The News Roundup for December 17, 2021 : 1A The COVID death total in the United States has now passed 800,000. Measures to fight this pandemic are developing. Dr. Anthony Fauci announced that the current COVID booster shots are strong enough to address the threat of the Omicron variant.

Top Democrats are at odds with Sen. Joe Manchin over the child tax credit included in the $2 trillion Build Back Better plan. Manchin would like the tax credit to be removed completely.

Despite early reports that the omicron variant of COVID-19 was less severe than its previous iterations, the United Kingdom's health authority is warning that this variant is the "most significant threat" since the pandemic began.

World health authorities are scrambling to contain outbreaks of COVID-19. South Korea has moved to restrict gatherings in the country amid crowding at hospitals. The WHO estimates that Africa, at its current vaccination rate, won't be 70 percent vaccinated until 2024.

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The News Roundup for December 17, 2021

The News Roundup for December 17, 2021

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Health workers carry out PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests at a Covid-19 coronavirus testing centre in Seoul. ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP via Getty Images

Health workers carry out PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests at a Covid-19 coronavirus testing centre in Seoul.

ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP via Getty Images

The COVID death total in the United States has now passed 800,000. Measures to fight this pandemic are developing. Dr. Anthony Fauci announced that the current COVID booster shots are strong enough to address the threat of the Omicron variant. President Joe Biden has also ordered enough of Pfizer's oral COVID antiviral pills to protect some 10 million Americans.

Top Democrats are at odds with Sen. Joe Manchin over the child tax credit included in the $2 trillion Build Back Better plan. Manchin would like the tax credit to be removed completely. Democrats aren't willing to nix it entirely. Reporting indicates Democrats will move on to try and address voting rights, shelving the social spending plan.

Former police officer Derek Chauvin reversed an earlier not guilty plea on Wednesday and instead pleaded guilty to violating George Floyd's civil rights. This switch means he won't go to trial in January and could result in a lighter sentence.

Despite early reports that the omicron variant of COVID-19 was less severe than its previous iterations, the United Kingdom's health authority is warning that this variant is the "most significant threat" since the pandemic began.

World health authorities are scrambling to contain outbreaks of COVID-19. South Korea has moved to restrict gatherings in the country amid crowding at hospitals. The WHO estimates that Africa, at its current vaccination rate, won't be 70 percent vaccinated until 2024.

Despite lobbying from Coke and Nike, the House passed the Uyghur Forced Labor Act, banning almost all imports from the Chinese province of Xinjiang. President Joe Biden is expected to sign it soon.

Anita Kumar, Shane Harris, and Rachana Pradhan join us for the discussion of domestic headlines.

David Rennie, Jennifer Williams, and Greg Myre join us for the international segment of the News Roundup.

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