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New COVID-19 hot spots worry health officials; Astroworld death toll climbs; independence day for Spears?
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New COVID-19 hot spots worry health officials; Astroworld death toll climbs; independence day for Spears?

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Today is Friday, Nov. 12, 2021. Let's get caught up.

Here are today's top stories, celebrity birthdays and a look back at this date in history:


FIRST, THE WEEKEND FORECAST

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TOP STORIES

Virus Outbreak US

FILE - Graham Roark, 8, receives the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children 5 to 11 years from Lurie Children's hospital registered nurse Virginia Scheffler at the hospital Nov. 5, 2021, in Chicago. 

COVID-19 hot spots offer sign of what could be ahead for US

The contagious delta variant is driving up COVID-19 hospitalizations in the Mountain West and fueling disruptive outbreaks in the North, a worrisome sign of what could be ahead this winter in the U.S.

While trends are improving in Florida, Texas and other Southern states that bore the worst of the summer surge, it’s clear that delta isn’t done with the United States. COVID-19 is moving north and west for the winter as people head indoors, close their windows and breathe stagnant air.

“We’re going to see a lot of outbreaks in unvaccinated people that will result in serious illness, and it will be tragic,” said Dr. Donald Milton of the University of Maryland School of Public Health.

Keep scrolling for links to full versions of these top stories and more.

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Music Festival Crowd Deaths

Students arrive at Heights High School on Monday, Nov. 8, 2021, in Houston. A student was reportedly among those killed at the Astroworld music festival Friday night. 

Texas A&M student hurt at Astroworld dies; death toll at 9

HOUSTON (AP) — A 22-year-old college student who was critically injured in the crush of fans at the Astroworld festival in Houston has died, the family’s lawyer said Thursday, bringing the death toll to nine.

Bharti Shahani, who was set to graduate from Texas A&M University in the spring, died Wednesday night, attorney James Lassiter said during a news conference. All of the concertgoers who died following the Friday night show were between the ages of 14 and 27, underscoring how the tragedy unfolded in a mostly younger crowd.

A 9-year-old boy who was also injured at the sold-out festival of 50,000 people remained in a medically induced coma, according to family.

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People-Britney Spears-Explainer

This combination photo shows Jamie Spears, father of singer Britney Spears, left, and Britney Spears.

Freedom from court could be imminent for Britney Spears

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Britney Spears' independence day may finally have arrived.

At a hearing in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom on Friday, a judge will decide whether to terminate the conservatorship that has exercised vast control over the pop superstar's life and money for nearly 14 years.

With no significant opposition from anyone involved, it appears likely Judge Brenda Penny will dissolve the legal arrangement. Britney Spears' attorney, her parents, and the court appointees who control the conservatorship all publicly support termination.

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Click on the links below for full version of today's top stories. Keep scrolling for a look back at this day in history and today's celebrity birthdays:

This morning's top headlines: Nov. 12

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KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) — The jurors who will decide Kyle Rittenhouse’s fate will be allowed to consider lesser charges if they opt to acquit him on some of the original counts prosecutors brought, the judge said Friday during a contentious hearing in which both sides could claim partial victory.

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BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — Jurors in the trial of three white men charged in Ahmaud Arbery’s killing watched security camera videos Thursday that show other people entering a home under construction in the months before the 25-year-old Black man was chased and gunned down after running from the site.

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GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — Going into overtime Friday night, negotiators at U.N. climate talks in Glasgow were still trying to find common ground on phasing out coal, when nations need to update their emission-cutting pledges and, especially, on money.

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IMAGE OF THE DAY

APTOPIX Veterans Day Philadelphia

Elexzena Carr-McKnight touches her brother's name Robert H. Carr etched on a wall at the Vietnam War Memorial in Philadelphia on Veterans Day, Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021. 

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TODAY IN HISTORY

In 1948, former Japanese premier Hideki Tojo and several other World War II Japanese leaders were sentenced to death by a war crimes tribunal,…

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