Mary Louise Kelly

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It began with a knock on the door.

Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker let the man who had knocked into his synagogue, Congregation Beth Israel, in the suburbs of Forth Worth, Texas.

The man was cold so Rabbi Charlie, as he's known, made him a cup of hot tea.

The Saturday morning Shabbat service started.

Rabbi Charlie stood on the bimah, the raised platform at the front of a synagogue. He began a prayer.

"I was facing away from the congregation. When Jews pray, we pray towards Jerusalem," he said.

Then, he heard a click.

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken says the U.S. is planning "things that we have not done in the past" if Russia invades Ukraine.

His comments follow days of diplomatic talks and a deadlock on resolving the crisis brewing along the Ukraine-Russia border.

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January 6, 2021, was a Wednesday. A joint session of Congress was set to convene in the U.S. Capitol to certify Joe Biden's electoral vote win. Meanwhile, thousands of Donald Trump supporters gathered near the White House to hear him speak at noon ET.

Tensions were high on Capitol Hill. Protesters swarmed lawmakers outside.

Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., was exasperated as protesters surrounded him on the steps of the Russell Senate Office Building at around 11:30 a.m.

Things might seem pretty grim on the pandemic front right now. The U.S. is only a few days into the third calendar year of the pandemic and nearly 500,000 new COVID-19 cases are being counted daily.

The country hit another record high on Monday with 1,082,549 infections. So if it's hard to find a glimmer of hope, you're not alone. But Dr. Bob Wachter has a bit of hope to share.

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The U.S. is now averaging more than 400,000 new COVID-19 cases a day. This comes after a week where new case counts shattered the previous day's records again and again. And even those staggering numbers are probably an undercount.

Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told NPR last week that with so many people testing at home, it is hard to capture the true number of cases.

Amid the omicron surge, there is understandable anxiety among parents, particularly those with kids under 5 who can't yet get a COVID-19 vaccine.

They're wondering how to navigate life with young children, what this means for travel plans and day care, and when the vaccine will become available.

Ibukun Kalu is a pediatric infectious disease doctor at Duke University and says her hospital has already seen a rise in children being admitted.

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