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Coronavirus brief: In a year of upended rituals, the virus will alter Sept. 11, too. Get the latest.
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Coronavirus brief: In a year of upended rituals, the virus will alter Sept. 11, too. Get the latest.

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In a year when the coronavirus pandemic has reshaped countless American rituals, even the commemoration of 9/11 could not escape unchanged.

The 19th anniversary of the terror attacks will be marked by dueling ceremonies at the Sept. 11 memorial plaza and a corner near the World Trade Center, reflecting a divide over the memorial's decision to suspend a cherished tradition of relatives reading victims' names in person. Vice President Mike Pence is expected at both those remembrances in New York, while President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden plan to attend a truncated ceremony at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Pennsylvania.

In New York, the double beams of light that evoke the fallen twin towers were nearly canceled in the name of virus safety, until an uproar sparked a change of heart. The Fire Department has cited the virus in urging members to stay away from any observances of the 2001 attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people, among them almost 350 firefighters. Read the full story here:

Here's an update on all developments. Scroll or swipe further for in-depth coverage.

  • The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits was unchanged last week at 884,000, a sign that layoffs remain stuck at a historically high level six months after the viral pandemic flattened the economy.
  • In April, the president tried to shift the public's focus to the economy. In July, to defending the country's “heritage.” In September, to enforcing “law and order.” But all along the way, the death toll from the coronavirus continued to mount. And now, Trump’s own words are redirecting attention to his handling of the pandemic when he can least afford it — less than two months before Election Day.
  • There have been more than 40,000 cases of Covid-19 among students, faculty and staff at colleges and universities nationwide. The number represents cases that CNN has reported so far -- and is likely higher due to a lag from schools that update their data every few days.
  • A majority of Americans, 62%, believe political pressure from the Trump administration will cause the US Food and Drug Administration to rush approval of a coronavirus vaccine before Election Day.
  • A GOP coronavirus relief package faces dire prospects in a Senate test vote, and negotiators involved in recent efforts to strike a deal that could pass before the November election say they see little reason for hope.
  • India reported another record spike of 95,735 new coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours as the virus spreads beyond its major cities.
  • Health experts on Thursday expressed strong skepticism about the British government’s ambitious plans to carry out millions of coronavirus tests daily in a bid to help people resume normal lives in the absence of a vaccine.

For more summaries and full reports, please select from the articles below. Scroll further for a Q&A on the virus and the latest numbers.

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Weekly jobless claims

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