5 things to know Thursday

Biden to announce deployment of medical teams to 6 states

President Joe Biden is expected to announce Thursday that the federal government is sending medical teams to New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island, Michigan and New Mexico to help hospitals overburdened by COVID-19, USA TODAY has learned. . The announcement will be made while Biden discusses steps the administration is taking to deal with an increase in infections caused by the omicron variant, according to a White House official. His remarks come as hospitalizations for COVID-19 set records. Some hospitals are delaying elective surgeries as states deploy National Guard members to health care facilities.

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WH sends COVID tests to schools, back equipped with mask

The Biden administration is increasing federal support for COVID-19 testing for schools in a bid to keep them open amid the omicron push. (January 12)

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Biden to meet with senators to advance voting rights legislation

President Joe Biden is scheduled to meet with Democratic senators on Capitol Hill Thursday in a bid to advance federal voting rights legislation. It comes two days after Biden gave a fiery speech in Atlanta, where he told senators they would each be “judged by history” if they failed to act. Democrats have vowed to counter a wave of new state laws, inspired by former President Donald Trump’s misrepresentations about a stolen election, that have made it harder to vote. But after an initial flurry of activity, Democrats’ efforts stalled in the tightly-divided Senate, where they lack the 60 votes to overcome a Republican filibuster, leading to their calls for rule change. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., gave a scathing rebuttal to Biden’s speech on Wednesday, objecting to his comparison of opponents of election legislation to racist historical figures. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, also spoke on Wednesday, warning Democrats of potential consequences if they change the Senate filibuster.

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Voting rights bills: Biden asks Senate ‘yes or no’

The president’s speech was part of an effort by Democrats to push suffrage bills through Congress ahead of November’s midterm elections.

STAFF VIDEO, USA TODAY

Djokovic added to Australian Open draw as visa saga continues

Novak Djokovic remained in limbo even after being included in the Australian Open draw on Thursday, with the world No.1 player still awaiting a government decision on whether to send him off for failing to been vaccinated against COVID-19. To complicate matters further, Djokovic, 34, admitted that his Australian travel declaration form contained incorrect information. Despite the cloud hanging over Djokovic’s ability to compete, organizers named the defending tournament champion in the draw as the seed. He is expected to face fellow Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic. Djokovic, who held his fourth training session of the week at Rod Laver Arena on Thursday, had his visa canceled upon arriving in Melbourne last week when his vaccination exemption was denied. But he won a legal battle on procedural grounds that allowed him to stay in the country. Immigration Minister Alex Hawke has been considering the deportation issue since a judge reinstated Djokovic’s visa on Monday.

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Australian judge frees Djokovic, but the saga is not over

A judge allows Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic to stay in Melbourne and play at the Australian Open after his exemption from strict coronavirus vaccination rules was questioned. But the government is still threatening to cancel his visa. (January 10)

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Disney Cruise Line will require children to show proof of vaccination

Disney Cruise Line will require children ages 5 and older to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 for departures beginning Thursday. The requirement is an extension of the company’s policy that all vaccine-eligible passengers must be vaccinated. “Guests who are ineligible for the vaccine due to age must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result,” Disney Cruise Line said on its website in November. Disney Cruise Lines says it will accept vaccines approved by the CDC and the World Health Organization, including Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, Covishield, Novavax, Sinopharm and Sinovac. The test – which must be a NAAT test, a PCR laboratory test or a rapid PCR test – must be carried out between three days and 24 hours before the passenger’s departure date and will be paid for by the passenger.

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Royal Caribbean announces new nine-month world cruise

If nine months on a cruise ship is right for you, we have the trip for you!

Staff Video, USA TODAY

DC’s ‘Peacemaker’ premieres on HBO Max

DC Comics gets its first high-profile live-action outing on HBO Max on Thursday with James Gunn’s “The Suicide Squad” spinoff, “Peacemaker.” Patriot super-jerk Peacemaker (John Cena) and rookie agent Leota Adebayo (Danielle Brooks) are assigned to a government black-ops team tasked with saving the world from a mysterious threat in an action-packed comedy about the location. of work that weaves metal hair, eagle sidekicks, bad fathers – and plenty of four-letter swear words. Over the summer, Gunn said the HBO Max series has a ’70s TV show vibe, an “All in the Family” element and even a bit of politics, “which is really something I I scratched the surface in “Suicide Squad” but get to deal with it in a little more detail in the show “Peacemaker.”

Contribute: The Associated Press