Colin Dwyer

Health care workers across the U.S. are getting a new arrow in their quiver.

Updated at 10:20 a.m. ET

In his marathon year-end news conference, Russian President Vladimir Putin projected confidence and defiance on a range of issues — and vehemently denied government involvement in the recent poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

On Thursday, Putin appeared during the latest iteration of a Q-and-A that regularly tops four hours, which he has led for nearly two decades running.

Nearly six years after Islamist extremists led attacks on the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish market, a French court has convicted 14 people as their accomplices. The ruling handed down Wednesday found the defendants guilty on a variety of charges, ranging from membership in a criminal network to complicity in the shocking assault on the satirical publication in early 2015.

Now that federal regulators have authorized one COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in the U.S. — and appear close to authorizing another — it seems Americans are growing less reluctant about receiving an inoculation themselves. The Kaiser Family Foundation, or KFF, released a poll Tuesday showing a significant leap in the number of people saying they definitely or probably would get vaccinated.

The holiday season is upon us, and usually that means packed shopping malls and kisses beneath the mistletoe, long-distance travel and big family festivities — just about everything, in other words, that could make an already dire pandemic even worse. So officials in multiple European countries, caught between a yule log and a hard place, are imposing a new wave of strict coronavirus lockdowns.

Updated at 12:50 p.m. ET

Now that the Food and Drug Administration has authorized a COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, federal officials are mobilizing behind a vast effort to distribute the vaccine as soon as possible. Army Gen. Gustave Perna, chief operating officer of Operation Warp Speed, said Saturday that distribution of Pfizer and BioNTech's vaccine has begun.

Federal officials have authorized emergency use of the COVID-19 vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNTech in a landmark decision that promises to alter the fight against the coronavirus radically in the United States.

The Food and Drug Administration released its letter to Pfizer granting the authorization Friday evening.

For weeks, President Trump's push to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election has soldiered on despite an ever-lengthening string of legal defeats. But that effort, already sputtering, now appears all but exhausted after the Supreme Court on Friday rejected Texas' challenge to President-elect Joe Biden's victory.

If popular culture has taught us anything about the holidays, it's that this is a season of reunions: a time when people conquer great distances and lengthy separations just to be together again. Usually, though, such stories involve cross-country trips — not the orbits of the two largest planets in our solar system.

This year is different.

Canadian health officials have authorized use of the country's first COVID-19 vaccine. Health Canada announced the move Wednesday, saying a "thorough, independent review of the evidence" determined that the vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNTech meets the "stringent safety, efficacy and quality requirements for use in Canada."

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