Stacey Abrams at Essence Fest in New Orleans. Photo: Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Essence

A new political group called the Black Economic Alliance launched Monday and has already raised $3.5 million to put toward the 10 to 15 candidates they'll endorse.

The details: The group announced four initial endorsements on a conference call with reporters today, including Democratic gubernatorial candidates Ben Jealous in Maryland, Stacey Abrams in Georgia, and Richard Cordray in Ohio, as well as Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine.

Why it matters: This is a significant effort to focus on minority communities and business leaders in a way other groups aren't ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.

What they're saying: Akunna Cook, executive director of the Black Economic Alliance, said that they'll endorse candidates running in areas where black residents make up at least a 10% of the population.

  • Stacey Abrams said that "young people are very much woke and conscious" about the current political environment in a way that they weren't in 2016.
  • Richard Cordray echoed that statement, saying that in Ohio he's seen "young people standing up and speaking out in a way they haven’t done in 50 years" through movements like Black Lives Matter and March For Our Lives.

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Why it matters: President Trump's message at this week's virtual UN General Assembly was short and relatively simple: global institutions like the World Health Organization are weak and beholden to China; international agreements like the Iran deal or Paris climate accord are "one-sided"; and the U.S. has accomplished more by going its own way.

New York daily coronavirus cases top 1,000 for first time since June

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New York on Friday reported more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases for the first since June.

Why it matters: The New York City metropolitan area was seen as the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the spring. But strict social distancing and mask mandates helped quell the virus' spread, allowing the state to gradually reopen.

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  3. States: U.S. reports over 55,000 new coronavirus cases.
  4. Health: The long-term pain of the mental health pandemicFewer than 10% of Americans have coronavirus antibodies.
  5. Business: Millions start new businesses in time of coronavirus.
  6. Education: Summer college enrollment offers a glimpse of COVID-19's effect.