Jason Breslow

For cybersecurity experts, the threat of an attack on critical U.S. infrastructure was always the doomsday scenario. Now, less than a week after hackers managed to knock an essential East Coast pipeline offline, that fear has become reality.

As far as artificial milestones go, few dates seem to carry as much weight as a new president's 100th day in office. It's a date that former Obama adviser David Axelrod once referred to as a "Hallmark holiday." In other words, it gets lots of attention but has no actual significance.

The Senate on Wednesday narrowly voted to confirm Vanita Gupta as associate attorney general, elevating a longtime civil rights attorney to the third-highest position inside the Justice Department on the same day the agency announced renewed efforts to monitor local police practices.

Gupta was confirmed by a vote of 51 to 49, with only one Republican, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, breaking ranks to join Democrats in approving her nomination.

Updated April 21, 2021 at 4:49 PM ET

With the verdict against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin now in for the murder of George Floyd, attention is turning to Congress and whether lawmakers can meet the growing demand from across the nation for meaningful changes to policing.

President Biden has allowed a ban on H1-B and other kinds of foreign work visas to expire, bringing to a close a dramatic clampdown on legal immigration put in place by the Trump administration last year as part of its response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The ban, imposed last June, was designed to prevent temporary workers from a range of industries from entering the country. At the time, President Trump said the freeze was needed to both protect public health and safeguard a job market that at the time was in freefall.

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voiced concern on Wednesday about the recent climb in the number of new cases of the coronavirus, warning that pandemic fatigue and the loosening of restrictions may be setting the stage for yet another surge this spring.

Newly confirmed Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm seized on the bruising winter weather that left millions of Texans without heat and electricity last week to press for reform of the state's power systems, arguing that pivoting to a clean energy economy can ensure a dependable grid and help create jobs.

A court in Moscow has turned down an appeal by the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny against his prison sentence, the latest legal defeat for the man who has emerged as the Kremlin's most vocal critic.

President Biden responded to the Senate's acquittal of Donald Trump on Saturday by reminding Americans that truth must be defended, saying the impeachment of the former president was a stark illustration of the danger posed to democracy by lies, misinformation and extremism.

And Biden said that although Trump was acquitted, his actions in the lead-up to the Jan. 6 insurrection were not "in dispute."

Leon Spinks, who shocked the boxing world with his 1978 defeat of Muhammad Ali to claim the heavyweight championship, died Friday in Henderson, Nev. He was 67.

His death was announced by the public relations group Firm PR. In recent years, Spinks had battled prostate cancer and other forms of cancer.

Updated at 4:58 p.m. ET

A deeply divided Supreme Court doubled down on religious rights late Friday, ruling that California can no longer continue with a ban on indoor church services put in place to fight to the coronavirus pandemic. But the court said that the state, for now, can keep in place restrictions on singing and chanting inside.

Updated at 3:00 p.m. ET

Protests have gripped Russia for a second weekend in a row, as thousands ignored warnings of a mass crackdown and returned to the streets Sunday to once again demand the release of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Starting early next week, travelers and commuters will be required to wear face masks on nearly all forms of public transportation as part of a sweeping new order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus.

Eleven miners have been rescued in China after a harrowing two weeks trapped some 2,000 feet below ground.

The rescue marked a moment of celebration and relief in what has been an arduous and complex effort to bring the men to safety. One miner has already died and another 10 remain missing.

Updated Sunday at 12:15 p.m. ET

Tens of thousands of Russians took to the streets in protest on Saturday to demand the release of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny, braving the threat of mass arrests in what were some of the largest demonstrations against the Kremlin in years.

When Amanda Gorman was asked to write a poem for President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on Wednesday, she didn't know where to begin. The nation has just been through a bitter election. Americans are as divided as ever. And the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage.

"It was really daunting to begin the poem because you don't even really know the entry point in which to step into the murk," she said in an interview Monday with NPR's Steve Inskeep.

Updated at 1:05 p.m. ET

An Indonesian passenger plane carrying 62 people lost contact with air traffic controllers shortly after takeoff from the nation's capital of Jakarta on Saturday, according to state transportation officials.

Updated at 6:20 a.m.

Nearly 85% of California residents are now under sweeping new restrictions as the state's struggles to bring the COVID-19 pandemic under control. The new restrictions come as coronavirus cases continue to surge and while the state's intensive care capacity has neared dangerously low levels.

Updated at 8:07 a.m. ET Sunday

Twenty-three people died following a carbon monoxide leak inside a coal mine in southwest China, the nation's Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday.

Those killed in the leak were among 24 people who got trapped in the mine around 5 p.m. local time on Friday when "excessive levels of carbon monoxide" began to seep into the air, according to the state news agency. One survivor was pulled from the mine.

For all the hope being placed in a coronavirus vaccine, Pennsylvania's secretary of health delivered a sobering note of caution Thursday on how long it will take to bring the pandemic under control. A vaccine is "the light at the end of the tunnel," she said, "but there's no quick fix to COVID-19."

Former President Barack Obama delivered a stinging rebuke of President Trump's refusal to concede the 2020 election, warning of the real-world harm that can stem from any delay in the peaceful transfer of power, but saying Trump will fail in "denying reality."

With President Trump's announcement early Friday that he and the first lady have tested positive for the coronavirus, much of the focus inside the White House will likely turn to contact tracing.

Dr. Anthony Fauci expressed "cautious optimism" Friday about the initial results from a coronavirus vaccine trial — which were widely celebrated this week — and said it remains "conceivable" that a vaccine for the deadly pathogen could be available by the end of the year.

The mayor of Madison, Wis., is slamming this week's decision by the Wisconsin Supreme Court to overturn the governor's stay-at-home order, saying businesses are not in a position to reopen and warning that the coronavirus will only spread as a result.

Seizing on President Trump's criticism of the World Health Organization for its response to the COVID-19 crisis, America's ambassador to the United Nations called on Wednesday for "complete transparency and accountability" from the U.N. health body, saying failure to act would be "unforgivable."

The Kansas Supreme Court has voted to uphold an executive order by the state's governor limiting the size of church gatherings on Easter Sunday, ending a dramatic legal clash in which the court was asked amid a global pandemic to decide between public health and religious liberty.

Across many parts of the U.S., black Americans are dying of COVID-19 at disproportionately high rates. In Milwaukee County, for example, nearly three quarters of those who have died of the virus were black. But only about a quarter of the county's population is black.

Data from Louisiana, Michigan, Chicago and New York also shows racial imbalances. So what is going on?

Mayor Bill de Blasio is warning that New York City could require an additional 45,000 medical workers by the end of April to help reinforce a hospital system that has been stretched dangerously thin by the COVID-19 crisis.

With cases of COVID-19 surging and medical supplies rapidly dwindling, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is calling on federal officials to scale up aid efforts for the state, saying, "It feels like we entered this war, and it is a war, with less ammunition than we needed."

New York City, already the epicenter of the coronavirus crisis inside the United States, is still days, if not weeks, from the peak of the outbreak there. The head of the city's hospital system says it has enough ventilators and protective equipment to survive through the end of the month. After that, New York will need massive help, and fast.

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