Neera Tanden named White House staff secretary
Neera Tanden, whose bid to be White House budget chief was derailed by opposition from Republicans after her sharp critiques of them on Twitter, was named White House staff secretary on Friday, putting her in a key behind-the-scenes role. The appointment, which does not require Senate confirmation, was announced during a morning staff call, a White House official said.
Peter Scolari, who appeared on TV series Newhart and Girls, dead at 66
News/Entertainment: Peter Scolari, a versatile character actor whose television roles included a yuppie producer on Newhart and a closeted dad on Girls and who was on Broadway with longtime friend Tom Hanks in Lucky Guy, has died. He was 66.
NZ PM continues media interaction despite earthquake of magnitude 5.9
Tremors from a magnitude 5.9 earthquake in New Zealand failed to force Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to interrupt her press conference on Friday, while she instead refused to dismiss the event, describing the rumblings as a "slight distraction." "Ah, sorry, a slight distraction - would you mind repeating that question?" Arden said and continued the briefing.
U.S. Supreme Court will hear challenge to Texas ban on most abortions, but law remains in effect
News/World: The U.S. Supreme Court is not immediately blocking the Texas law that bans most abortions, but has agreed to hear arguments in the case on Nov. 1. But Justice Sonia Sotomayor says women in Texas seeking abortions "are entitled to relief now."
Sri Lanka orders Covid-19 booster shots for frontline workers, tourism industry
Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Friday ordered frontline workers and tourism staff to be given a third booster shot of Covid-19 vaccine next month, part of a bid to reopen the travel industry and revive the economy. So far Sri Lanka has fully vaccinated a little over 60% of its 22 million people.
Mekelle struck, residents flee Amhara as Ethiopia battle intensifies
The Ethiopian government launched an airstrike Friday on the capital of the northern Tigray region, and residents in a city in the neighboring Amhara region said people there were taking flight from intensifying fighting.