National

  ‘Brush the haters off’: Bainbridge, Ga., freshman born without hands makes catch in playoff game

A five-yard catch late in the blowout win was the first varsity catch for freshman Jamauri Williams, who was born without hands.

US tightens definition of service animals allowed on planes

Lon Adams, Slim Jim jerky recipe creator, dies of COVID-19

  Nurses wanted: Swamped hospitals scramble for pandemic help

  Britain OKs Pfizer vaccine and will begin shots within days

Rafer Johnson, 1960 Olympic decathlon champion, dies at 86

  LIVE: Biden holds virtual meeting with workers, business owners

Continued Coverage

  Stay home for the holidays or get tested twice, CDC urges

  Trump teases 2024 run at White House Christmas party

US lawmakers unveil anti-slavery constitutional amendment

  Fed and Treasury urge Congress to approve more virus relief

San Francisco bans smoking inside apartments; pot smoking OK

Ford: All-electric Mustang SUV will hit 60 in 3.5 seconds

  Alexander preaches consensus in farewell to fractious Senate

Sen. Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee political legend who forged a productive path as a Senate institutionalist after tours as governor and Cabinet secretary, said goodbye to the chamber on Wednesday.

Biden’s student loan forgiveness could wipe out debt for 15 million borrowers

Broad student loan forgiveness could affect 45.3 million borrowers with federal student loan debt who owe a total of $1.54 trillion to the government.

  New York City Ballet to stream ‘The Nutcracker’ this year

George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker” premiered in February 1954 and has been performed live by the New York City Ballet every year, until this year.

  NYC bar owner who defied coronavirus restrictions arrested

The bar has been fined thousands of dollars as it continued to serve patrons inside and to operate past the 10 p.m. curfew for restaurant service that Gov. Andrew Cuomo imposed citywide.

A year in 60 secs: TikTok lists top videos, creators of 2020

  UN calls on humanity to end ‘war on nature,’ go carbon-free

  Report: Climate change damaging more World Heritage sites

WWE Hall of Famer Pat Patterson dies at 79

  German city grieves after 5 killed in pedestrian zone attack

  Woman creates hug tunnel at Colo. senior living community

40-foot ‘leg lamp’ honors iconic Christmas movie

An Oklahoma town is displaying a “leg lamp” similar to the one from the classic film “A Christmas Story,” except this one is 40 feet tall.

People magazine reveals its ’2020 People of the Year’

People magazine has named George Clooney, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Selena Gomez and Regina King as the “2020 People of the Year.”

Thomas Reavley, oldest active federal judge, dies at 99

He had served nine years on the Texas Supreme Court, the state’s top civil court, before being appointed to the appeals court by President Jimmy Carter in 1979.

Walmart drops $35 minimum for its members’ online orders

Shoppers on Walmart.com who pay a $98-a-year membership fee will get free shipping on orders of any size starting Friday.

  Georgia elections official urges Trump, senators to rein in supporters

During a routine news conference at the state Capitol to provide an update on the recount of the presidential race requested by Trump, Sterling admonished the president and Georgia’s two U.S. senators, who are both locked in tight runoff races against Democrats.

  GOP objects to Biden nominees, a sign of what’s to come

Under leader Mitch McConnell, the Republican senators will hold great sway in confirming Biden’s nominees regardless of which party holds the majority after runoff elections in January. Biden will have little room to maneuver and few votes to spare.

  Trump threatens defense veto over social media protections

Trump has been waging war against social media companies for months, claiming they are biased against conservative voices.

  Nurse on leave after apparent rejection of public mask wearing in TikTok video

An Oregon nurse is under investigation after a video she posted to TikTok indicated she is not adhering to COVID-19 safety precautions outside work.

Hall wins runoff to briefly fill seat of late Rep John Lewis

Hall won’t be Lewis’ long-term replacement. State Sen. Nikema Williams easily beat a Republican in November for a full two-year term.

  Senate GOP leader sticking with partisan COVID relief plan

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., made the announcement after President-elect Joe Biden called upon lawmakers to pass a downpayment relief bill now with more to come next year.

  5 dead, many injured after German man drives car into crowd

The driver, identified as a 51-year-old German man, was arrested at the scene and the vehicle was impounded.

China spacecraft lands on moon to bring rocks back to Earth

Plans call for the lander to spend about two days drilling into the lunar surface and collecting 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) of rocks and debris

  US probing potential bribery, lobbying scheme for pardon

As part of the investigation, more than 50 devices, including laptops and iPads, have been seized, according to court documents.

  US panel: 1st vaccines to health care workers, nursing homes

Later this month, the Food and Drug Administration will consider approval of two vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna.

Barr appoints special counsel in Russia probe investigation

The current investigation, a criminal probe, had begun very broadly but has since “narrowed considerably” and now “really is focused on the activities of the crossfire hurricane investigation within the FBI,” Barr said.

  CDC to shorten COVID-19 quarantine to 10 days, 7 with test

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is set to shorten the recommended length of quarantine after exposure to someone who is positive for COVID-19, as the virus rages across the nation.

  Amazon driver runs into burning Fla. home to rescue man

Thanks to an Amazon delivery driver and neighbors, an elderly couple was able to get out of their home safely after a fire started in the garage.

  Man leaves $3K tip for a beer as restaurant closes for virus

The mega tip was paid on a tab for a single $7 beer.

Canada: US border measures to last until virus under control

Canada and the U.S. have limited border crossings to essential travel since March.

Starbucks giving free coffee to frontline health care workers, first responders during December

To show appreciation to frontline workers, the coffee chain is offering a free tall brewed or iced coffee through the end of the year.

US Supreme Court asked to block Biden win in Pennsylvania

Republicans attempting to undo President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in Pennsylvania asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday to take up their lawsuit, three days after it was thrown out by the highest court in the battleground state.

  Tennessee baby breaks record after being born from 27-year-old embryo

An East Tennessee baby made history after being born from a 27-year-old embryo.

  Trump files lawsuit challenging Wisconsin election results

Trump filed the day after Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and the chairwoman of the Wisconsin Elections Commission certified Biden as the winner of the state’s 10 Electoral College votes.

  ‘Very dark couple of weeks’: Morgues and hospitals overflow

Nearly 37,000 people died of COVID-19 in the U.S. in November, the most since the dark early days of the pandemic.

Mountain pine tree that feeds grizzlies is threatened

The trees have been all but wiped out in some areas, including the eastern edge of Yellowstone National Park, where they are a source of food for threatened grizzly bears.

  Photographer witnessed removal of Utah’s mysterious monolith as another appears in Romania

Ross Bernards and his friends ended up with the monolith all to themselves for about an hour and took nighttime photos until some other visitors came walking up.

  Disputing Trump, Barr says no widespread election fraud

In an interview with The Associated Press, 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.

‘Juno,’ ‘Umbrella Academy’ star Elliot Page comes out as transgender

Hollywood star Elliot Page has come out as a transgender person.

  Biden unveils economic team declaring, ‘Help is on the way’

Biden said he’d chosen a “first rate team” that is “tested and experienced” to tackle “this ongoing economic crisis.”

Cosby’s sex assault conviction goes before high-level court

Pennsylvania’s highest court questioned Tuesday whether Bill Cosby’s alleged history of intoxicating and sexually assaulting young women amounted to a signature crime pattern, given studies that show as many as half of all sexual assaults involve drugs or alcohol.

It’s Giving Tuesday: How will you give back?

The day, founded in 2012, encourages people to do good around the world by giving their time, talents and treasure.

  Mnuchin defends shutdown of Fed emergency loan programs

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is defending his decision to close down a number of emergency Federal Reserve loan programs at a time when coronavirus cases are surging.

  EU eyes Dec 29 approval for 1st virus vaccine, later than US

The European Medicines Agency will convene a meeting on Dec. 29 to decide if there is enough data about the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech for it to be approved, the regulator said Tuesday.

  Red Cross needs donations as pandemic saps blood supplies

Supplies are low with more than 100,000 blood drives canceled since the pandemic started.

  Study says COVID-19 likely came to US in 2019

CDC researchers analyzed blood donations collected by the American Red Cross from Dec. 13, 2019 through Jan. 17, 2020.

  Caught on video: Customer, owner face off in Calif. restaurant fracas over late order

Surveillance video shows what happened when an angry customer became violent over a late order.

Bad Bunny is Spotify’s most-streamed artist of 2020

With more than 3.3 billion streams, Bad Bunny’s sophomore solo album “YHLQMDLG” tops Spotify’s list of most-streamed albums globally.

Nasdaq seeks mandatory board diversity for listed companies

The proposal filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday, if approved, would require all companies listed on the exchange to publicly disclose consistent, transparent diversity statistics about their board of directors.

Huge Puerto Rico radio telescope, already damaged, collapses

The collapse stunned many scientists who had relied on what was until recently the largest radio telescope in the world.

OPEC talks on production hit snag as pandemic clouds outlook

The OPEC oil producers’ cartel was to push ahead with a new round of discussions Tuesday about how much to pump next year as countries wrestled over whether to extend the production cuts that have been supporting prices depressed by the pandemic.

  Michigan great-grandparents die of COVID-19 one minute apart

Like the star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet, Leslie and Patricia McWaters died a minute apart.

  Government watchdog says weekly unemployment benefits report flawed

A government watchdog has found that the Labor Department’s widely watched weekly unemployment benefits data are providing an inaccurate reading on the number of newly laid off workers because of flaws in the government’s data collection.

Palm tree helps toddler survive 4-story fall from apartment in Miami

A palm tree under the window helped slow the speed of the fall and the child landed in some bushes.

  Joe Biden weighs Rahm Emanuel for transportation secretary

Biden’s selection of his nominee to lead the Transportation Department is not believed to be imminent, and Emanuel is among multiple candidates in the running for the Cabinet position, according to people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

  Study: Students falling behind in math during COVID-19 pandemic

The findings confirm expectations that students are losing ground during the pandemic, but show those losses are not as great as projections made in spring.

  Doctor seen comforting elderly COVID-19 patient in heartbreaking photo speaks

Thankfully, the patient in the picture is doing better and may be able to leave the hospital soon.

  Trump science adviser Scott Atlas leaving White House job

Atlas had broken with government experts and the overwhelming consensus of the scientific community to criticize efforts to encourage face covering to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

  Top secret: Biden gets access to President’s Daily Brief

Outgoing President Donald Trump approved the briefings for Biden last Tuesday, a day after his administration approved the formal transition process to his successor.

  Americans face new COVID-19 restrictions after Thanksgiving

Health experts had pleaded with Americans to stay home over Thanksgiving and not gather with anyone who didn't live with them.

Judge: Detained immigrants must see a judge within 10 days

Civil rights groups praised the ruling by U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan as the first of its kind in the nation to set such a rule for the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency.

It’s Major: Pets poised for a return to the White House

In a few weeks, Major, fellow German shepherd Champ and the TBD feline are expected to make the move to the White House.

Stocks slip, but S&P 500 still logs best month since April

Stocks pulled back slightly from their record levels Monday as Wall Street put a quiet coda on one of its most rocking months in decades.

  Congress returns with virus aid, federal funding unresolved

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.

Wisconsin confirms Joe Biden as winner following recount

Joe Biden’s victory in battleground Wisconsin is scheduled to be certified following a partial recount that only added to his 20,600-vote margin over President Donald Trump.

Iowa board certifies 6-vote Republican win in US House race

Iowa officials on Monday certified a Republican candidate as the winner by six votes of an open seat in the U.S. House, in what is shaping up to be the closest congressional election in decades.

  Georgia official announces investigations, defends election

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said during a news conference at the state Capitol that his office continues to investigate any credible claims of illegal voting and violations of state election law. His office currently has more than 250 open cases from this year, he said.

Sen. Grassley returns to Senate after coronavirus isolation

Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the longest-serving Republican senator and third in the line of presidential succession, is back in the Senate on Monday after testing positive for coronavirus two weeks ago.

OPEC talks on oil production to go into second day

The OPEC nations, led by Saudi Arabia, will reconvene Tuesday, according to a short statement from the cartel’s Vienna headquarters. The talks will include additional members from a wider group, known as OPEC Plus, that also includes Russia.