Bill Chappell

NASA announced 10 astronaut candidates on Monday, selecting a group from more than 12,000 applications. The group, which includes four women, will train in hopes of being named to NASA's first human missions to the moon in more than 50 years.

The would-be astronauts reflect a broad stretch of America, from Alaska to Puerto Rico.

Rep. Thomas Massie, a pro-gun Republican lawmaker from Kentucky, is being criticized for posting a photo to social media that shows his family holding powerful guns, just four days after a teenager killed four students at Oxford High School in Michigan. In that attack, the shooter used a gun his father had bought as an early Christmas gift for his son.

"Merry Christmas!" Massie wrote as he posted his photo, adding, "ps. Santa, please bring ammo."

The Portland Trail Blazers have fired Neil Olshey as their general manager, a dismissal that takes effect immediately. Olshey had been under investigation after workers reportedly accused him of creating a hostile work environment.

The Blazers said Olshey violated their code of conduct, in a brief statement the team issued on Friday.

The NBA team didn't provide details of Olshey's misdeeds, stating, "Out of respect for those who candidly participated in that privileged investigation, we will not release or discuss it."

They're certainly eye-catching, but they're also dangerous: That's the verdict on the "Carolina Squat," a modification to vehicles that raises their front while keeping their rear end low to the ground.

Police in North Carolina are now on the lookout for any squatted cars or trucks, which this week became illegal to drive in the state.

British diver Tom Daley won fans for his habit of knitting between events at the Tokyo Olympics. Now he's converted that hobby into a business, launching a website that sells knitting kits for sweaters, blankets, accessories and even a pink flamingo named Elvis.

Daley's Made with Love site recently went live, giving his fans — many of whom have long followed his knitting exploits on Instagram — a new chance to purl along with the 27-year-old gold medalist.

The jury in the federal sex-trafficking trial of Ghislaine Maxwell heard its first testimony Tuesday, including from a woman who says Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein sexually abused her when she was a minor.

The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season is now officially over, ending a period in which eight storms smacked into the U.S. coast. With 21 named storms, 2021 ranks as the third most active year in history, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Here are some of the things that set the 2021 season apart:

The omicron coronavirus variant was already in the Netherlands a week before South Africa reported the new variant to the World Health Organization, according to a Dutch health agency.

Updated November 29, 2021 at 5:41 PM ET

Opening statements began Monday in the federal sex-trafficking trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, the once prominent socialite who stands accused of helping disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein exploit and abuse multiple girls, including one as young as 14, over nearly a decade.

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland formally declared "squaw" to be a derogatory term Friday and ordered a task force to find replacement names for valleys, lakes, creeks and other sites on federal lands that use the word.

The order, which takes effect immediately, stands to affect more than 650 place names that use the term, according to figures from the U.S. Board on Geographic Names.

An unprecedented crowd-funded attempt to buy an extremely rare copy of the U.S. Constitution fell just short Thursday night, when a group of more than 17,000 people who had pooled their money were outbid in an auction for the historical document.

Editor's note: This story contains images that some readers may find disturbing.

Floaters, Martín Espada's collection of poems that explore bigotry, protests and love, is the 2021 winner of the National Book Award in poetry. The title poem draws on a tragedy: the deaths of Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez, 25, and his young daughter, Angie Valeria, whose bodies were found in the water along the Rio Grande.

Updated November 18, 2021 at 5:17 PM ET

Defense attorneys for the three white men accused of murdering Ahmaud Arbery have each rested their cases.

Travis McMichael, his father, Greg, and William 'Roddie' Bryan, were all charged in the killing of Arbery whom they had pursued him in their pick-up trucks.

Judge Timothy Walmsley released the jury until Monday when they're expected to hear closing arguments. The nearly all-white jury could begin deliberations Monday afternoon.

Updated November 17, 2021 at 7:00 PM ET

Travis McMichael took the witness stand Wednesday in his murder trial over the February 2020 killing of Ahmaud Arbery, as the defense launched its phase of the trial. The prosecution rested its case on Tuesday.

Frida Kahlo's "Diego y yo," a painting of herself with her husband's image on her forehead, sold for $34.9 million in a Sotheby's auction Tuesday night. The art dealer described it as "the last of her great self-portraits."

It's the most money ever paid at auction for a work by a Latin American artist. The price is also more than triple the highest amount previously paid for a Kahlo work in an auction.

Jury selection in the federal sex-trafficking trial for Ghislaine Maxwell got underway Tuesday in a Manhattan courtroom. Judge Alison Nathan questioned potential jurors about the case, looking to winnow down a jury pool of hundreds of people into a panel that will hear charges that Maxwell helped disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse minors as young as 14.

Updated November 16, 2021 at 3:11 PM ET

Pfizer has signed a licensing deal to allow dozens of lower-income countries to benefit from generic versions of its new COVID-19 pill. The agreement covers 95 nations, but it omits some hard-hit countries.

Former President Donald Trump's company has agreed to sell its Trump International Hotel operation in Washington, D.C., according to multiple reports. The deal is said to be worth $375 million and will result in the Trump name being removed from the landmark property that stands close to the White House.

U.S. postal customers will not have to endure a repeat of the delay-plagued 2020 holiday season, according to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.

"We are ready" for the looming peak season, when millions of Americans will mail and receive packages, cards and letters, DeJoy said Wednesday, during a meeting of the U.S. Postal Service's board of governors.

Keishia Thorpe immigrated to the U.S. as a child, hoping for a better life than the poverty she came from in Jamaica. She's now a teacher in Maryland — and her devotion to preparing young immigrants to succeed just brought her international recognition and $1 million, via the Global Teacher Prize.

In a sign that the committee chose the right teacher, Thorpe said it's all about her students.

The U.K.'s phone regulator says it will keep thousands of the nation's famous red public phone kiosks in service, despite a sharp drop in calls from the boxes.

Communications regulator Ofcom says the payphones are still vital in case of emergencies, and in areas where cellphone users can't get a reliable signal.

Under the regulator's new criteria, a call box will need to be used at least 52 times over a 12-month period for it to stay in service. And if a kiosk is in an area identified as an accident or suicide hotspot, it can't be removed.

NASA's first human mission to the moon in more than 50 years, which could include putting the first woman and person of color on the lunar surface, won't happen until at least 2025, the agency said Tuesday.

It's planning at least 10 Moon landings in the future — but NASA's leaders said Tuesday that an overly aggressive timeline from the Trump administration and a prolonged legal fight over a key contract are two reasons why it had to alter plans for its Artemis missions.

When does a crowd become dangerous? Should you push back in a crush of people? Those are some of the questions you might be asking yourself after eight people died and more were hurt during a Travis Scott performance at the Astroworld Festival in Houston.

Manfred Steiner had a successful and productive career as a doctor, helping generations of medical students learn about hematology. But all along, he had a nagging feeling he should be doing something else: studying physics. At age 89, he has finally fulfilled that dream, earning his Ph.D. in physics from Brown University.

"It's my third doctorate, but this one I really cherish a lot. That I made it — and made it at this age," said Steiner, who is weeks from turning 90, in an interview with NPR.

Updated November 5, 2021 at 8:42 PM ET

Opening arguments in the trial over Ahmaud Arbery's killing began Friday morning, with Travis McMichael; his father, Gregory McMichael; and their neighbor William "Roddie" Bryan facing murder charges.

Prosecutors are urging jurors to convict the three white men of several felonies, saying they chased Arbery, a Black man, through a neighborhood in Glynn County, Ga., and shot him to death with a shotgun.

Pfizer says that its COVID-19 pill reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 89%, in a clinical trial that tested the drug in adults with the disease who were also in high-risk health groups.

The oral medicine is called Paxlovid. Similar to Merck's new pill that was approved in the U.K. on Thursday, Pfizer said its drug showed good results when administered within five days of the first COVID-19 symptoms.

Merck's antiviral pill that fights COVID-19 in adults with the disease won its first authorization in the world Thursday, as the U.K.'s medical regulator announced that the drug is "safe and effective at reducing the risk of hospitalization and death" in mild to moderate cases.

The drug is a "game changer," British Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said. Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics developed the oral antiviral.

Updated November 3, 2021 at 10:01 AM ET

People of color made history on election night in 2021, bringing diversity to leadership roles in some of America's biggest cities, and in some states as well.

Boston, New York, Pittsburgh and Dearborn, Mich., were among the places that a majority of voters embraced minority candidates.

An undersea collision that injured 11 crew members of a U.S. nuclear-powered submarine last month was caused by an uncharted seamount (an underwater mountain), the U.S. Navy says.

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