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Omicron variantWhat to know
     

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DownpourRainfall in America
     

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Tighter travel rules, free at home-tests and boosters: Biden unveils COVID-19 winter planPresident Biden laid out his plan for combating COVID-19 after the omicron variant was found in the USA and a poll shows rising frustration.
     

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Congress avoids shutdown after House, Senate vote to extend government funding into FebruaryThe House and Senate on Thursday approved a bill to fund the government through Feb. 18, avoiding a shutdown for the second time in recent months.
     

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President Biden: My winter plan fights COVID with testing and vaccines and without lockdownsWe can and we must come together as a nation to fight this virus, to protect one another, to protect our economic recovery.
     

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Alec Baldwin recounts fatal 'Rust' shooting: 'Someone is responsible ... but I know it's not me'Alec Baldwin gave his first sit-down interview to talk about the "Rust" shooting that killed Halyna Hutchins. Here's what he said.
     

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Antonio Brown among three NFL players suspended after they 'misrepresented' COVID-19 vaccine statusThe league did not specifically reveal how the players, who were represented by the NFL Players Association, circumvented the protocols.
     

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Trump tested positive for COVID. Did he endanger Biden when he showed up to debate him?Trump campaigned across several states, attending events with thousands of people present after his former aide said he tested positive for COVID-19.
     

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Reports: 'Laverne & Shirley,' 'Dreamgirls' actor Eddie Mekka dies at 69Eddie Mekka's Carmine was first introduced in a few episodes of "Happy Days" and later took a lead role in the "Laverne & Shirley" spin-off.
     

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Grizzlies rout Thunder by 73 points to set NBA record for largest margin of victoryThe Grizzlies pounced early and poured it on like no other team in NBA history for a 152-79 win and record 73-point margin of victory.
     

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What's not to love? The US savings bond that earns 7% with inflation protection, yet gets ignoredTreasury's I bonds have seen a spectacular rate rise, with new rates set every six months based on inflation, but still don't get love from investors.
     

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Biden wants insurers to pay for at-home COVID tests. How would that work? Will it matter?Here's what we know about President Joe Biden's plan to require private insurers cover at-home coronavirus tests.
     

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Washington police investigate 'deeply disturbing' school board meeting incident as hate crimeA school board meeting led by a Black superintendent was interrupted by image of George Floyd and looped recording of racial slurs.
     

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The White House is making at-home COVID testing free: Here's what travelers should knowSome at-home tests can be purchased at local retailers and pharmacies, and results can often be processed within minutes.
     

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'A person no matter how small': Question of when life begins is at core of abortion debateThose who, like me, see personhood at the earliest stages of human life, from conception, see abortion as a violent act against our unborn neighbors.
     

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Ed Sheeran thought he was gay as a child. We need to talk about why.Why do concerns about queerness begin as prepubescent childhood? Because of adults and the expectations society sets, according to experts.
     

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Lakers' LeBron James clears NBA's COVID-19 health and safety protocols, eligible to return Friday vs. ClippersLeBron James missed just one game with what the NBA said was a false positive test and should be back Friday when the Lakers play the Clippers.
     

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Today's date is rare: It reads the same way forward, backward and upside downToday's date, written out numerically as 12/02/2021, is a rare eight-digit palindrome, which occurs just 12 times in the 21st century.
     

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'Like a gay dream come true': Netflix's first gay holiday rom-com 'Single All the Way' relishes in joyNetflix's first gay holiday romantic comedy "Single All the Way" is here to lift holiday spirits and further queer up a heterosexual genre.
     

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Stronger than yesterday: See Britney Spears' most iconic career moments as she turns 40Britney Spears is freed from her conservatorship but it's unclear if she will perform again. Until then, we look back at her biggest moments.
     

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The best Amazon Cyber Monday 2021 deals you can still shop on Apple, iRobot and moreWe've rounded up the best Cyber Monday deals you can still shop at the Amazon Cyber Monday 2021 sale, from brands like Apple, Bose, Samsung and KitchenAid.
     

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Waukesha Christmas parade suspect: I'm being treated like a 'monster'In an interview with FOX News, Waukesha Christmas parade suspect Darrell Brooks Jr., says he is being treated like a "monster."
     

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Bath & Body Works' annual Candle Day sale returns Friday with $10.25 three-wick candlesBath & Body Works' Candle Day sale 2021 is Friday and Saturday with three-wick candles on sale for $10.25. Expect the candles to sell out fast online.
     

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Surgeon who amputated the wrong leg of an elderly patient fined less than $3,100An Austrian court fined a surgeon $3,050 after she amputated the wrong leg of an 82-year-old man suffering from multiple medical conditions.
     

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Burger King celebrates 64 years of the Whopper with 37 cent throwback deal Friday, SaturdayBurger King's Whopper will cost 37 cents as part of a two-day "birthday bash" deal. But the special is only open to Royal Perks loyalty members.
     

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Michael J. Fox: We can help end Parkinson's disease by learning early markers and symptomsThe Michael J. Fox Foundation is launching a new initiative aimed at studying the early signs of Parkinson's. Here's how to participate.
     

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Join us on Dec. 14Register for this free USA TODAY event discussing the ongoing fight for freedom and equality in America.
     

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'Grattitude' with attitudeArtist Peter Tunney's exclusive "GRATTITUDE" and "LIBERTY" artwork using USA TODAY NETWORK pages is available as NFTs to benefit charity.
     

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Holiday foodsShopping tips, recipes, how-to guides and everything you need for stress-free cooking during the best part of the year.
     

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Are travel bans worth it? They could slow the spread of omicron but they have repercussions, experts sayExperts who spoke to USA TODAY agreed that travel bans could help buy time to build a response to the new variant, but they wouldn't stop the spread.
     

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Negging: The popular flirting technique that hinges on emotional manipulationNegging, or sending backhanded compliments as a form of flirting, is more than just playful banter. Experts say it's emotional manipulation.
     

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From Capitol riot to cicadas, outer space to the Suez Canal: A visual dive into 2021's biggest storiesIn 2021, we showed you broken parts of the environment, infrastructure and international relations. Here are a few of our favorite visual stories.
     

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Women would be required to register with the Selective Service if this amendment becomes lawA congressional amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to see women register in case of a military draft has mostly bipartisan support.
     

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