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NLCS Game 1 takeaways: Chris Taylor's mistake, Dodgers' missed scoring chances and more

Chris Taylor's mistake and struggles in crunch time at the plate are among the top four takeaways from the Dodgers' Game 1 NLCS loss to the Braves.

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Chris Cuomo claims CNN boss Jeff Zucker knew about involvement in gov scandal
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Ghislaine Maxwell trial: Live updates from Day 6
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First heavy snow forecast of the season is here: What to expect
A snowstorm moving across the Northern Plains into the Great Lakes is bringing the first heavy snow of the season.
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Pope Francis warns young people not to be tempted by consumerist sirens
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Who the pandemic’s next phase will hurt the most
Pedestrians walk past a Covid-19 pop-up testing site in New York City in October. Many health experts and epidemiologists believe that the city, and much of the world, will be living with Covid-19 long into the future. | Spencer Platt/Getty Images The US health system’s racial inequities will still be felt after Covid-19 becomes endemic. Most public health experts believe Covid-19 will never be eradicated. But the risks have become more tolerable: Six in 10 Americans are now fully vaccinated, and new antivirals are coming that reduce the chances of a person ending up in the hospital because of the virus. The next stage of the pandemic is still taking shape. It’s too soon to say whether the omicron variant that has caused so much recent concern will drive a new wave of infections around the world. But, whether or not omicron becomes dominant, some Americans will be more at risk from Covid than others going forward. And in any version of endemic Covid — where, for many, Covid-19 can be akin to the flu, undesirable but manageable — some people, especially the elderly and immunocompromised, will face a higher risk by default. The lifesaving promise offered by vaccinations and effective treatments can only be realized if people actually have access to them — and only if they are treated fairly and equitably when they do see a doctor. Unfortunately, Americans do not have equitable access to medical care. Across 25 different measures of health status, including life expectancy, infant mortality and prevalence of chronic illnesses, Black Americans fare worse than white Americans on 19 of them, according to a May 2021 Kaiser Family Foundation report. American Indians and Alaskan Natives fare worse on 17; Hispanic Americans see poorer outcomes on 14 of the metrics. The experience of the past two years has only served to underline how fundamentally unfair the US health system is. Vaccination is still the most effective way to protect everyone against Covid-19, and the vaccines are free, regardless of insurance, immigration status. But, after months of public health campaigning, 30 percent of the US is still unvaccinated. Vaccination rates among Black adults (65 percent) are slightly lower than among white adults (70 percent); Hispanic adults (61 percent) have an even bigger gap. People who are uninsured, who are also disproportionately Black and Hispanic, are the least likely to be vaccinated. All of these trends reflect existing inequities in the US health system, where historically underserved groups have less access to health care. In addition to the major determinants of age, health, and vaccination status, at least three other factors will determine how much risk Americans face from Covid-19. Risk factor No. 1: Insurance coverage The first risk factor is lack of insurance coverage, which is already the variable that appears most strongly correlated with whether someone received the vaccine. About 10 percent of people living in America, 27 million people, do not have health insurance — the most fundamental inequity in the US health system. The Covid-19 vaccines are a prime example of how powerful insurance status is in determining whether or not a person receives necessary medical care. Only about 44 percent of uninsured Americans under 65 have received at least one dose of the vaccine, compared to 65 percent of the insured under 65. Of all the subcategories polled in July by the Kaiser Family Foundation for its Covid-19 vaccine monitor — from race to age group to political party — the uninsured had the lowest vaccination rate, even though the Covid-19 vaccines are actually free to everybody regardless of insurance. Kaiser Family Foundation That puts the uninsured at a higher risk out of the gate, given how much vaccination reduces the risk of developing a serious case of Covid-19 or getting infected in the first place. If a person does get infected, timely treatment is the best way to head off severe symptoms. The new Covid-19 antivirals from Merck (which reduces the risk of hospitalization by about 30 percent, according to the latest data) and Pfizer (which reduced hospitalization rates by as much as 90 percent in clinical trials) are most effective when people have mild or moderate symptoms. But uninsured Americans delay seeking care because of the perceived costs of doing so. More than 30 percent of uninsured Americans said in a 2019 KFF survey that they’d either delayed care or went without it because of the cost, versus less than 10 percent of people with insurance. Even small out-of-pocket costs, as little as $10, have been shown to prevent people from taking medication as prescribed. And the slow uptake of the Covid-19 vaccines suggests that, even when care is free, the presumption that it will still be costly to somebody who is uninsured can keep those people away from the doctor or pharmacy. Risk factor No. 2: Access to medical care The second risk factor is a person’s ability to access health care; the new antivirals appear most effective at earlier stages of the disease, which means patients need to be able to be seen by a doctor in a timely manner in order to head off more severe symptoms. Geography and socioeconomic characteristics are linked with whether people can actually find a doctor. Roughly 80 percent of rural America was considered to be medically underserved in a 2019 government analysis. People who live in urban centers also receive worse quality of care than people who live on the fringes of metro areas (i.e., suburbs), per a federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality report. Low-income Americans are less likely to have ready access to a primary care doctor than their wealthier peers. The number of Americans with an established primary care doctor has been declining in recent years. At the same time, studies have found that people who do not have that kind of relationship with a physician develop more serious symptoms before they do seek care, which tends to lead to worse health outcomes. Their health problems are also more likely to persist if they don’t have a primary care doctor to follow up with after an acute emergency. We have seen the importance of these established patient-physician relationships in the vaccination drive as well. Unvaccinated Americans have said in surveys that they are most likely to be persuaded by their personal doctor. Risk factor No. 3: Equitable treatment But having an insurance card and physically walking into a doctor’s office are only the first two steps to receiving effective treatment. Once there, a patient needs to be treated fairly by their doctor — the third risk, if they don’t receive that equitable treatment. And, unfortunately, there is a growing body of evidence that, separate from insurance status and other variables, Black and Hispanic patients in America do not receive the same quality of care as their white counterparts. Health care providers are less likely to view their symptoms as serious and less likely to prescribe necessary medications to treat their illness. Already, Black and Hispanic Americans have experienced higher rates of death and hospitalization during the pandemic than their white peers. “Given that people of color are less likely to have health coverage, are more likely to face barriers to accessing care, and receive poorer quality of care, they are likely to face disparities in obtaining care and treatment for Covid-19,” Samantha Artiga, director of the Racial Equity and Health Policy Program at the Kaiser Family Foundation, told me. There is a racial component to the first two risk factors. Black and Hispanic Americans are more likely to be uninsured than white Americans. They are also less likely to have reliable access to medical care. But race alone can determine whether or not an American receives appropriate medical care. Black and Hispanic Americans are more likely to say they’ve had negative experiences with a health care provider than white people, with higher shares reporting that their doctor did not believe them or that they were refused a test or treatment they thought they needed. “Race is a factor, and I would say that it’s distinct from other barriers because it erodes care quality for patients of color directly and indirectly,” Kumi Smith, a University of Minnesota epidemiologist, told me. “Directly through implicit or explicit racial biases held by providers, indirectly through the racially disparate ways that societal resources and benefits are distributed across society. So in a way, patients of color, especially Black patients, suffer the consequences of racism twice over.” According to multiple studies that have tried to look at the problem empirically, the discrimination that people of color describe in those surveys is real. Studies have shown that Black people are less likely than white people to be prescribed pain medications and are subjected to longer wait times in the emergency department. New research looked at prescriptions for heart medications — the kind of routine care for serious but treatable illness that we hope Covid-19 antivirals will become — and once again found the same racial disparities, even when controlling for other factors such as insurance status. The study, led by Utibe Essien at the University of Pittsburgh, examined patients with atrial fibrillation who were treated at the local Veterans Affairs hospital system. It found that Black and Hispanic patients were less likely to start taking medication for their condition. These patients were being treated at an integrated hospital system (eliminating the access issue) and the researchers focused on a subgroup of patients who enrolled in Medicare Part D to cover the cost of their care (eliminating the problem of uninsurance). Yet disparities persisted in the treatment received by Black and Hispanic patients. Essien has written on this issue of “pharmacoequity,” which attempts to capture the full extent of the disadvantages that people of color face in receiving necessary medical care. “Race is not just foundational to the challenges of underinsurance and access but access to treatments, from monoclonal antibodies to antiviral therapies,” he told me. These inequities have been with us for a long time. They will continue to be with us in the future. And so long as Covid-19 continues to circulate, many Americans of color will face a higher risk from the virus as a result.
Ousted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi sentenced to 4 years in prison
Myanmar's ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi was sentenced to four years imprisonment on charges of inciting dissent and breaking COVID-19 rules.
Biden, who campaigned on empathy, doesn't visit scenes of national tragedies
President Biden campaigned on empathy and restoring "the soul of America," but he has yet to visit the sites of tragedies such as the car-ramming in Waukesha, Wisconsin, the school shooting in Michigan, the Astroworld trampling in Texas, or the King Soopers shooting in Boulder, Colorado.
This Supreme Court Case Could Take a ‘Wrecking Ball’ to Separation of Church and State
Amy and David Carson were high school sweethearts. They met at Bangor Christian Schools, a private religious K-12 school in Bangor, Maine, when they were in their early teens. Their siblings attended the school. Family members have taught there. “It’s quite an extended family community,” Amy Carson, 45, tells TIME. Which was in part why…
San Francisco Restaurant Apologizes for Asking 3 Police Officers to Leave
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My boyfriend refuses to divorce his ex unless I pay for it. Is this relationship worth saving?
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Washington’s defense continues its transition from liability to strength
After a 'special' performance in a win over the Raiders, Washington's defense is living up to its potential.
Washington’s defense continues its transition from liability to strength
After a 'special' performance in a win over the Raiders, Washington's defense is living up to its potential.
Geraldo Rivera on Christmas: 'It can't get any more American than' this
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Biden's border crisis – only relief comes from court system trying to keep admin in line
President Biden has created a border crisis of record-breaking proportions. If our court system didn’t keep him somewhat in line, there would be no relief in sight.
As written, Build Back Better could support — or devastate — child care for disadvantaged working parents
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In Mexico, speaking truth to power can get you investigated
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What a former CDC director says about Omicron
Former acting CDC Director Dr. Richard Besser, pediatrician and president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, weighs in on the latest COVID-19 variant.
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How Washington Ballet dancer Alexa Torres would spend a perfect day in D.C.
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The Pandemic of Mistrust
In the public-health world, the rise of Omicron prompted a great, big “I told you so.” Since the new variant was detected in South Africa, advocacy groups, the WHO, and global-health experts have said the new variant was a predictable consequence of vaccine inequity. Rich countries are hoarding vaccine doses, they said, leaving much of the developing world under-vaccinated. But in reality, countries with low vaccination rates are suffering from more than just inequity.South Africa, the country where the variant was first reported, did receive vaccines far too late, partly because wealthy countries did not donate enough doses and pharmaceutical companies refused to share their technology. At one point, South Africa had to export doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine that it had manufactured in-country in order to comply with a contract it had signed with the company. The COVID-19 vaccines must be kept cold, and because not everywhere in South Africa has reliable roads and refrigeration, the country has struggled to store and transport vaccine doses to far-flung areas.Today, though, South Africa has about 150 days’ worth of vaccine supply. It’s now facing the same problem that’s bedeviling countries the world over: Lots of people don’t want to get their shots. South Africa recently paused deliveries of the J&J and Pfizer vaccines because it has more stock than it can use. “We have plenty [of] vaccine and capacity but hesitancy is a challenge,” Nicholas Crisp, the deputy director-general of the country’s health department, told Bloomberg recently.The South African experience is an example of how anti-vaccine sentiment has become a global phenomenon at precisely the worst time. Nearly a quarter of Russians, 18 percent of Americans, and about 10 percent of Germans, Canadians, and French are “unwilling” to get vaccinated, according to a November Morning Consult poll of 15 countries. South Africa wasn’t part of the Morning Consult sample, but a study from this past summer found that it had a high level of vaccine hesitancy when compared globally. It falls roughly in the middle of African countries in terms of vaccine hesitancy: About a third of South Africans have been vaccinated, a higher percentage than most other African countries, but 22 percent of South Africans weren’t willing to accept a COVID-19 vaccine, according to a study from this past spring, compared with just 4 percent of people in Ethiopia and 38 percent of people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Malawi and South Sudan recently destroyed thousands of vaccine doses because the countries weren’t going to be able to administer them before they expired.The U.S. should not blame South Africa—or any other nation—for vaccine hesitancy, or stop sending vaccines to places that need them. Vaccine access is crucial. But vaccine hesitancy is an urgent problem, and a global one. New variants can emerge wherever populations remain unvaccinated. (Indeed, it’s possible that Omicron emerged elsewhere and was merely detected in South Africa, which has an advanced genomic-sequencing operation.) “If we had had everybody immunized in the world who is over the age of 18 with at least one dose of COVID vaccine, Omicron might not have happened,” Noni MacDonald, a vaccinologist at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, told me. Some surveys suggest that vaccine hesitancy is actually higher in rich countries than in poor ones, so the virus is just as likely to evolve into some dreadful new form in an unvaccinated American’s body as in a Congolese or Russian person’s.[Read: Inside the Mind of an Anti-vaxxer]If policy makers want to limit the damage that Omicron and future variants do, they’ll have to better understand why people reject vaccines. Something as complex as vaccine hesitancy is bound to have many causes, but research suggests that one fundamental instinct drives it: A lack of trust. Getting people to overcome their hesitancy will require restoring their trust in science, their leaders, and, quite possibly, one another. The crisis of vaccine hesitancy and the crisis of cratering trust in institutions are one and the same.The world over, people feel lied to, unheard, and pushed aside. They no longer have any faith in their leaders. They’re lashing out against their governments and health officials, in some cases by rejecting the COVID-19 vaccine.Populism, a political expression of this mistrust, is correlated with vaccine hesitancy. In a 2019 study, Jonathan Kennedy, a sociologist at Queen Mary University of London, found a significant association between the percentage of people who voted for populist parties within a country and the percent who believe vaccines are not important or effective. Past research has similarly found that populists around the world are more likely to believe in conspiracy theories about issues such as vaccination and global warming. “Vaccine hesitancy and political populism are driven by similar dynamics: a profound distrust in elites and experts,” Kennedy writes. In politics, populism manifests as supporting parties and figures outside the mainstream, like Donald Trump or UKIP. But populism can be expressed differently in other spheres. “In public health, there’s this growing distrust and anger towards doctors, also towards pharmaceutical companies. Medical populism is skepticism that's uninformed,” Kennedy told me.Medical literature reveals a strong connection between vaccine hesitancy and distrust of pharmaceutical companies, government officials, and health-care workers, even among health-care workers themselves. Studies and polls from various countries over the past two years show that people who are reluctant to get a COVID-19 vaccine are more likely to vote for politically extreme parties and to distrust the government, and to cite their distrust as a reason for not getting the shot. In a recent German poll, half of the unvaccinated respondents had voted for the far-right populist party, Alternative für Deutschland, in the recent election. Anti-vaccine sentiments are also most common in the populist areas of Austria, France, and Italy.In South Africa, vaccine hesitancy is higher among white South Africans than among Blacks, though whites are more likely to have been vaccinated, possibly because of better access, an August survey found. Some white South Africans mistrust the country’s government, which is led by politicians from the Black majority. South Africans circulate American anti-vaccine material on WhatsApp and Facebook, including videos by Tucker Carlson and memes about Tony Fauci, says Eve Fairbanks, a Johannesburg-based journalist at work on The Inheritors, a book about South Africa. A group representing the Afrikaans-speaking white minority, AfriForum, recently came out against vaccine mandates. “I feel like there’s a little bit of a posturing and a sort of feeling of being marginalized among white South Africans,” Fairbanks said. “One of the biggest losses that white South Africans suffered after the end of racial segregation was not material, but it was status.” Among Black South Africans, skepticism toward doctors might arise from the fact that pro-apartheid arguments were often rooted in wrong, but supposedly “scientific,” beliefs about differences between races.Though many factors contributed to the erosion of trust in government and science, Kennedy highlighted one in particular: As the postwar narrative of optimism and progress failed to pan out for some people, they became suspicious and angry. “There’s large amounts of the population that haven’t benefited economically from globalization,” he said. “There’s lots of people who feel increasingly disenfranchised by politics, they feel like mainstream politicians are aloof and aren’t interested in them.” Populism and anti-vax sentiment, then, “seems to be a kind of rejection of this narrative of civilizational progress ... It’s kind of like a scream of helplessness.”Perhaps no country better exemplifies the role of trust in vaccine uptake than Russia, one of the most vaccine-hesitant countries on Earth. Despite the fact that its vaccine, Sputnik V, was one of the first developed, only 40 percent of Russians have been vaccinated. Russian anti-vaxxers are numerous and include opposition activists, Communists, and some Orthodox figures.Russia, and Eastern Europe in general, has an extremely low level of trust in institutions: One in three Eastern Europeans doesn’t trust the health-care system, compared to one in five residents of the European Union on average. Romania and Bulgaria have also vaccinated only small fractions of their populations, despite an abundance of vaccines, in part because trust in health care is much lower in these formerly communist countries. “One of the legacies of the Soviet health-care system is the high level of bureaucracy,” says Elizabeth King, a professor of health behavior at the University of Michigan who has studied Russia. “The multilevels of bureaucracy also work to erode trust in the medical-care system, including vaccination efforts.”Russia also spreads vaccine hesitancy beyond its borders with the help of government-funded news sites and trolls. Russian state news agencies have “gleefully amplified every complication and casualty from vaccines produced by BioNTech-Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca and gloated over every development hiccup. Meanwhile, the Russian foreign broadcaster RT has been feeding Western audiences anti-vaxxer conspiracy theories, comparing lockdowns and other restrictions to the Nazi occupation and apartheid,” the Russian journalist Alexey Kovalev wrote in Foreign Policy. Russian trolls have, for years, posted anti-vaccine content to social media, hoping to sow division in the U.S. During the pandemic, Russia Today’s German-language channels have promoted skeptical views of vaccines, masks, and lockdowns. At one point, the Russian government used fake news sites to undermine trust in the Pfizer vaccine, The Wall Street Journal reported.[Read: Vaccinated America Has Had Enough]Russia-specific factors contribute to this distrust in vaccines: Russia has a tradition of folk medicine, perhaps allowing skeptical Russians to believe that there are alternatives to vaccination. Sputnik V was released quickly and with little public data, making it hard to trust, and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government has issued conflicting and confusing statements about the true scope of the pandemic. After centuries of government mistreatment, fatalism pervades Russia, and some Russians have come to the conclusion that it doesn’t matter whether they get COVID or not. Judy Twigg, a global-health professor at Virginia Commonwealth University who focuses on Russia, told me she hears arguments from Russians like, “This is just another in a long series of ongoing catastrophes affecting our country,” or “What’s going to happen is going to happen, and everything is always terrible.” More and more, people outside Russia seem to feel the same way about their own countries.Restoring trust in institutions will be hard. The simplest step governments can take immediately is making it easier to get the vaccine and to learn about it. Developing countries haven’t, for the most part, had the money to invest in flashy pro-vaccine ad campaigns. “How easy I make it for you to get information about the vaccines that’s of good quality, and how easy I make it for you to be able to access that vaccine, makes a huge difference on vaccine acceptance,” MacDonald said.Though some low-income countries might have adequate doses right now, being forced to wait for doses while the rest of the world swam in them might have increased vaccine skepticism. “If you can’t have what you should have, sometimes you rationalize it by saying you don’t need it,” says Saad Omer, director of the Yale Institute for Global Health.But mostly, restoring trust in medicine and vaccines comes down to the extremely boring and extremely necessary task of properly funding public health, even when there’s not a pandemic raging. African countries have struggled to vaccinate willing people with the doses they have, because clinics are few and the health workforce is strapped. Sometimes even political populism can be overcome if the public-health system is strong: Brazil, where trust in the public-health Sistema Único de Saúde is high, has an excellent immunization track record despite having a populist leader. Brazilians trust the SUS with their lives, so they trust it for their shots.
Forth Worth School Board Racial Equity Committee co-chair owns up to attacks on parents
A member of the Fort Worth, Texas, school board's Racial Equity Committee has defended her actions releasing the personal information of parents online and leaving a profanity-laced voicemail attacking a mother who sued the school district over a COVID-19 mask mandate. The committee also held a news conference standing by the woman, while the targeted parents called for her removal.
Makayla Noble Update As Paralyzed Cheerleader's Hand Nerve Pain Worsens
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On This Day: 6 December 1999
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Sheriff’s office slammed for post of Santa getting concealed handgun permit: ‘What is your message to children?’
The El Paso County Sheriff's Office in Colorado apologized after tweeting an image of Santa getting a concealed handgun permit, just days after four students were killed in school shooting in Michigan.
Sheriff’s office slammed for post of Santa getting concealed handgun permit: ‘What is your message to children?’
The El Paso County Sheriff's Office in Colorado apologized after tweeting an image of Santa getting a concealed handgun permit, just days after four students were killed in school shooting in Michigan.
Meet the Mosotho mountaineer putting her village on the climbing map
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5 things to know for December 6: School shooting, pandemic, Congress, China, Russia
Here's what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.
ShowBiz Minute: Kennedy Center, Bieber, BTS
Kennedy Center Honors and its traditions are back once more; Justin Bieber performs at Saudi F1 race after boycott calls; BTS will take an "extended period of rest" after U.S. concerts. (Dec. 6)
Omicron live updates: 17 people test positive for COVID on cruise ship in New Orleans
As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept the globe, more than 5.2 million people have died from the disease worldwide, including over 788,000 Americans.
Conch shell DNA leads to charge against pallbearer at victim's funeral
Investigators determined that injuries to the victim's face had been caused by the spiny exterior of the conch shell, and testing of the interior revealed a full DNA profile.
Water Gushes From Tree Being Cut Down in Viral Video Viewed Over 13M Times
Michael Adams, who posted the video, said the water had been pouring out for a minute before he started filming.
Kamala Harris Aide Says He 'Absolutely' Loves Job Amid Staff Exodus
"I work for Vice President Harris on behalf of the American people as Deputy Director for Operations and absolutely love my job," David Gins tweeted.
These peak performers reached the top -- now they're helping others scale to new heights
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Jordan Spieth and Henrik Stenson get two-shot penalties after tee shots from wrong hole
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Democrats eye massive shift in war on wildfires: Prevention
Democrats' social spending bill includes largest-ever investment in forests, including major wildfire prevention funding.
Americans Deserve Clarity, Not Ambiguity, on China and Taiwan | Opinion
If our leaders are to commit blood and treasure in Taiwan, we must know why it should matter to America.