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'Where are we headed?': Portland's record-setting year for murder fuels search for answers

Crime is up all over the country. But it's particularly staggering in Portland, Oregon, which has broken a 34-year-old record for homicides.       
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Andrew Cuomo turns 64, posts photo of tiny birthday party on Instagram
Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo marked his birthday with a tiny party attended by one of his daughters -- and two guests who attended via cellphone video.
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Miss USA Elle Smith Discusses the Sport of Pageantry Ahead of Miss Universe
Elle Smith is representing the United States in the Miss Universe pageant taking place in Israel on December 12.
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Strengths, weaknesses: Breaking down the Mets’ managerial candidates
The Mets continued interviews Tuesday for a managerial vacancy they could fill by the end of next week. At this point it’s a six-horse race.
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Carjackers are using this new Apple product to steal vehicles
The $29 Apple AirTag is designed to help users keep track of their goods, while police warn they may also be a handy tool for car thieves.
Russia vows to continue consultations about Ukraine following Putin-Biden call
The Russian government released a readout from President Vladimir Putin’s meeting with United States President Joe Biden and outlined the conversation the two had about escalating tensions in Ukraine.
Another step toward saving NYCHA
The embattled NYCHA has finally struck a good deal with Related Cos. to complete millions in renovations and build new affordable housing on unused land, the Post Editorial Board writes.
Jeff Zucker tells CNN staff he wishes he'd taken action on Cuomo sooner but he's comfortable with end result
CNN President Jeff Zucker addressed Chris Cuomo’s stunning firing in a town hall with staffers Tuesday, saying he was at peace with the result but may have in hindsight taken action sooner.
‘It’s insane’: Husband of NYC woman slugged by freed suspect slams court system
The husband of a 50-year-old city woman sucker-punched by a deranged homeless man called it an outrage Tuesday that the suspect is still free despite even more than a dozen prior busts.
Plumber who found cash in wall of Joel Osteen’s church receives $20K reward
A plumber who found envelopes of money stashed in a wall at Joel Osteen’s Houston megachurch has received a $20,000 Crime Stoppers reward for the find.
'The Resident' Season 5, Episode 11 Release Date: When The Fox Show Will Return in 2022
Fox is bringing "The Resident" Season 4 to an end for 2021 this December—but we already know when Dr. Conrad Hawkins will be back for next year.
UAE shifts work week to Monday-Friday schedule
The United Arab Emirates is the first gulf country to shift its work week to Monday through Friday. UAE Director General of Human Resources Abdulrahman Al Awar says the change will improve operations within the stock market and banking sectors.
Aaron Hicks’ slow start in winter ball adds to Yankees’ Seiya Suzuki intrigue
The Yankees had no thoughts of Aaron Hicks returning to good as new when he decided to play winter ball in the Dominican Republic this offseason.
Kim Potter trial: BLM protester accused of intimidating judge held without bond as Daunte Wright case starts
The Minneapolis Black Lives Matter activist charged with intimidating the judge presiding over the trial for former police officer Kim Potter was ordered held without bond on Tuesday – meaning he will remain jailed at least for the first two weeks of the high profile case involving Daunte Wright's death.
Brooke Shields calls out Barbara Walters over 'practically criminal' '80s interview
Brooke Shields called out Barbara Walters over "practically criminal" interview. Shields sat down with Walters in the 1980s after she modeled in the infamous Calvin Klein campaign
Opinion: Why the College Football Playoff needed Alabama as much as it needed Cincinnati
Cincinnati brings variety to a College Football Playoff system that had grown stale, but this four-team playoff still needed Alabama, too.
People’s Choice Awards 2021 red carpet: See all the celebrity fashion
See what stars like Kim Kardashian, Halle Berry, Cardi B and Christina Aguilera wore to Tuesday night's show.
Lawmakers Reach Deal to Overhaul How Military Handles Sexual Assault Cases
Under the agreement, commanders’ powers would be clipped after years of complaints about unfairness and retaliation.
Left's philosophy on crime is on full display in blue states as Democrats promote 'chaos': Pavlich
“The Five” co-hosts scolded Democratic leaders for refusing to take responsibility for their radical local policies that have caused an uptick in violent crime across blue states.
On brink of first Giants start, Jake Fromm won’t let himself be the underdog
Days ago, Jake From was buried on the Bills' depth chart. Now, he's staring at his first potential Giants start.
Former New Orleans Saints player Glenn Foster dies while in custody of deputies in Alabama
Glenn Foster, a former defensive end for the New Orleans Saints, died after being jailed by authorities. Alabama officials are investigating.
‘A real big eff you’ to Eric Adams: insider on De Blasio’s 11th-hour vax mandate
Mayor de Blasio's sudden private sector COVID-19 vaccine mandate is a giant middle finger to Mayor-elect Eric Adams.
Ghislaine Maxwell accuser shares new details of alleged torture in new book
The trial of Ghislaine Maxwell is underway and we're hearing new details from one of her alleged victims. In her book, "Silenced No More: Surviving My Journey to Hell and Back," Sarah Ransome writes about her time in Epstein's orbit.
MSNBC taps left-wing reporter Yamiche Alcindor to be Washington correspondent
NBC News and MSNBC have hired left-leaning PBS reporter Yamiche Alcindor to be a Washington correspondent.
Defense rests at Jussie Smollett's Chicago trial
Associated Press reporter Don Babwin has been in the courtroom throughout the Jussie Smollett trial where lawyers for the former "Empire" actor rested their case today. Smollett is charged with lying to police about the January 2019 attack. (Dec. 7)
Senate confirms Biden's pick to lead border agency
The Senate confirmed President Joe Biden's pick to lead US Customs and Border Protection, Chris Magnus, on Tuesday after months of confirmation setbacks that left the agency with a void at the top amid a record number of border arrests.
CA governor writes children's book about dyslexia
California Gov. Gavin Newsom has written a semi-autobiographical children's book about dyslexia. The book is titled "Ben & Emma's big Hit" and comes out on Tuesday. It tells the story of a young boy who uses baseball to cope with his dyslexia.v (Dec. 7)
L.A. Master Chorale cancels 'Messiah' singalong at Disney Hall, citing abundance of caution
The L.A. County Department of Public Health recommended such a move given rising COVID-19 infection rates and the possibility of masks not working effectively during an event requiring singing.
Ghislaine Maxwell trial: Prosecution to rest case this week
Prosecutors in the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, a British socialite and the ex-girlfriend of late financier Jeffrey Epstein, are expected to rest their case as early as Thursday, which could dramatically shorten the legal proceeding.
Video shows NYPD officers save driver from burning car
A NYPD officer pulled a man from a car that was engulfed in flames at East Tremont Avenue and Randall Avenue in Throgs Neck in the Bronx.
Former Saints player Glenn Foster died in police custody. His family is seeking answers.
Foster's father said the former football player died while deputies were transporting him from a jail to a medical facility.
Federal wildlife officials approve 'unprecedented' plan to feed Florida's starving manatees
A record 1,017 manatees have died in Florida waters this year, according to data from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
One woman’s six-year ordeal shows we must reform civil forfeiture laws
After police in Berkshire County, Mass., took her car, Malinda Harris did not get a chance to contest the seizure for five and a half years.
Merryl Tisch intervened to save SUNY boss Malatras’ job
Critics demanding SUNY Chancellor James Malatras' ouster had been scratching their heads over Gov. Kathy Hochul's refusal to help boot him.
Charlottesville's Robert E. Lee statue to be melted down into new public artwork
The statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee that drew violent protests to Charlottesville, Virginia, will be melted down and turned into a new piece of public art by an African American heritage center.
'The Five': Democrats flee Biden over fears of being 'smoked in the midterms'
Many congressional Democrats are increasingly fleeing the shadow of their party's leader, President Joe Biden as the 2022 midterms approach amid speculation of a 2010-like Republican wave.
Giga Chikadze already 'the people's champ,' expects UFC title shot with win over Calvin Kattar
Giga Chikadze believes he's ready for a title shot now, but he has no problem getting through Calvin Kattar first.       Related StoriesGiga Chikadze already 'the people's champ,' expects UFC title shot with win over Calvin Kattar - EnclosureBeneil Dariush discusses two most complete lightweights, significance of sticking to planBeneil Dariush discusses two most complete lightweights, significance of sticking to plan - Enclosure
‘Can’t continue to flood the market’: Manchin pushes back on Biden’s $2T bill
Joe Manchin is pumping the breaks on Senate Democratic leaders' push to pass a sweeping $2 trillion social spending bill aimed at addressing President Biden’s top priorities by Christmas.
Biden confronts 2 rivals in 24 hours
US President Joe Biden has framed his presidency as an effort to reassert democracies against autocracies. But he faces formidable foes in Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
See all the stars hit the red carpet at the People's Choice Awards
Halle Berry, Kim Kardashian and The Rock will be honored at the People's Choice Awards on Dec. 7, hosted by Kenan Thompson.
Americans Still Have a Bunch More Savings Than Before the Pandemic
Why, exactly, do savings seem to have stayed stable?
Rosemary and bay laurel thrive on winter windowsills
Windowsill herb plants would seem a perfect antidote to winter’s visual and culinary blandness, except that such plants rarely do as well as billed.
Seeing seers say such things: Psychic’s celebrity predictions for 2022
Psychic John Cohan makes his predictions for 2022.
GOP-Aligned Group Finds No Evidence of Wisconsin Voter Fraud After 10-Month Investigation
Former President Donald Trump previously claimed there was "election corruption" in Wisconsin, a state he lost by less than one point.
Is Biden Blowing It on Rapid Tests?
At a White House press briefing yesterday, NPR’s national political correspondent Mara Liasson asked Press Secretary Jen Psaki a question that’s been on many people’s minds: “There are still a lot of countries, like Germany and the U.K. and South Korea, that basically have massive testing, free of charge or for a nominal fee,” she said. “Why can’t that be done in the United States?”Psaki gave a vague response about the administration’s efforts to increase test accessibility and decrease costs, but Liasson followed up: “That’s kind of complicated, though. Why not just make ’em free and give ’em out and have them available everywhere?”Psaki responded with a sarcastic smile. “Should we just send one to every American?” she asked.YES, screamed the internet in the hours that followed. Yes, you absolutely should—and not just one test. President Joe Biden had just announced that private insurance companies must reimburse consumers for at-home rapid COVID tests, and his administration has committed billions of dollars to buying them directly for use in nursing homes and other high-risk places. Still, the pundits are restless. Biden’s latest initiative is “timid,” tweeted Craig Spencer, a public-health physician at Columbia University. The epidemiologist Eleanor Murray called Biden’s plan shortsighted. The sociologist and rapid-test advocate Zeynep Tufekci said the government should “just make rapid tests cheap. Or distribute them in workplaces and schools.” In short, the experts argue, the U.S. should follow in the footsteps of countries like Germany and the United Kingdom, where people can get mail-order packs of tests from the government, purchase $1 tests at supermarkets, visit complimentary testing centers, or undergo twice-weekly virus checks at work or school.[Read: The plan that could give us our lives back]This latest round of rapid-test frustration has capped an entire season of hand-wringing. Throughout the fall, numerous media outlets ran big, smart explainers on why rapid tests are so expensive and inaccessible here compared with overseas, and published op-eds calling this a fatal mistake. In October, the former Harvard epidemiologist Michael Mina—America’s biggest antigen-test advocate—co-wrote the latest in a series of op-eds suggesting that “rapid tests are the answer to living with COVID-19.” Although the pandemic has evolved, this pitch remains the same: By “flooding the zone” with modest, plastic diagnostic tools, we can “quash the pandemic” and get “back to ‘normal’ life.” An important simulation study first posted in June 2020 and led, in part, by Mina found that by testing three-quarters of the population every few days, we could “drive the epidemic toward extinction” in less than six weeks.The problem, then and now, is that reality doesn’t often behave like a simulation, and that widespread, rapid COVID testing—at least as it’s been practiced in Germany, the U.K., and other countries—hasn’t really quashed anything. ​​That’s not because the tests are failing as a diagnostic tool for individuals and high-risk groups. Rather, we don’t have compelling real-world evidence that using them on a massive scale would change the course of the pandemic.Let’s focus on Germany, the recent poster child for rapid-test ubiquity. A September newsletter from The New York Times titled “Where Are the Tests?” opened, typically of the genre, with a photo of a German swab site, and it featured a chart contrasting Germany’s low COVID mortality rate with the growing death count in the U.S. In a September Stat essay, Daniel Oran and Eric Topol cited Germany’s efforts too, saying rapid tests could help reduce the spread of the virus so much that it “becomes more a nuisance than remaining a national emergency.” At the time, case rates in Germany were indeed much lower than those in the U.S. But two months later, the German health minister declared a national emergency: Infections, hospitalizations, and deaths have skyrocketed there since October. The country now has a higher rate of infection than the United States suffered during this fall’s peak.I’ve noticed no change in tone from the rapid-testing advocates who were so eager to laud the German model. An article published just last week by Yahoo News, headlined “Omicron Variant Shows Need for Rapid COVID Tests,” bizarrely suggested that “a test-fast, test-often approach has helped Germany return to normal life” (while linking to a New York Times story from June). Life is anything but normal in Germany right now. Even before the latest wave, the government required people to show proof of vaccination, recovery from infection, or a recent negative test result in order to enter many establishments, including restaurants, bars, movie theaters, and salons—a policy called the “3G rule.” In light of its devastating outbreak, Germany has now dropped the testing option and is enforcing a nationwide “2G rule” instead: Patrons must provide proof of vaccine-induced or natural immunity if they want to make use of most public venues. If cases continue to rise, Germany plans to institute a 2G+ plan—meaning people will need both immunity and a negative test—as well as potential vaccine mandates.Why did a billion rapid tests fail to prevent this crisis, in a country that has inoculated the majority of its citizens? The facile answer is to say that the public just isn’t performing enough tests. No country has achieved the frequency of screening suggested by simulation models like Mina’s. One Hamburg virologist has argued that the 2G rule should be replaced by a 1G system—a “test offensive” in which immunity status doesn’t matter and only a negative test entitles you to socialize. But the government’s position is that too many people are refusing the vaccines. “Everyone in Germany will be vaccinated, recovered, or dead,” the health minister has warned. It’s telling that he didn’t include “tested” on that list.There’s little sense in trying to divine the perfect public-health policy from one country over a short period of time. Each administers a patchwork of measures, and outbreaks strike unpredictably—confounding any analysis. (Remember when a decline in cases in February led some experts to declare that the U.S. would have “herd immunity by April”?) Germany’s summer lull was heralded as a rapid-test success story, but perhaps the warm summer season could be given as much credit.What about the U.K., where the government has abandoned most public-health measures except for vaccines and rapid-test surveillance? The British continue to experience a tremendous COVID caseload, but so far the viral death rate has been mercifully blunted since cases began rising in June. To understand why this has occurred—and whether widespread antigen tests are responsible—we’d need to disentangle the effect of the U.K.’s plentiful diagnostics from its high inoculation rate and ample natural immunity from past waves. Free, rapid COVID-19 testing won’t contain infections while crowds are still allowed to gather indoors, the Harvard epidemiologist William Hanage told Nature last month, after looking at what’s happened in the U.K.[Read: Theranos and COVID-19 testing are mirror-image cautionary tales]Part of why a country-by-country evaluation proves so baffling is because you have to consider each nation’s peculiar social circumstances. In 2020, Slovakia deployed the military to mass-test nearly every man, woman, and child—probably preventing some infections. (Further rounds of testing were scuttled because devices were in short supply; Slovakia is now experiencing its own COVID surge.) But in the United States, achieving near-daily COVID screening for most residents seems out of reach. Mask and vaccine mandates have already fomented widespread anger. In that context, it’s hard to imagine how we could pursue aggressive testing mandates, especially for the already-vaccinated. Germany’s foiled policies in many ways represent the outer limit of what would be conceivable in American politics: The government made it cheap and easy to know your coronavirus-infection status, created vaccine and testing passports, and heavily promoted the lifesaving benefits of inoculation. Yet Germany still failed to prevent a devastating wave.I’m sure advocates like Michael Mina would agree that rapid tests don’t need to “drive the epidemic toward extinction” in order to save lives, and that the situations in Germany and the U.K. might well be even worse without so much surveillance. (I reached out to him to discuss this question, but did not hear back before this story went to press.) I wouldn’t want to keep these useful devices away from anybody, and subsidizing tests for those who want them would be a drop in the bucket compared with the government’s overall pandemic spending. People have a right to know whether they’re carrying the virus. But we were promised normalcy, and the countries that were supposed to show us how to get there aren’t even close.The emergence of the Omicron variant presents further challenges to widespread testing. If Omicron turns out to spread more quickly than Delta—as many scientists fear—then any screening program would have to test people even more frequently than studies have suggested in the past, just to maintain the same protective barrier. (Delta’s super-speed is already stretching the limits of our surveillance protocols.) We can try to make up for this by further ramping up testing, but it’s a losing battle: The chances of achieving viral suppression will dwindle while the costs and complexity will soar. (The U.K. government has pledged the equivalent of nearly the entire National Health Service budget for its surveillance program.)Whatever the cost of tests right now, some people are eager to integrate them into their routine, while others acquiesce to getting swabbed only when it’s forced upon them. The people most vulnerable to the virus—the unvaccinated—may well be among the least likely to undergo regular, voluntary testing. And even those of us who are willing to check for infections still have to grapple with the inherent risk of false positives and false negatives. Part of the reason rapid tests were delayed for so long throughout the world was because experts expressed legitimate concerns about the rate of inaccurate results.The press secretary struck the wrong tone with her sarcastic dismissal of free rapid tests. Flooding the market with them—or sending one to every American—would be a helpful, if expensive, initiative. In other words, it’s a serious idea worth seriously considering. But this isn’t just a matter of applying common sense. Even with more testing, the U.S. won’t suddenly come to resemble the idealized output of a computer model; our day-to-day lives could end up looking more like the complex public-health crisis now engulfing Europe.
‘My body, my choice’? Only for abortion as the left pushes vaccine mandates
De Blasio decreed all private-sector workers, in businesses of all sizes, must be vaccinated by Dec. 27.
Transgender athletes’ victories mean women and girls lose
Yet another elite liberal institution denies science and embraces lawlessness. In this case, the denial hurts women, who liberals claim to champion and respect.
Instagram CEO to testify before Senate committee on safety of teen users
An internal company research project from 2019 revealed that Instagram makes body image issues worse for 1 in 3 teen girls.
Matthew Dowd campaign ends bid for Texas lieutenant governor to make way for diverse candidate
Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat Matthew Dowd ended his campaign for Texas lieutenant governor after less than 3 months.