Here are the top stories for Friday, July 31st: Florida residents brace for Hurricane Isiais; Fauci cautiously optimistic on virus vaccine; Republicans, Democrats deadlocked over virus relief; Europe facing sweltering temperatures.
NED BARKER: This is AP "News Minute." Coastal residents in Florida are bracing for Hurricane Isaias as it moves past the Bahamas and takes aim at the East Coast. Forecasters say Friday afternoon hurricane has sustained winds of 75 miles per hour, with US landfall expected this weekend.
America's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, is expressing cautious optimism that a safe and effective vaccine will be widely available by 2021. Meanwhile, the Trump administration's testing czar told lawmakers it's not possible to get test results for the virus released in just two or three days. He says the demand is simply too great.
Despite the struggling economy, Republicans and Democrats in Washington remain deadlocked over a new coronavirus relief bill. Big differences remain over the Democrats' $3 trillion proposal and a much smaller Republican plan. More talks are likely over the weekend.
Sweltering heat has people in Europe hitting the beach, or at least looking for shade, as temperatures in some parts climbed past 100 degrees. Forecasters in Great Britain say Friday has been the hottest day of the year and the third hottest day on record. Ned Barker, the Associated Press, with AP "News Minute."