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Come, young ones: Gather around the glow of the smartphone's screen for a tale of a distant time when we watched TV on big boxy machines, and switched channels when we were bored.

There were commercials — several of them — between the segments of TV shows. What's more, in the distant era before streaming, you had to watch them all — or, if you had time, run to the kitchen or the bathroom. You couldn't pause, or fast forward, or take the screen with you.

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When award-winning poet Adrian Matejka was working on his latest book last year, he thought we'd be out of the pandemic by the time it would be published.

The book, Somebody Else Sold The World, was released this month — and we're notably not out of the period that's been so difficult for so many of us.

The White House is unveiling a strategy to address root causes of migration, a long-term effort that includes increased cooperation with the private sector and with other foreign governments to try to accelerate change in Central America.

The proposal comes as thousands of migrants arrived at the U.S. southern border every day last month.

Senior Biden administration officials on Wednesday described the plan as "the first of its kind," but much of the proposal is expanding on previous efforts that have done little to curb migration from the region.

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Updated July 29, 2021 at 12:23 PM ET

Minnesota Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar sees one pretty obvious problem in the halls of the U.S. Capitol.

"You don't have to have a Ph.D. to walk around here and think, 'Huh, they're all men,' " Klobuchar says. "And that's just wrong."

In all, the Capitol has 266 sculptures — including statues, busts and monuments — honoring notable figures in history. Of those, only 14 are of women.

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Updated July 29, 2021 at 9:28 AM ET

The U.S. economy grew at a strong pace in the spring as the country emerged from the darkest days of the coronavirus pandemic. The question now is what happens next, especially as the delta variant continues to spread.

On Thursday morning, the Commerce Department reported gross domestic product grew 6.5% in the period between April and June from a year earlier as the rollout of vaccines spurred a surge in economic activity.

When Tonya Galvan spent three months in a Houston jail this year, she said she felt hopeless.

"I'm thinking about my grandkids. Like, this is not where I'm supposed to be. I'm supposed to be out to be able to help with my family, my grandchildren," Galvan said.

When she was charged with assault in a family dispute and held on $15,000 bond, she couldn't afford to get out. When she learned about the nonprofit organization the Bail Project and they put up the money for her, Galvan was floored.

Updated July 29, 2021 at 12:03 PM ET

Minnesota native Sunisa Lee, also known as Suni, is an 18-year-old high school graduate, but she is no stranger to facing immense pressure. And while she's risen to the tops of world gymnastics, she's still grounded in her home Hmong community.

Updated July 29, 2021 at 9:38 AM ET

PERRYVILLE, Alaska — A powerful earthquake that struck just off Alaska's southern coast caused prolonged shaking and prompted tsunami warnings that sent people scrambling for shelters.

Residents reported only minor damage, but officials said that could change after sunrise and people get a better look.

Cutting greenhouse gas emissions quickly would save tens of millions of lives worldwide, a new study finds. It's the latest indication that climate change is deadly to humans, and that the benefits of transitioning to a cleaner economy could be profound.

TOKYO — When a U.S. athlete makes it onto the podium in an Olympic event, two things really catch the eye of people watching at home: the shiny medal around their neck and the unusual-looking mask on their face.

The white mask emblazoned with "USA" in red letters is strikingly voluminous, jutting about an inch in front of the face. It also has a distinctive pleat pattern.

Organizers at the Tokyo Summer Olympics have reported one of the highest daily increases of coronavirus cases since they started keeping records on July 1.

Since Wednesday, 24 people linked to the Games have tested positive — including three athletes. That brings the total of Olympic-related officials to catch the virus to 193 people, including 20 athletes.

U.S. gymnastics superstar Simone Biles says the wave of support she's received after pulling out of the two marquee events of Olympic women's gymnastics has changed the way she sees herself.

"the outpouring love & support I've received has made me realize I'm more than my accomplishments and gymnastics which I never truly believed before," Biles said in a tweet.

TOKYO — American pole vaulter Sam Kendricks is out of the Tokyo Summer Olympics after testing positive for the coronavirus. Kendricks, a world champion, was considered a medal contender.

According to a statement from U.S. Olympic officials, Sam Kendricks is ineligible to compete in the Tokyo Games following his positive test. He's been transferred to a hotel and put in isolation. Kendricks' dad, who's also his coach, said on social media his son feels fine and has no symptoms.


There's more potentially worrisome news for vaccinated people: In very rare cases, people experiencing breakthrough infections may be at risk for long-COVID symptoms.

That's according to a small new study of fully vaccinated health care workers in Israel, published Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Updated July 28, 2021 at 6:01 PM ET

The U.S. Department of Defense has issued directions that require anyone inside its facilities to wear a mask, even if they're vaccinated.

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A true star knows when it's time to take his last bow.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD #1: A-A-R-D-V-A-R-K. A-A-R-D...

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD #2: V-A-R-K.

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As track and field competition gets underway at the Tokyo Olympics, you won't see one of the sport's brightest stars: two-time Olympic gold medalist Caster Semenya of South Africa, the world's fastest woman in the 800 meters.

That's because of new rules from track's governing body, World Athletics. Under the rules, Semenya and other female athletes who refuse to lower their naturally high testosterone levels are barred from competing in races from 400 meters to 1 mile.

Employees at the video game studio Activision Blizzard walked off the job Wednesday following an explosive lawsuit that detailed rampant sexual harassment and gender discrimination inside the California company.

TV cameras picked up a German cycling official yelling a racial slur during the men's time trial Wednesday at the Tokyo Olympics, prompting an apology from the official and a reaction from at least two of the cyclists involved.

Patrick Moster, sporting director of the German cycling federation, apologized shortly after he was recorded using a racial slur while cheering on German cyclist Nikias Arndt.

Luis Grijalva was running against the clock — but this time it wasn't on a track.

The Northern Arizona University track star qualified in June to run at the Tokyo Olympics representing his home country of Guatemala. But leaving the United States to compete abroad wasn't an option.

Grijalva is a DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, recipient. He was born in Guatemala but came to the U.S. at the age of one.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Joey Jordison, a founding member of Slipknot, who drummed for the influential metal band in its most popular period and helped write many of its best-known songs, has died Monday at age 46, his family said.

"We are heartbroken to share the news that Joey Jordison, prolific drummer, musician and artist passed away peacefully in his sleep," his family said in a statement. "Joey's death has left us with empty hearts and feelings of indescribable sorrow."

No cause or place of death was provided.

The Justice Department is putting states on notice about their obligations under federal law as GOP-led efforts to conduct reviews of the 2020 election intensify.

Federal authorities on Wednesday issued a pair of new guidance documents to states and voters to remind them of their responsibilities — and their rights.

The moves are part of the Biden administration's push to demonstrate it is on guard amid new voting restrictions proposed and enacted by Republican-led states across the nation — and as Democratic-led federal voting legislation has stalled in Congress.

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