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The Democratic-led House of Representatives on Wednesday easily approved legislation to commemorate Juneteenth, the national remembrance of the end of chattel slavery in the United States, as a federal holiday.

Memorial Day. Thanksgiving. Labor Day.

You may be used to seeing your calendar punctuated by the various holidays that occur throughout the year.

But on one New Jersey school district's calendar, each one of these days will be listed, simply, as "day off."

It all started when the school board in Randolph Township voted to change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples' Day. Some residents were outraged, so the board said that instead it would wipe holiday names from the school calendar altogether while still observing the days off.

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A large sinkhole has been growing at a farm in Mexico since May. It's already swallowed a house, and two dogs had to be rescued from the hole last week.

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Updated June 16, 2021 at 6:51 PM ET

Survivors of domestic and gang violence have better odds of getting asylum in the U.S. as the Justice Department reverses controversial rulings from the Trump administration.

It sounds like the premise for one of those classic screwball comedies of the 1930s: Thousands of out-of-work writers are hired by the United States government to collaborate on books. What could possibly go wrong?

But as Scott Borchert reveals in his new book, Republic of Detours, the amazing thing about the Federal Writers' Project was just how much went right.

Updated June 16, 2021 at 5:19 PM ET

The Federal Reserve will continue pumping money into the economy despite a sharp jump in consumer prices.

The central bank said Wednesday it would leave interest rates near zero and maintain its aggressive program of bond purchases in hopes of encouraging a faster rebound from the pandemic recession.

"We at the Fed will do everything we can to support the economy for as long as it takes to complete the recovery," Fed chairman Jerome Powell told reporters Wednesday.

Peloton users have something new to worry about.

In a new report, security company McAfee says hackers with direct access to Peloton bikes can gain control of the camera and microphone and can monitor users. The attackers can also add apps disguised as Netflix and Spotify to encourage users to input login credentials for later malicious use.

Remember the Alamo? According to Texas lore, it's the site in San Antonio where, in 1836, about 180 Texan rebels died defending the state during Texas' war for independence from Mexico.

The siege of the Alamo was memorably depicted in a Walt Disney series and in a 1960 movie starring John Wayne. But three writers, all Texans, say the common narrative of the Texas revolt overlooks the fact that it was waged in part to ensure slavery would be preserved.

Dr. Leora Horwitz treats fewer and fewer COVID-19 patients at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. Still, she thinks there are too many.

And, notably, the COVID-19 patients almost all have something in common.

"I've only had one patient who was vaccinated, and he was being treated for cancer with chemotherapy," she says, alluding to recent research on the vaccines' limited effectiveness for cancer patients.

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Royal Caribbean's new megaship, Odyssey of the Seas, was supposed to hail the company's return to business as near-usual this summer. But the ship's launch is now delayed after eight crew members tested positive for the coronavirus. Its first scheduled trips are now canceled.

The Odyssey of the Seas had been slated to make its debut sail with paying passengers on July 3 — more than a year after the pandemic hobbled the cruise ship industry. Its first voyage is now delayed for four weeks, until July 31. By then, summer will be nearly halfway over.

Matt Lammers was completely alone the first time we met.

The cigarette butts and old ammunition cans clearly marked his apartment door. Camouflage netting blocked the Arizona sun, but it also sent a message: this guy was still in Iraq. I knocked on the door at 9 a.m. and woke him from the only hour of sleep he'd had all night.

He apologized. I apologized. And after a couple hours killing time around Tucson, I came back. Lammers rolled out his door for a smoke in a manual wheelchair, shirtless. Which saved questions — scars and ink tell his story.

Jennifer Rocha wanted to hear the rustle of her black graduation gown against the bell pepper bushes in the California farm fields. She wanted to see the hem float above the dirt paths that she and her parents have spent years walking as a family while plucking heavy gallons of perfectly ripe fruits and vegetables that end up in America's grocery stores.

That's why she decided to take her college graduation photos in the same hot vegetable fields in Coachella, Calif., where she has worked with her parents since she was in high school.

Updated June 16, 2021 at 2:08 PM ET

Two organizations filed a lawsuit against Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb in an attempt to block the state's push to end pandemic unemployment benefits on June 19. This lawsuit may be the first of its kind that aims to stop states from ending these benefits earlier than Congress mandated.

Overnight, tensions between Israel and Hamas erupted into violence, posing a potential threat to the brief period of peace reached between the two just weeks ago.

Israeli jets struck two targets early Wednesday in Gaza. In a tweet, which included a video of the attack, the Israel Defense Forces said its "fighter jets struck Hamas military compounds last night, which were used as meeting sites for Hamas terror operatives. Hamas will bear the consequences for its actions."

Roughly 7 million children in the U.S. receive special education services under a decades-old federal law — or did, until the pandemic began. Many of those services slowed or stopped when schools physically shut down in spring 2020. Modified instruction, behavioral counseling, and speech and physical therapy disappeared or were feebly reproduced online, for three, six, nine months. In some places, they have yet to fully resume. For many children with disabilities, families say this disruption wasn't just difficult.

Shoppers and diners are slowly returning to Albuquerque's trendy Nob Hill neighborhood.

It's a welcome sign to Mike and Kathy Holmberg of Arizona, who are on their first visit back to New Mexico since the start of the pandemic. They typically spend summers here in the mountains where it's cooler. But the couple also noticed New Mexico feels much more cautious than Arizona. Restaurants here still require customers to give their name and phone number for contact tracing. Businesses still operate under strict capacity limits.

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Colette Baptiste-Mombo, a television engineer and community organizer, was born in 1958, at the height of the civil rights movement.

Perhaps the only respite pandemic closures brought to my family — which includes two kids under age 6 — was freedom from the constant misery of dripping noses, sneezes and coughs.

Gay and bisexual men in England, Scotland, and Wales can now donate blood, plasma and platelets under certain circumstances, the National Health Service announced this week in a momentous shift in policy for most of the U.K.

Beginning Monday, gay men in sexually active, monogamous relationships for at least three months can donate for the first time. The move reverses a policy that limited donor eligibility on perceived risks of contracting HIV/AIDs and other sexually transmitted infections.

Updated June 16, 2021 at 3:46 PM ET

President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Geneva Wednesday. Here's what you need to know:

  • The closed-door meeting, which began at about 7:45 a.m. ET, lasted 3 hours, 21 minutes, shorter than the White House had projected.
  • They held separate news conferences with Putin going first.
  • Putin described the meeting as "constructive."
  • Biden said he did what he came to do.

China has flown 28 warplanes into Taiwan-controlled airspace, the biggest sortie of its kind since the Taiwanese government began publishing information about the frequent incursions last year.

The flights are widely seen as part of an effort by Beijing to dial up pressure on Taiwan, a self-governed democracy of about 24 million people off the Chinese coast that the Chinese government considers a part of China.

The Senate unanimously approved a bill Tuesday that would make Juneteenth, the date commemorating the end of chattel slavery in the United States, a legal public holiday.

The holiday is celebrated on June 19, and it began in 1865 when enslaved people in Texas were freed under the Emancipation Proclamation.

President Abraham Lincoln had signed the proclamation outlawing slavery in most of the United States years earlier, but it was not until 1865 that those in bondage in Texas were freed.

Geneva is crawling with spies right now, says a longtime CIA veteran.

Intelligence agents from the U.S. and Russia are out in force as President Biden prepares to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, says Daniel Hoffman. Hoffman served as CIA station chief in Moscow for five years, and had assignments elsewhere in Europe, the Middle East and South Asia.

When President Biden visited the battleground state of Georgia for a rally to celebrate his 100th day in office, immigrant advocates were there to protest, chanting, "End detention now!" as he stepped to the microphone.

Normally the president would just ignore the hecklers until security could escort them out. Instead, Biden engaged with the protesters.

Shelby Houlihan, the middle-distance runner who currently holds two U.S. records, says she's been banned from the Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for the steroid nandrolone. Houlihan says she's clean and is blaming the test result on a pork burrito she got from a food truck.

Anti-doping officials don't agree with the runner. They've handed Houlihan a four-year ban, just before U.S. Olympic trials for the track and field team will begin in Eugene, Ore., this weekend.

Updated June 16, 2021 at 2:30 PM ET

A group of Democratic Texas state lawmakers traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to meet with congressional Democrats and Vice President Harris as part of a broader effort to pressure those in their party to pass far-reaching voting rights and election reform legislation.

Updated June 15, 2021 at 4:55 PM ET

President Joe Biden has named Lina Khan as the chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission, giving the regulatory authority's top spot to one of Silicon Valley's most prominent critics.

The surprise move elevating Khan to one of the most powerful regulatory positions in Washington was announced by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., at the start of a hearing on Tuesday. It came shortly after the Senate confirmed Khan as a commissioner in a 69-28 vote.

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