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Biden's vaccine-or-test rule for 84 million workers is back after court lifts stay

Updated December 18, 2021 at 12:53 AM ET

A Biden administration rule that requires workers at companies with 100 or more employees to be vaccinated against Covid or undergo weekly testing is back on.

The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals lifted a stay on the rule Friday evening. The rule was blocked on Nov. 6, just one day after it was formally issued by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).


Miss America makes history, as a Korean American from Alaska wins the title

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The newly crowned Miss America has made history, becoming both the first Korean American and the first Alaskan to hold the title in the competition's 100-year history.

"I never could have imagined in a million years that I would be Miss America, let alone that I would be Miss Alaska," a beaming Emma Broyles told The Associated Press on Friday in a Zoom call from Connecticut, where she won the competition about 12 hours earlier.

Kellogg's workers will vote on another tentative deal, but the strike may still go on

Even as the Kellogg Co. and the union representing its cereal plant workers jointly announced a tentative agreement to put an end to the months-long strike at the company's four U.S.-based cereal plants, workers at a rally in Michigan criticized the deal in a hint that the strike could continue even longer.

"It's a Trojan horse that's been given to us that's going to allow us to basically harm ourselves down the road," said Trevor Bidelman, a mechanical technician at the Battle Creek plant and the president of the local union, at the rally.

Ghislaine Maxwell doesn't testify, as her defense team rests its case

Ghislaine Maxwell's defense attorneys rested their case Friday, after just two days of calling witnesses to the stand. Maxwell herself did not testify. The British socialite is accused of facilitating trafficking and sexual abuse of minors at the hands of financier Jeffrey Epstein.

Closing arguments in the case will begin on Monday, meaning the jury could reach a verdict before Christmas — which also happens to be Maxwell's birthday.

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Omicron could bring the worst surge of COVID yet in the U.S. — and fast

How bad could an omicron surge get this winter?

Until key questions about the new coronavirus variant are answered, it's impossible to predict its impact with certainty. Still, several teams of scientists are using computer models to project possible scenarios for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Nearly 17 million animals died in wildfires in Brazil's wetlands last year

Nearly 17 million vertebrate creatures — animals like snakes, small birds and rodents — are estimated to have been killed throughout the wildfires in the Pantanal region of Brazil in 2020, according to a new study published in Scientific Reports this week.

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Capitol rioter who attacked police is sentenced to more than 5 years in prison

A Florida man who used a wooden plank and a fire extinguisher to attack police defending the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 has been sentenced to more than five years in prison.

The 63-month sentence for Robert Palmer, handed down by U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, is the longest yet for a defendant in the Capitol riot investigation.


U.S. military moves to discharge service members who refuse to get vaccinated

Updated December 17, 2021 at 4:47 PM ET

Members of the U.S. military who haven't been vaccinated against COVID-19 are starting to face the consequences. Military officials announced this week that, after months of warnings, they have begun disciplinary actions — including discharge.

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Coronavirus FAQ: Is it OK for the kids to take a pic with Santa?

Each week, we answer frequently asked questions about life during the coronavirus crisis. If you have a question you'd like us to consider for a future post, email us at with the subject line: "Weekly Coronavirus Questions." See an archive of our FAQs here.

My kids are so over seeing Santa Claus through Zoom. Can I bring them to the mall this year for the real deal?


Biden joins an HBCU in celebrating its graduates — including an old congressional ally

Sixty years after Jim Clyburn received his diploma from South Carolina State University by mail, the House majority whip returned to his alma mater to march alongside current graduates and receive his diploma in person from the president of the United States.

Clyburn, the sole congressional Democrat from South Carolina, delivered commencement remarks to December graduates and talked about his time at the HBCU, where he met his late wife, Emily.