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BEIJING – Noodles will be served by a robot — just one of the many ways that China is aiming to keep the Olympics free of COVID-19 as an estimated 13,000 international athletes and journalists descend on Beijing, China's capital, for the Winter Olympic Games that start on Feb. 4.

Hosting the Olympics presents a massive challenge for China, where for the last two years, authorities have implemented some of the most rigorous COVID-prevention policies in the world. The country has closed its borders to nearly all travelers and locked down cities over just a handful of infections.

Updated January 22, 2022 at 9:01 PM ET

BIG SUR, Calif. — Firefighters on Saturday were battling a wildfire that broke out in the rugged mountains along Big Sur, forcing hundreds of residents on this precarious stretch of the California coast to evacuate and authorities to shut its main roadway.

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Don't try to sweet-talk Olly Alexander.


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This past summer, Rupali Limaye says she "sort of became the vaccine lady at the pool."

She's a behavioral and social scientist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, so it made sense that other parents were coming to her for information. Limaye has also spent the past decade studying vaccine hesitancy. In that work, she has come to understand deeply that when someone has doubts, hearing the facts from someone the person knows well can be a powerful force in overcoming those doubts.

President Biden held a nearly two-hour, very wide-ranging news conference Wednesday that, for all its headlines, underscored how external forces shape his presidency as it enters its second year — and none more so than the ongoing pandemic.

He touted accomplishments in his first year, from millions of vaccinations to the passage of massive COVID-19 relief and infrastructure bills.

Biden reflected on his struggles, too, painted a relatively optimistic outlook for the country, laid out how he wants to be president differently going forward, and even admitted mistakes.

What life is like for an 11-year-old

Jan 22, 2022

Avah Lamie feels like the world needs a lot of fixing. She feels it when she thinks about melting glaciers and plastic in the ocean. And lately, she's been feeling it at school.

"We've had some fights at recess, some physical, some just yelling," she says. "It really just — it gets you down sometimes."

The 11-year-old lives in Hartford, a Vermont town of almost 10,000 people near the border with New Hampshire. She's like a lot of kids: She takes dance, likes science and has a little brother. She's in fifth grade at a small public school called Dothan Brook.

An 11-month-old girl was struck by a stray bullet that hit the parked car she was in on a street in the Bronx Wednesday. Last night, two police officers were shot, one fatally, as they checked out a domestic dispute call in Harlem. The suspected gunman also was killed.

These cases, and those of hundreds of others over the past year, have frustrated residents and police alike. They want the gun violence to stop.

You made the sourdough, you built the LEGO castle, you grew the vegetables. Now what?

To help you find your next moment of joy, we asked our readers what creative ideas they've come up with to cultivate happiness, two years into pandemic life. Your answers were unexpected, exciting and showed there's always a way to tap into your curious side and try something new.

Updated January 22, 2022 at 9:16 PM ET

NORFOLK, Va. — A layer of ice and a blanket of snow covered coastal areas stretching from South Carolina to Virginia on Saturday after a winter weather system brought colder temperatures and precipitation not often seen in the region.

Updated January 21, 2022 at 8:42 PM ET

HANOI, Vietnam — Thich Nhat Hanh, the revered Zen Buddhist monk who helped pioneer the concept of mindfulness in the West and socially engaged Buddhism in the East, has died. He was 95.

A post on the monk's verified Twitter page attributed to The International Plum Village Community of Engaged Buddhism said that Nhat Hanh, known as Thay to his followers, died at Tu Hieu Temple in Hue, Vietnam.

RIO DE JANEIRO — The world-famous Carnival festivities in Rio de Janeiro will be held in late April rather than the final weekend of February, as the number of coronavirus cases in Brazil spikes and the omicron variant spreads across the country.

Attorney General Merrick Garland on Friday said the federal government wants to create a "comprehensive" response to the scourge of gun crime that involves working more with cities and states.

"At the Justice Department, we stand shoulder to shoulder with you in the fight against violent crime and we will use every tool at our disposal to protect our communities," Garland said in remarks to the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington on Friday.

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Back at the start of 2020, two years ago, Julie Hogan was on the list for a kidney transplant. And that February, she got the call. There was a donor.

Kai Forsyth lived it up on a recent British Airways flight from London to Florida. The 19-year-old college freshman had the entire airplane to himself, with only the pilots and flight crew onboard keeping him company on the nearly 9-hour flight.

"The cabin crew said I was the only person on board the flight," Forsyth wrote in a TikTok video about his trip on Jan. 9. Indeed, as the phone pans from left to right, a sea of empty seats fills the frame.

Temperatures hovered at around 20 degrees as thousands gathered in Washington, D.C., for the 49th annual March for Life protest.

The march occurs around the anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision: Jan. 22, 1973. And this year, there's a growing sentiment among the protesters that it could be the last march before Roe is possibly overturned.

"We are hoping and praying that this year, 2022, will bring us historic change for life," March for Life president Jeanne Mancini said. "Roe is not settled law," she said to cheers from the crowd.

KYIV, Ukraine — Artyom and Marina Kluchnikov have made do raising four children in a cramped, Soviet-style apartment in Ukraine's capital. They can provide their family with hearty dinners of chicken, cabbage and prunes. But now they're facing the prospect that their modest yet stable existence could suddenly be upended.

Updated January 21, 2022 at 6:47 PM ET

Without drastic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, climate change threatens future Winter Olympic Games because their locations would be too warm to host the events, a new study has found.

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The jazz and lounge music world has lost one of its most iconic personalities. Marty Roberts, one half of the married lounge act Marty & Elayne, died last week at 89.


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The Biden administration on Friday opened a phone line for people to order free at-home COVID-19 tests.

The phone number — 1-800-232-0233 — follows the launch earlier this week of a website to order the tests, and is available for those who may have difficulty accessing the internet or need additional help to place their orders.

According to the White House, the phone line is open from 8 a.m. to midnight ET seven days a week, and offers assistance in more than 150 languages.

Each week, we answer frequently asked questions about life during the coronavirus crisis. If you have a question you'd like us to consider for a future post, email us at with the subject line: "Weekly Coronavirus Questions." See an archive of our FAQs here.

Updated January 23, 2022 at 12:00 PM ET

A federal court in Texas on Friday blocked the Biden administration's vaccine requirement for federal workers, which has been in place since November, in a ruling that the administration is expected to appeal.

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Updated January 21, 2022 at 5:51 PM ET

FBI agents on Friday arrested a Texas man for allegedly threatening to kill election and other government officials in Georgia.

Chad Christopher Stark of Leander, Texas, was taken into custody Friday morning after being indicted in the Northern District of Georgia on a single count of making interstate threats.

National Guard members and state workers are being encouraged to volunteer to become licensed substitute teachers and child care workers under a new initiative in New Mexico, the state's governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham, announced Wednesday.

Updated January 21, 2022 at 11:40 AM ET

No breakthroughs, but an agreement to keep talking.

That's the upshot from a meeting between U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his Kremlin counterpart in Switzerland — the latest in a series of high-level talks that the Biden administration hopes will stave off a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine.