5 things you need to know now
5 things you need to know now
  • Trump pardons Michael Flynn

  • Biden mixes hope, caution in pre-Thanksgiving address

  • 12 percent of all Americans have reported going hungry in recent weeks

  • Millions of Americans travel for Thanksgiving

  • Argentina soccer legend Diego Maradona dies at 60

President Trump on Wednesday pardoned his first national security adviser, Michael Flynn. In December 2017, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contact with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Flynn's sentencing was delayed for two years because he was cooperating with former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, and earlier this year, Flynn's new legal team accused prosecutors of misconduct and asked to have his guilty plea withdrawn. Trump reportedly plans on making several pardons between now and when he leaves office in January. "It is my Great Honor to announce that General Michael T. Flynn has been granted a Full Pardon," Trump tweeted. "Congratulations to @GenFlynn and his wonderful family, I know you will now have a truly fantastic Thanksgiving!"

Source: Axios, Donald J. Trump

President-elect Joe Biden mixed messages of caution and hope in a pre-Thanksgiving, presidential-style address Wednesday. He urged Americans to hold out for a while longer as the coronavirus pandemic continues to worsen in the United States, telling them not to "surrender to the fatigue" and "remember we are at war with the virus, not one another." But he also pointed to a light at the end of the tunnel, noting that substantial progress has made been made in vaccine development. "There's real hope, tangible hope," he said. "So hang on ... I know we can and we will beat this virus. America's not gonna lose this war. We'll get our lives back."

Source: Bloomberg

As COVID-19 cases continue to surge, more Americans are reporting going hungry now than at any other point in the pandemic, a Washington Post analysis found. In data collected by the Census Bureau between Oct. 28 and Nov. 9, around 12 percent of all American adults reported not having enough food to eat, the highest figure this year. Experts believe it's likely hunger has reached levels not seen in the U.S. since 1998. The situation has hit several groups particularly hard — 16 percent of households with children have reported going hungry, including 25 percent of households with children where the adult is out of work. Black Americans, meanwhile, are experiencing hunger at nearly twice the rate of all American adults, and 2.5 times the rate of white Americans.

Source: The Washington Post

Millions of Americans have traveled through U.S. airports in recent days ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, though numbers are drastically down compared to last year. Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a last-minute plea advising people to stay home for Thanksgiving amid the pandemic, "about 900,000 to 1 million people per day passed through U.S. airport checkpoints from Friday through Tuesday," The Associated Press writes. However, that's a 60 percent drop from 2019, when "a record 26 million passengers and crew passed through U.S. airport screening in the 11-day period around Thanksgiving." Airports and airlines have instated various precautions in an effort to curb potential spread of COVID-19, such as mask mandates and contact tracing measures. Nearly 2,100 COVID-19 deaths were recorded in the U.S. on Tuesday, and nine states reported a record number of fatalities.

Source: The Associated Press

Diego Maradona, the Argentine soccer legend, has died after suffering a heart attack, his agent confirmed Wednesday. He was 60. Maradona is considered one of the greatest soccer players of all time, known for leading Argentina's national team to the 1986 World Cup title in Mexico. En route to the final, he scored a goal that has become known as the "Hand of God," in which he punched the ball into the net with his fist against England in the quarterfinals. While it likely would've been called off in today's game thanks to replay, the referees did not have a clear view and let the goal count. Outside of the national team, he enjoyed a fruitful professional career in Argentina, Italy, and Spain.

Source: The Associated Press