to as “Lucifer,” the anticyclone began in Africa and moved toward Europe, adding to a heat wave that has led to wildfires in the Mediterranean and North Africa. The temperature in Sicily from Wednesday needs to be verified by the World Meteorological Organization. The highest temperature ever recorded in Europe is 118.4 degrees, set on Oct. 7, 1977, in Athens, Greece.
- Climate anxiety is plaguing young people: What is it? And how can you combat it?
- Dry, hot, windy: Explosive wildfires in Northern California could burn until winter. Here’s why.
Headed to the ‘Field of Dreams’
They built it. And people are coming. Major League Baseball and movie lovers alike will have plenty to cheer for Thursday, when the New York Yankees face-off against the Chicago White Sox in Dyersville, Iowa, near the set of the 1989 hit movie “Field of Dreams.” In fact, the two teams will play in an 8,000-seat park adjacent to where the movie was filmed. And just like the film, players will appear from a cornfield — the park is surrounded by about 159 acres of corn about 10 to 12 feet high. In addition to a cinematic environment, the “Field of Dreams” game holds significance in the playoff race. The Yankees are chasing the Boston Red Sox for the final American League Wild Card spot, while the White Sox are less than two games behind the Tampa Bay Rays for the best record in the AL. First pitch is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET.
- How a trip to ‘Field of Dreams’ site convinced the MLB to hold a game there.
- MLB’s Field of Dreams ballpark about to get its debut. What you should know.
- Didn’t get a ticket to the game? Here’s where you can watch it on TV.
- Kevin Costner showed up to play catch at the Field of Dreams. See the pics here!
A break from the news
- 🏡 In the market for a new home? Here are this year’s top 10 hottest places to buy in the US.
- 🤔 Demand for larger houses is strong and home prices are high. Is it time to sell and downsize?
- 🤑 Drop the balance, save some cash: Why carrying a credit card balance is a dangerous habit – and how it hurts your score.
This is a compilation of stories from across the USA TODAY Network. Want this news roundup in your inbox every night? Sign up for The Short List newsletter here.