☀ July 30: Stimulus latest, ‘Isaias’ upgraded to tropical storm, space helicopter heading to Mars

[Your Morning]

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover vehicle takes off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S. July 30, 2020. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

Good morning! It’s Thursday, July 30, 2020. Here’s a look at your news across the nation:

1️⃣💵 President Donald Trump said the second stimulus check ‘may go higher’ than $1,200. When asked if a $1,200 direct payment to Americans was enough, Trump said, “We’re going to see it may go higher than that, actually.” Watch the full interview with the President with News Nation affiliate KMID. Why it matters: Trump’s comments in Texas are the first suggestion that the dollar amount on the checks could be higher.

🚨 DEVELOPING NOW: An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.2 struck north of the Los Angeles area Thursday morning, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. No initial damage was reported.

2️⃣💉 Johnson & Johnson kicked off U.S. human safety trials for its COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday. The company also released details of a study in monkeys that showed its best-performing vaccine candidate offered strong protection in a single dose. Why it matters: When exposed to the virus, six out of six animals who got the vaccine candidate were completely protected from lung disease and five out of six were protected from infection as measured by the presence of virus in nasal swabs.

3️⃣🌀 Tropical Storm Isaias formed late Wednesday in the eastern Caribbean and could make landfall in Florida sometime this weekend. The forecast track shows the system making landfall in Hispaniola sometime before noon Thursday and reaching the Bahamas by Friday. Why it matters: Although the storm could reach Florida and the Carolinas, it’s still too early to determine exactly where the storm might hit, as there is “large uncertainty after it leaves the Caribbean,” the NHC said.

4️⃣ 🚀 NASA’s next-generation Mars rover Perseverance lifted off from Florida’s Cape Canaveral on Thursday on a mission to search for traces of potential past life on Earth’s planetary neighbor. The U.S. space agency’s $2.4 billion mission successfully launched shortly before 8 a.m. (ET) and is expected to reach Mars next February. Why it matters: Perseverance will conduct an experiment to convert elements of the carbon dioxide-rich Martian atmosphere into propellant for future rockets launching off the planet’s surface, or to produce breathable oxygen for future astronauts.

📱 [Trending] across the nation

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

🍩 Dunkin’ Brands Group, the parent company of the doughnut shop chain and Baskin-Robbins, announced it may close 800 stores in the United States, as the pandemic continues to deliver challenges to the restaurant industry.

In its earnings report released Thursday morning, Dunkin said sales across the globe declined 20.8% in the second quarter. The company attributed it to sales declines and store closures during the pandemic.

The closures represent 8% of the Dunkin stores in the country.

The company didn’t release a list of the closures but said the 800 locations include 450 “limited-menu” locations at Speedway gas stations, which was previously announced in February.

📅 What to watch for today

🔴 Rep. John Lewis (D-Georgia) funeral is happening in Atlanta following his death from pancreatic cancer, aged 80. President Barack Obama will give the eulogy, and Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi also pay tribute to Lewis. The service is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. (ET).

🔴 NASA will provide update on the Mars Perseverance Rover launch around 11:30 a.m. (ET).

💻📲 We’ll bring you 🔴 LIVE news updates throughout the day on the News Nation Now app and NewsNationNow.com.

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