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The immovable Republican Party and 'ink-blot politics'

Supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. It was an effort to stop the procedural certification of a presidential election that Joe Biden won and Trump lost. The mob was egged on by conspiracies and Trump's lies about that 2020 election.

Those are facts. One year later, and a day after the commemoration on Capitol Hill of that attack, those facts should be indisputable.

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Why some cities are operating legal homeless camps even in the dead of winter

The homelessness crisis, especially in major West Coast metro areas grabs the headlines: tent cities lining freeways and spreading into busy entertainment districts. But every night an untold number of people are also sleeping outside in smaller inland cities.

"My tent's the second one there," says Frankie Clark, 63, gesturing toward her temporary home on a snowy patch of land in the mountain town of Missoula, Mont.

For the past couple of years, Clark has mostly been sleeping in cars.


The leader of Kazakhstan says constitutional order 'mainly restored' amid unrest

MOSCOW (AP) — The President of Kazakhstan said Friday he authorized law enforcement to open fire on "terrorists" and shoot to kill, a move that comes after days of extremely violent protests in the former Soviet nation.

In a televised address to the nation, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev blamed the unrest on "terrorists" and "militants" and said that he had authorized the use of lethal force against them. "Those who don't surrender will be eliminated," Tokayev said.


Japan approves new restrictions for areas hard hit by COVID

TOKYO (AP) — Japan approved new restrictions on Friday to curb a sharp rise in coronavirus cases in the three most affected southwestern regions of Okinawa, Yamaguchi and Hiroshima.

"Given the sudden surge in infections, the medical system runs the risk of suffering a heavy burden in the near future," Daishiro Yamagiwa, the minister in charge of COVID-19 responses, said at a government panel meeting.


An Uber rider who got stuck in the Virginia traffic jam ended up with a $600 bill

A Virginia man has been refunded the $600 he was charged for an Uber ride after he became trapped in a miles-long traffic jam in Virginia that had some drivers stuck on the interstate for more than a day.

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The Mid-Atlantic and Northeast are bracing for several more inches of snow

The East Coast is preparing to get several inches of snow — just days after the Mid-Atlantic was hit by a storm that caused a more than day-long traffic jam in Virginia.

A winter storm is expected to bring heavy snow and ice from parts of the South into the Northeast on Thursday night into early Friday morning.

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How tennis star Novak Djokovic ended up in Australian immigration detention

The Australian Open is still more than a week away, yet all eyes are already focused on Melbourne to see how the saga of Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic will play out.

Djokovic — the top-ranked men's tennis player in the world and a noted vaccine skeptic — had appeared set to defend his title in this year's tournament after months of speculation about whether he would participate due to Australia's stringent vaccination requirements for travelers.

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What we know about the symptoms — and the severity — of the omicron variant

When it was discovered, omicron alarmed scientists.

The variant looked wildly different from earlier versions of the coronavirus — and it quickly became clear that these mutations gave omicron an uncanny ability to sidestep our vaccines and spread very rapidly.

But it has taken longer to untangle what, if anything, sets an omicron illness apart from that of its predecessors. And most of all, does this variant cause less severe disease than the variants that have come before it?

For many Afghans, winter is forcing a cruel choice of whether to eat or stay warm

As 2022 begins, most people in Afghanistan don't have enough food to eat. Millions are facing hunger and starvation amid a multiyear drought and an economic crash following the Taliban takeover in August. The onset of winter has only made things worse.

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Kicked off Facebook and Twitter, far-right groups lose online clout

It's been called the Great Deplatforming. In the hours and days after the U.S. Capitol insurrection on Jan.