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H.J. Mai

Stand-up comedian Jackie Mason, who followed a path from rabbi to borscht-belt comic, died in a New York City hospital on Saturday. He was 93.

Mason's longtime friend Raoul Felder confirmed his death to NPR. He said Mason was admitted to the hospital two weeks ago and suffered from a variety of ailments, including inflammation of the lungs. There are no indications that COVID-19 was a factor in the comedian's death.

The opioid crisis in the U.S. has never gone away.

Almost every year, more people die of opioid overdoses than in the year before. More than a half-million people have died from prescription painkillers, heroin and illicit fentanyl since 1999. Provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 66,000 people died of an opioid overdose in the U.S. in the 12 months to September 2020, a huge jump from the previous 12 months.

The shutdown of one of the largest refined products pipelines in the United States following a ransomware attack has prompted speculation about what could happen to gas and diesel prices if the shutdown continues.

Archaeologists discovered the fossilized remains of nine Neanderthals at a prehistoric cave site south of Rome, the Italian Cultural Ministry announced on Saturday.

The oldest of the remains date from between 90,000 and 100,000 years ago, while the other eight are believed to be younger, dating from 50,000 to 68,000 years ago.

Violence, which has been ongoing for several nights, continued in Jerusalem as Palestinians clashed with Israeli police on Saturday, leaving many injured.

Protesters threw rocks and water bottles at police. Officers responded with rubber bullets, stun grenades and water cannons.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

For Denver-based flight attendant Ken Kyle, getting a coronavirus vaccine was as convenient as pulling up to the place he knows so well.

"It was great to be able to be vaccinated at the airport," Kyle says, quipping: "You know where you're going."

Kyle is one of a growing number of workers who are benefitting from a strong push by some companies to provide shots at employment sites, all in coordination with local and state health authorities.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Hot dogs. Peanuts. Cold Beer. Food – especially the unhealthy kind – has long been an indelible part of the baseball fan experience.

And as a new baseball season kicks off, all those ballpark staples will still be available. How that food gets to you, however, will be a different matter.

With the Major League Baseball season starting off with much reduced capacity at most ballparks and with social distancing rules, teams have had to think hard about how to interact with their fans.

Former NASA Flight Director and Administrator Glynn Lunney, who played a key role during some of NASA's most historic events, including the Apollo 11 moon landing, died on Friday at the age of 84.

He was also credited for his quick decision-making during the Apollo 13 mission, which helped save the lives of the three astronauts aboard the disabled spacecraft.

Updated March 20, 2021 at 2:33 PM ET

Several European countries have instituted new lockdown restrictions, while others are considering tightening their rules in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus as case numbers across the continent are surging once again.

In France, a new partial lockdown took effect at midnight on Friday. Some 21 million people across 16 regions, including Paris, are affected by the new measures. The French government decided to take the step amid fears of a third wave.

This year's Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games will take place without any overseas spectators after organizers decided to ban international fans from attending the events over COVID-19 concerns.

The decision was made during a virtual meeting between the various stakeholders on Saturday.

The NFL has finalized a new round of broadcast rights agreements, providing the league with a financial windfall and fans with more options to watch the games.

Amazon, CBS, ESPN/ABC, Fox and NBC, which all currently broadcast NFL games, have signed deals with the league through 2033. The new agreements, which were announced on Thursday and will commence with the start of the 2023 season, include television and expanded streaming rights.

A surge in anti-Asian attacks reported since the start of the pandemic has left Asian Americans across the country scared and concerned, but a Los Angeles-based civil rights group says the actual number of hate incidents could be even higher.

"There are far more people who have not reported incidents than those who have," Connie Chung Joe, CEO of Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, told NPR.

Three people were killed, including the suspected shooter, in a shooting at a gun store in the New Orleans suburb of Metairie, La., on Saturday afternoon. Two others wounded by gunfire were hospitalized.

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office is investigating the shooting that took place at the Jefferson Gun Outlet, a gun store and shooting range.

Police said that when deputies arrived at the scene at around 2:50 p.m. local time (3:50 p.m. ET), they found multiple people with gunshot wounds.

Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea as head of the Vatican's liturgy department, removing a conservative who was seen as an opponent of the pontiff's vision for the church.

In a statement released on Saturday, the Holy See Press Office announced that Sarah had stepped down from his leadership position. The Vatican did not provide any reason for his resignation or name a successor.

A United Airlines flight bound for Honolulu, Hawaii was forced to make an emergency landing at Denver International Airport on Saturday afternoon after experiencing an engine failure shortly after takeoff.

Images circulating on social media appeared to show aircraft debris landing in several locations across the Denver metro area.

No injuries have been reported.

The U.S. Capitol Police has suspended six officers with pay for their actions on Jan. 6, when a pro-Trump mob attacked the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to stop the certification of President Biden's Electoral College victory, according to a department statement.

An additional 29 officers remain under investigation as part of the department's ongoing probe into the events that unfolded that day.

The United States on Friday officially rejoined the Paris Agreement on climate change designed to limit global warming and avoid its potentially catastrophic impacts.

Nearly 200 nations have signed on to the landmark accord and committed to limit their greenhouse gas emissions in an attempt to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius - preferably below 1.5 degrees Celsius - compared to pre-industrial temperatures.

The extreme weather conditions in Texas, where a winter storm has caused widespread power outages, should serve as a reminder that climate change is real and the United States not fully prepared to deal with its impact, said White House homeland security adviser Liz Sherwood-Randall on Thursday.

Updated at 7:51 p.m. ET

The Texas Democratic Party is calling on Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, to resign or be expelled from office after the Republican lawmaker flew to Cancún, Mexico, for a family vacation in the middle of a deadly winter storm that has left millions of Texans without water and electricity.

Cruz has returned to Texas, calling the trip "a mistake."

In a statement issued Thursday, Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa called the senator's trip to Cancún "deeply disturbing and disappointing."

White House deputy press secretary TJ Ducklo resigned on Saturday after a report emerged that he verbally threatened a reporter who was pursuing a story about his romantic relationship with another reporter.

Ducklo, who had been serving a weeklong suspension without pay for the incident, posted a statement on Twitter confirming his resignation.

Multiple winter storms are bringing snow, ice and dangerously cold temperatures to many parts of the country over the long holiday weekend.

More than 100 million Americans were under some sort of winter weather advisory on Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Sweden's gross domestic product took its largest tumble in a single quarter in modern history during the second quarter of this year, despite the country's decision to not shut down its economy.

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