National News

Denver Post via Getty Images

COVID is still crushing parts of the U.S. as the holiday season approaches

The U.S. has settled into an uneasy, drawn-out exit from the delta surge that took hold over the summer.

For many weeks, declining cases and hospitalizations have offered hope ahead of the holiday season, when Americans travel and spend more time indoors, but progress has stalled recently, with cases rising or plateauing in more than 20 states.

Dimas Ardian/Bloomberg via Getty Images

As constituents clamor for ivermectin, Republican politicians embrace their cause

When state senators in South Carolina held two hearings in September about COVID treatments, they got an earful on the benefits of ivermectin — which many of the lawmakers lauded along the way, sharing experiences of their own loved ones.

The demands for access to the drug were loud and insistent, despite the fact that federal regulators had just issued a strong warning against using the drug to treat COVID-19.

Getty Images

Astronomers want NASA to build a giant space telescope to peer at alien Earths

NASA should work towards building a giant new space telescope that's optimized for getting images of potentially habitable worlds around distant stars, to see if any of them could possibly be home to alien life.

That's according to a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Every ten years, at the request of government science agencies including NASA, this independent group of advisors reviews the field of astronomy and lays out the top research priorities going forward.

LightRocket via Getty Images

Earth has 11 years to cut emissions to avoid dire climate scenarios, a report says

The current rate of greenhouse gas pollution is so high that the Earth has about 11 years to rein in emissions if countries want to avoid the worst damage from climate change in the future, a new study concludes.

Despite dipping in 2020 because of the global pandemic, greenhouse gas emissions are on track to return to pre-pandemic levels, according to the annual Global Carbon Budget report.

South Asian Engagement Foundation

New York City's World Trade Center lights up for its first Diwali celebration

Diwali is the celebration of light over darkness, good over evil, and more than 1 billion Hindus worldwide are observing it Thursday by lighting candles, setting off fireworks and exchanging gifts with friends and family.

While most people may refer to the holiday as Diwali, it's traditionally called Deepavali and that is how it's known in most parts of India.

Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The U.K. approves Merck's COVID-19 antiviral pill, calling it a world first

Merck's antiviral pill that fights COVID-19 in adults with the disease won its first authorization in the world Thursday, as the U.K.'s medical regulator announced that the drug is "safe and effective at reducing the risk of hospitalization and death" in mild to moderate cases.

The drug is a "game changer," British Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said. Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics developed the oral antiviral.

AFP via Getty Images

Biden's vaccine rules for 100 million workers are here. These are the details

In early September, President Biden announced he was taking steps to get more Americans vaccinated and turn the tide on COVID-19.

On Thursday, the administration rolled out two of those steps — two different vaccine rules covering more than 100 million workers.

Here are the details:

AFP/Getty Images

The U.K. considers its 1st new coal mine in decades even as it calls to phase out coal

GLASGOW, Scotland — Prime Minister Boris Johnson opened this week's climate summit in Glasgow by warning world leaders to take the necessary measures to prevent global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, or face catastrophic damage from climate change.


The U.N. says climate impacts are getting worse faster than the world is adapting

As world leaders meet in Glasgow to try to curb planet-warming emissions an uncomfortable reality underlies their efforts: They've gathered on a shrinking island in a rising sea, where temperatures are already hotter and storms more severe.

A new report by the United Nations says that some impacts from climate change are already irreversible, and our efforts to adapt are lagging.

AFP via Getty Images

Vice President Harris is going to France next week. Here's what she will be doing

On the heels of President Biden's meetings with world leaders in Rome and Glasgow, Vice President Harris is set to make a diplomatic overture of her own.

It's her third international trip as vice president. But in contrast to her first two, where she met with individual heads of state and focused on bilateral relationships, an upcoming trip to Paris will be the first where Harris is the top White House official at a large gathering of world leaders.