Deepa Shivaram

Updated September 15, 2021 at 8:13 PM ET

For the first time, a group of all civilians, four in total, have launched in a SpaceX mission to orbit the planet.

The commander of the flight, Jared Isaacman, is the founder and billionaire CEO of Shift4 Payments. He is accompanied by Hayley Arceneaux, a physician assistant at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital; Chris Sembroski, an aerospace data engineer; and pilot and geoscientist Sian Proctor.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in self-isolation because of a COVID-19 outbreak among his inner circle of staff, according to the Kremlin.

Putin said he got his second COVID-19 vaccine in April, but received the shots off camera.

EMILY's List, a political organization that helps fundraise and elect Democratic women who support abortion rights, has selected former Kamala Harris senior adviser Laphonza Butler as its next president. Butler will be the first woman of color, and the first mother, to lead the group in its 36-year history.

Butler, the organization's third president, grew up in Magnolia, Miss., and attended Jackson State University, a historically Black university.

Three former NFL players have pleaded guilty to a health care fraud scheme, bringing the total number of retired players who've pleaded guilty to 15, the Department of Justice announced Tuesday.

Divers were working Sunday to locate the source of an oil spill roughly two miles off the coast of Louisiana, in the Bay Marchand area of the Gulf of Mexico, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Coast Guard spokesperson Lt. John Edwards said Houston-based Talos Energy, an oil and gas company with operations in the Gulf, had hired Clean Gulf Associates as the oil spill response organization for the polluted area in Bay Marchand.

Happy Labor Day weekend, America.

The very first Labor Day in the country was celebrated in 1882, and it became an official federal holiday in 1894. The holiday falls on the first Monday of September. The day typically celebrated with picnics and parades has more to it than that, though.

To mark the nation's 139th Labor Day, here's some trivia about the holiday you didn't know you needed:

Updated September 1, 2021 at 3:14 PM ET

The U.S. ended its massive evacuations out of Kabul, Afghanistan, by President Biden's Aug. 31 deadline, but as many as 27 California public school students remain in Afghanistan.

Updated August 30, 2021 at 8:45 PM ET

Latest updates at a glance:

  • Pentagon officials have announced the last U.S. military plane has left Afghanistan, marking the end of America's longest war.
  • President Biden praised the military for "their execution of the dangerous retrograde from Afghanistan as scheduled."

Ed Asner, the legendary actor known for his role as the crusty, loveable boss Lou Grant on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, has died at the age of 91.

More recently, he was featured in Elf as Santa Claus and in the movie Up as the equally crusty, lovable voice of Carl Fredricksen.

Exercise equipment company Peloton says it's being subpoenaed by the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security for documents and other information regarding its reporting of people's injuries associated with its products.

In a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing Friday, the company also said the SEC was investigating public disclosures related to the injuries, and that it was the subject of several lawsuits.

We regret to inform you that your nightmares are about to get worse.

A team led by Egyptian scientists have dug up a 43 million-year-old fossil in the Sahara Desert in Egypt of a now-extinct amphibious four-legged whale.

That's right, folks — a whale with legs.

The authors of the study say that this creature had "unique features of the skull" and that its "mandible suggest a capacity for more efficient oral mechanical processing."

Greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere that contribute to climate change are the highest ever recorded — and that's going back 800,000 years.

Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that the concentration of carbon dioxide, one of the primary greenhouse gases, hit 412.5 parts per million in 2020. That's 2.5 parts per million higher than in 2019, and it's now the highest ever observed, the scientists said.

If the intention of the attacks at the Kabul airport was to throw into disarray an already chaotic U.S. evacuation from Afghanistan, the effects of Thursday's violence are only beginning to take shape. Flights have been taking off from the airport since the explosions occurred, and President Biden said the American withdrawal will continue.

"America will not be intimidated," Biden said.

More than 100,000 people in the country are hospitalized for the coronavirus, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services. It's the highest number of hospitalizations seen since January, before the vaccine was widely available to the public.

The data also shows that 30% of intensive care unit beds in hospitals in the country are holding COVID-19 patients.

You might want to wait before making your next charcuterie board.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it is investigating two salmonella outbreaks in 17 states that are linked to Italian-style meats like "salami, prosciutto, and other meats that can often be found in antipasto or charcuterie assortments."

There is an active investigation underway, but no recalls have been announced.

The cover for Nevermind, a 1991 Nirvana album that is said to have helped redefine rock music, features a naked 4-month-old baby in a pool, appearing to swim after a dollar bill that's pierced with a fish hook.

That baby — the now 30-year-old Spencer Elden — is suing Nirvana for child exploitation and pornography, saying the band knowingly distributed the naked photo of Elden as a baby and profited from it.

Updated August 24, 2021 at 2:56 PM ET

Vice President Harris' trip from Singapore to Vietnam was delayed by more than three hours Tuesday after her staff was made aware of "a recent possible anomalous health incident" in Hanoi, according to a statement from the U.S. Embassy in Vietnam.

Christine Duval did her part to help Michigan boost its vaccination rate, and she has more than a "I got vaccinated" sticker to show for it.

The Bloomfield Township resident won $2 million for getting the COVID-19 vaccine after participating in the state's sweepstakes that provided a financial incentive for people to get vaccinated.

The Food and Drug Administration has given its full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, calling it a "key achievement for public health."

Tom Leonard, the superintendent of Eanes Independent School District in Austin, Texas, is desperately trying to keep "mask wars" out of his schools.

But the subject of masking is so polarizing that parents are becoming violent toward the very people they entrust their children with.

Chaos erupted at Kabul's airport as thousands of Afghans were left uncertain of their safety and livelihood after Taliban forces in Afghanistan occupied the capital city.

Carrington Wigham thought it was a normal Monday.

She was wrapping up her junior year at Florida A&M University, a historically Black university in Tallahassee, Fla., and had signed on to her online student portal to register for classes for her last year of college — a process that she said on a normal day is stressful because she had to look into her remaining tuition balance.

On a normal day, she would see she owed the school $8,000. She'd call her mom and they would try to figure out how to pay, so Wigham could graduate on time.

After the child tax credit was implemented, fewer U.S. households with children reported that they don't have enough to eat, according to a new federal survey.

The federal government is dramatically expanding the number of its workers that will be required to be vaccinated for COVID-19.

More than 25,000 employees of the Health and Human Services Department will be required to get a COVID-19 vaccine and the Department of Veterans Affairs is expanding its vaccine requirement to more employees, contractors and volunteers, the agencies announced.

While New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo finishes his last two weeks in office after announcing his resignation on Tuesday, the New York State Assembly's impeachment investigation into the governor appears to be coming to a close soon.

Updated August 10, 2021 at 1:26 PM ET

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced he will resign following a scathing report from the state's attorney general concluding the third-term Democrat sexually harassed 11 women, and in one instance, sought to retaliate against one of his accusers who went public with her allegations.

As the Olympic games concluded in Tokyo, the next city to host, Paris, has already started its celebration.

During the closing ceremony on Sunday, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo received and waved an Olympic flag in the Tokyo stadium, a traditional pass to the next city. But the celebration then had a few twists to how the handover is usually done.

The Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, hit with a one-year delay due to the pandemic, concluded Sunday with a closing ceremony celebration that was both joyful and contemplative.

After 17 days of competition at the Tokyo Olympics, the United States finished with the most medals won overall and the most gold medals, with its 39 golds just barely beating out China, which won 38.

On the last day of the Games, the U.S. women's volleyball team secured the 39th gold medal, beating out Brazil to win the country's first gold in the sport.

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