December 2, 2021
Currently: 75° — Complete forecast
Published Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021 | 9 p.m.
Updated 11 hours, 57 minutes ago
PARIS (AP) — Greeks who are over age 60 and refuse coronavirus vaccinations could be hit with monthly fines of more than one-quarter of their pensions — a get-tough policy that the country’s politicians say will cost votes but save lives. In Israel, potential carriers of the new omicron variant could be tracked by the nation’s formidable spy agency in seeming defiance of a Supreme Court ruling from the last go-round. Weekly protests in the Netherlands over the country’s 5 p.m. lockdown and other new restrictions have descended into violence, despite what appears to be overwhelming acceptance of the rules. 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.
The Marine Corps demolition specialist was worried — about America, and about the civil war he feared would follow the presidential election. And so, block by block, he stole 13 pounds (6 kilograms) of C4 plastic explosives from the training ranges of Camp Lejeune. “The riots, talk about seizing guns, I saw this country moving towards a scary unknown future,” the sergeant would later write, in a seven-page statement to military investigators. “I had one thing on my mind and one thing only, I am protecting my family and my constitutional rights.” His crime might have gone undetected, but authorities caught a lucky break in 2018 as they investigated yet another theft from Lejeune, the massive base on coastal North Carolina.
WASHINGTON (AP) — In the biggest challenge to abortion rights in decades, the Supreme Court’s conservative majority on Wednesday signaled they would allow states to ban abortion much earlier in pregnancy and may even overturn the nationwide right that has existed for nearly 50 years. With hundreds of demonstrators outside chanting for and against, the justices led arguments that could decide the fate of the court’s historic 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion throughout the United States and its 1992 ruling in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which reaffirmed Roe. The outcome probably won’t be known until next June. But after nearly two hours of arguments, all six conservative justices, including three appointed by former President Donald Trump, indicated they would uphold a Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
IRVING, Texas (AP) — Major League Baseball plunged into its first work stoppage in a quarter-century when the sport’s collective bargaining agreement expired Wednesday night and owners immediately locked out players in a move that threatens spring training and opening day. The strategy, management’s equivalent of a strike under federal labor law, ended the sport’s labor peace after 9,740 days over 26 1/2 years. Teams decided to force the long-anticipated confrontation during an offseason rather than risk players walking out during the summer, as they did in 1994. Players and owners had successfully reached four consecutive agreements without a work stoppage, but they have been accelerating toward a clash for more than two years.
“Some say the world will end in fire,” wrote the poet Robert Frost — and for much of 2021, Associated Press photographers captured scenes of a world ablaze, amid rumblings of ruin. In New Delhi, a man sprints amid the funeral pyres of COVID-19 victims — too many fires, too much heat, too many victims. On a beach near the village of Limni, Greece, the horizon is lit by the flames of wildfires raging across the eastern Mediterranean. And at La Palma in the Canary Islands, the inferno is in the Cumbre Vieja volcano. But more than 10,000 million cubic meters of ash turn the world into a negative, with black ash taking the place of white snow.
The suspension of all WTA tournaments in China because of concerns about the safety of Peng Shuai, a Grand Slam doubles champion who accused a former government official there of sexual assault, could result in cancellations of those events beyond 2022, the head of the women’s professional tennis tour told The Associated Press on Wednesday. “We’re hopeful we get to the right place, but we are prepared, if it continues as it is — which hasn’t been productive to date — that we will not be operating in the region,” WTA President and CEO Steve Simon said in a video call from California.
OXFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — The parents of a teenager accused of killing four students at a Michigan school were summoned to discuss his behavior just a few hours before the violence, a sheriff said. The disclosure was made Wednesday as Ethan Crumbley, 15, was charged as an adult with two dozen crimes, including murder, attempted murder and terrorism for a shooting Tuesday at Oxford High School in Oakland County. “He deliberately brought the handgun that day with the intent to murder as many students as he could,” assistant prosecutor Marc Keast said while successfully arguing for no bail for Crumbley and a transfer to jail from a juvenile facility.
BEIRUT (AP) — A Lebanese DJ was days away from moving to Riyadh to play for a month in one of the newest entertainment centers in Saudi Arabia’s capital when a brief, polite Whatsapp message informed her that the contract won’t go through. The head of a Beirut-based communications agency had been negotiating to revive a two-year-old contract derailed by the pandemic for hundreds of thousands of dollars. After two days of silence her Saudi client, in an apologetic call, said now is not the time. A business owner who for years exported stationary to the kingdom had to return 20 containers of notebooks and paper ready for shipping to his warehouse outside of Beirut.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — After a monthslong hiatus, Iran has returned to negotiations in Vienna aimed at reviving its cratered nuclear deal with world powers. But Tehran isn’t slowing down the advances in its atomic program, further raising the stakes in talks crucial to cooling years of tensions boiling in the wider Mideast. The case in point? Iran’s underground nuclear facility in Fordo. The International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations body charged with monitoring the Islamic Republic’s program, acknowledged Wednesday that Iran began feeding a cascade of 166 advanced IR-6 centrifuges with uranium there. The agency said Iran plans to enrich uranium there up to 20% purity — a short, technical step from weapons-grade levels of 90%.
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — Even Christmas trees aren’t immune to the pandemic-induced shortages and inflation plaguing the economy. Extreme weather and supply chain disruptions have reduced supplies of both real and artificial trees this season. American shoppers should expect to have fewer choices and pay up to 30% more for both types this Christmas, industry officials said. “It’s a double whammy — weather and supply chain problems are really hampering the industry,” said Jami Warner, executive director of the American Christmas Tree Association, an industry trade group. “Growers have been hard hit by floods, fires, smoke, drought, extreme weather conditions.” Record-breaking heat and wildfires in late June took a heavy toll on Christmas tree farms in Oregon and Washington, two of the nation’s largest growers.
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