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Britney Spears' legal team was back in court over her conservatorship. Congress is still working to avert a government shutdown. And hide those picnic baskets! It's Fat Bear Week.
👋 Hey! It's Laura here, with Wednesday's news, just for you.
But first, knees weak, arms are heavy ... 🍝 Time to go eat "Mom's Spaghetti!" Eminem's long-rumored restaurant has opened a real-life brick-and-mortar location in downtown Detroit.
🗣 Seven days of 1961: On Wednesday, USA TODAY and Tougaloo College will host a night of music, poetry and discussions. Join us for this free online event: “Freedom Now: How Institutions of Power Fuel and Stall Change."
Britney Spears' father suspended as conservator of her estate
Britney Spears is free of her father's much-loathed role in controlling her life and finances, but she's not yet completely free of the 13-year conservatorship, following a hearing in Los Angeles on Wednesday. The judge overseeing Britney Spears' conservatorship ordered the suspension of her father, James "Jamie" Spears, from his longtime role as her guardian, and ordered him to turn over all her assets, estimated at about $60 million, to a temporary conservator. Coming in the wake of two new documentaries about the conservatorship that has controlled the pop star's finances and major life decisions for the last 13 years, this hearing was one of the first times Spears' newly chosen attorney Mathew Rosengart argued on her behalf, rather than her former court-appointed lawyer Samuel Ingham III.
Do new Britney Spears documentaries help or exploit?
'I scratched my head': Britney Spears speaks out on documentary.
Vaccination rates among pregnant people low
Despite evidence that vaccines can prevent the "severe risk" of COVID-19, vaccination rates among those who are pregnant have been low. Only 18% of pregnant people have received a dose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And while new data show overall racial disparities in COVID-19 vaccinations are improving, federal numbers show pregnant Black people are the least vaccinated compared to those expecting in other races. Patients giving birth while having COVID-19 had “significantly higher rates” of ICU admission, intubation, ventilation and death, according to a study. Scientists have said vaccines are safe to be taken at any time while pregnant or breastfeeding for both parent and baby.
Employer vaccine mandates convert some workers, but not all.
Fake COVID-19 vaccine cards aren't just dangerous, they're illegal.
What everyone's talking about
Ivory-billed woodpecker, 22 other species declared extinct.
Sage Steele: ESPN mandating COVID-19 vaccine is 'sick' and 'scary.'
Everything changes: Not all Dollar Tree items will cost $1 anymore.
Girl with sickle cell disease uses cannabis, not opioids for pain.
Make-A-Wish singer gets more than he wished for on 'The Voice.'
Clock ticking on government shutdown
Congress hasn't scheduled votes to extend funding the government as the clock ticks down on a shutdown, but leading lawmakers said Congress will likely take action Thursday before the midnight deadline. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said the chamber could work quickly to extend funding until early December. The bill would then head to the House for a vote and to President Joe Biden for his signature. Government funding expires with the end of the fiscal year Sept. 30. The House had approved a combined spending extension and increase in the debt limit. But Senate Republicans blocked that measure Monday, arguing that Democrats should raise the debt limit on their own.
Nancy Pelosi's ability to mend Democratic differences put to the test.
Meet the Democrats leading factions at odds over infrastructure.
No foreign fans allowed at 2022 Beijing Olympics
The International Olympic Committee on Wednesday offered a first glimpse of the COVID-19 protocols that will be in place at the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing – including lengthy quarantines for unvaccinated participants and daily COVID-19 testing. The countermeasures are similar to those at the recent Summer Games in some respects and more strict in others. Among the most notable differences: Unlike in Tokyo, where athletes mostly competed behind closed doors, Beijing 2022 organizers have indicated that some Chinese fans will be permitted to attend their Games, as long as they follow protocols. Foreign spectators, including athletes' family members and friends, will once again be barred from attending.
Child dies of rare, brain-eating amoeba found at Texas splash pad.
Person of interest in Florida student's disappearance found dead.
A bat bit a man in his sleep. He died of rabies a month later.
Not just COVID-19: YouTube removing videos with lies about all vaccines.
Trump told Putin he'd act tough 'for cameras,' White House book says.
Hey, Boo Boo! 🐻 It's Fat Bear Week
Guard that pic-a-nic basket, there are chubby cubbies abound this time of year! In honor of Fat Bear Week, which started Wednesday, the Katmai National Park & Preserve in Alaska is sponsoring an un-bear-lievable bracket, inviting the public to vote on who they think is the heaviest bear of them all. A total of 12 bears are competing for the title. But hey! No fat-shaming, please. It's essential for bears to gain weight this time of year. With winter around the corner, hibernation means they won't be eating for a while. Ready to meet the bears? Check out the burly contenders here.
Bears are bulking up to get ready for winter hibernation. Who's the biggest?
A break from the news
🍷 Wine not? Find out which wine subscription is right for you.
☕️ It's National Coffee Day! Celebrate with these discounts.
💝 29 splurge-worthy gifts that people are obsessing over.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Britney Spears, COVID-19 vaccines, government shutdown, Beijing Olympics and Fat Bear Week. It's Wednesday's news.