Tulio de Oliveira, director of the KwaZulu-Natal Research and Innovation Sequencing Platform, in his lab at the Nelson Mandela School of Medicine in D

How did the new COVID-19 variant omicron get its name?

There are now seven "variants of interest" or "variants of concern," and they each have a Greek letter.

COVID variant spreads to more countries as world on alert

November 27
People lined up to get on an Air France flight to Paris at OR Tambo’s airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, Nov. 26, 2021.
The new potentially more contagious omicron variant of the coronavirus popped up in more European countries on Saturday, just days after being identified in South Africa, leaving governments around the world scrambling to stop the spread.

Minn. schools work to respond to growing student mental health needs

November 27
Richfield Middle School social worker Joey Corcoran listens to a student during a visit to his office on Tuesday.
Counselors and social workers report more intense concerns among students.
World
7:25am
Signs warn shoppers of mandatory face mask and the need to respect social distancing in Nijmegen, eastern Netherlands, Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021.

Netherlands, Australia find omicron variant as curbs spread

The Netherlands confirmed 13 cases of the new omicron variant of the coronavirus on Sunday and Australia found two as the countries half a world apart became the latest to detect it in travelers arriving from southern Africa.
World
6:40am

Swiss seen approving COVID restrictions as infections rise

Swiss voters appeared set Sunday to approve by a clear margin legislation which introduced a special COVID-19 certificate that lets only people who have been vaccinated, recovered or tested negative attend public events and gatherings.
World
6:35am

Israel tightens travel restrictions over new COVID variant

Israel on Sunday approved barring entry to foreign nationals and the use of controversial technology for contact tracing as part of its efforts to clamp down on a new coronavirus variant.
World
5:09am

Czech president swears in opposition leader as new premier

The Czech president on Sunday swore in Petr Fiala as the country's new prime minister following last month's parliamentary election.
World
3:44am

Camped in Calais, migrants renew resolve to try for England

At the makeshift camps in France near Calais and Dunkirk, migrants are digging in, waiting for their chance to make a dash across the English Channel despite the deaths of at least 27 people this week when their boat sank a few miles (kilometers) from the French coast.
Nation
November 27

FACT FOCUS: Why WHO skipped 'nu,' 'xi' for new COVID variant

The name of a newly identified variant of the coronavirus has had some social media users scratching their heads about the World Health Organization's system for labeling certain versions of the virus.
Coronavirus
November 27
Mason Nadolney got his second COVID-19 vaccine shot during a mobile vaccine event at Chanhassen High School in July.

What you need to know about COVID variants, Minnesota mask requirements and more

Advice is evolving along with the coronavirus. Here's the latest from staff and news service reports.
Nation
November 27
President Joe Biden speaks to members of the media in Nantucket, Mass., Friday, Nov. 26, 2021.

High inflation? Low polling? White House blames the pandemic

Inflation is soaring, businesses are struggling to hire and President Joe Biden's poll numbers have been in free fall. The White House sees a common culprit for it all: COVID-19.
Sports
November 27

NHL postpones 2 Islanders games amid COVID-19 outbreak

The NHL has postponed two more games for coronavirus-related reasons, making it five so far this season.
Business
November 27

Amid riots, France to consider some autonomy for Guadeloupe

France's government is offering to discuss some autonomy for the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, which has been wracked by virus-related rioting and strikes that reflect long-running frustrations over inequality with the French mainland.
World
November 27

German minister hopes patient transfers a 'wake-up call'

Germany's health minister said Saturday he hopes that the sight of air force planes transferring patients across the country will act as a "wake-up call" to millions who are still holding out on getting vaccinated against COVID-19.
World
November 27

COVID-19 positive Czech president discharged from hospital

Czech President Miloš Zeman was discharged Saturday from the capital's military hospital after testing positive for the coronavirus.
Business
November 27

Channel migrant deaths: Smugglers net millions per kilometer

The price to cross the English Channel varies according to the network of smugglers, between 3,000 and 7,000 euros ($3,380 and $8,000) though there are rumors of discounts.
Business
November 27
Students from the Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria, South Africa, Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021.

South African scientists brace for wave propelled by omicron

Worried scientists in South Africa are scrambling to combat the lightning spread across the country of the new and highly transmissible omicron COVID-19 variant as the world grapples with its emergence.
Business
November 27

Shippers prepare for another pandemic crush of holiday gifts

The last holiday season was far from the most wonderful time of the year for the U.S. Postal Service: Sick and quarantined workers, a flood of packages from shoppers loath to set foot in stores and a last-minute dump of packages from overwhelmed private shippers.
Nation
November 27

A glance at how the ski season is opening in Europe's Alps

Italy is reopening its slopes to recreational skiers after one season lost and another abbreviated by the pandemic. Here is a glance at how the season is proceeding in Europe's Alpine nations.
World
November 27

Fresh snow beckons Italian skiers returning after 20 months

After nearly two years of being restricted to watching snow accumulate on distant mountains, Italian skiers are finally returning to the slopes that have been off-limits since the first pandemic lockdown in March 2020.
Business
November 27

Workers' paradise? Portugal's new teleworking law takes flak

Portugal's new law on working from home makes the European Union country sound like a workers' paradise.
Local
November 27

University ride service back after COVID-19 interruption

Boynton Health's Gopher Chauffeur is back operating after suspending its service in March 2020 due to COVID-19. Despite facing the challenge of a staff shortage, Gopher Chauffeur continues to operate as they hope to gain more student employees.
Local
November 27

Wisconsin leaders hopeful about Indigenous women strategy

Native American leaders and Wisconsin's attorney general are hoping to see more resources and support to address missing and murdered Indigenous women under an executive order signed recently by President Joe Biden.