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India virus death toll passes 300,000, 3rd highest in world

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More than 300,000 people died in India on Monday as a result of the coronavirus, though a crippling surge in infections seemed to be easing in major cities but was swamping the poorer countryside.

The achievement was announced by India’s Health Ministry at a time when slowed vaccine supplies have hampered the country’s battle against the pandemic, causing many people to miss their vaccines, and an unusual yet deadly fungal infection involving COVID-19 patients has doctors concerned.

The death toll in India is the third-highest recorded in the world, behind the United States and Brazil, accounting for 8.6 percent of the nearly 34.7 million coronavirus deaths worldwide, though the real figure is believed to be even higher.

The Health Ministry announced 4,454 new deaths in the previous 24 hours on Monday, taking India’s total fatalities to 303,720. It also recorded 222,315 new infections, bringing the total number of infections to nearly 27 million since the pandemic started. Both are almost definitely inaccurate.

The pandemic has swamped India’s underfunded health care infrastructure after rapidly spreading through the region, from isolated Himalayan villages in the north to the vast tropical central plains and sandy beaches in the south.

Residents of the capital, New Delhi, also died at home without oxygen after hospitals ran out of supplies. COVID-19 people have died in crowded hospital halls in Mumbai. Fever and shortness of breath killed people in rural villages before they could be screened for coronavirus.

Though the megacities have shown signs of progress in recent days, the epidemic is far from over in India. It seems to have already taken a heinous toll in the country’s large rural areas, where the bulk of the population lives and health care is scarce.

Hundreds of bodies have washed up on the shores of the Ganges River in Uttar Pradesh in recent weeks. Even others have been discovered hidden in small graves along the river’s sandy shores. Concerns have been raised that they are the bones of COVID-19 victims.

India’s vaccination push has also recently stalled, with several states claiming they don’t have enough vaccinations to go around.

Just 41.6 million people, or 3.8 percent of the world’s nearly 1.4 billion people, have been completely vaccinated in the world’s largest vaccine-producing nation. To “minimise vaccine waste,” the federal government allowed walk-in registration at government-run vaccination centres for those aged 18 to 44 on Monday.

The first recorded COVID-19 death in India occurred on March 12, 2020, in the southern state of Karnataka. It took seven months to meet the first 100,000 people who had died. In late April, the official death toll surpassed 200,000. After new illnesses ripped through dense cities and rural areas alike, and devastated health-care services on the verge of failure, the next 100,000 deaths were reported in just 27 days.

Average regular deaths and cases have declined marginally in recent weeks, and the government announced on Sunday that it is running the most COVID-19 testing in history, with more than 2.1 million samples checked in the previous 24 hours.

Mahesh is leading digital marketing initiatives at RecentlyHeard, a NewsFeed platform that covers news from all sectors. He develops, manages, and executes digital strategies to increase online visibility, better reach target audiences, and create engaging experience across channels. With 7+ years of experience, He is skilled in search engine optimization, content marketing, social media marketing, and advertising, and analytics.

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Expect sunshine and high temps near 90 Tuesday

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Expect sunshine and high temps near 90 Tuesday

St. Louis weather from FOX 2 Meteorologist Chris Higgins:

ST. LOUIS – Another unseasonably warm day is on tap for the Bi-state area Tuesday with plenty of sunshine and lighter winds. Temperatures will warm through the 70s Tuesday morning up to near 90 Tuesday afternoon with slightly high temperatures in the city. Tuesday night will be mainly clear with a low in the upper-60s.

Wednesday will start sunny, but some clouds will begin to fill in during the afternoon. High temperatures will reach the upper-80s.

Unsettled weather in the form of scattered showers and some spotty storms will be the rule Thursday through Sunday. These will not be all-day rains, but there will be rain around at times each day into the weekend.

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NLDS tickets on sale as Cardinals return to Busch Stadium tonight

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Cards sweep DH from Cubs, tie franchise record with 14th consecutive win

ST. LOUIS – Busch Stadium will be rocking Tuesday night as the Cardinals return home with a historic winning streak and a chance to make the playoffs.

It’s fair to call this the calm before the Cardinal nation storm. You can bet Redbird fans will give the team a huge welcome home ovation when they take the field Tuesday night against the Brewers.

The Cardinals extended their winning streak to 16 games with a 4-2 victory over the Cubs on Sunday at Wrigley Field. The Redbirds’ 16 game winning streak is the longest in franchise history and the longest by any National League team since 1951. In addition to trying to keep the streak going, the Cardinals can also clinch a playoff birth as the second wildcard team with a win Tuesday.

One more win will ensure the Cardinals play at least one post-season game. That wildcard game is scheduled for Wednesday, October 6 and the Cardinals would be on the road playing either the Dodgers or the Giants. 

Cardinals playoff tickets for a potential National League Divisional Series go on sale at noon Tuesday. If the Cardinals make the NLDS as a wild card team, they would host game three on Monday, October 11 and game four, if necessary, on Tuesday, October 12. Tickets for potential NLDS playoff games start at just $20. They are available at cardinals.com/postseason or by calling 314-345-9000.

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Ptarmigan fire forces 200 homes to be evacuated in Silverthorne

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Ptarmigan fire forces evacuations in Summit County

A wildfire sparked above Silverthorne on Monday, prompting a scramble of firefighting, aerial attacks and evacuations.

While the blaze immediately threatens no homes, evacuations were underway within an hour of the fire’s first reports. As of Tuesday morning, the upper and lower Hamilton Creek neighborhoods have been evacuated, with those in the adjacent Angler Mountain Ranch and South 40 neighborhoods were placed under a pre-evacuation notice.

“Our top priority is public safety,” said Summit County Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons in a news release. “We prefer to err more on the side of caution and make sure that we have everybody out before there is an imminent threat.”

The Ptarmigan fire is primarily on White River National Forest property, burning heavy mixed timber, including dense stands of dead-standing and downfall lodgepole pines. So far, it has scarred between 25 and 40 acres of land, about 30 acres east of Silverthorne.

Summit Middle School, which is still hosting school, is the site of an American Red Cross evacuation shelter. It’s located at 158 School Road in Frisco.

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Ballwin residents believe aldermen ‘sold us all out’ by approving new apartment development

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Ballwin residents believe aldermen ‘sold us all out’ by approving new apartment development

BALLWIN, Mo. – Ballwin residents filled Ballwin City Hall, many in opposition of a proposed development. In the end, the residents didn’t get the result they wanted.

The Ballwin Board of Alderman voted yes to bringing the new 7-story apartment building next to Vlasis Park.

The apartment building will house nearly 200 units. The new structure will replace the Old Ballwin City Hall and JB Auto and Tire.

Residents say they’re disappointed in the city’s lack of transparency. They say the board of alderman passing the new development is breaking a promise to citizens.

“The board sold us all out. They had all the residents in there. There wasn’t anybody for it; no one was for it. And they still passed it,” said Ballwin resident Shane Early. “So, somebody is being paid. I don’t know who it is…I don’t know what is going on.”

But there were a few residents in favor of the outcome.

“By being right next to the park it’s obviously in walking distance and as people mentioned, there’s going to be hundreds of new people here. All of which can enjoy their house right outside their house,” Wesley Wu said.

One resident called the proposal a monstrosity and told the board of alderman the developer will just use them and be on their way.

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Denver weather: Cool down hits with showers and storms on the way

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Denver weather: Cool down hits with showers and storms on the way

A cooling trend has begun in Denver. Temperatures will drop on Tuesday by about 10 degrees ahead of showers that will move into the area later today.

According to the National Weather Service in Boulder, Denver will hit 82 degrees under mostly sunny skies on Tuesday. Rain could move in after lunch with a 20% chance of thunderstorms.

Overnight temperatures will dip to 53 degrees with 15 mph winds as the chance of precipitation increases to 30% through midnight. Showers should develop over the mountains and linger into the evening, with isolated, stronger storms possibly impacting burn scar areas.

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In R. Kelly verdict, Black women see long-overdue justice

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In R. Kelly verdict, Black women see long-overdue justice

NEW YORK — For years, decades even, allegations swirled that R&B superstar R. Kelly was abusing young women and girls, with seeming impunity.

They were mostly young Black women. And Black girls.

And that, say accusers and others who have called for him to face accountability, is part of what took the wheels of the criminal justice system so long to turn, finally leading to his conviction Monday in his sex trafficking trial. That it did at all, they say, is also due to the efforts of Black women, unwilling to be forgotten.

Speaking out against sexual assault and violence is fraught for anyone who attempts it. Those who work in the field say the hurdles facing Black women and girls are raised even higher by a society that hypersexualizes them from a young age, stereotyping them as promiscuous and judging their physiques, and in a country with a history of racism and sexism that has long denied their autonomy over their own bodies.

“Black women have been in this country for a long time and … our bodies were never ours to begin with,” said Kalimah Johnson, executive director of the SASHA Center in Detroit, which provides services to sexual assault survivors.

“No one allows us to be something worthy of protection,” she said. “A human that needs love, and sacredness.” It’s as if, she said, “there’s nothing sacred about a Black woman’s body.”

In a 2017 study from the Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality, adults were asked about their perceptions of Black girls in comparison with white girls of the same age in terms of their needs for nurturing and protection, as well as their knowledge of adult topics like sex.

At all ages, Black girls were perceived as more adult than white girls, needing less protection and knowing more about sex. The gap was widest between Black and white for girls between the ages of 10 and 14, followed by girls between the ages of 5 and 9.

“We don’t value Black girls, and they are dehumanized, and they are also blamed for the sexual violence that they experienced to a greater extent than white girls are,” said Rebecca Epstein, executive director of the center and one of the study’s authors.

For years, girls suffering at R. Kelly’s hands were treated as more of a punchline than a travesty, even during a trial on child pornography charges where a video, allegedly of him abusing a girl, was shown. He was acquitted in 2008.

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Woman killed in Aurora drive-by shooting

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Woman killed in Aurora drive-by shooting

A woman is dead following an overnight drive-by shooting in Aurora.

Just before 2 a.m. on Tuesday, Aurora police say they responded to the 1200 Block of North Worchester Street in the Hoffman Heights neighborhood for reports of a shooting.

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Roger Hunt, England World Cup winner and Liverpool great, dies at 83

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Roger Hunt, England World Cup winner and Liverpool great, dies at 83

Roger Hunt, a striker in the only England team to win the World Cup and Liverpool’s all-time record league scorer, has died. He was 83.

Liverpool, where Hunt spent most of his playing career, said he died on Monday after a long illness.

Hunt’s three goals at the 1966 World Cup helped England to advance from the group stage. He went on to feature in all six games at the tournament, culminating in the 4-2 victory over West Germany in the final at Wembley Stadium when he partnered hat-trick scorer Geoff Hurst up front. It remains England’s only major football title.

“I never had any guarantees that I’d get in the squad,” Hunt recalled last year in an interview with the Liverpool Echo newspaper. “There was such a bulk of forwards that I had to be at the top of (my) game to get in at that time. There was always Jimmy (Greaves who died this month). He was the best player at the time. He was so established while I was in and out of the England team.”

By that time Hunt had already won two league titles with Liverpool — in 1964 and earlier in 1966. With 245 goals, Hunt is the club’s highest scorer in league games. Overall, Hunt scored 285 goals in 492 appearances for Liverpool from 1958 to 1969 before moving to Bolton.

“Roger Hunt comes second to no-one in his importance in the history of Liverpool FC, that much is clear,” Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp said on Tuesday. “To be the goalscoring catalyst of the Shankly team to actually achieve promotion and then go on to win those precious league titles and the FA Cup puts him in a bracket of LFC legends who are responsible for making us the club we are today. Not only that, he was also a World Cup winner in 1966, too.”

Hunt wasn’t knighted by Queen Elizabeth II but he was proclaimed “Sir Roger” by Liverpool fans, who raise a banner to him on the Kop at every match.

Hunt was honored only in 2000 for his sporting achievements by the queen, being made a Member of the Order of the British Empire among the so-called forgotten heroes of the 1966 World Cup.

“One of the greatest goal scorers our club has ever seen,” Jamie Carragher, a Liverpool player until 2013, tweeted. “Sir Roger along with the other Legends from the 60s made LFC the club it is today.”

Hunt was born in the northwest English county of Lancashire on July 20, 1938. He was on leave from national service in the army when he was spotted by Liverpool playing for amateur team Stockton Heath in 1958, going on to score on his home debut at Anfield.

In the 1961-62 season, Hunt scored 41 goals in as many games to help Liverpool win promotion to the top division as second-tier champions. He formed an attacking partnership with Ian St John, with both scoring in the 1965 final against Leeds as Liverpool won the FA Cup for the first time.

Having gone to the 1962 World Cup but never playing, Hunt made a significant impact at the next tournament four years later for Alf Ramsey’s side.

He was the nearest player to the ball when Hurst scored the contentious second goal in the final. The shot hit the crossbar and bounced down over the line, according to England players and the referee but not the Germans who disputed the legitimacy of the goal.

Hunt instinctively celebrated, raising his arms which could have influenced linesman Tofiq Bahramov.

“People still say to me now, ‘Why didn’t you just put it in?’ because I was only four yards away,” Hurst told The Anfield Wrap website in 2015. “As Geoff Hurst hit it, I anticipated it, Wolfgang Weber was marking me but I got in front of him — I was there , ready if it didn’t go in.

“So it hits the underside of the bar and came down, I turned away because I thought it was over the line and would be bouncing into the roof of the net. But it went in, came back out — I was still convinced — and by then I couldn’t get it because it came out at an angle and Weber headed it away.”

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Pam Hupp’s attorneys withdraw her motion for speedy trial

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Pam Hupp’s attorneys withdraw her motion for speedy trial

LINCOLN COUNTY, Mo. – Convicted killer Pam Hupp may not see a courtroom until 2022. On Monday, her defense attorneys withdrew her motion for a speedy trial in the Betsy Faria murder case.

Hupp, who’s already serving a life sentence for the 2016 murder of Louis Gumpenberger, was charged this past July with her friend Betsy’s murder from 2011.

Russ Faria was at the Lincoln County Courthouse to see today’s outcome. He has not missed a court date involving Pam Hupp.

“I have to see this through. I’m still fighting for justice and want to make sure everything is done right and also offer the prosecution any kind of help I can provide,” he said.

Russ Faria served three years in prison after a wrongful conviction for his wife Betsy’s murder.

Lincoln County Prosecutor Mike Wood has now charged Pam Hupp with her murder. He says the evidence pointed Hupp’s way all along. Today, Wood and assistant prosecutor Dulany Harms were prepared to set an evidentiary hearing date 30 days out. Today’s update means a delay.

“Defense counsel withdrew their motion for a speedy trial. That will move the case out a little longer,” Wood said. “That way they would have the opportunity to go through some of the evidence that we’ve turned over.”

Harms added: “I personally have been through 40 boxes—legal boxes, front to back—of all the evidence and, you know, you can imagine 15,000 pages. We have more we’re going to get. We still have medical records we’re looking for and some other prison records.

“I’m looking forward to a preliminary hearing. I’m anxious and it’ll easily show that we have probable cause to present this case to a jury.”

Faria said, “I want to hear everything they’ve got.”

Faria was joined today by Carol McAfee, who was Pam Hupp’s intended victim from 2016. Hupp was caught on surveillance video trying to lure McAfee, before Hupp lured Gumpenberger and shot him to death. In June 19, 2019, McAfee told us during an exclusive interview, “She was really going to kill me.”

Russ and Carol are now a couple, as first reported by FOX 2 this past May. Carol says she no longer attends Hupp’s hearings for herself. She comes to support Russ.

“I would love nothing more than to see him to get justice for Betsy and everything they went through,” she said.

Russ added: “Obviously, I go through a lot of emotions. Sometimes, anytime something like this comes up, and especially this location where we are, I spent so much time and it’s nice knowing I’ve got someone I can lean on and that’s got my back.”

It’ll be at least February before we’re back in court for Pam Hupp’s next hearing, one in which she may appear herself.

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“Just trying to get control”: A Colorado woman’s quest for closure after surviving the 1984 “Hammer Killer”

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“Just trying to get control”: A Colorado woman’s quest for closure after surviving the 1984 “Hammer Killer”

On a frigid January night in 1984, Kim Rice woke to a flash of pain and sat up in bed to see a stranger’s silhouette, his arm raised to strike another blow with a hammer.

She screamed, and the stranger threw the hammer at her and fled. Rice’s then-husband, in bed beside her, had been attacked, too. Despite suffering a skull fracture, he chased after the intruder, racing out into the snow to try to follow the stranger’s footsteps.

Inside their Aurora home, there was blood on the walls, the mirror, the curtains, the ceiling. It was wet on Rice’s face as she called 911.

The home invasion was the first of four attacks during a 12-day spree by the so-called “Hammer Killer” in January 1984 that ended with the slaughter of three members of the Bennett family in Aurora.

Police believed one attacker was responsible, but they didn’t identify a suspect for nearly four decades. By the time DNA tied 61-year-old Alex Ewing to the spree, it was too late for authorities to prosecute him for the assault on Rice and her now ex-husband.

The statute of limitations, which sets the deadline by which a crime must be prosecuted, had passed. Rice’s case would never go to court.

But there’s no statute of limitations on murder, and when Ewing stood trial this summer for killing the Bennett family, Rice was there. She sought some sort of closure, some vicarious justice.

She stared at Ewing as he sat shackled to the floor. Prosecutors believed he was the man who’d smashed a hammer into her head, the man who’d given her a concussion in her own bed, but she harbored some doubt.

“I wanted to go because I was still looking for some truth to the fact that this was tied in,” said Rice, who still lives in Colorado.

Long road to justice

Five days after Rice was attacked, someone bludgeoned and raped a 28-year-old woman in Aurora after she pulled into her garage. The day after that, 50-year-old Patricia Smith was killed with a hammer at her home in Lakewood.

Then five days later, 27-year-old Bruce Bennett, 26-year-old Debra Bennett and their daughter, 7-year-old Melissa Bennett, were killed by an attacker wielding a hammer. Melissa’s 3-year-old sister was brutally attacked but survived.

“It wasn’t until the Bennetts that they started to tie all this together,” Rice said.

Police realized the attacks followed a similar pattern. For both Rice and the Bennetts, investigators believed the suspect entered through an open garage door.

As authorities realized the connections, the media descended, Rice said. Reporters came to her house, reported on Rice and her then-husband’s trip to a gun store. The case riveted the region.

“What was scary is they showed our address and our house and everything on the TV, and we had two copycat, two attempted break-ins,” she said.

But after a rush of initial activity and significant investigation, the case went quiet. There were no more attacks, no suspects.

After her assault, Rice was shaky and frightened. She tried to avoid her garage. She’d park in it and race into the house. She easily became afraid, sometimes just by driving home alone at night. She suffered migraines that started at the site of the hammer’s blow, at the scar on the top of her head.

“Years would pass where I wouldn’t think about it, and then something would happen to remind me of it,” she said. “I would get pretty shaky, I would lose sleep over it.”

She became consumed with ensuring her garage door was locked. If she spotted any home with an open garage door, she’d go knock on the front door and tell the residents to close it.

She still does that today.

“It was just one of those things where, if my door had been closed, he wouldn’t have chosen us,” she said.

Over time, Rice convinced herself that the attacker was dead. So it was a shock when, in 2018, investigators called her into a meeting and told her that they believed the man who attacked her was alive, and in prison. That he’d be charged with murder.

“I didn’t expect it to come to anything after all these years,” she said.

And in some ways, for Rice, it didn’t — the statute of limitations had expired, so there was nothing prosecutors could do about her case, which Rice said she understood.

The current statute of limitations on most felony cases in Colorado is three years, although the time allowed for prosecution is much longer for some charges, like sexual assault, which has a 20-year window. The statute of limitations on sex assault charges was doubled in 2016 amid the claims against Bill Cosby, after women spoke up about why it took them years to report the alleged assaults.

Ray Harlan, chairman of the nonprofit Colorado Victims for Justice, said lawmakers should consider revisiting the statute of limitations on other charges, too, pointing out that it’s easier today to preserve evidence than in the past.

“The rules about statutes of limitations were written in an era with totally different technology,” he said. “…Historically, evidence rooms and evidence lockers would only hold so much stuff, and eventually you had to get rid of the things least likely to ever be used. So you get rid of plaster casts of tire tracks and footprints — but what if you scan those plaster casts and put them in a server? Then they last forever.”

Judgment day

Rice attended the murder trial for the Bennett family in July with some trepidation. She wasn’t sure she belonged there. It wasn’t her case.

But she soon found she shared a connection with the Bennett family’s relatives, who welcomed her, even insisting she join them for lunch at times during the lengthy trial.

“It’s a camaraderie, you know, that you don’t want to have,” she said. “But at least it gives you some warm feeling, because the people in my life, you know, they didn’t know what was going on there.”

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