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Explainer

  1. covid-19
    The Mask-Mandate Debate Is Back. Here’s What to Know.Amid the Delta-fueled wave of U.S. COVID cases, universal mask mandates are back on the table and as politically fraught as ever.
  2. explainer
    What We Know About the Dangerous Delta VariantThe more transmissible COVID strain now accounts for an estimated 83 percent of new cases in the U.S.
  3. explainer
    Everything You Need to Know About the 2021 Child Tax CreditA guide to when parents can access their monthly benefits, why it may be wise to opt out, and how the program could become permanent.
  4. explainer
    There’s a Vaccine for Lyme Disease. So Why Can’t We Get It?It’s yet another frustrating aspect of this mysterious disease.
  5. explainer
    How the GOP’s Long War on the IRS Threatens the Infrastructure DealThe bipartisan deal is financed by ramped-up tax enforcement. But for decades, Republicans have been devoted to defunding and demonizing the IRS.
  6. explainer
    When Can I Buy a Ticket to Space? A Guide for Non-Billionaires.Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson will soon go where few tourists have gone before. Here are the costs, the risks, and when the rest of us can join them.
  7. department of justice
    Trump DOJ’s Secret Subpoenas and Data Seizures: What We KnowThe Trump Justice Department went to unprecedented lengths to hunt down leakers, seizing records from reporters, Democrats, and a White House counsel.
  8. explainer
    What’s Driving the Surge in Ransomware Attacks?From gas to meat, hackers keep disrupting large sectors of the economy. Here’s why the attacks are getting easier and what’s being done to stop them.
  9. the economy
    The Case for (and Against) Worrying About InflationRising prices could be a sign of impending crisis — or just the birth pains of a post-COVID boom.
  10. student debt
    Has Biden Abandoned Student-Loan Forgiveness?Canceling student debt wasn’t included in Biden’s budget. While it remains possible, he appears more inclined to expand existing debt-relief programs.
  11. explainer
    European Union to Ban Its Airlines From Belarus Airspace After Ryanair DiversionOn Monday, a video also appeared of dissident Roman Protasevich in custody, which his allies claim was recorded under duress.
  12. explainer
    What We Know About the Colonial Pipeline ShutdownThe pipeline is now flowing as of 5 p.m. on Wednesday, though the company says it will take several days for supply to return to normal.
  13. explainer
    What to Know About the Cuomo Investigations and Possible ImpeachmentThough he’s the subject of multiple investigations, Governor Cuomo said he’s not resigning and insists, “I did nothing wrong, period.”
  14. vaccination
    What to Know About the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine PauseThe FDA and CDC recommended a temporary pause in use of the vaccine while they probe several cases of recipients experiencing severe blood clots.
  15. explainer
    What to Know About Cuomo’s Potential Successor, Kathy HochulThe upstate Democratic road warrior has built deep relationships with lawmakers statewide and could be New York’s first female leader.
  16. explainer
    Can Marjorie Taylor Greene Be Expelled From Congress?If Republicans go along, Greene could be booted from the House for her violence-boosting behavior. Short of that, it’s up to her constituents.
  17. coronavirus
    What We Know About the New P.1 Strain of the CoronavirusThe new variant, detected amid a horrifying resurgence of COVID cases in Manaus, Brazil, has alarmed scientists around the world.
  18. explainer
    What We Know About the U.S. COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution PlanThe largest mass-vaccination campaign in American history has begun. This is how it may or may not play out.
  19. trump pardons
    Everyone Trump Might Pardon Before He Leaves OfficeFrom his three eldest children to Tiger King’s Joe Exotic, there are a number of people the president may try to pardon — including himself.
  20. explainer
    Is Donald Trump the Antichrist, the Beast, the Son of Perdition?There would be signs, okay?
  21. jeffrey epstein
    Everything We Know About Jeffrey Epstein’s DeathAttorney General Barr announced that he’s removed the acting Bureau of Prisons chief in the wake of Epstein’s death by suicide.
  22. jeffrey epstein
    Everything We Know About the Failures to Prevent Jeffrey Epstein’s DeathAttorney General Barr said there were “serious irregularities” at the federal jail where the disgraced financier killed himself.
  23. the tweet beat
    Twitter, Meet the College Kid Whose Hot Model Dad Became a MemeCollin Hayslett’s dad is 45, a former pastor pursuing a modeling career … and he’s happily married.
  24. explainer
    What to Know About the Tallahassee Yoga Studio AttackThe gunman, who shot six women, killing two, had a history of harassing young women and had expressed violently misogynistic and racist views online.
  25. international affairs
    Everything We Know About the Disappearance and Alleged Murder of Jamal KhashoggiTurkey has alleged that the Washington Post journalist was murdered by the Saudi regime, but it’s not yet clear what has happened.
  26. international affairs
    How Innocence of Muslims Led to Violent ProtestsInnocence of Muslims was little known in America until it exploded in the Arab world.