More free COVID-19 tests, winter storm, electrified roadways, JFK documents, Atrevida II sailboat rescue: Thursday's … – USA TODAY

More classified files about JFK’s assassination were unsealed. A deadly winter storm is still making its way across the country. Two men, a dog and a sailboat were rescued after vanishing in the open ocean.
👋 Hello! Laura Davis here. It’s time for Thursday’s news!
But first: They tried to drive in the HOV lane with a Grinch in the passenger seat. It didn’t work.
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It’s winter, which means chilly temps, holiday gatherings – and a very unwelcome guest: COVID-19. As cases rise again, the White House on Thursday announced its plans for controlling cases this winter. The continued support wasn’t possible without additional funding from Congress, an administration official said, so the White House has managed to pay for these measures out of the 2021 American Rescue Plan.
The plans include:
How many cases in the US? COVID-19 cases have begun to tick up in the U.S. in recent weeks, with nearly 459,000 cases reported the week of Dec. 7, including nearly 3,000 deaths. COVID-19 in wastewater has fallen nationally in recent days, suggesting infections are likely to fall, although it has been climbing in some states.
👉 Staying on top of the spread of variants, protecting the most vulnerable: What you need to know about the major initiatives.
The massive storm fueling blizzard conditions across the nation’s northern tier and killer tornadoes in the South (this video is intense) set its sights on the Northeast Thursday, promising snow, ice and high winds from Virginia through New England. “Significant” accumulating ice and heavy snow were forecast for the interior Mid-Atlantic and New England state Thursday into Friday, the National Weather Service said. Heavy rain and severe weather that spun off numerous tornadoes – 14 in Texas alone – in recent days were also expected to continue marching through the Southeast into Florida. And the historic storm still has parts of the rest of the country in its grip. Follow our coverage for the latest updates.
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President Joe Biden on Thursday released a cache of once-classified documents expected to shed light on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said 97% of the Kennedy collection is available to the public following the release of 12,879 documents Thursday by the National Archives and 1,491 documents a year ago today. Biden has ordered the archives to conduct a six-month review “of a subset of the remaining redacted records” to ensure they are also disclosed “to the greatest extent possible,” Jean-Pierre said. For decades, conspiracy theories have swirled around Kennedy’s untimely death, and the files could provide some clarity. Here’s what we know.
Can’t find a charger for your electric vehicle? What if you could just … drive? By summer 2023, about a mile of road near downtown Detroit should contain inductive charging coils, the first step in a program that aims to address some of the biggest challenges to EV adoption: cost, weight, range and electricity generating capacity. The joint project includes the state of Michigan, city of Detroit and several private companies. The cost savings would come from using smaller, less expensive batteries. Stops to charge could be virtually eliminated if major routes offered in-road charging. Mind. blown. Read all about the project here
Ex-Texas officer found guilty in killing of Black woman: A Texas jury on Thursday found former Fort Worth police officer Aaron Dean, 38, who is white, guilty of manslaughter in the fatal shooting of 28-year-old Atatiana Jefferson in 2019. While responding to a nonemergency call from a neighbor about an open front door, Dean shot Jefferson through a window in her home. Here’s what happened at the trial.
His voice was broken up by a bad connection. But on Dec. 3, Joe DiTomasso left a message with his daughter: The sailboat journey to the Florida Keys was going well. Then he stopped responding. For the next 10 frantic days, fears grew as the silence continued. The Coast Guard launched a massive search of 21,000 square miles of ocean for DiTomasso, 76, his friend, Kevin Hyde, 65, and a dog named Minnie. They had left New Jersey on Thanksgiving weekend on a 30-foot sailboat bound for Marathon, Florida, but hadn’t been heard from since reaching the Outer Banks of North Carolina. On Tuesday, about 200 miles off the coast of Delaware, a tanker spotted a sailboat, apparently adrift. Read about their harrowing journey.
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