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5 things to watch for CNN's Biden town hall in Baltimore

President Joe Biden on Thursday is expected to face questions about his legislative agenda and his handling of key issues during his first year in office when he participates in a CNN town hall in Baltimore.
Read full article on: edition.cnn.com
Adele's '30' becomes 2021's fastest-selling album in both the US and UK
Adele has made another record-breaking return to the charts, as her latest album "30" claims the title of fastest-selling album of 2021 in both the US and the UK.
edition.cnn.com
Will the Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade? Possible outcomes for the upcoming abortion case
The Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments on Dec. 1 for a highly anticipated case that could dramatically alter abortion access in the United States.
foxnews.com
Op-Ed: This Hanukkah, a broken menorah and a memory that may not exist
My bookshelves are filled with theology, but this Hanukkah I'm still seeking answers to my grandfather's old questions about what it means to be Jewish.
latimes.com
Op-Ed: Gen Z students seem to dislike both political parties. What will make them change their minds?
Only 10% of college students think the GOP is moving in the right direction, and just 18% say that's true of the Democrats.
latimes.com
This TruGolf mini golf simulator is a hole-in-one for Black Friday
Ah golf … it’s the sport we love to hate.
nypost.com
‘Baywatch’ alum Donna D’Errico says she still doesn’t know how to swim: ‘I can’t even tread water’
The actress famously played Donna Marco in the hit '90s series.
foxnews.com
Kamala Harris and Michelle Obama Lead Democrats' 2024 Field If Joe Biden Doesn't Run: Poll
The vice president is suffering low approval ratings amid rumors of a rift between her and President Joe Biden.
newsweek.com
World is put on high alert over the Omicron coronavirus variant
Dutch health authorities are investigating whether 61 people traveling from South Africa who tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday were infected with the new and potentially more transmissible coronavirus variant known as Omicron.
edition.cnn.com
Live stream Ohio State Buckeyes at Michigan Wolverines: Time, date, odds, how to watch
Ohio State's top ranked offense looks to continue its hot streak as the Buckeyes take on Michigan for a spot in the Big Ten Championship game.       
usatoday.com
Pfizer in 100 day Race For Omicron Vaccine as World Seeks to Contain Variant
The U.S. is among countries that have imposed restrictions on travelers from southern Africa as the race is on for a vaccine against the new Covid variant.
newsweek.com
5 books not to miss: Mel Brooks memoir, disturbing 'Sex Cult Nun' and Brené Brown
Comedy legend Mel Brooks tells his life's story in new memoir "All About Me!" and "Sex Cult Nun" takes readers inside the Children of God cult.       
usatoday.com
Trauma, identity and love: Being adopted didn't give me a better life, but changed my path
Being adopted didn't give me a better life, but it changed the route of my journey.       
usatoday.com
Letters to the Editor: Fix this sidewalk, but not that one? L.A.'s priorities are as broken as its walkways
Los Angeles should simply follow state law and require property owners to maintain the adjacent sidewalks.
latimes.com
Honduras at crossroads in election to end corrupt rule of Juan Orlando Hernandez
Hondurans will vote Sunday to replace corrupt President Juan Orlando Hernandez in what is arguably the country's most important election in decades.
latimes.com
Will This Franco-Italian Bromance Save Europe?
Macron and Draghi try to move EU integration forward with a friendship treaty. But there are obstacles ahead.
washingtonpost.com
How to go about chopping down your own Christmas tree
Cutting down your own tree isn’t as simple as just going out to the woods, finding a tree and cutting it down.
foxnews.com
Judge vacates death sentences of Pervis Payne, who was to be executed for a crime he says he didn't commit
A Tennessee judge this week vacated the death sentences of Pervis Payne, who has spent more than three decades on death row for two murders he says he did not commit, due to the inmate's intellectual disability.
edition.cnn.com
12 Outstanding Gifts for Your Significant Other That Will Make Your Love Grow
From gift ideas for that special person to gifts that couples can share together, these are all things that may benefit your relationship.
newsweek.com
Firefighters launch tense rescue after pet tortoise traps pet dog in underground burrow
The two animals aren’t exactly the best of friends.
washingtonpost.com
How Debt-Ceiling Brinkmanship Is Like Nuclear Brinkmanship
Republicans and Democrats alike have characterized the debt-ceiling fight as a game of chicken, in which two drivers barrel toward each other and each hopes that the other swerves away first. Political pundits have described some strategies for resolving the conflict, such as changing the Senate’s filibuster rules to allow a simple majority to raise the debt limit, as “nuclear options.” Language like this might seem to melodramatize the legislative process, but the comparisons are apt. Nuclear-war strategists have long understood how recklessness, or the appearance of recklessness, may help one side get the other to relent during a single game of chicken. But these strategists’ work also offers a warning for Congress: The more times the game is played, the more treacherous it becomes, because when both sides become convinced that catastrophe will always be averted in the end, each behaves more rashly.Tensions between Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill have cooled after a temporary extension of the debt limit last month, but they could quickly escalate as a new deadline looms in mid-December. If the possibility of default is anything other than zero, it will happen if debt-ceiling chicken is played enough times. Will this latest round be the time our luck finally runs out?From a nuclear strategist’s point of view, the way the United States has repeatedly flirted with a potentially catastrophic default on the national debt bears an uncomfortable resemblance to the crises of the early Cold War. During the period from the first Berlin Crisis, in 1948, to the Cuban Missile Crisis, in 1962, a superpower standoff with the potential to escalate into all-out nuclear war occurred every few years. Under the Eisenhower administration’s policy of “massive retaliation,” Washington sought to contain communism by leaving open the possibility that a conventional conflict could lead to the use of nuclear weapons. But the mercurial Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev appeared all too willing to test Western resolve. This apocalyptic environment encouraged strategic theorists to seek ways to make brinkmanship more effective and “win” at it.[Read: A new nuclear era is coming]The most influential theorist contemplating brinkmanship strategies was the future Nobel laureate Thomas Schelling. He sought a solution to the problem of making deterrence credible: If thermonuclear war could not be won, then why would the Communists take seriously American threats to use nuclear weapons, especially to retaliate against a nonnuclear attack on U.S. allies? If risking full-scale nuclear war, in which most Americans might perish, struck Soviet leaders as too irrational, it wouldn’t serve as a credible deterrent threat.Schelling proposed that irrational threats could still work as a deterrent by incorporating an element of chance. He argued that states could exploit “the danger that somebody may inadvertently go over the brink, dragging the other with him.” In his 1966 book, Arms and Influence, Schelling used this analogy: “If two climbers are tied together, and one wants to intimidate the other by seeming about to fall over the edge, there has to be some uncertainty or anticipated irrationality or it won’t work.” If the climbers are competent and the mountain isn’t treacherous, then approaching the brink carries no danger. Either climber could jump off on purpose, but could not make a plausible, rational threat to do so. Yet so long as the climbers could slip or stumble, they can still intimidate or deter each other. In the presence of “loose ground, gusty winds, and a propensity toward dizziness,” Schelling explained, “one can threaten to fall off accidentally by standing near the brink.”The United States could harness this idea, Schelling argued, to convince the U.S.S.R. to back down in a superpower crisis. Instead of trying to prevail militarily in nuclear war, the U.S. could signal its resolve by taking steps that increased the risk of inadvertent escalation, akin to one of the imagined climbers trying to intimidate the other by moving closer to the crumbling edge. Schelling’s approach provided a possible way to credibly deter the Soviets—and also avoided the need to match them in nuclear weapons, because the winner in a contest of resolve is not the player with the most bombs, but the one that blinks last. Even if one side had a larger nuclear arsenal, its leaders might still make concessions if they believed that the other side had the resolve to spark an uncontrollable war.Despite its elegance, Schelling’s argument did not win over all nuclear strategists. His contemporary Herman Kahn argued that the “rationality of irrationality” strategies Schelling promoted were like to the games of chicken played by delinquent teenagers on public highways. While Kahn admitted that Schelling’s framework had appealing features, he fretted about its dangers. Competing at risk taking is gambling, and not losing depends on a certain amount of luck. Kahn pointed out that even if the risk of each game of chicken was small, “the probability of war actually occurring as a result of ‘chicken’ being played too often may be very high.”[Read: The debt ceiling is a national disgrace]Disturbingly, the game can become more dangerous with each repetition. “In any long period of peace there may be a tendency for governments to become more intransigent as the thought of war becomes unreal,” Kahn wrote. He warned ominously that “this may be the case especially if there is a background of experiences in which those who stood firm did well, while those who were ‘reasonable’ seemed to do poorly.”Imagine that Schelling’s hostile mountaineers have played their game of alpine chicken many times. Perhaps they have attracted an audience that cheers the climber who takes risks and mocks the one whose resolve falters. After enough repeated games, neither the spectators nor the climbers take the possibility of falling seriously. Some observers even begin to doubt that a fall can occur, making arguments that the climbers are too “rational” to allow it, or that a fall would not actually be catastrophic. Chastened by the boos of the crowd, the climbers grow inured to the danger and take larger risks. Inevitably, at some point one of them slips, dragging both of them into the abyss.The regular brinkmanship in Congress over the debt ceiling appears to have degenerated into the kind of repeated game of chicken that Kahn warned us about. The more times the crisis is repeated, the less each occurrence seems like a crisis, because none has yet resulted in a catastrophe. Politicians are encouraged by experience to grow more and more inflexible and take harder positions the next time.In the debt-ceiling dispute, the U.S. could end up defaulting precisely because each side keeps waiting for the other to blink.Such an outcome is entirely avoidable. Unlike nuclear weapons, the debt ceiling could be un-invented. If it chose to, Congress could amend the rules to reduce or ideally eliminate the opportunity for this kind of brinkmanship. But as long as the debt ceiling exists in its current form, the incentives to play chicken over and over again remain in place. And each new confrontation brings the country closer and closer to calamity.
theatlantic.com
The Kathy Ireland weighted blanket is an extra 20% off for Black Friday
The blanket weighs around 10% of most people’s body weight, helping you achieve the deepest sleep you’ve had in a long time.
nypost.com
Beijing Keeps Trying to Rewrite History
Under the relentless crush of Beijing, the courtrooms of Hong Kong have become some of the few venues safe for protest in the city. Defendants accused or convicted of political crimes have turned otherwise banal hearings and bail applications into opportunities to voice dissent and challenge the arduous legal process.In mid-November Lee Cheuk-yan, a veteran prodemocracy figure, used his mitigation hearing, where defendants can address the court in hopes of obtaining a lesser sentence, to deliver a stirring and defiant speech. He recounted his memories of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, exalted Hong Kongers for never forgetting the tragedy, and excoriated city officials for curtailing basic freedoms. Lee, who for decades helped organize the annual vigil held in Hong Kong’s Victoria Park to mourn the crackdown, choked up as he addressed the courtroom.“I want to thank the people of Hong Kong who kept the promise of 1989,” he said. “In the face of suppression, they persisted, honoring the memory of the June Fourth Massacre in Victoria Park with their candlelight. Your Honor, the people of Hong Kong who took part needed no person or organization to incite them. If there was a provocateur, it is the regime that fired at its own people.“For 31 years,” he continued, “our unyielding memory and unrelenting conscience drove us to keep the promise, persist in honoring their memory, demand truth and accountability, and carry on the pursuit of freedom and democracy of the Chinese people.”[Read: Standing up to Beijing, 30 years apart]Yet the unyielding memory of which Lee spoke has come under sustained attack this year, part of a broader effort by Beijing, its loyalists in the city, and an ever-growing list of collaborators to erase Tiananmen from public memory. Weaponizing pandemic protocols and vague threats of possible national-security violations, authorities have canceled the once-annual vigil for the past two years. Prominent activists, Lee included, who took part in prior gatherings have been arrested. A museum dedicated to Tiananmen was abruptly closed. Its contents were hauled away by police as evidence against members of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, which organized the vigil and ran the museum. The group disbanded as a result. Unsatisfied with residents being only physically barred from viewing its displays, Hong Kong officials blocked access to the museum’s website as well. An investigation by Hong Kong Free Press found that dozens of books on the topic of Tiananmen have disappeared from the city’s libraries. One monument that has escaped erasure, just barely and perhaps only briefly, is also the city’s most prominent dedicated to Tiananmen, the Pillar of Shame statue. An orange cenotaph of pained, contorted bodies constructed as a memorial to protesters killed in the massacre, it was put on permanent public display to serve, as its creator, Jen Galschiøt, wrote in 1997, as a test of the authorities’ “guarantees for human rights and freedom of expression in Hong Kong.” The pillar was staged at the University of Hong Kong, the city’s oldest and most prestigious institute of higher learning, in 1998, after being displayed at other campuses.For more than two decades, the city passed Galschiøt’s assessment. Students and activists gathered every spring to ceremonially wash the structure, which across its base reads The old cannot kill the young forever. The ritual was the first in a sequence of events held every year in Hong Kong to mark the anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre culminating with the candlelight vigil. Now, though, the pillar is caught in a sort of purgatory—unwanted by the university, which has tried to remove it but faced fierce resistance, and Galschiøt’s attempts to retrieve it have gone unanswered. The awkward situation is representative of the city itself, not entirely subjugated by Beijing but not as free, open, or vibrant as it once was.“Many things in the past in Hong Kong that were treated as normal and being a kind of symbol that Hong Kong is still enjoying freedom and a high degree of autonomy … are now facing challenges,” Richard Tsoi, the secretary of the now-dissolved alliance, told me.The attempts at removing the horrors of Tiananmen from the popular consciousness follow a full-scale effort to rewrite more recent history in Hong Kong. Officials have consistently attempted to twist the narrative of the city’s protest movement, portraying the demonstrations as organized by a small, violent group, conspicuously omitting the occasions when more than 1 million people marched peacefully. The reasons behind the protests have been obfuscated as well. Blame, officials now say, lies with the United States and astronomical housing prices, not the continued erosion of freedoms and broken promises from Beijing. The police have taken part in some of the most blatant acts of historical revisionism, hoping that residents will forget violent actions they witnessed with their own eyes.“The authorities … are working overtime to teach us what is the official position,” John P. Burns, an emeritus professor at HKU and the former dean of its faculty of social sciences, who has written in support of keeping the statue, told me. “Making Hong Kong more like the rest of China, that is the name of the game.”In 1989, residents of Hong Kong were horrified by Beijing crushing the protests at Tiananmen Square. Hundreds of thousands of people marched in what The New York Times described as a “long ribbon of humanity” that stretched through the city’s streets. The outrage extended beyond those who supported full democracy. Many who signed published petitions denouncing Beijing’s actions and who took part in demonstrations are pro-Beijing stalwarts today. David Ford, then the territory’s chief secretary, wrote in a letter to the city’s vaunted civil service that residents felt a “profound feeling of shock and grief,” at what had occurred. Authorities in Beijing believed then that the city’s protests would be a one-off event, according to a former Hong Kong government official who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic, and that the territory would revert to being a purely “economic city,” whose inhabitants were uninterested in politics. This hypothesis—like many made by Beijing about Hong Kong—was totally incorrect. Instead, Hong Kong fostered a lively tradition of protests and demonstrations.[Read: Remembering Tiananmen Square is dangerous, even in Hong Kong]Galschiøt’s two-ton sculpture was unveiled in downtown Victoria Park eight years after the massacre and 28 days before the city’s July 1, 1997, handover to China. It was eventually relocated to HKU’s campus, and activists painted it bright orange in 2008. The artist wrote at the time of its installation that “no ban on the sculpture can diminish its symbolic value. No attack, not even the destruction of the sculpture can obliterate the symbolism of the Pillar of Shame.” One of his tenets is now being tested: “No authority will ever succeed in preventing the mounting of the Pillar of Shame in Hong Kong.”Following the disbandment of the alliance, HKU tried to have the sculpture removed, enlisting the global law firm Mayer Brown to help. In a statement to news outlets, Lisa Sachdev, a spokesperson for the firm, said that Mayer Brown was “asked to provide a specific service on a real-estate matter for our long-term client, the University of Hong Kong.” She continued: “Our role as outside counsel is to help our clients understand and comply with current law. Our legal advice is not intended as commentary on current or historical events.” (The firm regularly comments on U.S. news events, though, including the death of George Floyd and voting-rights issues, and Mayer Brown later relented after its involvement drew considerable press and condemnation, saying, “Going forward, Mayer Brown will not be representing its long-time client in this matter.”)Galschiøt hired his own lawyers in an effort to reclaim the statue himself. He said in an open letter this month that he would travel to Hong Kong to remove the statue but would need assurances from authorities that he wouldn’t face any legal issues. This seems highly unlikely because Galschiøt has been barred from entering Hong Kong on two previous occasions. He added that HKU has not responded to his inquiries. The university did not address the contents of Galschiøt’s letter and, when asked for comment, said only that it was working to resolve the issue in a “legal and reasonable manner.”HKU and other universities in the territory have quickly moved to submit to Hong Kong’s new, more authoritarian political order. Maintenance workers at the university removed colorful walls of protest art, and the administration cut ties with the students’ union and barred some of its members from campus because of a union motion expressing sympathy for the “sacrifice” of a man who had killed himself after stabbing a police officer in July. The students later apologized and retracted the statement, but four were arrested under the national-security law and charged with advocating terrorism.Burns told me that by moving to remove the sculpture, the university is “acknowledging its dependence on the mainland and on authorities in the mainland for the things the university wants.” One professor, who asked not to be named for fear of repercussions, told me that the threat of removal was part of “a wholesale embrace of the wider crackdown that we have seen in the media, civil society, and the general public,” and that the university was in “free fall into a totalitarian-friendly tertiary institution.” Another professor, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, told me about recently going out of their way to walk by the statue with colleagues to confirm that it was still standing. “I find campus very depressing,” the academic said, “because of everything that is no longer there.”In court, Lee said that even while in jail earlier this year after being convicted for his role in a 2019 protest, he continued to uphold the memory of June Fourth by fasting and, without access to a candle, lighting a single match. “I am proud to be a Hong Konger,” he said. “For 32 years, we have marched together in the fight to bring justice to those who put their lives on the line on 4 June 1989, and in the struggle for democracy.”In the end, he told the judge that he was at peace with any sentence that might be handed down: “If I must go to jail to affirm my will,” he said, “then so be it.”
theatlantic.com
Georgia police officer's shooting death leads to 3rd arrest, authorities say
A third suspect connected to the fatal shooting of a Georgia police officer in the line of duty was arrested last week, police said Thursday, according to reports.
foxnews.com
The Best Harry Potter Novel Isn’t Written by J.K. Rowling
It’s queer, it’s class-conscious, and it’s 500,000 words-long.
slate.com
Omicron: South Africa Blasts Travel Bans as Hospitals See Surge of Younger COVID Patients
Authorities worry health facilities could quickly become overwhelmed as new variant is being blamed for a surge in new COVID-19 cases.
1 h
slate.com
At least 2 dead as Storm Arwen thrashes the UK
At least two people are reported to have died as Britain was battered by severe weather with winds reaching speeds of over 90 mph (144 km/h) in some areas.
1 h
edition.cnn.com
What we learned about global travel this week
Countries around the world imposed travel restrictions after a new Covid-19 variant was detected in southern Africa, Thanksgiving air travel hit a pandemic record, and in Asia-Pacific, New Zealand and the Philippines revealed new reopening plans.
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edition.cnn.com
Marjorie Taylor Greene introduces bill to honor Kyle Rittenhouse with Congressional Gold Medal
U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., recently introduced a bill calling for Kyle Rittenhouse to receive the Congressional Gold Medal, according to reports.
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foxnews.com
Knicks face tough test vs. red-hot rival Hawks
The Hawks (10-9) are humming along just in time for Saturday’s showdown with the Knicks — the teams’ first meeting since June 2, when the Hawks ended the Knicks’ season in a Game 5 victory at the Garden.
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nypost.com
Donald Trump Jr, Ted Cruz Troll WHO For Skipping 'Xi' in Naming Omicron Variant
The Chinese president's surname is relatively common and the term Nu may have been deemed confusing.
2 h
newsweek.com
The omicron variant has sparked new travel restrictions. Are more COVID rules ahead?
The new omicron variant threatens to tighten travel restrictions around the globe just as they were easing due to rising COVID-19 vaccination rates.      
2 h
usatoday.com
Ohio State-Michigan rivalry finally has big stakes again
It’s Michigan. It’s Ohio State. It’s The Game. And everything — the Big Ten East Division crown, a spot in the College Football Playoff, the Buckeyes demons that dog Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh, the Heisman Trophy hopes of Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud — is on the line. You couldn’t ask for the stakes...
2 h
nypost.com
The 'betrayal' that could kill Britain's railway romance
After the government amputated a key part of its own controversial HS2 plan to upgrade Britain's railways, can the country's creaking 19th century network deliver on promises to passengers?
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edition.cnn.com
NDAA, debt ceiling, government funding: Here's what's left for Congress to address in 2021
Both chambers of Congress will be working to try to avoid a government shut and default, as well approve a must-pass national security package.      
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usatoday.com
Taylor Swift, rerecording albums to own her masters, is infinitely more punk rock than I am
Taylor Swift is fighting for herself and for the rest of us singer-songwriters – by doing the most punk rock thing I've seen in the music industry.      
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usatoday.com
How understaffed are stores? Smaller retailers feel the holiday-shopping strain
Large retailers have spent billions of dollars to woo workers. Smaller stores that can't do that expect staff shortages will lead to lost sales. They're asking shoppers to be patient.
2 h
npr.org
'You'll get nothing out of this': Partisans with limited experience stumble through gaffe-prone 'audit'
Experts dismissed the 'audit' as worthless. But it also helped the GOP and related interests rake in millions and keep the cause of Donald Trump alive.      
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usatoday.com
D.C.-area forecast: Chilly and breezy today, with a snowflake possible late tonight
Anything that falls is of the "conversational variety." Sunday's likely the nicer day of the weekend.
2 h
washingtonpost.com
Minneapolis' School Plan Asks White Families to Help Integrate
In a citywide overhaul, a beloved Black high school was rezoned to include white students from a richer neighborhood. It has been hard for everyone.
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nytimes.com
After doctors saved her life, this 12-year-old girl is committed to paying it forward
Lalia Susini's terrifying accident on a porch swing has pushed her into the ultimate quest, a mission of goodwill for other injured and sick children.
2 h
edition.cnn.com
'Tyrants and Traitors Need to Be Executed,' Said the Army-Vet-Conspiracy-Theorist
In this daily series, Newsweek explores the steps that led to the January 6 Capitol Riot.
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newsweek.com
After 50 years, the mystery of these Vietnam War photos of ‘Donut Dollies’ is solved
An Army veteran finally gets his wish to say thank you to the young women who visited the troops.
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washingtonpost.com
Delta, United not revising South Africa flights amid Omicron variant concerns
Delta Air Lines and United Airlines do not plan any changes to their South Africa-US routes after the White House said it plans to impose new travel curbs on southern Africa.
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nypost.com
Giants’ Daniel Jones to wear play-calls wrist band vs. Eagles
Like many quarterbacks across the league, the Giants’ Daniel Jones has been wearing a wrist band listing the team’s play calls in practice this week and he is expected to do so in Sunday’s game against the Eagles.
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nypost.com
Los Angeles-area looters target Home Depot, Bottega Veneta stores on Black Friday: reports
Officials in California sent word earlier this week that they planned to crack down on "smash and grab" robberies and flash-mob-style looting after numerous recent incidents up and down the state. But apparently not everybody got the message.
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foxnews.com
As the Omicron variant sparks concern, experts say it's time for unvaccinated Americans to get their shots
As a new Omicron variant spurs global travel bans, experts said that concerns over its impact should spur the millions of unvaccinated Americans to get their Covid-19 shots -- and for those who are eligible to get boosters -- as it will offer at least a degree of protection.
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edition.cnn.com
WTA remains 'deeply concerned' about Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai
The Women's Tennis Association (WTA) "remains deeply concerned" that Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai "is not free from censorship or coercion."
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edition.cnn.com
Kings use balanced attack in triple-overtime win over Lakers
Seven Kings players scored in double figures as Sacramento outlasted the Los Angeles Lakers 141-137 in triple overtime.
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nypost.com