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It's the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything: 42.

And 42 is now the number of years since the publication of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, the first in the series of wacky and beloved sci-fi books by Douglas Adams.

The book follows Englishman Arthur Dent as he wakes up to find that Earth is about to be demolished to make way for a space highway. Adventure ensues across the galaxy with aliens, super computers and Marvin, a perpetually sad robot.

In the end it was the delta variant that drove Rose Mitchell, 89, down the winding mountain road in Smilax, Ky., to the Full Gospel Church of Jesus Christ to get the shot. Her pastor, Billy Joe Lewis, had told his congregation that, No, ma'am, a COVID-19 vaccine would not leave the "mark of the beast" nor rewrite their genetic codes.

Mitchell, who has known the deaths of eight of her 13 children over the years, was done taking chances with the virus stealing up the valleys along Cutshin Creek.

The science is clear: Vaccines are a safe and effective way to prevent serious illness, hospitalization and death from the coronavirus, and vaccine mandates are an effective tool in promoting widespread vaccinations.

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — One of the killings that sparked racial justice protests last year is back in the national spotlight with a trial set to begin Monday. Three white men are accused of murdering Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year old Black man shot and killed as he was jogging down a residential street on Feb. 23, 2020 after being chased by pickup trucks.

"It was right here," says Theawanza Brooks, Arbery's aunt. "This is where he last laid to rest."

President Biden had promised to halve U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels by 2030, but an essential tool the administration planned to use to achieve that goal now appears out of reach.

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Lebanon just observed a day of mourning after violent clashes left at least six people dead and injured dozens of others. The violence took place amid a protest over the investigation into last year's deadly explosion at the Port of Beirut. The militant political group Hezbollah had called for Thursday's demonstration. They were demanding the removal of a judge who was investigating Hezbollah's political allies in relation to the port explosion.

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Speaking at a memorial service for fallen law enforcement officers and their families, President Biden acknowledged the pain that accompanies losing a loved one.

"It's like losing a piece of your soul," Biden said at the 40th National Peace Officers' Memorial Service on Saturday. "Some of you still have that feeling like you've been sucked into a black hole in your chest, wondering, 'My God, will it ever change?' "

The event is held annually at the U.S. Capitol to honor law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty.

It was a modern mystery.

In a tiny neighborhood in San Francisco's Richmond District, self-driving Waymo cars have been converging at all hours of the day and night, mystifying neighbors, KPIX reported earlier this week. Most would drive to the dead-end on 15th Avenue, where they then had no choice but to turn around and leave, according to the outlet — and neighbors have no idea why.

The U.S. Department of Defense says it will provide money to the families affected by the botched drone strike on Aug. 29 that killed 10 civilians, including up to seven children, in Kabul, Afghanistan.

At a Pentagon news briefing on Tuesday, a Wall Street Journal reporter asked if anyone in the U.S. military or in the Defense Department had made contact with any of the victims' families.

When Texas enacted a controversial ban on most abortions in September, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff sent a message to his staff in the state, punctuated with a heart emoji.

"Ohana if you want to move we'll help you exit TX. Your choice," Benioff wrote in a tweet, using the Hawaiian word for family.

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And I look forward all week to saying, and now it's time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Of all the ways in which the pandemic has affected Americans' well-being, perhaps the one we've noticed least is how much we're sitting. And it's not just bad for our waistlines — it's hurting our mental health.

More than a year and a half of social distancing and work-from-home policies have led to less time moving around and more time sitting and looking at screens — it's a potentially toxic combination that's linked with poorer mental health.

Like thousands of Haitians, Gibbens Revolus, his wife, Lugrid, and their 2-year-old son, Diego, made the treacherous journey to the U.S.-México border from Chile and ended up under the international bridge in Del Río, Texas, last month.

Photos from the makeshift camp in Del Río show desperation and unsanitary conditions where almost 15,000 Haitians hoped to apply for asylum. U.S. Border Patrol officers on horseback were seen corralling people, pushing them back to the Río Grande and onto México.

If the Republicans take the House back in the 2022 midterm elections, they get to pick a speaker, and there's no requirement that the speaker has to be an elected representative.

"Can you just imagine Nancy Pelosi having to hand that gavel to Donald J. Trump?" mused Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., a vocal Trump loyalist, when he spoke to a crowd in Iowa this summer. "She didn't like when that Jan. 6 guy was sitting in her chair in her office. She is sure not going to like seeing Donald Trump sitting in her chair."

The workers behind Frosted Flakes, Froot Loops and Raisin Bran are striking for a better deal — for themselves and for their future co-workers.

When Omar Mohamed was a boy living in the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya, he loved picture books. But his school only had about three or four; the teachers brought them out for the children to read just a few times a year.

When that happened, it was a special occasion, says Mohamed, 31. "You read and you reread that book. Then you reach a point where you've memorized it."

When thinking about the trucking industry, the first thing that comes to mind about its drivers is that they tend to be older — industry experts say the average trucker is 54 years old. But given the nationwide truck driver shortage, that's now changing.

A high school in California is now training teens to enter the industry through its truck driving school program.

Who do you think of when you picture someone with tattoos? The answer is different for everyone.

Julian Fausto and Eric Guadarrama built a whole podcast around the question, deciding to look at the pros and cons of getting tattoos in "Teens and Ink." Julian is a senior at J. Sterling Morton East High School in Cicero, Ill., and Eric is a junior at Steinmetz College Prep in Chicago.

Christchurch, New Zealand, is parting ways with its official city wizard after more than two decades. His offensive remarks about women and the local government's new tourism strategy reportedly spelled his doom.

Netflix has fired an unnamed employee connected to the brewing internal blowback the company is facing over Dave Chappelle's most recent comedy special The Closer. First reported by The Verge, the news is coming as Netflix employees plan a walkout on Wednesday over transphobic comments made in the special.

A veteran officer with the U.S. Capitol Police was arrested Friday for allegedly encouraging a suspect in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot to hide evidence of their involvement in the attack. He is facing two counts of obstruction of justice, and has been placed on administrative leave while the case is ongoing.

The officer, Michael Angelo Riley, has worked for the Capitol Police for nearly 25 years, the department told NPR, and most recently served as a technician with the K-9 unit.

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