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Hank Aaron, a hero of baseball and of civil rights, is being buried in Atlanta Wednesday, drawing friends, family and sports luminaries to say farewell to the widely respected slugger and activist.

Aaron's wife, Billye, their family and friends gathered in church and online to celebrate the man that Friendship Baptist Church Pastor Richard W. Wills Sr. called "this iconic marvel from Mobile."

The union representing U.S. Capitol police officers says the force's leadership failed to adequately relay the known threat of violence ahead of the Jan. 6 deadly riot, calling the acting chief's recent admission of prior knowledge of the threat to Congress "a disclosure that has angered and shocked the rank-and-file officers."

When the president speaks to a world leader, the contents of the call are typically released in a short statement known as a readout. But when President Biden spoke Tuesday with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, the White House instead released a video.

Emily Horne, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council, said the video — the first one of its kind for the team — reflects the importance of the White House's support for NATO and for revitalizing trans-Atlantic relationships, which were frayed during the Trump years.

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In the nine months leading up to her due date, Kayla Kjelshus and her husband, Mikkel, meticulously planned for their daughter's arrival.

Their long to-do list included mapping out their family's health insurance plan and registering for baby gear and supplies. They even nailed down child care ahead of her birth.

"We put a deposit down to hold a spot at a local day care following our first ultrasound," says Kayla Kjelshus, of Olathe, Kan.

Why Scientists Are Very Worried About The Variant From Brazil

2 hours ago

New coronavirus variants seem to be cropping up everywhere. There's one from the U.K., which is more contagious and already circulating in the United States. There's one from South Africa, which is forcing Moderna and Pfizer to reformulate their COVID-19 vaccines and create "booster" shots, just to make sure the vaccines maintain their efficacies.

Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm is expected to refocus the Department of Energy on climate change if she's confirmed as the next secretary of energy.

In a confirmation hearing Wednesday before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Granholm echoed President Biden's emphasis on new jobs created through achieving his goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The resurgence in the pandemic likely dealt a major blow to the U.S. economy in the last three months of the year, though it is not expected to have delivered a knockout punch.

Most economists expect fourth-quarter gross domestic product data on Thursday will show a significant slowdown from July to September, when the economy staged a sharp recovery from the early days of the pandemic.

Your local police department may know more about you than you think. Journalist Jon Fasman says local police are frequently able to access very powerful surveillance tools — including publicly accessible CCTV cameras, automatic license plate readers and cell phone tracking devices — with little oversight.

A crew of private astronauts will pay around $55 million each to spend about eight days at the International Space Station next January in what would be a new step for joint private-public space missions. Axiom Space, a Houston company, says the trip will be led by former NASA astronaut and space station commander Michael López-Alegría.

The Biden administration says the federal government needs to do a better job of acknowledging the ways that communities of color are blocked from fair and equal access to housing.

"Today the average Black family has just one-tenth the wealth of the average white family, while the gap between white and Black in home ownership is now larger than it was in 1960," Susan Rice, head of the White House Domestic Policy Council, said in a news briefing Tuesday.

Updated at 2:24 p.m. ET

At the first briefing by the Biden administration's COVID-19 response team on Wednesday, the message was clear: Science and scientists will lead the response. And the team has inherited a fractured and lagging strategy.

The briefing was led by Jeffrey Zients, a businessman who was a top economic adviser in the Obama administration. Asked how the Defense Production Act might be used to produce more vaccine doses faster, Zients said nothing has been ruled out.

This is the third story in the Mountain West News Bureau series "Elevated Risk," a project powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

A windswept valley cuts through the heart of Lethbridge, Alberta, about an hour north of the border. That wind is what the small prairie city has long been known for. The local hockey team is called the Hurricanes.

But these days Lethbridge is known for something else too – crime. The city of 100,000 tops Canada's Crime Severity Index. And as the crime rate has risen, so has the police's use of force.

Europe's aviation authority has given an all-clear for Boeing's beleaguered 737 Max plane, with modifications, to return to service. This effectively lifts the nearly two-year ban on the aircraft in the European Union following a pair of plane crashes that killed 346 people.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency said a modified version of the 737 Max will be allowed fly once again, after several upgrades to its software, electrical system, operational manuals and training of flight crews.

EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky called it "a significant milestone."

Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET

In an effort to slow the nation's contribution to climate change, President Biden has signed an executive order to begin halting oil and gas leasing on federal lands and waters.

The much-anticipated move is one of several executive actions the president took on Wednesday to address the worsening climate crisis and the broader decline of the natural world, but it won't come without pushback.

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Consumer watchdog groups are applauding President Biden's pick of Gary Gensler to run the Securities and Exchange Commission. They say that there is much to do to protect everyday Americans who invest their retirement or other savings in the market and that Gensler has proved he can get that done.

But progressives were a lot more skeptical about Gensler back in 2009 when he was first chosen to be a top financial regulator. That's because, in some ways, Gensler is the ultimate Wall Street insider.

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Diana Muhammad, who teaches PE and dance in Chicago Public Schools, was "unsure," "uncertain" and "reluctant" about her district's plan for in-person classes starting Monday. At a Chicago Teachers Union press conference earlier this month, she said the plan felt "rushed." And then things got really scary.

"Over the winter break, my life was devastated when my daughter, who was sick with various symptoms all over the place for an entire week, woke up one morning and could not see."

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Mount Merapi, Indonesia's most active volcano, erupted Wednesday, emitting a river of lava onto the mountain below and gas clouds into the sky.

The eruption set off the volcano's longest lava flow since the danger level for Merapi was raised in November, Hanik Humaida, the head of Yogyakarta's Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Center, told The Associated Press. Sounds of the eruption could reportedly be heard almost 18 miles away.

The vast majority of mayors in American cities do not support sweeping changes to the funding of their police departments, and most say last year's racial justice protests were a force for good in their cities, according to a new survey of more than 100 mayors from across the U.S.

Getting into shape traditionally tops many people's lists when it comes to New Year's resolutions. But after a tumultuous past year, focusing on mental health needs is also important.

The Justice Department has ended the Trump-era "zero tolerance" policy for immigration offenses that allowed the U.S. government to separate thousands of children from their parents.

Acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson rescinded the policy Tuesday in a memo sent to federal prosecutors.

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