Jaclyn Diaz

The U.S. Supreme Court blocked the planned execution of an Alabama death row inmate late Thursday night, after justices upheld a lower court's ruling requiring Willie B. Smith III's personal pastor to be in the chamber with him when he was given the lethal injection.

The decision came down the same night Smith was originally scheduled to be put to death inside of the William C. Holman Correctional Facility.

Officials in Australia's state of Victoria mandated a five-day stay-at-home order to prevent the spread of the area's growing number of coronavirus infections.

But the tennis must go on.

Tennis Australia, the organizers of the Australian Open, had allowed 30,000 fans to attend matches thus far. But under the new restrictions, the stands will sit empty.

A second person who had contracted the Ebola virus died this week in the Democratic Republic of Congo, marking another outbreak just three months after the nation outlasted the virus's second-worst outbreak in history.

The latest victim was from the North Kivu province, the World Health Organization and the DRC's health ministry said in a statement Thursday.

Michigan's highest ranking Republican leader was caught on video calling the Jan. 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol a "hoax" and espousing other conspiracy theories related to the siege.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, in a video posted on YouTube of a meeting with Hillsdale County Republican Party officials, said of the Capitol insurrection in which five people died: "It was all staged."

Quaker Oats cooked up a new image for an old, offensive brand Tuesday. PepsiCo Inc. the parent company for Quaker Oats, announced it's rebranding Aunt Jemima, the popular pancake and syrup brand, retiring the racist stereotype used for the product's image.

Fox News on Monday asked a judge to dismiss a $2.7 billon lawsuit against the network and some of its hosts filed by election technology company Smartmatic, claiming the suit is an attempt to "chill" First Amendment rights.

Updated at 10:30 a.m. ET

Mary Wilson, one of the co-founders of The Supremes, died Monday at the age of 76, her publicist announced.

Wilson "passed away suddenly" at her Henderson, Nev., home, the singer's longtime friend and publicist Jay Schwartz said in a statement. No cause of death was given.

Wilson was a "trendsetter who broke down social, racial and gender barriers," Schwartz said in his statement.

A judge has barred Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón from implementing a significant piece of his criminal justice reforms, ruling the progressive's policy to end sentencing enhancements in criminal cases is unlawful.

Two days after removing a terrorist designation for the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, the Biden administration criticized the militant group for its continued attacks in Saudi Arabia and in Yemen.

Updated at 2:31 p.m. ET

The House quickly approved a budget resolution intended to speed the drafting of President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package.

The Senate approved the same budget resolution early Friday morning. With the Senate evenly divided, Vice President Harris cast the tiebreaking vote.

Federal agents on Wednesday arrested a prominent member of the Seattle chapter of the Proud Boys, a nationalist, chauvinist organization, for his role in storming the U.S. Capitol with other pro-Trump rioters on Jan. 6.

Ethan Nordean, a self-described "sergeant of arms" for the Seattle Proud Boys, faces charges of impeding an official government proceeding, aiding and abetting, knowingly entering restricted grounds, and violent entry.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill Tuesday that repeals a state anti-loitering law, commonly called the "walking while trans" ban, that critics say police used to harass and arrest law-abiding trans people, in particular.

The new measure effectively takes off the books a 1976 law that sought to prohibit loitering for the purpose of prostitution. Politicians and LGBTQ advocates say the law resulted in decades of discrimination by law enforcement.

A fatal nitrogen gas leak at a poultry processing plant in Georgia last week occurred as unplanned maintenance was being done on a recently installed processing and freezing line, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board said Monday.

AstraZeneca will deliver nine million additional doses to the European Union in the first quarter of this year, bringing the total number of doses to 40 million, but falling well short of earlier supply promises.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in her announcement Sunday that the company would also deliver the vaccines one week earlier than originally scheduled, and that the company planned to expands its manufacturing capacity in Europe.

Former President Donald Trump has named two new attorneys to head up his impeachment defense ahead of next week's trial in the Senate.

Trump was in need of new representation following the reported departure of all five members of his defense team this weekend. Now leading the team are attorneys David Schoen and Bruce Castor Jr. — both experienced in criminal defense.

In one of her first moves as the newly elected Fulton County district attorney, Fani Willis is asking for another prosecutor to take over a controversial felony murder case.

Willis sent a letter on Wednesday to Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr asking that he transfer the felony murder case against former Atlanta Police Officer Garrett Rolfe, who shot and killed Rayshard Brooks in June. Rolfe is white and Brooks was Black.

A liquid nitrogen leak at a poultry plant northeast of Atlanta killed six workers and sent 11 more to the hospital Thursday. At least three of the people hospitalized are in critical condition, officials said.

Local, state, and federal police and health and safety investigators are looking for what may have caused the leak at the Gainesville, Ga., Foundation Food Group plant. They cautioned Thursday it may be some time before they find out what happened.

"It will be a lengthy process," Hall County Sheriff Gerald Couch told reporters.

Europe's COVID-19 immunization program is in crisis mode as existing supplies of available vaccines are critically low — just as many European nations are facing another wave of infections.

Spain on Wednesday became the first European country to partly suspend its immunization campaign due to a low supply of vaccines, despite having the third-highest caseload in Europe. Local officials announced this week that the program in Madrid, the capital, will idle for two weeks.

Updated at 2:10 p.m. ET

President Biden signed two executive actions Thursday that are designed to expand access to reproductive health care and health insurance through the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid.

Mount Merapi, Indonesia's most active volcano, erupted Wednesday, emitting a river of lava onto the mountain below and gas clouds into the sky.

The eruption set off the volcano's longest lava flow since the danger level for Merapi was raised in November, Hanik Humaida, the head of Yogyakarta's Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Center, told The Associated Press. Sounds of the eruption could reportedly be heard almost 18 miles away.

The Justice Department has ended the Trump-era "zero tolerance" policy for immigration offenses that allowed the U.S. government to separate thousands of children from their parents.

Acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson rescinded the policy Tuesday in a memo sent to federal prosecutors.

Updated at 8:30 a.m. ET

In his first phone call with Vladimir Putin since taking office, President Biden pressed his Russian counterpart on the detention of a leading Kremlin critic, the mass arrest of protesters and Russia's suspected involvement in a massive cyber breach in the United States.

Still, the two leaders did agree to extend the U.S.-Russia arms control deal, New START, which is set to expire Feb. 5.

News that AstraZeneca's promised COVID-19 vaccine deliveries to Europe will be delayed isn't sitting well with officials, who are pushing the company to honor the agreed-upon delivery schedule.

"Europe invested billions to help develop the world's first COVID-19 vaccines," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a video statement Tuesday. "And now, the companies must deliver. They must honor their obligations."

Updated at 8:12 a.m. ET

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell dropped his demand that Democrats maintain the Senate filibuster — ending an early stalemate in the Senate that prevented party leaders from negotiating a power-sharing agreement.

Dutch demonstrators again defied the country's new curfew to protest government restrictions aimed at stopping the spread of the coronavirus. Hundreds of people have been arrested in recent days as the protests turned violent with rioters attacking police.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte disputed the motivations of the rioters.

"What motivated these people has nothing to do with protesting," he told reporters Monday. "It's criminal violence and we will treat it as such."

Protesters opposed to coronavirus lockdowns in several Dutch cities clashed with police over the weekend after new restrictions went into effect.

Videos of the demonstrations posted online show large crowds of people — many not wearing masks — using bicycles to build barricades along city streets, and hurling rocks at officers and passing police vans. Shops were broken into and looted.

President Biden will reimpose a ban on many non-U.S. citizens attempting to enter the country. The move is an attempt to limit the spread of COVID-19 and contain new variants of the disease that have cropped up in several countries around the globe, according to media reports Sunday.

After years of delay, a decision by the Pentagon could mean three men accused of being behind terrorist attacks in Indonesia nearly 20 years ago could soon get a military trial.

A group of Senate Democrats filed an ethics complaint Thursday against Republican Sens. Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz over their objections to the Jan. 6 certification of the presidential election results that coincided with the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol.

By objecting to the certification, Cruz, and Hawley, "lent legitimacy" to the violent mob of pro-Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol, the letter sent to incoming Senate Ethics Committee Chairman Chris Coons, D-Del., and Vice Chairman James Lankford, R-Okla., said.

Updated at 6:56 p.m. ET

Twin suicide bombings at a Baghdad market killed at least 32 people and injured 110 others on Thursday, according to Iraq's health ministry. Of the injured, 36 are being treated in hospitals.

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attacks, according to the SITE Intelligence Group.

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