As Ida cleanup continues, Larry is predicted to significantly strengthen 

Flooded cars and strewn debris were hauled away Friday as cleanup will continue over this weekend after Hurricane Ida battered the South and then shocked the Northeast, leaving over 60 people dead across eight states in the last week. Yet the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season shows no signs of slowing down. Hurricane Larry is predicted to strengthen over the next day or two, and is expected to remain at major hurricane strength through the early part of next week, the National Hurricane Center said early Saturday morning. Significant swells will likely reach the eastern United States coastline after the holiday weekend, the Hurricane Center added.   


President Biden witnesses Hurricane Ida wreckage in Louisiana

Days after Hurricane Ida ravaged Louisiana, President Joe Biden got an up-close view of the damage.

Associated Press, USA TODAY

Another European nation tightens travel restrictions on US travelers

The Netherlands, a European Union member state, is moving the U.S. into its “very high-risk” category Saturday, which will prohibit entry among unvaccinated travelers from the U.S. and require testing and a quarantine period for those who are vaccinated. That means, starting Saturday, vaccinated U.S. travelers must quarantine 10 days but can cut the isolation period short if they test negative for coronavirus on day five. Children 12 and under are exempt, according to the Government of the Netherlands’ website. The changes come on the heels of the European Union’s decision to move the U.S. off its safe travel list, which signaled to members that they should no longer ease restrictions on nonessential travel for people from the U.S. as COVID-19 cases spike. Bulgaria announced it would move the U.S. into its “red zone” and prohibit travel from the U.S., and Italy has added testing and self-isolation requirements for U.S. travelers.


EU takes the US off the safe country list as COVID cases surge

The European Council’s decision to remove the US from a safe list of countries comes as coronavirus infections surge in the US.

Newsy, Newsy

College football is back for most major programs

Week 1 of the college football season is here, with many of the major programs taking the field Saturday. On a weekend that features five Top 25 matchups, most notable is No. 2 Clemson vs. No. 5 Georgia in the Duke’s Mayo Classic in Charlotte, North Carolina (7:30 p.m. ET, ABC). Earlier in the day, defending champion No. 1 Alabama faces a stiff test when they take on No. 16 Miami in Atlanta for the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC). With the NFL not beginning their season until next weekend, the first week of the college football season often gets extended with key games also played Sunday. This year, No. 9 Notre Dame will begin its season Sunday night with a trip to Tallahassee to play Florida State (7:30 p.m. ET, ABC). Although Week 1’s slate of games marks the beginning of the college football season at large, a handful of programs got an early start with their “Week 0” matchups on Aug. 28. 


Top five dark horse contenders for the College Football Playoff

Sports Seriously: Dan Wolken identifies five dark horse contenders to reach the College Football Playoff. Some picks may surprise you.

Sports Seriously, USA TODAY

Djokovic continues chase of history with third-round match at U.S. Open

Men’s No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia continues his pursuit of the calendar Grand Slam when he faces Japan’s Kei Nishikori in a third-round match at the U.S. Open in New York Saturday. Djokovic stands five wins from the first men’s singles calendar-year Grand Slam since Rod Laver accomplished the feat in 1969, 52 years ago. A U.S. Open win would also give Djokovic a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title. He is currently tied with rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Also on Saturday, women’s No. 1 and 2021 Wimbledon champion Ash Barty of Australia will try to reach the U.S. Open quarterfinals for the first time when she plays Shelby Rogers. In a major development Friday night, Naomi Osaka lost her third-round match to unseeded Canadian Leylah Fernandez. Later, she cried while trying to articulate how she processes winning and losing and ended her press conference by saying she thinks she’ll take a break from playing “for a while.”

When not to hit the road this weekend

Taking a trip over Labor Day weekend? You might be facing long lines of traffic. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is advising unvaccinated Americans to stay home this Labor Day weekend, traffic in certain corridors is expected to spike between Sept. 2 and 7 as travelers take advantage of the three-day weekend, according to transportation analytics company INRIX. For the long weekend, including Monday, the best time to drive would be early in the morning, and the worst times are in the afternoon, according to INRIX. 


CDC director: Unvaccinated Americans should avoid Labor Day travel

The CDC director recommends that vaccinated people wear masks while they travel over the Labor Day holiday, but urges the unvaccinated to stay home.

Staff video, USA TODAY

Contributing: The Associated Press

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