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The CDC now says it is safe for fully vaccinated people to take their masks off in most indoor settings. States, cities and businesses were sorting through what to do with the guidance.

New CDC guidelines say fully vaccinated people no longer need masks indoors. Photo: Stephanie Keith for The New York Times

By Mitch Smith, Sarah Mervosh and Julie Bosman

More than a year after federal health officials told Americans to cover their faces when venturing out in public, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday that fully vaccinated people could start taking off their masks indoors.

But the new federal guidance — announced amid a sharp decline in coronavirus cases and an expansion of vaccine eligibility to everyone 12 and older — came with caveats and confusion. …

Analysts think it may be too early for de-escalation to succeed, as the sides first both need to forge a narrative of victory

A building in Petah Tikva, just east of Tel Aviv, after it was hit by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip. Photo: Dan Balilty for The New York Times

By Steven Erlanger

BRUSSELS — As the United States and Egyptian mediators headed to Israel on Thursday to begin de-escalation talks, the antagonists were weighing delicate internal considerations before agreeing to discussions on ending the violence.

But even before the mediators got to work, Israel’s caretaker prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, appeared to have calculated that brute force was required first.

Early Friday, at least some Israeli ground troops were reported to have attacked Gaza — a potentially huge escalation against the Hamas militants who have been launching hundreds of rockets at Israel. …

Glauber Contessoto went looking for something that could change his fortunes overnight. He found it in a joke cryptocurrency.

Glauber Contessoto believes deeply in Dogecoin. Photo: Samuel Trotter for The New York Times

By Kevin Roose

In February, when Glauber Contessoto decided to invest his life savings in Dogecoin, his friends had concerns.

“They were all like, you’re crazy,” he said. “It’s a joke coin. It’s a meme. It’s going to crash.”

Their skepticism was warranted. After all, Dogecoin is a joke — a digital currency started in 2013 by a pair of programmers who decided to spoof the cryptocurrency craze by creating their own virtual money based on a meme about Doge, a talking Shiba Inu puppy. …

The campaign included planned operations against President Trump’s national security at the time, H.R. McMaster, and FBI employees, according to documents and interviews

Some of President Donald J. Trump’s allies focused on trying to ferret out what they saw as a “deep state” inside the government trying to undercut his agenda. Photo: Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

By Adam Goldman and Mark Mazzetti

WASHINGTON — A network of conservative activists, aided by a British former spy, mounted a campaign during the Trump administration to discredit perceived enemies of President Donald Trump inside the government, according to documents and people involved in the operations.

The campaign included a planned sting operation against Trump’s national security adviser at the time, H.R. McMaster, and secret surveillance operations against FBI employees, aimed at exposing anti-Trump sentiment in the bureau’s ranks.

The operations against the FBI, run by the conservative group Project Veritas, were conducted from a large home in the Georgetown…

Physical activity can promote a sense of purpose in life, creating a virtuous cycle that keeps you moving

Photo: Alex McCarthy

By Gretchen Reynolds

Our exercise habits may influence our sense of purpose in life and our sense of purpose may affect how much we exercise, according to an interesting new study of the reciprocal effects of feeling your life has meaning and being often in motion. The study, which involved more than 18,000 middle-aged and older men and women, found that those with the most stalwart sense of purpose at the start were the most likely to become active over time, and vice versa.

The findings underscore how braided the relationship between physical activity and psychological well-being can be, and…

After former President Donald J. Trump undermined public confidence in elections, Republican lawmakers are defending voting restrictions by citing a lack of public confidence

A polling site in Adel, Iowa, on Oct. 5, the state’s first day of in-person voting. After the election, Iowa Republicans passed a law that limits early voting. Photo: Kathryn Gamble for The New York Times

By Maggie Astor

When state Rep. Bobby Kaufmann of Iowa spoke in February in support of a restrictive voting bill he was sponsoring, he made what might once have been a startling acknowledgment: He could not point to any problems with November’s election that demonstrated a need for new rules.

But many Iowans believed there had been problems, he said. And that was reason enough to allow less early voting, shorten Election Day polling hours, put new limits on absentee balloting and forbid counties to have more than one ballot drop box.

“The ultimate voter suppression is a very large…

Prices are rising fast, in ways that seem temporary, yet this could change expectations in ways that are self-reinforcing

Photo: Greyson Joralemon

By Neil Irwin

The central fact of the U.S. economy in mid-2021 is that demand for all sorts of goods and services has surged. But supplies are coming back slowly, with the economy acting like a creaky machine that was turned off for a year and has some rusty parts.

The result, as underlined in new government data this week, is shortages and price inflation across many parts of the economy. That is putting the Biden administration and the Federal Reserve in a jam that is only partly of their own making.

Higher prices and the other problems that result…

As the party ties itself ever tighter to Trumpism, some Republicans worry about the implications for 2022 and far beyond. “I don’t think it’s a healthy moment for the party,” said one congressman.

Republican lawmakers have created a host of new problems for their party by removing Representative Liz Cheney from her leadership position. Photo: Stefani Reynolds for The New York Times

By Jonathan Martin

WASHINGTON — As she arrived at the Capitol on Wednesday morning to meet her fate, the soon-to-be deposed №3 Republican in the House hinted that she was already eyeing her next role.

“The party is going to come back stronger, and I’m going to lead the effort to do it,” Rep. Liz Cheney said as she stepped into an elevator and down to her demise.

Less than an hour later, accompanied by the acclaimed photographer David Hume Kennerly, a family friend, Cheney returned to her office for an interview with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie. …

The huge grocery chain and other megastores like it have revolutionized the way many Asian-Americans shop and eat

Individually wrapped Aksu apples at an H Mart location in Little Ferry, N.J., April 14, 2021. Photo: Lanna Apisukh for The New York Times

By Ligaya Mishan

NEW YORK — At the H Mart on Broadway at 110th Street in Manhattan, the lights are bright on the singo pears, round as apples and kept snug in white mesh, so their skin will not bruise. Here are radishes in hot pink and winter white, gnarled ginseng grown in Wisconsin, broad perilla leaves with notched edges, and almost every kind of Asian green: yu choy, bok choy, ong choy, hon choy, aa choy, wawa choy, gai lan, sook got.

The theme is abundance — chiles from fat little thumbs to witchy fingers, bulk bins of fish…

Our complicated relationship with social media might be simpler than it feels. Just remember how it started.

Illustration: Simoul Alva/The New York Times

By John Herrman

It’s a testament to the power of the biggest social platforms that many common complaints about them sound contradictory.

They’re accelerators for extremism that simultaneously uphold suffocating consensus. They’re wastes of attention and should play a smaller role in people’s lives; however, they also need to be improved, refined and purged of bad actors, whoever you think they might be. They’re advanced surveillance machines, but they also routinely serve irrelevant recommendations and ads. They’re cutting-edge behavior modification tools, but they’re also overtly spammy, seeking engagement through clumsy and often misleading notifications.

And for, or despite, all those…

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