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Democrats push to close the deal on Biden's agenda: 'This part of the process needs to be handled with care'

Democrats aren't there yet on cracking a deal on a President Joe Biden's sweeping, if now scaled back, economic and climate package. But the over the course of the next 36 hours, those involved in these talks think it is possible to get at least one of the two Senate moderates to sign off on a final and detailed framework.
Read full article on: edition.cnn.com
Afghan media collapsing after Taliban takeover, report says
So far more than 250 newspapers, radio programs and television stations have disappeared during the first hundred days of the militant's rule.
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nypost.com
Casey Affleck, 46, goes Instagram official with actress Caylee Cowan, 23
This comes days after Page Six published first photos of Affleck making out with the actress, known for her roles in "Sunrise in Heaven" and "Willy Wonderland."
nypost.com
WTA ‘remains concerned’ about Chinese ‘me-too’ tennis star Peng Shuai
Steve Simon said he would not continue to email with the 35-year-old tennis star because he is not convinced her earlier notes were not "influenced by others," AFP reported.
nypost.com
11/27: CBS Saturday Morning
New coronavirus variant could be more dangerous than Delta variant; Meet the team behind Pig Beach BBQ
cbsnews.com
‘RHONY’ star Heather Thomson says ‘story lines are ‘fake, forced’
Former cast member Heather Thomson gives her final interview about the show — and what she calls its faked storylines and contrived fights.
nypost.com
‘The Wheel of Time’: We Need to Talk about Alanna and Her Warders Being in a Throuple
Amazon has confirmed the Green Ajah is the Horny Ajah.
nypost.com
Wisconsin police officer resigns for 'sexual activity' with woman in squad car
A Wisconsin police officer resigned after a recording surfaced that showed him engaging in sexual activity with a woman in his department vehicle.
foxnews.com
Video Shows Dog Attacked by Red-Tailed Hawk in Front Yard: 'It Just Happened So Fast'
Small dogs like Lola the chihuahua have been targeted by large birds of prey in the past.
newsweek.com
Your plastic recyclables are getting shipped overseas, not made into shiny new products
The green recycling industry has a black underbelly. The public is duped into thinking single-use plastics are easily recyclable.      
usatoday.com
Ghislaine Maxwell kept a secret from family, but they believe her story
As Ghislaine Maxwell goes to trial on Nov. 29, her siblings are helping the Jeffrey Epstein friend, who stands accused of six charges of allegedly procuring underage girls to have sex with him.
nypost.com
Meet the 11-month-old who learned to snowboard before she could walk
11-month-old Wang Yuji from China's Hebei province hasn't quite mastered walking yet. But snowboards? No problem. Now she's an internet sensation.
edition.cnn.com
Letters to Sports: The same age-old story with the Lakers
L.A. Times readers are getting tired of hearing the same excuses from the Lakers, while the UCLA-USC rivalry game was another heated talking point.
latimes.com
Sexual frustration to blame for tennis star’s struggles
Nick Kyrgios, the young Australian tennis player, can’t quite hit a tennis ball the same if he’s not hitting.
foxnews.com
Raiders' Daniel Carlson was dealing with food poisoning before game-winning kick
Raiders kicker Daniel Carlson played the hero in Las Vegas’ overtime win on Thanksgiving against the Dallas Cowboys but he nearly never made it onto the field to play at all.
foxnews.com
LSU football coaching search: It’s looking like Lincoln Riley or bust
Yes, Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley is back at the top in the LSU football coaching search, but he most likely never exited.
foxnews.com
Oil Crashes More Than $10 as New COVID-19 Variant Roils Markets
Oil traders and analysts were divided about whether the flash crash was an excessive reaction to the covid news
time.com
Biden promised to 'shut down' COVID, but omicron variant poses new challenge for admin
The COVID-19 omicron variant is posing new risks for President Biden and his administration as they attempt to control the spread of a virus he vowed to "shut down" during the 2020 campaign.
foxnews.com
Isaiah Stewart isn’t buying LeBron James calling hit to face an accident
Isaiah Stewart continues to believe LeBron James intentionally hit him in the face during last Sunday’s Lakers-Pistons game.
nypost.com
Franchise quarterbacks have built a high standard that they’re failing to meet this season
The Cowboys' Dak Prescott has joined Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes as quarterbacks who are experiencing unusual struggles.
washingtonpost.com
Boris Johnson confirms Omicron covid cases in UK
Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlines next steps after the first cases of the highly-contagious Omicron variant of Covid-19 were confirmed in the United Kingdom.
edition.cnn.com
Melissa DeRosa takes veiled swipe at Hochul
Disgraced Gov. Cuomo's one-time top aide took a none-too-subtle swipe at his successor Friday evening over her handling of the coronavirus.
nypost.com
The history of the Brooklyn Bridge: "An iconic piece of New York City and beyond"
When it was completed in 1883, it was hailed as an engineering marvel and called the eighth Wonder of the World.
cbsnews.com
Mets make splash with 3 free agent signings: reports
The New York Mets made some waves on the free-agent market in hopes of improving a team that failed to meet expectations in 2021.
foxnews.com
Kylie Jenner breaks weeks-long social media silence after Astroworld tragedy with peek at holiday decor
After weeks of remaining mum on social media, Kylie Jenner returned to Instagram on Friday to give fans a peek at her holiday decor.
foxnews.com
FedEx kerfuffle: Investigation continues into hundreds of packages dumped in Alabama ravine
After hundreds of FedEx packages were dumped into a wooded ravine in northcentral Alabama, law enforcement and FedEx are continuing to investigate.      
usatoday.com
Adam Kinzinger Accuses McCarthy of 'Begging' Marjorie Taylor Greene to 'Stay in Power'
The Illinois Republican knocked the House GOP leader, writing in a sarcastic tweet: "Here is real strength."
newsweek.com
Tom Cruise practices insane stunt on the wing of an airplane
Photos show Cruise sitting in the plane's front seat, then appearing to crawl onto the wing to practice the terrifying stunt for a "Mission: Impossible" film.
nypost.com
Matt Amodio: My Biggest 'Jeopardy!' Regret is Losing Before Meeting Ken Jennings
I'm eager to have the opportunity to play Jonathan Fisher again. Firstly, because it will be great television, but also, because I want to beat him. I have visualised beating Jonathan in multiple ways; that includes some replay of the game I lost and some future play in Tournament of Champions.
newsweek.com
Omicron COVID variant may already be in America, Dr. Fauci says
The US will restrict travel from South Africa and seven other nearby countries beginning next week, as fears grow over the new variant.
nypost.com
UK PM announces 'targeted' measures to combat Covid variant
edition.cnn.com
Watch ‘Candy Queen’ Jackie Sorkin Build A Life-Sized Candy Home In Hulu’s ‘Candified: Home for the Holidays’ Trailer
“Hundreds of thousands of pieces of candy" will be used in the show premiering December 1.
nypost.com
Bestselling Black Friday items 2021, according to New York Post readers
Shop like a real New Yorker this Black Friday and Cyber Monday with these bestselling items according to Post readers. 
nypost.com
Lifetime's 'Miracle in Motor City' is a love letter to Detroit and Smokey Robinson
"Miracle in Motor City" stars Tia Mowery-Hardrict and Smokey Robinson in a love letter to Detroit music legends.       
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usatoday.com
Omicron variant disrupts sporting events in Africa
The omicron variant is already having an effect on the sports world about 21 months after games and events were put on pause when the coronavirus pandemic first exploded.
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foxnews.com
Suspect charged in connection with NYPD-involved shootings
The suspect who allegedly opened fire at a pair of cops in the Bronx on Thanksgiving Eve was charged on Saturday, police said.
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nypost.com
Black Friday Discounts Fade as Demand and Inflation Power Ahead
“The chaos of past Black Fridays would actually be problematic given the inventory scarcity"
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time.com
It’s time Robert Saleh’s attempt to limit Jets’ penalties produces results
There were a number of teachable moments the Jets coaching staff drew from the Thanksgiving Day games.
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nypost.com
20-30 Thieves Ransack Minnesota Best Buy Store on Black Friday as Mass Robberies Spread
The incident comes after Best Buy said this week that organized theft has been impacting its bottom line.
1 h
newsweek.com
We Know Almost Nothing About the Omicron Variant
As fall dips into winter in the Northern Hemisphere, the coronavirus has served up the holiday gift that no one, absolutely no one, asked for: a new variant of concern, dubbed Omicron by the World Health Organization on Friday.Omicron, also known as B.1.1.529, was first detected in Botswana and South Africa earlier this month, and very little is known about it so far. But the variant is moving fast. South Africa, the country that initially flagged Omicron to WHO this week, has experienced a surge of new cases—some reportedly in people who were previously infected or vaccinated—and the virus has already spilled across international borders into places such as Hong Kong, Belgium, Israel, and the United Kingdom. Several nations are now selectively shutting down travel to impede further spread. For instance, on Monday, the United States will start restricting travel from Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, and Malawi.It’s a lot of news to process, and it comes without a lot of baseline knowledge about the virus itself. Scientists around the world are still scrambling to gather intel on three essential metrics: how quickly the variant spreads; if it’s capable of causing more serious disease; and whether it might be able to circumvent the immune protection left behind by past SARS-CoV-2 infections or COVID-19 vaccines, or evade immune-focused treatments such as monoclonal antibodies. All are risks because of the sheer number of mutations Omicron appears to have picked up: More than 30 of them are in SARS-CoV-2’s spike protein, the multi-tool the virus uses to crack its way into human cells—and the snippet of the pathogen that’s the central focus of nearly all of the world’s COVID-19 vaccines. Alterations like these have been spotted in other troublesome variants, including Alpha and Delta, both of which used their super-speedster properties to blaze across the globe. (Omicron is only a distant cousin of both, not a direct descendant.) If—if—Omicron moves even faster than its predecessors, we could be in for another serious pandemic gut punch.Read: The coronavirus could get worseBut it’s way too early to know if that’ll be the case. What’s known so far absolutely warrants attention—not panic. Viruses mutate; they always do. Not all variants of concern turn out to be, well, all that concerning; many end up being mere blips in the pandemic timeline. As Omicron knocks up against its viral competitors, it may struggle to gain a toehold; it could yet be quelled through a combination of vaccines and infection-prevention measures such as masks and distancing. Vaccine makers have already announced plans to test their shots’ effectiveness against the new variant—with data to emerge in the coming weeks—and explore new dosing strategies that might help tamp down its spread. Omicron might be set up for some success, but a lot of its future also depends on us.To help put Omicron in perspective, I caught up with Boghuma Kabisen Titanji, an infectious-disease physician, virologist, and global-health expert at Emory University. Our conversation has been lightly edited for clarity and length.Katherine J. Wu: Why don’t we yet know for sure how worried we need to be about Omicron?Boghuma Kabisen Titanji: What we do know about the variant is this: Some of its spike-protein mutations have been seen in other variants and other lineages described earlier on in the pandemic, and have been associated with increased transmissibility and the ability of the virus to evade the immune response. What we don’t know, and what is really hard to predict, is what the combination of mutations will do together. This particular variant now appears to be outcompeting other circulating variants in South Africa—there have been these clusters of cases. That is actually what led to this variant being identified in the surveillance systems that they have in place there. That raises the concern that the variant is more transmissible or may be escaping the effects of the immune response induced by vaccines or infection from earlier strains. But we really don’t know that for sure yet.[Read: Coronavirus variants have nowhere to hide]The disconnect is this: The surveillance systems have worked exactly in the way they are designed to. It makes us know what to look out for. However, when these systems pick up a signal, we don’t immediately get the epidemiologic data we need to know all of the impacts a new variant can have. That takes time. Right now, we have a limited number of [viral genomic] sequences, and a limited number of cases. Now the alert is out. People will start looking for this new variant, not only in the countries that initially reported on this, but now worldwide. There’s now a search to make sure this variant is well-characterized. That’s when we will gain a better understanding of whether it’s causing more severe disease, how much it is escaping immunity, and how transmissible it is.It’s important to keep in mind that other variants of concern have emerged before, including immune-evasive variants like Beta, which was first identified in South Africa, but eventually petered out.Wu: Could we have seen the arrival of Omicron coming?Titanji: Viruses are going to evolve regardless of what we do. There are things we can do to slow that down: barrier measures [such as masking], vaccinating. And there are things that we can do that can maybe speed up or aid the evolution of the virus. One is if we’re not doing what we need to do to prevent spread of the virus within the population. Every time a virus spreads, it gets another opportunity to infect a new host, and it gets another opportunity to evolve and change and adapt.All of this means that it is worth having a conversation about whether the slow rollout of vaccines globally has had an impact. In certain parts of the world, not enough people have been given a measure of protection to allow them to be able to withstand infection, and to slow down transmission of the virus. Are we actually giving the virus an opportunity to spread unrestricted in certain places and drive its evolutionary trend? It’s basically exposing ourselves to the emergence of more variants. So this was predictable. If the virus has the opportunity to spread unchecked in the population, then we’re giving it multiple ways in which to evolve and adapt.If we had ensured that everyone had equal access to vaccination and really pushed the agenda on getting global vaccination to a high level, then maybe we could have possibly delayed the emergence of new variants, such as the ones that we’re witnessing.Wu: We’re still dealing with Delta, a previous variant of concern. Where do we go from here?Titanji: A good place to start is reminding people that we are definitely not where we were two years ago, when SARS-CoV-2 emerged. We now have a better understanding of how the virus is transmitted from person to person. We have antivirals that are coming down the pike. We have a better understanding of how to manage and treat cases of people who do get infected. We have vaccines and incredible mRNA technology that allows us to adapt quickly to a changing virus, and we will have second-generation vaccines. It’s definitely not back to square one.[Read: Timing is everything for Merck’s COVID pill]Secondly, this does not mean that the vaccines that people have are now completely useless—the doses they have received are not null and void. We have not yet seen a variant of concern emerge that has been able to completely escape the effect of vaccines. The immunity from the vaccines may be less protective, which may translate into more post-vaccine infections from a new variant, if it takes off. But that is yet to be determined.We also know that a booster dose really does boost the antibody response. A new variant could dent the [protection offered by the immune system], but that usually happens in degrees. There is still going to be immune responsiveness from previous immunizations, and infections from ancestral versions of the virus. It may simply mean that you need more of those antibodies to be able to neutralize that new variant of concern. We also have T cells, which play a role, and may not be as impacted by the variant.[Read: The body is far from helpless against coronavirus variants]This variant could not have chosen a worse time to emerge. We’re in flu season. This is a time when respiratory viruses tend to spread quite efficiently. And we are in the holiday season, and there's a lot of traveling, and a lot of people getting together with family. But it’s certainly not the time for people to let their guard down, or relax on nonpharmaceutical interventions. People have to be mindful of wearing their mask when they’re out in public, or in crowded areas with people whose vaccination status they may not know. People have to be mindful of getting tested when they feel unwell, and isolating appropriately and doing all of those things that we have learned how to do over the course of the last two years, and that we know are effective in mitigating the spread of virus. The same measures will still work while we figure out just what this new variant means for us. Get your boosters. We’ll figure it out.Wu: Several countries instituted travel bans this week, many of them primarily focused on African countries, where surveillance systems detected Omicron not long ago. How big of an impact might that make?Titanji: Historically, there is a lot of evidence that by the time a travel ban is instituted, the virus has already gone … and potentially well beyond the borders of the countries that [the ban is] restricting travel from. Instituting travel bans as a knee-jerk reaction can send the wrong message to countries that are contributing to the global effort of virus surveillance. We could end up disincentivizing countries from reporting because they fear retaliation. There are other measures that could be taken to ensure that travel is safe. For example, to get an international flight, you have to be fully vaccinated as a requirement for most countries, or show proof of negative tests.We will be better served if we put the emphasis on the countries that have seen the highest number of cases of this new emerging variant: providing them with the resources to actually contain the variant, and making sure that they have the resources for testing, for isolating cases, for doing the science that we need to better understand Omicron.Wu: Some countries are already deep into their rollout of booster shots, and have, in recent months, lifted many restrictions; others are still barely making a dent in administering first doses. Regardless of where we go with Omicron, what does this say about our approach to COVID-19 as a global society?Titanji: What this reiterates is that the world is so interconnected. We are in a global pandemic, and we cannot address this fully if we only have regional solutions. The solutions really have to be with a global mindset. And that global mindset means that the resources we have—vaccination, testing, access to therapeutics, and also the support to carry out appropriate surveillance—need to be equally accessible and equitably distributed in all parts of the world.[Read: The fundamental question of the pandemic is shifting]We can’t leave people behind. The virus will catch up with us regardless of where you are, regardless of what country you’re located in. You may be fully vaccinated, you may have had your booster, but you’re not that disconnected from the person who lives in a country where only 2 percent of the population is vaccinated, and who doesn’t have access to any of the treatments. We need to have less of an inward-looking focus. Because otherwise we’re just going to prolong how long we stay in this pandemic.
1 h
theatlantic.com
Lebron James Fined $15,000 for Obscene Gesture
NEW YORK— LeBron James was fined $15,000 for an obscene gesture Friday by the NBA, which also warned the Lakers superstar about using profane language. James made the gesture after making a shot late in Los Angeles’ 124-116 overtime victory in Indiana on Wednesday night. He had missed a loss at New York a night…
1 h
time.com
Galaxy GM Dennis te Kloese leaving for Netherlands club
The Galaxy have lost another general manager after Dennis te Kloese left to return to the Netherlands as CEO at Feyenoord of the Dutch Eredivisie.
1 h
latimes.com
What Time Is ‘Nash Bridges: The Movie’ On? How To Watch The Reboot Of ‘Nash Bridges’
The boys are back!
1 h
nypost.com
Ghislaine Maxwell trial set to open in New York, two years after Jeffrey Epstein’s jailhouse suicide
Maxwell, a longtime companion to Epstein, allegedly helped recruit and groom his young sex abuse victims.
1 h
washingtonpost.com
Tulsa vs. SMU prediction: Golden Hurricane will cover
Tulsa, a 6.5-point underdog, will cover against rival SMU, VSiN's Adam Burke predicts.
1 h
nypost.com
Looters rampage through suburban Minneapolis Best Buy
A mob of 20 to 30 suspected looters converged on a Minnesota mall, rampaging through a Best Buy electronics store -- the latest in a rash of "flash mob" type thefts.
1 h
nypost.com
How did Omicron get its name?
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nytimes.com
Peru has the world's highest COVID death rate. Here's why
An isolated city on the Amazon illustrates why Peru has the highest COVID death rate in the world. One infectious disease expert called the country's awful record the result of a "perfect storm."
2 h
npr.org