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Russia suspending mission to NATO in response to staff expulsions

Russia will suspend its permanent mission to NATO in response to the alliance's expulsion of eight Russians, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Monday.
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NYC Mayor-elect Eric Adams traveling to Africa to pray
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Marathon runner dying of cancer meets Pink
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Dunkin' coffee cup led to rape suspect's arrest
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Olympians help next generation of biathletes
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Police officers, firefighters face off to fundraise
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Gaylord Opryland restricts weekend access
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Program aims to diversify STEM workforce
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Barber gets own space inside NFL practice facility
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North Carolina burn ban goes into effect
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Man turns himself in after fatal shooting
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Omicron variant in the Netherlands a week earlier than previously known
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Christian McCaffrey and the plight of the modern NFL running back
One of the NFL's most thrilling players will miss the rest of the season because of an ankle injury, the latest reminder of why NFL teams are valuing even the best at the position less and less.
Why Rep. Omar says she hung up on Rep. Boebert
Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert and Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar spoke on the phone, the two members of Congress confirmed, amid criticism of Boebert's anti-Muslim remarks aimed at Omar.
Elizabeth Holmes accuses ex-boyfriend, Theranos partner of forced sex
Holmes said Sunny Balwani allegedly perpetuated a cycle of abuse in which he controlled all aspects of Holmes' life and the way she ran Theranos.
With Steve Cohen’s checkbook, the Mets change their perception and their reality
With Max Scherzer, the Mets are leaving behind the life of a have-not and enjoying it as one of MLB's haves.
Fox Cub Filmed Frolicking in the Snow in Adorable Video Viewed 4M Times
The fox appeared to be overcome with joy at seeing the snow—but a few eagle-eyed viewers had another theory.
A mom told her son to back out of a fraternity-run boxing match. He died days after ‘Fight Night.’
Nathan Valencia's mother urged him to back out of the fraternity-run "fight night" but he insisted on participating because it was for charity.
Vincent Kompany says football boardrooms are a 'hotbed of inequality' in new FIFPro anti-racism report
With "no clear indication" that recent measures implemented by governing bodies and social media companies have done anything to tackle racism in football, worldwide players' union FIFPro wants to help set up an independent research center to gather data on incidents of abuse.
Hackers wanted by the U.S. are profiting handsomely in Russia
One of the United States’s most wanted cyber criminals is living there in ease.
Trump takes attempt to block release of his January 6 documents to court Tuesday
Former President Donald Trump faces a major test in Washington on Tuesday, as he attempts to convince a federal appeals court he should be able to keep records from his presidency from the House select committee that's investigating the January 6 US Capitol riot.
Overturning Roe v Wade Could Lead to More Women Being Jailed for Miscarriages
Experts have warned of a wave of expansive prosecutions that could target women for their pregnancy outcomes if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
FTC surveys Amazon, Walmart and 7 others in supply chain probe
Companies like Kraft Heinz have 45 days to submit documents related to pricing and profit margins, the FTC says.
Omicron variant was in Europe before South Africa raised the alarm
Authorities in the Netherlands say testing has confirmed that COVID cases identified on November 19 and 23 were the new strain – days before researchers identified it.
A giant panda is big and black and white. Surprisingly, it can hide in plain sight.
The large mammal stands out at the zoo but may can blend in to native forests.
Walmart said she shoplifted; jury awards her $2.1 million
A woman who says she was falsely arrested for shoplifting has won millions.
Week 13 NFL power rankings: Packers return to No. 1 spot, Patriots top AFC field
No. 1 spot changes hands once again, though NFC retains control of elite positions. Meanwhile, New England has clawed to the top of the AFC mountain, checking in at No. 4.
NFL power rankings after Week 12
Here is how the 32 NFL teams stand after Week 12 of the 2021 season.
‘Troubled’ Mennonite boys were trafficked, forced into physical labor and abused at farm, lawsuit says
Two former residents claim the Eastern Pennsylvania Mennonite Church and Liberty Ridge Farm violated federal laws against human trafficking, racketeering and forced labor.
Brian Kelly apologizes to Notre Dame football team for not sharing news of departure in person
Brian Kelly apologized to the Notre Dame football team late Monday night for not sharing the news of his departure from the program in person.
Everything Tom Ford Has Said About 'House of Gucci'
Fashion designer and filmmaker Tom Ford has spoken out about his portrayal in "House of Gucci" and shared his opinion on the Hollywood film.
Bradley Cooper reveals he was held at knifepoint while picking up daughter at school
Bradley Cooper is opening up about a terrifying experience he endured while out and about in New York City a couple of years ago.
Chris Cuomo coordinated with brother's top aide, documents show
Chris Cuomo has previously acknowledged involvement in his brother's response to allegations, but the new documents shed light on his day-to-day communications with a top aide to the governor.
The 10 Most Watched Movies on Netflix in November 2021: From 'The Croods' to 'Red Notice'
November saw Netflix release some highly anticipated movies like "The Princess Switch 3" and "Army of Thieves." But which was the most viewed this month?
The Lasting Lesson of the Peng Shuai Scandal
Every now and then, China’s Communist insiders, in their frantic attempts to shield themselves against international criticism, inadvertently let slip what truly scares them. So it was recently in the tragic case of Peng Shuai, the Chinese tennis star who disappeared after accusing one of China’s most senior leaders of sexual assault. The scandal has embarrassed the Communist Party and posed a new threat to Beijing’s already beleaguered Olympic Winter Games.Hu Xijin, the outspoken editor of the Global Times, a Communist Party–run news outlet, tweeted that “as a person who is familiar with Chinese system, I don’t believe Peng Shuai has received retaliation and repression.” Later, in response to a Peng supporter, he added, “You should understand China, including understanding how the system you dislike has promoted the actual rights of the 1.4 billion Chinese.” And again: “Some Western forces are coercing Peng Shuai and an institution, forcing them to help demonize China’s system.”Hu doth protest too much. The unfolding saga is all about China’s political and social systems. Peng, whose true status and whereabouts remain unknown, has ripped the curtain away from the dark and nasty world of the Communist Party’s inner sanctum, exposing its inherent iniquities and abuses of power to an extent few other incidents in recent times have. Out have spilled the raw realities of a Chinese society in which women are victimized and have no voice; its rulers can act with impunity, and their highest priority is to protect themselves from scrutiny by either the international community or their own citizens. And yet, despite closing ranks around a more and more desperate (and amazingly amateurish) propaganda campaign, they have not been able to pull the curtain back over the mess.For the country’s president, Xi Jinping, and its other senior leaders, the scandal could not have erupted at a more sensitive moment. They have already been parrying calls to boycott the Winter Games, scheduled for February, in protest of the country’s abysmal human-rights record—calls given more weight and urgency by Peng’s ordeal. At the very least, the incident may taint a sports spectacle that the regime had hoped would showcase the wonders of a new rich and powerful China, much as the 2008 Games held in Beijing were a coming-out party for a rejuvenated nation. More broadly, the embarrassment undercuts Beijing’s widening global campaign to present its governance system as more just than chaotic American democracy, and thus a superior model for the rest of the world. It’s therefore a setback for China in its confrontation with the United States and quest to elevate the stature of authoritarian rule on the international stage.[Read: Xi Jinping’s terrifying new China]The Peng saga began with a social-media post. Early this month, Peng, a former world No. 1 player in doubles, alleged on Weibo, China’s censored version of Twitter, that the former vice premier Zhang Gaoli had sexually assaulted her. “That afternoon I didn’t agree, and I kept crying,” she wrote. Peng revealed some sordid details. The alleged attack took place at Zhang’s home, as someone guarded the door, according to Peng. She also described a consensual affair she’d had with Zhang—Peng wasn’t exact about the dates or timeline—with the full knowledge of Zhang’s wife, whom Peng calls “Auntie Kang.” “You played with me, and dumped me when you are done with me,” Peng wrote.The natural next step, especially in the #MeToo era, would be to launch an inquiry into Peng’s charges. But that’s not how the Communist Party responded. In the eyes of its top leaders, Peng had tarnished them, the party, and the nation. The rights of an individual—even one of the country’s most prominent sports stars—can never rank above the interests of the party, which to its leadership are equivalent to the interests of China. Moreover, taking her claims seriously might encourage more whistleblowers to reveal other skeletons in the Communist closet. The post vanished, and so did Peng.The global public noticed her disappearance, and a #WhereIsPengShuai movement began online. But the person who gave the effort real heft is an unlikely figure: Steve Simon, the chief executive officer of the Women’s Tennis Association. He demanded proof that Peng was safe and had freedom of action, and an investigation into her accusation. He also threatened to withdraw his business from the country. That step would potentially sacrifice some serious cash. In 2018, the WTA signed a deal to hold its prestigious Finals in China for 10 years. But Simon insists he would choose principle over profit.“If anyone wants to question our fortitude behind a statement like that, they can certainly try to,” Simon said in a televised interview. “We have to start, as a world, making decisions that are based upon right and wrong, period. And we can’t compromise that.” Peng’s case, he continued, is “bigger than the business.”China’s leaders, incapable of conceding to foreign pressure, refused to cooperate and instead launched a propaganda campaign through state-controlled media outlets to try to convince the world that Peng was safe and sound. Ineptly conceived, it failed miserably. An email purportedly written by Peng, and released by a Chinese television network, asserted her well-being and retracted her allegation against Zhang in language too stilted to be credible. The Global Times’ Hu passed around videos supposedly showing Peng at a Beijing restaurant, one of which featured dinner companions who were unusually fixated on the date—Peng might as well have been holding up a newspaper. The only people fooled seemed to be the officials of the International Olympic Committee, who, probably desperate to rescue the Winter Games, participated in the charade by holding a video call with Peng—and then endured an avalanche of international criticism. Somehow, though, Peng has never found the time to speak with Steve Simon, who hasn’t bought any of it. A growing list of prominent supporters, including the Biden administration and Serena Williams, have expressed their concern for Peng.Unfortunately, her ordeal tells us quite a bit about Chinese society today. Sexual violence and harassment are not taken seriously enough; many victims find their plight ignored, or worse. In one high-profile example, a Beijing court recently rejected a case brought by Zhou Xiaoxuan against a famous television anchor, whom she accused of sexually assaulting her in a dressing room. The journalist Sophia Huang Xueqin, a well-known #MeToo activist who has helped women report cases of sexual abuse, is being charged by Chinese authorities with subversion. Earlier this year, a female employee of the e-commerce giant Alibaba posted an account on the company’s internal website of an alleged sexual assault by a manager during a business trip, adding that she had reported the incident to company officials but no action was taken. Alibaba eventually sacked the accused manager, as well as 10 employees who had leaked the account to the public. Prosecutors dropped the case against the manager.The Peng story also shows that China’s leadership will tolerate no challenge to its authority, no matter how apolitical. Peng is not aiming to bring down the Communist regime. She’s not advocating for democracy, or calling for reform, or even directly standing up for women’s rights. Yet she is being treated as if she is. For a political party that presents itself as infallible, anything that suggests otherwise is perceived as dangerous. The corollary to this rule is that the party’s most senior leaders, especially those with the right connections and relationships, can act as they wish, without fear of public scrutiny or reproach. Perhaps at some point the party will quietly punish Zhang (less for any sex crime than because his poor judgment left the party vulnerable). But, at least for now, the party will prioritize fixing its image over addressing any wrongdoing, let alone wider discrimination against women.[Read: China discovers the limits of its power]The Communist Party is equally resistant to challenges from abroad. The conflict between Beijing and the WTA could probably be resolved if Peng were to hop on the phone with Simon. But to China’s leaders, that would be tantamount to an admission of guilt and a surrender to foreign forces, and therefore unacceptable. Instead, China’s top cadres assume they are strong enough, and their economy is big enough, to eventually browbeat the world into silence.They’re not entirely wrong. The Peng situation seems unlikely to derail the upcoming Olympics (though it might make them more controversial). Still, there will be a cost. If a settlement can’t be reached with the WTA, and Simon follows through on his threat and ends the tour’s operations in China, the government’s treatment of Peng will have done serious damage to China’s standing in international professional sports. Simon’s action would put pressure on other sports organizations to follow his lead. The loss for China would go beyond financial, or even reputational. It would be a sign of how Beijing’s human-rights abuses are souring its relations with much of the world at a moment when it is striving to claim world leadership.And then there is Peng’s personal tragedy. The most to hope for is that Peng has let other women in China know they are not alone, at least for a fleeting moment. The Communist Party will eventually recover from her admissions; Peng herself may not. She will likely never be forgiven for airing the imperial court’s dirty laundry.Even as she typed her fateful message, she feared it would come to nothing. “It doesn’t matter if I’m hitting a rock with an egg, or being a moth that flies towards the flame,” she wrote, addressing Zhang. “I am telling the truth about what happened between us. With your intelligence and wits I am sure you will either deny it, or blame it on me.”“You always say you hope your mother in heaven could bless you,” she continued. “Do you still have the courage to face your mother after what you have done in your lifetime? We sure all like to pretend we are virtuous ...” Especially the party.
NATO warns Russia to avoid costly mistake in Ukraine
NATO foreign ministers are warning Russia that any attempt to further destabilize Ukraine would be a costly mistake
Woman Dumped by Text After Having Miscarriage on Thanksgiving Seeks Advice
"This morning he broke up with me over text message, saying I'm toxic and only try to make him feel bad. Here I am, losing my baby and left over text message. "
Mother Chased Leopard for Almost a Mile Then Fought It After It Took Her 8-year-old Son
Kiran Baiga and her family live in the Sanjay Tiger Reserve area, and she told local media they live in fear of leopards after several recent attacks.
Who is Twitter’s new CEO, Parag Agrawal? 5 things to know.
Jack Dorsey, outgoing Twitter CEO, praised Agrawal's rapid ascent in the company.
Who is Twitter’s new CEO, Parag Agrawal? 5 things to know.
Jack Dorsey, outgoing Twitter CEO, praised Agrawal's rapid ascent in the company.
Omicron vs. Delta: More mutations don't necessarily make a meaner Covid-19 virus
The new Omicron variant of coronavirus is worrying scientists and government officials. But doctors want to remind Americans that they're already facing a pretty formidable coronavirus variant, and that's Delta.
Moderna CEO says existing COVID-19 vaccines will struggle with Omicron
"There is no world, I think, where (the effectiveness) is the same level . . . we had with Delta," Stéphane Bancel told the Financial Times on Monday.
'Squid Game' celebrated at Gotham Awards
Speaking at the Gotham Awards where the Netflix show won two gongs, "Squid Game" star Jung HoYeon said she's "flustered but happy and grateful" with her newfound success. (Nov. 30)
The Next Austin? How About Arkansas. Seriously.
Home to corporate behemoth Walmart, a rising state university, and awash in philanthropy money, this Texas neighbor is home to a new crop of urban hotspots.
Bipartisan congressional duo on their Taiwan visit and 'an angry message' from Chinese officials
U.S. Congresswomen Elissa Slotkin and Nancy Mace discuss their bipartisan visit to Taiwan, the Iran nuclear deal and the latest Covid measures made by the U.S.
Mesmerizing Video Shows How Tiny 'Living Robot' Xenobot Cells Reproduce
This is the first time the process has been seen in a living organism, and it could one day be used in medicine or for pulling microplastics out of the ocean.
Mike Rowe and John Rich team up with the Oak Ridge Boys for Christmas song 'Santa's Gotta Dirty Job'
"Dirty Jobs" host Mike Rowe and Big & Rich musician John Rich teamed up with "Elvira" singers the Oak Ridge Boys for their new Christmas single "Santa's Gotta Dirty Job."
Is President Joe Biden doing a good job? Let's talk about it.
The USA TODAY Editorial Board decided to bring in expert voices from the left and right to assess President Biden's performance.
Which Christmas markets are still going ahead?
From London's Hyde Park Winter Wonderland to the Winter Village in New York, a rundown of the Christmas markets that will be going ahead in 2020, and those that have been called off.