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WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court said Monday that it would hear a major challenge to the reach of the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion ruling and decide whether states may bar nearly all abortions after 15 weeks of a pregnancy. The justices said they had voted to hear an appeal from Mississippi that urges the court to “reconsider the bright-line viability rule” that says states may not prohibit ...

Mcclatchy

AT&T's WarnerMedia and Discovery unveiled their blockbuster $43-billion union Monday, a combination that would bring some of the biggest names in television — HBO, CNN, HGTV, Animal Planet and Food Network — and the Warner Bros. movie studio under one roof. As part of the all-stock deal, AT&T shareholders would own 71% of the new company and Discovery shareholders 29%. AT&T also would receive ...

Mcclatchy

WASHINGTON — Any mandates in the U.S. to require people to be vaccinated against COVID-19 will be set locally, not federally, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. “It may very well be that local businesses, local jurisdictions, will work towards vaccine mandates,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “That is going to be locally driven and ...

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CHICAGO – New data from researchers who studied women who were vaccinated while pregnant found no evidence that the vaccine affected their placentas. The new findings, published Tuesday in the Obstetrics & Gynecology journal, may help switch the focus from conversations around whether the vaccine is safe during pregnancy to how getting vaccinated is a way to protect mom and baby. Co-author Dr. ...

Mcclatchy

Confidence is growing that COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the U.S. are holding their own against the coronavirus variants now in circulation. “Everything we’ve seen with the variants should provide marked reassurance, as far as the protection that is afforded by vaccines — particularly the vaccines that we have in the United States,” said Dr. Eric Topol, director of the Scripps ...

Mcclatchy

Federal officials on Thursday announced a sweeping relaxation of face mask guidelines, including allowing fully vaccinated people to safely stop wearing masks in most places — either outdoors or indoors. “Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a mask or physical distancing,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the ...

Mcclatchy

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s first meeting with all four top congressional leaders ended with the usual platitudes on Wednesday — it was “productive,” “good,” “very strong,” and suggested “a place we can find bipartisanship.” By today’s toxic standards in Washington, that’s something of an accomplishment. But it hardly means Biden has a clear path ahead in Congress for moving his agenda, ...

Mcclatchy

WASHINGTON — Two former Trump administration officials are facing tough questions at a congressional hearing on their roles in the sharply criticized response to the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. Wednesday’s hearing is the latest in Congress’ attempts to grapple with the Jan. 6 riots that sent then-Vice President Mike Pence and hundreds of lawmakers into safe rooms as a pro-President Donald ...

Mcclatchy

Children as young as 12 should receive the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine to protect them from COVID-19 and help end the pandemic, a panel of advisers to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Wednesday. The recommendation means that many middle school students and virtually all high school students will have the chance to be vaccinated before the start of the ...

Mcclatchy

WASHINGTON — Criticized for its slow response to escalating warfare, the Biden administration plunged into urgent diplomacy Wednesday, dispatching an emergency envoy to the Mideast, appealing directly to Israel’s prime minister and insisting Israelis and Palestinians deserve “equal measures” of security and freedom. President Joe Biden, who until now sought to keep Middle East crises on a back ...