H.J. Mai

Stand-up comedian Jackie Mason, who followed a path from rabbi to borscht-belt comic, died in a New York City hospital on Saturday. He was 93.

Mason's longtime friend Raoul Felder confirmed his death to NPR. He said Mason was admitted to the hospital two weeks ago and suffered from a variety of ailments, including inflammation of the lungs. There are no indications that COVID-19 was a factor in the comedian's death.

The opioid crisis in the U.S. has never gone away.

Almost every year, more people die of opioid overdoses than in the year before. More than a half-million people have died from prescription painkillers, heroin and illicit fentanyl since 1999. Provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 66,000 people died of an opioid overdose in the U.S. in the 12 months to September 2020, a huge jump from the previous 12 months.

The shutdown of one of the largest refined products pipelines in the United States following a ransomware attack has prompted speculation about what could happen to gas and diesel prices if the shutdown continues.

Archaeologists discovered the fossilized remains of nine Neanderthals at a prehistoric cave site south of Rome, the Italian Cultural Ministry announced on Saturday.

The oldest of the remains date from between 90,000 and 100,000 years ago, while the other eight are believed to be younger, dating from 50,000 to 68,000 years ago.

Violence, which has been ongoing for several nights, continued in Jerusalem as Palestinians clashed with Israeli police on Saturday, leaving many injured.

Protesters threw rocks and water bottles at police. Officers responded with rubber bullets, stun grenades and water cannons.

For Denver-based flight attendant Ken Kyle, getting a coronavirus vaccine was as convenient as pulling up to the place he knows so well.

"It was great to be able to be vaccinated at the airport," Kyle says, quipping: "You know where you're going."

Kyle is one of a growing number of workers who are benefitting from a strong push by some companies to provide shots at employment sites, all in coordination with local and state health authorities.

Hot dogs. Peanuts. Cold Beer. Food – especially the unhealthy kind – has long been an indelible part of the baseball fan experience.

And as a new baseball season kicks off, all those ballpark staples will still be available. How that food gets to you, however, will be a different matter.

With the Major League Baseball season starting off with much reduced capacity at most ballparks and with social distancing rules, teams have had to think hard about how to interact with their fans.

Former NASA Flight Director and Administrator Glynn Lunney, who played a key role during some of NASA's most historic events, including the Apollo 11 moon landing, died on Friday at the age of 84.

He was also credited for his quick decision-making during the Apollo 13 mission, which helped save the lives of the three astronauts aboard the disabled spacecraft.

Updated March 20, 2021 at 2:33 PM ET

Several European countries have instituted new lockdown restrictions, while others are considering tightening their rules in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus as case numbers across the continent are surging once again.

In France, a new partial lockdown took effect at midnight on Friday. Some 21 million people across 16 regions, including Paris, are affected by the new measures. The French government decided to take the step amid fears of a third wave.

This year's Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games will take place without any overseas spectators after organizers decided to ban international fans from attending the events over COVID-19 concerns.

The decision was made during a virtual meeting between the various stakeholders on Saturday.

A surge in anti-Asian attacks reported since the start of the pandemic has left Asian Americans across the country scared and concerned, but a Los Angeles-based civil rights group says the actual number of hate incidents could be even higher.

"There are far more people who have not reported incidents than those who have," Connie Chung Joe, CEO of Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, told NPR.

The U.S. Capitol Police has suspended six officers with pay for their actions on Jan. 6, when a pro-Trump mob attacked the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to stop the certification of President Biden's Electoral College victory, according to a department statement.

An additional 29 officers remain under investigation as part of the department's ongoing probe into the events that unfolded that day.

Updated at 7:51 p.m. ET

The Texas Democratic Party is calling on Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, to resign or be expelled from office after the Republican lawmaker flew to Cancún, Mexico, for a family vacation in the middle of a deadly winter storm that has left millions of Texans without water and electricity.

Cruz has returned to Texas, calling the trip "a mistake."

In a statement issued Thursday, Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa called the senator's trip to Cancún "deeply disturbing and disappointing."

U.S. airlines are boosting their flight schedules in preparation for the summer after experiencing an increase in customer demand, but returning to 2019 travel numbers will take years, according to an airline executive.

The coronavirus pandemic has completely disrupted the industry, with near empty flights and parked aircraft the most visible signs of trouble. However, the push to reopen the country has provided U.S. carriers with a glimmer of hope.

Sweden's controversial approach to fighting the coronavirus pandemic has so far failed to produce the expected results, and there are calls within the country for the government to change its strategy.

"We have a very vivid political debate," Karin Olofsdotter, Sweden's ambassador to the United States, told NPR. "I don't think people are protesting on the streets but ... there's a very big debate, if this [strategy] is the right thing to do or not, on Facebook and everywhere."

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