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The clock ticked down toward the expiration of Major League Baseball’s collective bargaining agreement at 11:59 p.m. EST and a likely management lockout ending the sport’s labor peace at 9,740 days over 26 1/2 years. Players and owners have appeared headed for a confrontation for more than two years. The union demanded change following anger over a declining average salary, middle-class players forced out by teams concentrating payroll on the wealthy and a share of veterans jettisoned in favor of lower-paid youth.

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The Supreme Court’s conservative majority is signaling it will uphold Mississippi’s 15-week ban on abortion — and may go much further to overturn the nationwide right to abortion that has existed for nearly 50 years.  After nearly two hours of arguments on Wednesday, all six conservative justices, including three appointed by former President Donald Trump, indicated they would uphold the Mississippi law. At the very least, such a decision would undermine the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling of 1973. A decision is expected at the end of next June.

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U.S. health advisers have endorsed an antiviral drug from Merck to treat COVID-19. It sets the stage for an expected authorization of the first pill that Americans could take at home for the coronavirus. A Food and Drug Administration panel voted that the drug’s benefits in curbing hospitalizations and deaths outweigh its risks. Those risks include potential birth defects if used during pregnancy. The FDA isn’t bound by the panel’s recommendation and is expected to make its own decision before the end of the year. Merck’s pill could provide a much-needed therapy as colder weather pushes case counts higher and U.S. officials brace for the arrival of the new omicron variant.

AP
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Children’s Wisconsin said seven patients injured in last weekend’s Christmas parade crash in suburban Milwaukee are still being treated at the hospital. The facility originally received 16 patients after the driver of a red SUV roared through the parade in Waukesha, killing six people and injuring more than 60. One Children's Wisconsin patient was released on Sunday, another on Friday and another was able to come home for Thanksgiving. Out of the seven remaining patients, four are in serious condition, two are in fair condition and one is in good condition. Darnell Brooks Jr. is accused of speeding away from police and entering the parade, refusing to stop even as an officer banged on the hood of his SUV. Five adults and one child were killed in the crash.