5 things to know on Wednesday


President Biden will be tested again for COVID-19

President Joe Biden will be tested for COVID-19 on Wednesday after an initial negative antigen test on Sunday and a PCR test on Monday. The president was in close contact with a White House aide on Friday who tested positive on Monday. The announcement came amid a spike in coronavirus infections caused by the delta variant and as health officials brace for another spike caused by the omicron variant. The unidentified White House aide spent about 30 minutes “close to the president” on Air Force One as Biden flew from South Carolina to Pennsylvania on Friday, the statement said.


Biden announces new COVID-19 plans, says ‘I know you’re frustrated’

President Joe Biden has announced the latest plans to tackle the surge in COVID-19 cases.

Staff Video, USA TODAY

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SpaceX rocket brings Christmas gifts and supplies to ISS astronauts

SpaceX’s uncrewed Dragon capsule began its journey to the International Space Station early Tuesday and arrived Wednesday morning to deliver supplies. According to NASA, among the 6,500 pounds of cargo and science experiments, Christmas cheers were included for astronauts and cosmonauts on the ISS. Roast turkey, green beans, smoked seafood, shellfish, fruitcake and gifts for the crew were part of the special delivery. The autonomous capsule will spend about a month docked with the ISS before returning to Earth with waste and the results of scientific experiments. SpaceX’s successful liftoff on Tuesday put the finishing touches on Space Coast’s 2021 cadence, which ends the year with 31 launches, matching 2020’s count.


SpaceX and NASA Crew-3 mission finally launches into space after delays

After several delays, the SpaceX and NASA Crew-3 mission finally launched into space with four astronauts.

USA TODAY, Storyful

NBA and NHL take different approaches as both deal with rising COVID cases

Due to the growing number of positive COVID-19 cases, the National Hockey League and the NHL Players’ Association have agreed to start their Christmas vacation early. The league will resume practices on December 26 and the regular season schedule will resume on December 27. Originally, there were 10 games scheduled for Tuesday, but only one was played as the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Vegas Golden Knights. The COVID surge will also prevent NHL players from competing in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, a source says. An official announcement is expected on Wednesday. Meanwhile, National Basketball Association Commissioner Adam Silver told ESPN on Tuesday that his league has looked at several options but doesn’t yet see a reason to end or suspend the 2021-22 season. Silver’s assessment came despite more than 70 players entering health and safety protocols in December.


COVID in the NBA: How the league is managing more players in safety protocols

SportsPulse: USA TODAY Sports’ Jeff Zillgitt discusses the recent surge in NBA players entering COVID-19 protocols and how the league is moving forward.


Send your Christmas gifts as soon as possible

Wednesday is the last day to ship gifts if you expect them to arrive before Christmas Day with FedEx (FedEx 2day) and UPS (2nd Day Air). destination in time for gatherings and holiday celebrations,” Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said in a statement. This week is expected to be the busiest week of the holiday mailing and shipping season, the USPS said, with nearly 2.3 billion shipments, including greeting cards and packages, expected to be processed and delivered. For the procrastinators: Retailer shipping times for online orders vary, and many stores are offering curbside and in-store pickup through Christmas Eve.


USPS: Ready for pandemic crush on holiday shipping

The U.S. Postal Service is bracing for a deluge of holiday shipments, a year after the COVID-19 pandemic caused packages and letters to back up at fulfillment centers. Since then, the USPS has invested in new infrastructure and new workers. (November 24)


Christmas is coming early for several new movie releases

Whether you want to mask up at the movies or stay more comfortable on your couch at home, several new movies are coming on Wednesday. If you love “The Matrix” movies, Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss return for a fourth installment in the sci-fi action saga in “The Matrix Resurrections” (in theaters and on HBO Max). A prequel to the first two “Kingsman” spy films, “The King’s Man” combines the usual over-the-top antics with a more serious war story. And, “Sing 2” brings a high-profile newcomer to the cast of the star-studded animated sequel: Bono as Clay Calloway, a reclusive rock star lion.


‘Matrix 4’: How Carrie-Anne Moss overcame production delays

Carrie-Anne Moss chats with USA TODAY’s Ralphie Aversa about the production and training involved in “The Matrix Resurrections.”



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