Over $87 billion in federal benefits siphoned from unemployment system

Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun Sentinel/News Tribune via Getty Images More than $87 billion in federally funded unemployment benefits may have been withdrawn from the system during the Covid-19 pandemic, most of it due to fraud, according to a report from the US Department of Labor. Congress authorized several new programs in the early days of … Read more

White House reaches deal to reinstate Trump-era ‘Remain-in-Mexico’ asylum policy

The Biden administration announced Thursday that it has struck a deal with the Mexican government to reintroduce a Trump-era border policy that forces asylum seekers to remain in that country until a US immigration court date. NBC News reported that the program will resume at one border location on Monday and will eventually include seven … Read more

Omicron Covid variant expected to hit New York in ‘coming days,’ NY health commissioner says

A pop-up Covid-19 test takes place on a Manhattan street on October 26, 2021 in New York City. Spencer Platt | Getty Images The new, highly mutated variant of Omicron’s Covid-19 is expected to hit New York state in the “coming days,” the state’s health commissioner said Thursday. “We now have a disclosure. We fully … Read more

U.S. tightens travel testing requirements, mask mandates

United States President Joe Biden talks about a Covid-19 vaccine that has been administered in the United States at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC, February 25, 2021. Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images The Biden administration is tightening rules for travel to and within the United States, requiring all domestic international … Read more

Interactive map shows where the Covid omicron variant has been detected

From the US to Germany, Saudi Arabia to Australia, the Covid-19 omicron variant has spread to dozens of countries globally. The World Health Organization has classified omicron, first discovered by South African scientists, as a “variable of concern” because of the large number of mutations that can make the variant more contagious. Much remains unknown … Read more

Supreme Court conservatives look poised to gut Roe v. Wade abortion rights

Pro-abortion rights activists protest in front of the Supreme Court building, prior to arguments in the Mississippi abortion rights case, Dobbs v. Jackson, and Women’s Health, in Washington, United States, December 1, 2021. Jonathan Ernst | Reuters A conservative majority in the Supreme Court appeared ready, Wednesday, to side with Mississippi in its bid to … Read more

How to score a write-off on ‘Giving Tuesday’ if you don’t itemize

Vladimir Vladimirov H + | Getty Images After a weekend of weekend shopping, Americans will bombard Giving Day philanthropy Tuesday, which generated $2.47 billion from American donors in 2020. But many don’t realize that there is a tax exemption for cash gifts in 2021, even if they don’t itemize deductions on their federal returns. Introduced … Read more

Ghislaine Maxwell trial starts, charged with aiding Jeffrey Epstein

Ghislaine Maxwell sits at the defense table during a hearing to discuss expert witnesses who will be able to testify at Maxwell’s highly anticipated sexual crimes trial in New York, in a courtroom diagram on November 10, 2021. Jane Rosenberg | Reuters Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial was scheduled to begin on Monday afternoon with an opening … Read more

FDA advisory group to review safety and efficacy of Merck’s Covid pill

The Food and Drug Administration’s key advisors are set to meet on Tuesday to decide whether to recommend that the agency grant emergency use authorization for Merck’s experimental pills to treat Covid-19. Members of the agency’s Antimicrobial Drugs Advisory Committee will examine the company’s data before voting on whether the drug’s overall benefits outweigh its … Read more

Omicron Covid variant symptoms? Here’s what we know so far

A member of the medical staff works in the corridors of the intensive care unit as Covid-19 patients are admitted at the Etterbeek-Ixelles Hospital on April 6, 2021 in Brussels. John Theiss | AFP | Getty Images The South African doctor described Covid symptoms associated with the new Omicron variant as “extremely mild”, and he … Read more