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So many people need protection so quickly from coronavirus that it's considered essential to have more than one vaccine. And now we're close.

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Updated at 10:18 p.m. ET

When Google unceremoniously ousted Black researcher Timnit Gebru, she felt targeted.

"My theory is that they had wanted me out for a while because I spoke up a lot about issues related to black people, women, and marginalization," Gebru said in an interview on NPR's Morning Edition.

In a 20-0 vote, with one abstention, a panel of advisers to the Food and Drug Administration recommended that the COVID-19 vaccine being developed by Moderna be authorized for emergency use in adults during the pandemic.

If the agency authorizes the vaccine for emergency use, as is expected, it would become the second to be deployed in the U.S to fight the coronavirus.

The vote in favor of the vaccine was taken to answer the agency's question: Do the benefits of the Moderna vaccine outweigh its risks for use in people age 18 and older?

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A second COVID-19 vaccine may soon get cleared for use.

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Updated at 1:22 p.m. ET

Members of the Sackler family and Purdue Pharma's CEO say they did nothing wrong during the years their company illegally marketed Oxycontin and other opioids.

"There's nothing I can find that I would have done differently," said Dr. Kathe Sackler who served on Purdue's board for nearly 20 years.

This time of year, Cornwall's Tavern in Boston would usually be booked with back-to-back Christmas parties and packed with college students celebrating the holidays.

Instead, John Beale, who owns the place with his wife, Pam, sits in the back, reading the newspaper, as Christmas music wafts down on the one lone customer having lunch. When a second customer shows up, John turns to welcome him, waving his arm at the empty space. "You can sit anywhere you want," John offers.

It's anything but a usual season.

Members of a prestigious research unit at Google have sent a letter to the company's chief executive demanding that ousted artificial intelligence researcher Timnit Gebru be reinstated.

Gebru, who studies the ethics of AI and was one of the few Black research scientists at Google, says she was unexpectedly fired after a dispute over an academic paper and months of speaking out about the need for more women and people of color at the tech giant.

Tyson Foods has fired seven managers at an Iowa pork plant after investigating allegations they bet on how many workers there would get sick from the coronavirus.

The company, one of the country's largest meat suppliers, launched an independent investigation into the complaints last month, suspending without pay the managers allegedly involved. Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder led the investigation.

Updated at 9:49 p.m. ET

Republican attorneys general from 10 states sued Google on Wednesday, accusing it of wielding its might in digital advertising to crush competitors, in the second major legal challenge to the tech giant's power this fall.

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MacKenzie Scott, the author and philanthropist, says she has given away more than $4 billion in the last four months.

"This pandemic has been a wrecking ball in the lives of Americans already struggling," Scott wrote in a post on Medium announcing the donations. "Economic losses and health outcomes alike have been worse for women, for people of color, and for people living in poverty. Meanwhile, it has substantially increased the wealth of billionaires."

Just half a year after climate activists won a big legal victory in the U.K. effectively blocking plans for a third runway at London's Heathrow Airport on environmental grounds, the country's highest court has turned the tables once more.

Updated at 11:11 a.m. ET

U.S. retail spending declined the most since a historic plunge in April as new coronavirus surges restricted outings to stores and restaurants.

Retail sales dipped 1.1% in November compared with a month earlier, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

However, retail spending — excluding food service — was still up 7.1% when compared with a year earlier, in part thanks to record-setting Black Friday and Cyber Monday online shopping sprees.

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Some families have a tradition - buy or cut down a Christmas tree, then tie it to the top of the car to drive home. Other families would rather not take the trouble. And in the pandemic, all families have to think about shopping trips.

A house. Two cars. A kid in college. Debi and Nick Lemieur had all the markers of a middle class life. But they both remember one purchase — Nick's $600 bass amplifier — that prompted one of the biggest fights in their four decades of marriage.

"He didn't tell me he hid it in the trunk of the car, and I found it," Debi says, laughing, 14 years later. "To me it was like, oh my God, how much will this screw with our budget?"

When listeners in Fort Wayne, Indiana, tuned into Majic 95.1 in July, they heard something both unexpected and all-too-familiar. The station was playing Christmas music. In the heat of summer.

With the pandemic making life miserable for people, the station was looking for a way to appeal to listeners and boost its ratings, and Christmas songs can be a dependable way of doing so.

Faster, stronger, just plain truckier.

Automakers from GM to startup Rivian are racing to bring their first electric pickups ever to market starting next year, and they aren't just arguing a battery-powered truck will be as good as any other pickup.

They are promising it'll be better. Much better.

Peter Nygard, the former CEO of a Canada-based fashion line, has been arrested and charged with racketeering, sex trafficking and other crimes after authorities in Manitoba acted on a U.S. request for his extradition, federal prosecutors in New York said Tuesday.

Bernie Sanders On Coronavirus Relief Bill

Dec 15, 2020

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A massive computer breach allowed hackers to spend months exploring numerous U.S. government networks and private companies' systems around the world. Industry experts say a country mounted the complex hack — and government officials say Russia is responsible.

The hackers attached their malware to a software update from SolarWinds, a company based in Austin, Texas. Many federal agencies and thousands of companies worldwide use SolarWinds' Orion software to monitor their computer networks.

The Food and Drug Administration released a detailed analysis Tuesday morning of the COVID-19 vaccine from drugmaker Moderna that supports the authorization of the company's vaccine for emergency use.

The FDA's briefing document along with one from Moderna were posted two days before a group of experts will convene to advise the agency on whether to grant the vaccine emergency authorization for use, or EUA, during the pandemic.

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