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High gas prices are posted at a full-service gas station in Beverly Hills, Calif., Nov. 7, 2021. Oil prices, which have a big impact on the price of gasoline and home heating oils, have been on an up-and-down ride since the fall. And while oil prices are usually pretty volatile, the constantly changing nature of the coronavirus pandemic has made predicting the ups and downs even harder. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes) ** FILE **

A key inflation gauge rose 5.8% in 2021, most in 39 years

- Associated Press

A measure of prices that is closely tracked by the Federal Reserve rose 5.8% last year, the sharpest increase since 1982, as brisk consumer spending collided with snarled supply chains to raise the costs of food, furniture, appliances and other goods.

An elderly man receives a COVID-19 vaccination at a makeshift center in a government school in New Delhi, India, Friday, Jan. 28, 2022. Indian health officials said that the first signs of COVID-19 infections plateauing in some parts of the vast country were being seen, but cautioned that cases were still surging in some states. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

Cases plateauing in parts of India, but omicron still surges

- Associated Press

Indian health officials said Thursday there were signs of COVID-19 infections plateauing in some parts of the country but cautioned that cases were still surging in other states, linked to a new, stealthier version of the omicron variant.

Protesters and supporters against a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers cheer as a parade of trucks and vehicles pass through Kakabeka Falls outside of Thunder Bay, Ontario, on Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022. (David Jackson/The Canadian Press via AP)

Toronto crowd cheers anti-vaccine trucker convoy

Associated Press

A large crowd gathered outside a mall north of Toronto on Thursday to cheer a group of local truckers preparing to join a convoy to Ottawa protesting Canada's coronavirus vaccine mandate for cross-border drivers.

Actor Jussie Smollett, center, leaves the Leighton Criminal Courthouse with unidentified siblings, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, in Chicago, following a verdict in his trial. Smollett, who was found guilty last month of lying to police about a hate crime that authorities said he staged, will return to court for sentencing on March 10, a judge announced on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)  **FILE**

Jussie Smollett to be sentenced March 10 for lying to police

- Associated Press

Jussie Smollett, who was convicted last month of for lying to police about a racist, homophobic attack that authorities said he staged, will return to court for sentencing March 10, a judge said Thursday.

FILE - Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra testifies before a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing, Sept. 30, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington. U.S. health secretary Xavier Becerra is ordering Medicare to reassess a big premium increase facing millions of seniors this year. The increase was largely attributed to a pricey new Alzheimer’s drug with questionable benefits. Becerra’s directive on Monday comes days after drugmaker Biogen slashed the price of its $56,000-a-year medication, Aduhelm, to $28,200 a year — a cut of about half.  (Shawn Thew/Pool via AP, File)

Watchdog: HHS failing on health crises, deemed 'high risk'

- Associated Press

The federal Department of Health and Human Services is failing to meet its responsibilities for leading the nation's response to public health emergencies including the coronavirus pandemic, extreme weather disasters and even potential bioterror attacks, a nonpartisan congressional watchdog said in a sobering report Thursday.

FILE - Artist and author Art Spiegelman gets some help with his lunch from Francoise Mouly, of Random House, Inc., during a signing of Spiegelman's new book "In the Shadow of No Towers" at the Book Expo America convention, Saturday, June 5, 2004, in Chicago.  A Tennessee school district has voted to ban a Pulitzer Prize winning graphic novel about the Holocaust due to “inappropriate language” and an illustration of a nude woman. That's according to minutes from the McMinn County School Board meeting on Jan. 10, 2022.  Board members voted to remove “Maus,” a graphic novel by Art Spiegelman. (AP Photo/Brian Kersey, File)

Book about Holocaust banned in Tennessee school district

Associated Press

A Tennessee school district has voted to ban a Pulitzer Prize winning graphic novel about the Holocaust due to "inappropriate language" and an illustration of a nude woman, according to minutes from a board meeting.