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President-elect Joe Biden swung behind a bipartisan COVID-19 relief effort Wednesday and his top Capitol Hill allies cut their demands for a $2 trillion-plus measure by more than half in hopes of breaking a monthslong logjam and delivering much-sought aid as the tempestuous congressional session speeds to a close.

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The resolution, spearheaded and supported by Democratic members of the House and Senate, would amend the 13th Amendment's ban on chattel enslavement to expressly prohibit involuntary servitude as a punishment for crime. As ratified, the original amendment has permitted exploitation of labor by convicted felons for over 155 years since the abolition of slavery.

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"The state of the planet is broken," Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a speech at Columbia University. "Humanity is waging war on nature. This is suicidal."

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Health officials on Wednesday urged Americans to stay home over the upcoming holiday season and consider getting tested for coronavirus before and after if they do decide to travel.

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Top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell said Tuesday he's largely sticking with a partisan, scaled-back COVID-19 relief bill that has already failed twice this fall, even as Democratic leaders and a bipartisan group of moderates offered concessions in hopes of passing pandemic aid before Congress adjourns for the year.

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Attorney General William Barr said U.S. attorneys and FBI agents have been working to follow up specific complaints and information they've received, but they've uncovered no evidence that would change the outcome of the election. Barr was headed to the White House later for a previously scheduled meeting.

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The telescope's 900-ton receiver platform and the Gregorian dome — a structure as tall as a four-story building that houses secondary reflectors — fell onto the northern portion of the vast reflector dish more than 400 feet below.

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"From the most unequal economic and job crisis in modern history, we can build a new American economy that works for all Americans, not just some," Biden said as he introduced his choices for some of the government's top economic posts during a speech at a theater in Wilmington, Delaware, where he has led his transition to the presidency.

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President-elect Joe Biden is considering former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a substantial and somewhat divisive figure in Democratic Party politics, to serve as his transportation secretary.

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Moderna is just behind Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech in seeking to begin vaccinations in the U.S. in December. British regulators also are assessing the Pfizer shot and another from AstraZeneca.

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The South Carolina Supreme Court on Monday stayed the execution of a death row prisoner after corrections officials said they couldn't obtain the necessary lethal injection drugs in time.

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The best way now to measure the protein is a costly PET brain scan that usually is not covered by insurance. That means most people don't get one and are left wondering if their problems are due to normal aging, Alzheimer's or something else.

The blood test from C2N Diagnostics of St. Louis aims to fill that gap. 

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Americans returning home from Thanksgiving break faced strict new coronavirus measures around the country Monday as health officials brace for a disastrous worsening of the out-of-control surge because of holiday gatherings over the long weekend.

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Greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union have been reduced by 24 percent compared to 1990 levels, according to the bloc's annual climate report, but the EU said Monday it still needs to intensify efforts to keep to its target of making Europe the first climate-neutral continent by mid-century.

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COVID-19 relief, a $1.4 trillion catchall spending package, and defense policy — and a final burst of judicial nominees — dominate a truncated two- or three-week session occurring as the coronavirus pandemic rockets out of control in President Donald Trump's final weeks in office.

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In a statement, Biden said he would nominate Janet Yellen, the former Federal Reserve chair, to lead the Treasury Department, and former Clinton and Obama adviser Neera Tanden to serve as director of the Office of Management and Budget.

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WILMINGTON, Del. — President-elect Joe Biden fractured his right foot while playing with one of his dogs, an injury discovered in a scan Sunday and that will likely require him to wear a boot for several weeks, his doctor said.

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The nation's top infectious disease expert said Sunday that the U.S. may see “surge upon a surge” of the coronavirus in the weeks after Thanksgiving, and he does not expect current recommendations around social distancing to be relaxed before Christmas.

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Iran's supreme leader on Saturday demanded the “definitive punishment” of those behind the killing of a scientist who led Tehran's disbanded military nuclear program, as the Islamic Republic blamed Israel for a slaying that has raised fears of reignited tensions across the Middle East.

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An Iranian scientist named by the West as the leader of the Islamic Republic's disbanded military nuclear program was killed Friday in an ambush on the outskirts of Tehran, authorities said.

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The Justice Department is quietly amending its execution protocols, no longer requiring federal death sentences to be carried out by lethal injection and clearing the way to use other methods like firing squads and poison gas.

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President Donald Trump’s legal team suffered yet another defeat in court Friday as a federal appeals court in Philadelphia roundly rejected the campaign's latest effort to challenge the state’s election results.

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President Donald Trump said Thursday that he will leave the White House if the Electoral College formalizes President-Elect Joe Biden's victory — even as he insisted such a decision would be a “mistake” — as he spent his Thanksgiving renewing baseless claims that “massive fraud” and crooked officials in battleground states caused his election defeat.

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As coronavirus cases surge again nationwide, the US Supreme Court late Wednesday barred New York from enforcing certain limits on attendance at churches and synagogues in areas designated as hard hit by the virus.

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Millions of Americans took to the skies and the highways ahead of Thanksgiving at the risk of pouring gasoline on the coronavirus fire, disregarding increasingly dire warnings that they stay home and limit their holiday gatherings to members of their own household.

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In a time of plague and raw division, President-elect Joe Biden appealed for unity Wednesday in a Thanksgiving-eve address to the nation asking Americans to "steel our spines" for a fight against the coronavirus that he predicted would continue for months.

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President Donald Trump pardoned former national security adviser Michael Flynn on Wednesday, taking direct aim in the final days of his administration at a Russia investigation that he has long insisted was motivated by political bias.

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Purdue Pharma pleaded guilty Tuesday to three criminal charges, formally taking responsibility for its part in an opioid epidemic that has contributed to hundreds of thousands of deaths but also angering critics who want to see individuals held accountable, in addition to the company.

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David Dinkins, who broke barriers as New York City's first African American mayor but was doomed to a single term by a soaring murder rate, stubborn unemployment and his mishandling of a riot in Brooklyn, has died. He was 93.

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President-elect Joe Biden is set to introduce his national security team to the nation as he taps Obama administration alumni and other public-service veterans, signaling a shift from the Trump administration's "America First" policies and a return to U.S. global engagement.

Outside the realm of national security and foreign policy, Biden is expected to choose Janet Yellen as the first woman to become treasury secretary. She was nominated by President Barack Obama to lead the Federal Reserve, the first woman in that position, and served from 2014 to 2018.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded above 30,000 points for the first time Tuesday as investors were encouraged by the latest progress on developing coronavirus vaccines and news that the transition of power in the U.S. to President-elect Joe Biden will finally begin.

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Despite the expected arrival of COVID-19 vaccines in just a few weeks, it could take several months — probably well into 2021 — before things get back to something close to normal in the U.S. and Americans can once again go to the movies, cheer at an NBA game or give Grandma a hug.

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The federal government recognized President-elect Joe Biden as the “apparent winner” of the Nov. 3 election on Monday, formally starting the transition of power after President Donald Trump spent weeks testing the boundaries of American democracy. He relented after suffering yet more legal and procedural defeats in his seemingly futile effort to overturn the election with baseless claims of fraud.

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Michigan election officials on Monday certified Democrat Joe Biden’s 154,000-vote victory in the state amid President Donald Trump’s brazen attempts to subvert the results of the election.

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The six picks announced on Monday, almost all of them alumni of the Obama administration, represent a fundamental shift away from President Donald Trump's policies and personnel selections. 

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"I think these are really exciting results," Dr. Andrew Pollard, chief investigator for the trial, said at a news conference. "Because the vaccine can be stored at fridge temperatures, it can be distributed around the world using the normal immunization distribution system. And so our goal … to make sure that we have a vaccine that was accessible everywhere, I think we've actually managed to do that."

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The National Retail Federation, the nation's largest retail trade group, expects that holiday sales could actually exceed growth seen in prior seasons, despite all the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic.

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Pennsylvania officials can certify election results that currently show Democrat Joe Biden winning the state by more than 80,000 votes, a federal judge ruled Saturday, dealing President Donald Trump’s campaign another blow in its effort to invalidate the election.

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Election officials in Wisconsin's largest county accused observers for President Donald Trump on Saturday of seeking to obstruct a recount of the presidential results, in some instances by objecting to every ballot tabulators pulled to count.

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The surging coronavirus is taking an increasingly dire toll across the U.S. just as a vaccine appears close at hand, with the country now averaging over 1,300 COVID-19 deaths per day — the highest level since the calamitous spring in and around New York City.

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Georgia's top elections official on Friday certified election results showing Joe Biden won the presidential election after a hand tally stemming from a mandatory audit affirmed the Democrat's lead over Republican President Donald Trump.

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U.N. agencies have warned that some 250 million people in 20 countries are threatened with sharply spiking malnutrition or even famine in coming months.

The United Nations humanitarian office this week released $100 million in emergency funding to seven countries, but David Beasley, head of the World Food Program, says billions in new aid are needed. Without it, "we are going to have famines of biblical proportions in 2021," he said in an Associated Press interview last week.

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Pfizer said Friday it is asking U.S. regulators to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine, starting the clock on a process that could bring limited first shots as early as next month and eventually an end to the pandemic — but not until after a long, hard winter.

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It was some of the firmest guidance yet from the government on curtailing traditional gatherings to fight the outbreak.

The CDC's Dr. Erin Sauber-Schatz cited more than 1 million new cases in the U.S. over the past week as the reason for the new guidance.

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