National News

Updated September 15, 2021 at 2:55 PM ET

In vivid and emotional testimony at a Senate hearing Wednesday, four elite American gymnasts testified about the abuse they had suffered by former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar and their feelings of betrayal by investigators, including from the FBI which they say let them down.

Olympic gymnast Simone Biles tearfully said she blames Nassar and also "an entire system that allowed his abuse," including USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

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Updated September 15, 2021 at 1:51 PM ET

The Food and Drug Administration released an analysis by Pfizer on the need for a booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

Pfizer's analysis says data from Israel and the United States in the context of the delta variant suggests "that vaccine protection against COVID-19 infection wanes approximately 6 to 8 months following the second dose."

The World Anti-Doping Agency will review its ban on cannabis, in what the agency says is a response to "requests from a number of stakeholders" in international athletics. But it's not clear when, or if, a change to the controversial policy might take effect: cannabis will remain forbidden for the 2022 athletic season.

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As Gavin Newsom defeated the effort to unseat him as governor of California, last night, his main opponent in that race, Republican Larry Elder, did something that is no longer a given. He conceded.

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A group of Latino lawmakers wants the Biden administration to rename Fort Hood in Texas after the country's first Hispanic American promoted to four-star general.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus recommended that Fort Hood, one of the country's largest military installations, be renamed in honor of the late Gen. Richard E. Cavazos.

Updated September 15, 2021 at 8:13 PM ET

For the first time, a group of all civilians, four in total, have launched in a SpaceX mission to orbit the planet.

The commander of the flight, Jared Isaacman, is the founder and billionaire CEO of Shift4 Payments. He is accompanied by Hayley Arceneaux, a physician assistant at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital; Chris Sembroski, an aerospace data engineer; and pilot and geoscientist Sian Proctor.

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The U.S. Soccer Federation took a major step regarding equal pay concerns for its men's and women's national teams.

The federation announced Tuesday that it's offering the respective players' unions for the men's and women's national teams the same contract proposals. The decision reflects an effort to align the two senior national teams under a single collective bargaining agreement structure — and pay structure.

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The Justice Department asked a federal judge in Texas to temporarily block enforcement of the state's new law that bans abortions after about six weeks.

This step, a major move by the Biden administration against the highly controversial law, follows a lawsuit filed by the Justice Department last week. The Biden administration asked the court late Tuesday to implement the preliminary injunction while the lawsuit plays out in federal court.

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The Justice Department has accused an upstate New York health insurance plan for seniors, along with a medical analytics company the insurer is affiliated with, of cheating the government out of tens of millions of dollars.

The civil complaint of fraud, filed this week, is the first by the federal government to target a data mining company for allegedly helping a Medicare Advantage program to game federal billing regulations in a way that enables the plan to overcharge for patient treatment.

The COVID-19 response plan that President Biden unveiled last week aims to dramatically increase the accessibility of rapid tests for the coronavirus.

The Biden administration announced it was spending $2 billion on 280 million quick-turnaround tests to be distributed to community health centers, food banks, testing sites, shelters, prisons and other congregate settings. It's also leaning on Walmart, Amazon and Kroger to sell rapid tests at wholesale cost for the next three months.

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Politicians and pop stars often come back to the same refrain.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ME AND BOBBY MCGEE")

JANIS JOPLIN: (Singing) Freedom is just another word for nothin' left to lose.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "FREEDOM")

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Updated September 15, 2021 at 1:15 PM ET

A treatment that simulates the loss of an eye may help adults with the vision impairment known as amblyopia or "lazy eye."

Studies in mice and cats suggest that the approach allows the brain to rewire in a way that restores normal vision, a team reports this week in the journal eLife.

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Comedian Norm Macdonald, a beloved Saturday Night Live cast member in the 1990s, has died. His management company confirmed that the 61-year-old had battled cancer for nine years.

Of all the candidates trying to unseat California Gov. Gavin Newsom in the recall election wrapping up Tuesday, conservative talk show host Larry Elder has the best chance.

Elder works for the right-wing broadcaster Salem Media Group, an outfit that has quietly become one of the most powerful forces in conservative media, with hosts who peddle discredited claims about COVID-19, last year's elections and more.

Updated September 15, 2021 at 6:24 AM ET

Using recovered DNA to "genetically resurrect" an extinct species — the central idea behind the Jurassic Park films — may be moving closer to reality with the creation this week of a new company that aims to bring back woolly mammoths thousands of years after the last of the giants disappeared from the Arctic tundra.

How are young people coping with climate change? The answer, according to one study, is not well, and for good reason.

For a forthcoming study, researchers with the U.K.'s University of Bath and other schools spoke to 10,000 people in 10 countries, all of whom were between the ages of 16 and 25, to gauge how they feel about climate change. The prevailing response could be summed up in two words: incredibly worried. And the respondents say governments aren't doing enough to combat climate change.

Updated September 14, 2021 at 10:51 PM ET

Tropical Depression Nicholas has drenched the Houston metro area as the large storm creeps over southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana. The system, which made landfall early Tuesday morning as a hurricane, is expected to drop another 5 to 10 inches of rain on a broad area from the northern Texas coast to the western Florida Panhandle through Thursday.

"Life-threatening flash flooding" is possible, particularly in urban areas, the National Hurricane Center said.

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