'Orion's Fireplace': Flame Nebula is ablaze with color in stunning new image
The European Southern Observatory (ESO) shared a new image of the blazing Flame Nebula, located in the Orion Constellation. Also known as "Orion's fireplace," the colorful interstellar cloud of dust and gas is an emission nebula where new stars and planets form.space.com
Capital Highlights — Twenty-nine new laws in effect in January
More than 20 new state laws went into effect as Texans rang in the New Year, with another half-dozen to go on the books on Jan. 18, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.[San Marcos, TX] [Hays County news] News San Marcos News, San Marcos Record [Texas State]sanmarcosrecord.com
Air travel cancellations and delays continue across the U.S.
As winter weather pummels parts of the country and coronavirus cases surge, air travelers across the U.S. are still trying to get home from their holiday trips. CBS News transportation correspondent Errol Barnett joins "CBSN AM" with the latest.news.yahoo.com
Slipping in exercises between commercial breaks during the biggest games of the year
Last week presented a few problems with the festivities of Christmas and this week just added to the problem with New Year celebrations.[San Marcos, TX] [Hays County news] Sports San Marcos News, San Marcos Record [Texas State]sanmarcosrecord.com
New Year's celebrations toned down as COVID cases hit record highs nationwide
Sparse crowds were at the Vatican Saturday morning as Pope Francis conducted New Year’s Day Mass. On Friday, the Pope canceled his traditional New Year’s Eve visit to the nativity scene in St. Peter’s Square to discourage large crowds from forming. In Times Square, just 15,000 revelers rang in 2022. The muted celebrations come as COVID cases in New York City have skyrocketed in recent weeks. Elise Preston reports.news.yahoo.com
Japan's emperor prays for pandemic dead in New Year message
Japan’s Emperor Naruhito offered prayers for those who died during the pandemic, taking to video for the second straight year for his New Year’s greeting on Saturday, having canceled public palace gatherings to curb coronavirus infections. Sitting before a bonsai tree with his wife Masako, Naruhito praised and thanked doctors and other health care workers, and expressed concern for countries lacking access to vaccines and adequate hospital systems. Japan has recorded more than 18,000 COVID-19-related deaths, but the pace of deaths has fallen in recent months.news.yahoo.com
Danes orders eateries to close early, bans large concerts
The Danish government has decided that school students up to the 10th grade must study remotely for the last few days before Christmas and ordered nightclubs, bars and restaurants to close at midnight in an attempt to counter an uptick in COVID-19 caseswashingtonpost.com
Azeri president marks Nowruz in retaken cultural city
Aliyev marked the Nowruz holiday by lighting a ceremonial fire outside Shusha, a culturally revered city that Azerbaijan took from Armenian forces in last autumn's war. Shusha, a center of Azeri culture for centuries, came under Armenian control in 1992 in fighting over the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh region. (Vugar Amrullaev, Azerbaijani Presidential Press Office via AP)MOSCOW – Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev marked the Nowruz holiday Saturday by lighting a ceremonial fire outside Shusha, a culturally revered city that Azerbaijan took from Armenian forces in last autumn’s war. Shusha, a center of Azeri culture for centuries, came under Armenian control in 1992 in fighting over the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh region. “Today we are celebrating Nowruz in our ancient city Shusha, the cultural capital of Azerbaijan.
Macron calls on Biden for greater US military involvement
(Stephane Mahe/Pool Photo via AP)BREST – French President Emmanuel Macron hoped on Tuesday that U.S. President-elect Joe Biden will show a greater military commitment to fight against Islamic extremists in several theaters of conflict and especially in the Middle East. Macron stressed that France has maintained its efforts to fight against the Islamic State group in the region. About 900 French troops are currently taking part in the U.S.-led international coalition. In his speech, Macron also suggested he is considering a partial troop pullout in Africa’s Sahel region, an “adjustment” he presented as a consequence of successes achieved by French forces last year and an expected greater involvement of other European countries. The deployment of about 5,100 troops in five West African countries represent France’s largest military operation abroad.
Moon urges Biden to learn from Trump's N. Korea diplomacy
South Korean President Moon Jae-in speaks during an on-line New Year press conference with local and foreign journalists at the Presidential Blue House in Seoul, South Korea Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. (Jeon Heon-kyun/Pool Photo via AP)SEOUL – South Korea’s president on Monday urged the incoming Biden administration to build upon the achievements and learn from the failures of President Donald Trump’s diplomatic engagement with North Korea. Biden has accused Trump of chasing the spectacle of summits rather than meaningful curbs on the North’s nuclear capabilities. And while Moon acknowledged that Biden is likely to try a different approach than Trump, he stressed that Biden could still learn from Trump’s successes and failures in dealing with North Korea. “The start of the Biden administration provides a new opportunity to start over talks between North Korea and the United States and also between South and North Korea,” which have stalled amid the stalemate in nuclear negotiations, Moon said.
Germany's Merkel: Trump's Twitter eviction 'problematic'
FILE - In this Dec. 30, 2020 file photo German Chancellor Angela Merkel poses for photographs after the television recording of her annual New Year's speech at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, File)BERLIN – German Chancellor Angela Merkel considers U.S. President Donald Trump's eviction from Twitter by the company “problematic,” her spokesman said Monday. Twitter permanently suspended Trump from the microblogging platform on Friday, citing a “risk of further incitement of violence” in the wake of the storming of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of the outgoing president. “Seen from this angle, the chancellor considers it problematic that the accounts of the U.S. president have now been permanently blocked.”Facebook on Thursday suspended Trump’s account through Jan. 20, the day of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, and possibly indefinitely. Merkel herself does not have a Twitter account, although Seibert does and many German government ministers do.
Looking ahead in 2021: The U.S., no longer AWOL on the world stage
One thing, at least, used to be predictable in this world: crowds gathering around the globe to celebrate as the New Year rolled in. And there is no immediate improvement in all the issues the world is facing just because the date has now changed to 2021. "Definitely not," replied Madeleine Albright, who was U.S. Secretary of State 20 years ago, when the world was a different place. U.S. President Donald Trump confronted by world leaders (including German Chancellor Angela Merkel) at the 2018 G7 Summit. We have to have the bandwidth," Albright said.cbsnews.com
Looking ahead in 2021: Will Washington welcome the new dawn?
"Without truth, we can't agree what road to go down, and without trust, we can't go down that road together. And so, when you don't have truth and trust, it's very hard to sustain a healthy democracy." At least 12 Senate Republicans will join 100 or more House Republicans and object to the Electoral College count on Wednesday. That will briefly delay certification of the Electoral College vote; it will not derail Biden's Inauguration. Scientific, economic and cultural challenges aboundAfter the Electoral College votes affirmed his victory last month, Biden said, "Now is time to turn the page, as we've done throughout our history – to unite, to heal."cbsnews.com
Zimbabwe returns to restrictions amid rise in virus cases
Thousands of people attend a music concert to celebrate New Year's in the Mbare suburb of Harare, Zimbabwe, early Friday, Jan 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)MUTARE – In response to rising COVID-19 numbers, Zimbabwe has reintroduced a night curfew, banned public gatherings, and indefinitely suspended the opening of schools. “We are being overwhelmed and overrun,” Information Minister Nick Mangwana warned, saying the country's hospitals are rapidly reaching capacity with COVID-19 patients. Zimbabwe recorded 1,342 cases and 29 deaths in the past week, “the highest number recorded so far,” Vice President Constantino Chiwenga said, announcing the strict measures. Funerals are now limited to 30 people while other gatherings such as weddings and church services are banned for 30 days.
Asia Today: Australian state under fire for slow response
Trace testing has linked the new Melbourne coronavirus cluster to the New South Wales outbreak. The newest occurred at midnight Friday when Victoria closed its border to New South Wales, prompting traffic bottlenecks as people raced to beat the closure. Once in Victoria, COVID-19 testing sites saw long queues as travelers lined up for mandatory testing. South Korea reported 824 new cases, raising the national tally to 62,593 with 942 deaths. — Thai authorities are planning to launch two levels of restrictions of activities for highly controlled areas where coronavirus cases are on the rise.
The Latest: S Korea extends distancing rules for 2 weeks
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, intensive care units in several parts of Texas were full or nearly full. India and Brazil trail behind the U.S. in coronavirus cases at over 10 million and 7 million, respectively. ___MILAN, Italy — Italy added another 462 virus deaths on Friday for a known pandemic death toll of 74,621, the highest in Europe. ___BANGKOK — The Thai capital is shutting down venues including schools and entertainment parks as coronavirus cases continue to spread. China on Friday reported a total of 19 new virus cases, including 10 that were brought from outside the country.
Pandemic downsizes New Year's Eve celebrations
The empty New Year's Eve epicenter has been a familiar scene around the world as the coronavirus pandemic rages on. In Wisconsin, a hospital pharmacist was arrested for intentionally destroying more than 500 doses of the COVID vaccine. Police say the pharmacist left the vials out of refrigeration overnight, knowing they'd no longer be usable. I just reminisced about that day and how I would say yes all over again and how I loved him," she said. Two days later, her husband died.cbsnews.com
Daywatch: New year brings new laws, homicides increased by 50% in 2020 and Chicago takeout favorites
Meanwhile, can you believe today is the last day of 2020? Somehow, we made it. Here’s how our photographers captured this difficult, unprecedented year. And, if you’re looking for things to do this evening to safely ring in the New Year, here are some suggestions for live streams and virtual events.chicagotribune.com
S&P 500 ends at another record high as tumultuous 2020 ends
The benchmark S&P 500 index finished with a gain of 16.3% for the year, or a total return of about 18.4%, including dividends. And the S&P 500 rose or fell by at least 1% on twice as many days in 2020 than it did, on average, since 1950. The electric car maker jumped 743.4% in 2020 for the biggest gain in the S&P 500. All told, the S&P 500 set 33 record highs in 2020. The S&P 500 rose 24.03 points, or 0.6%, to 3,756.07, an all-time high.
Streaming Concert Watch 12/30: Justin Bieber, KISS and More
^ Keep Houston Press Free Support Us LocalCommunityJournalismI Support Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free. Like most of the world's population, I can't wait to say goodbye to this nightmare year and usher in 2021. Celebrating the release of his 18th studio album, Live Ambients – Improvised Recordings Vol. Justin BieberLive-Streaming – 31 DecemberCanadian singer-songwriter Justin Bieber has had a tumultuous few years. One of those was Jamaican-American electronic dance music trio Major Lazer, who recently released their fourth studio album, Music Is The Weapon.houstonpress.com
Tokyo trading closed for holiday, other Asian indexes mixed
FILE - In this Dec. 30, 2020, file photo, an employee tolls the closing bell during a ceremony of the last trading day at the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo. Major Asian bourses were closed for the New Year's holidays Thursday, Dec. 31, while the handful that remained open was mixed. (JPX via AP)Major Asian bourses were closed for the New Year's holidays Thursday while the handful that remained open was mixed. Trading was closed in Tokyo and South Korea. The Tokyo exchange marked the end of trading for the year Wednesday, with the Nikkei falling 0.5%, and trading will not reopen until Monday next week.
‘Please stay home’: Houston doctor issues plea as hospital fills up ahead of new year
HOUSTON – A Houston doctor whose hospital is packed with coronavirus patients is pleading with people to stay home to ring in the new year. The drive-thru testing site at the United Memorial Medical Center in northwest Houston was busy Tuesday, but it’s the situation inside the hospital that has Dr. Joseph Varon concerned. “It’s not going anywhere, and the fact is that we are getting people that are deadly ill in the hospital. If you can avoid going out this New Year’s, please stay home.”Dr. Joseph Varon has been working 287 consecutive days since the pandemic started. For those hoping for a better 2021, Dr. Varon says this message is simple.
These were the most clicked-on stories of 2020
Some of the biggest stories of our lifetimes were packed into 2020, and KPRC 2 was there through all of it to help keep you informed. You can look back at the 2020 hurricane season and keep track of the 2021 season when it begins at Click2Houston.com/hurricane. Dad saves daughter from alligatorIn League City, news of a dad leaping into action to save his 4-year-old daughter from the jaws an 11-foot-7-inch alligator grabbed national headlines. Rodeo canceledTwo of our most clicked-on stories of the year were about the cancellation of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo because of the coronavirus pandemic. Deadly explosionAnother Houston story that grabbed national headlines this year was the explosion at Watson Grinding and Manufacturing in January.
These 15 Houston restaurants are serving up end-of-year menu specials for New Year’s Eve
HOUSTON – Ready to kiss 2020 goodbye? Celebrate with the best meals you’ve had this year by dining at one of these Houston-area restaurants on New Year’s Eve. From New American and French to Japanese and Mexican cuisines, these restaurants will be open on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day to celebrate the departure of 2020 and the arrival of 2021. This list includes information from both OpenTable and 365 Things To Do In Houston. #Lodgestyle Posted by Rainbow Lodge on Monday, December 28, 2020Address: 2200 Post Oak, HoustonAddress: 3755 Richmond, HoustonAddress: 13616 Memorial, HoustonAddress: 807 Taft, HoustonAddress: 309 Gray, HoustonAddress: Multiple locationsDo you know of other restaurants bringing New Years Eve specials?
Thailand imposes new restrictions amid coronavirus outbreak
Thailand generally has been viewed as successful in combating the coronavirus, due partly to its well-regarded public health infrastructure and people’s adherence to mask-wearing and other protocols. But cases have jumped significantly since an outbreak was detected last week among migrants from Myanmar working at a seafood market in Samut Sakhon province. Samut Sakhon Gov. Weerasak Wijitsaengsri tested positive for the virus after meeting Sunday with senior health officials including Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul. Samut Sakhon was put under lockdown on Dec. 19, followed by Samut Songkhram and Samut Prakarn.
Asian shares mixed as boost from US stimulus package fades
Asian shares were mixed Wednesday after a lackluster day on Wall Street, as the boost from President Donald Trumps signing of the coronavirus relief package faded. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)Asian shares were mixed Wednesday after a lackluster day on Wall Street, as the boost from President Donald Trump’s signing of the coronavirus relief package faded. It is still on track to end the month 7.7% higher, more than twice as much as the S&P 500. The S&P 500 fell 8.32 points to 3,727.04. With two days of trading left in 2020, the S&P 500 is up 15.4% this year, while the Nasdaq is up 43.2%.
Larger COVID-19 surge expected following holiday travel
Larger COVID-19 surge expected following holiday travel The new, more contagious strain of COVID-19 first discovered in the U.K. has reached over a dozen countries, and experts say it is likely already in the U.S. Meanwhile, Christmas and New Year's travel is expected to make an already bad situation worse, and vaccine distribution in the nation is behind schedule. Dr. Leo Nissola joins CBSN to talk more about the pandemic.cbsnews.com
Asia Today: Governor of hotspot Thai province infected
Hata was the son of late Prime Minister Tsutomu Hata, who headed an opposition-led government in 1994. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s government has been reluctant to impose tougher restrictions that would further damage the pandemic-hit economy. South Korea on Monday registered 808 new coronavirus cases, raising its national caseload to 57,680 with 819 deaths. Sri Lanka has confirmed 41,053 coronavirus cases, including 191 fatalities. The government also announced 5,854 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, bringing the country's total to 719,219 confirmed cases, including 21,452 deaths.
Get lost 2020: Some things to leave behind, with caveats
(AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)NEW YORK – Zoom, Zoom and Zoom. Masks, masks and masks. But not all things 2020 need to be left behind. Practically speaking, Black women, indigenous women and other women of color continued to face stumbling blocks. As one Holocaust survivor put it: Things of importance fade into oblivion when NEVER AGAIN is reduced to a meaningless mantra.
Messages of healing and hope, after a difficult 2020
Messages of healing and hope, after a difficult 2020 Representatives of three faiths offer reflections for those whose devotion may have been tested by a year of struggle and loss, to renew hope and expectation for the New Year. Featuring Rabbi Elaine Zecher, of Temple Israel of Boston; Imam Zaid Shakir, of Zaytuna College in Berkeley, Calif.; and Judah Smith, lead pastor of Churchome.cbsnews.com
J. Lo, Billy Porter to perform at 'New Year’s Rockin’ Eve'
NEW YORK – Jennifer Lopez will help bring in the New Year with a headlining performance in New York’s Time Square for “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2021." Other performers include Cyndi Lauper, Billy Porter and Jimmie Allen. Lauper and Porter collaborated on the Broadway musical “Kinky Boots" and they will join forces for a special performance during the TV special, which will air on ABC at 8 p.m. Eastern. “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2021" will run until 2 a.m. Eastern on Jan. 1. Seacrest is returning to host the event for a 16th year, and he will be joined by Porter and Lucy Hale in New York.
Trials and triumphs in 2020: Houstonians talk about the greatest things that happened to them this year
HOUSTON – We know that 2020 hasn’t been the best year for everyone, but many, especially Houstonians had a bright moment that shined through this dark year, from getting a new home to scoring a dream job. The year 2020 is almost over, so give yourselves a pat on the back and take a deep breath. We asked our KPRC 2 audience whether anything good came to them this year despite the trying times that came with it. They found a great apartment and are finally able to go on their Costa Rican honeymoon this week!” - Pam Peymann Moritz“I lost my job only to get hired doing my dream job. !” - Janice Oden Poe“Zoom has breathed new life into our Sunday school class at St. Mark’s UMC on Pecore.
Where to watch New Year’s Eve fireworks around Houston
HOUSTON – Who doesn’t love to ring in the new year watching a thrilling fireworks display surrounded by their loved ones? We tracked down free family-friendly New Year’s celebrations featuring fireworks in Houston and here’s what we found:The City of Houston and the City of Sugar Land won’t be organizing any New Year’s celebrations this year. But there are still a few options available in the Houston area to welcome 2020 with a good fireworks show. Cost: FreeWhen: From 1 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Dec. 31Address: 215 Kipp Ave. Cost: FreeWhen: From 8 p.m. to 12:05 a.m., Dec. 31Address: 250 Assay Street