The U.S. will stage a diplomatic boycott of the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing t o protest Chinese human rights abuses, the White House confirmed Monday, a move that China has vowed to greet with "firm countermeasures."

America's unemployment rate tumbled last month to its lowest point since the pandemic struck, even as employers appeared to slow their hiring — a mixed picture that pointed to a resilient economy that's putting more people to work.

The Senate passed a stopgap spending bill Thursday that avoids a short-term shutdown and funds the federal government through Feb. 18 after leaders defused a partisan standoff over federal vaccine mandates. The measure now goes to President Joe Biden to be signed into law.

The legislation commits $50 billion for water and wastewater infrastructure over five years, with $15 billion allocated for removing lead pipes and $10 billion to address contamination from toxic chemicals frequently used in cookware, carpets, firefighting foams and other products.

With the delta variant of COVID-19 pushing up cases in Europe and growing fears over the omicron variant, governments around the world are weighing new measures for populations tired of hearing about restrictions and vaccines.

A Hanahan couple who stormed the U.S. Capitol building together on Jan. 6 have pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges in exchange for lighter punishment from a federal judge. John Getsinger Jr. and his wife, Stacie Hargis-Getsinger, are the fourth and fifth defendants from South Carolina to be convicted.

Biden wants to require private insurers to cover the cost of at-home COVID-19 tests and he is tightening testing requirements for people entering the United States, regardless of their vaccination status. While some other countries are closing their borders or reinstituting lockdowns, the president said he would not at this time impose additional clampdowns beyond his recommendation that Americans wear masks indoors in public settings.

President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that Moscow would seek Western guarantees precluding any further NATO expansion and deployment of its weapons near his country's borders, a stern demand that comes amid fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Dr. Anthony Fauci told reporters that the person was a traveler who returned from South Africa on Nov. 22 and tested positive on Nov. 29. Fauci said the person was vaccinated but had not received a booster shot and was experiencing "mild symptoms."

"I see this as an incredibly difficult decision with many more questions than answers," said panel chair Dr. Lindsey Baden of Harvard Medical School, who voted in favor of the drug. He said FDA would have to carefully tailor the drug's use for patients who stand to benefit most.

Chair Jerome Powell said Tuesday that the Federal Reserve will consider acting more quickly to dial back its ultra-low-interest rate policies to counter higher inflation, which Powell acknowledged will likely persist well into next year.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard arguments from lawyers for former President Trump and the House committee seeking the records as part of its investigation into the Capitol riot. Trump's attorneys want the court to reverse a federal judge's ruling allowing the National Archives and Records Administration to turn over the records after Biden waived executive privilege.

Economic powerhouses Japan and France reported their first cases of the omicron variant Tuesday, while new findings indicated the mutant coronavirus had already slipped into Europe close to a week before South Africa sounded the alarm.

Prosecutors asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the ruling that overturned Bill Cosby's sexual assault conviction, arguing in a petition Monday that a dangerous precedent could be set if press releases are treated as immunity agreements.

All participants showed a willingness to listen to the positions and "sensibilities" of the new Iranian delegation, Mora said. At the same time, Tehran's team made clear it wanted to engage in "serious work" to bring the accord back to life, he said.

Speaking Monday at the White House, Biden said it was inevitable that the new variant would reach the U.S., but he also said the country has the tools necessary to protect Americans — particularly the approved vaccines and booster shots. When omicron arrives, and it will, Biden said, America will "face this new threat just as we've faced those that have come before it."

The assessment from the U.N. health agency, contained in a technical paper issued to member states, amounted to WHO's strongest, most explicit warning yet about the new version that was first identified days ago by researchers in South Africa.

The Food and Drug Administration posted its analysis of the pill ahead of a public meeting next week where academic and other experts will weigh in on its safety and effectiveness. The agency isn't required to follow the group's advice.

The long-awaited report by the Interior Department stops short of recommending an end to oil and gas leasing on public lands, as many environmental groups have urged. But officials said the report would lead to a more responsible leasing process that provides a better return to U.S. taxpayers.

Oral arguments in the case had originally been planned for next month, but the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has rescheduled them for the last week in January, according to an order from the court. Earlier this week, attorneys for the state also requested that the case be heard toward the end of that week, due to a scheduling conflict.

The White House said the U.S. will restrict travel from South Africa and seven other countries in the region beginning Monday. It did not give details except to say the restrictions will not apply to returning U.S. citizens or permanent residents, who will continue to be required to test negative before their travel.

Garland's memo, issued Wednesday, emphasizes that the Justice Department is committed to aggressively prosecuting violent passengers who assault crew members or endanger the safety of other passengers. Federal law prohibits interfering with a flight crew, including assaulting, intimidating or threatening crew members.

If confirmed by the Senate, Shalanda Young would become the first Black woman in charge of the Office of Management and Budget, while Nani Coloretti, a Filipino American, would serve as Young's deputy, making Coloretti one of the highest-ranking Asian Americans in government.

The U.S. action is aimed at global energy markets, but also at helping Americans coping with higher inflation and rising prices ahead of Thanksgiving and winter holiday travel. Gasoline prices are at about $3.40 a gallon, more than 50 percent higher than a year ago, according to the American Automobile Association.

Dozens of plants nationwide plan to stop burning coal this decade to comply with more stringent federal wastewater guidelines, according to state regulatory filings, as the industry continues moving away from the planet-warming fossil fuel to make electricity.

President Joe Biden announced Monday he's nominating Jerome Powell for a second four-year term as Federal Reserve chair, endorsing Powell's stewardship of the economy through a brutal pandemic recession in which the Fed's ultra-low rate policies helped bolster confidence and revitalize the job market.

He was charged with homicide, attempted homicide and reckless endangering for killing two men and wounding a third with an AR-style semi-automatic rifle in the summer of 2020 during a tumultuous night of protests over the shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake, by a white Kenosha police officer.

Their opposition comes as President Joe Biden is expected to announce within days whom he will choose for the nation's most powerful economic position. Many Fed watchers expect Powell to be offered a second term, though Lael Brainard, a member of the Fed's Board of Governors, has emerged as the leading alternative.

Democrats brushed aside monthslong divisions and pushed their expansive social and environment bill through a sharply divided House on Friday, as President Joe Biden and his party moved closer to capitalizing on their control of government by funneling its resources toward their top domestic priorities.

A divided House finally launched debate Thursday on Democrats' expansive social and environment bill, with party leaders hoping that cost estimates expected from Congress' top fiscal analyst would nail down moderate lawmakers' votes and allow passage by week's end.

Pfizer said Tuesday it is asking U.S. regulators to authorize its experimental pill for COVID-19, setting the stage for a likely launch of the promising therapy in the coming weeks. Also on Tuesday, Pfizer signed a deal a with U.N.-backed group to allow generic drugmakers to produce low-cost versions of the drug for use in 95 countries.

Buoyed by solid hiring, healthy pay gains and substantial savings stemming in part from government stimulus checks and other relief, Americans ramped up their spending at retail stores and online shops last month. Some of the increase reflected the impact of higher prices, and there were signs that Americans have started to seek out cheaper options.

The leaders appeared to put aside the language of acrimony in their first formal meeting since Biden took office. Xi greeted the U.S. leader as his "old friend," and Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said the exchange was candid and constructive.


Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

Breaking News

Columbia Breaking News

Greenville Breaking News

Myrtle Beach Breaking News

Aiken Breaking News

N Augusta Breaking News