TIME's Top Stories-logo

TIME's Top Stories

US News

All of the things you need to know now from the editors of TIME

All of the things you need to know now from the editors of TIME


United States


All of the things you need to know now from the editors of TIME




Simone Biles’ Olympics Withdrawal Could Help Athletes Put Their Mental Health First

When Simone Biles strode into Ariake Gymnastics Center for the women’s gymnastics team competition on July 27, the expression on her face said it all. Normally all smiles and easy-going, Biles appeared sternly serious and maybe even troubled. That expression only deepened after she landed her vault in the first round. Intending to do a two and a half twisting vault, Biles lost her bearings in midair and only managed one and a half twists.


The Start of the Jan. 6 Insurrection Inquiry Shows Its Stakes—And Its Shortcoming

When police officers put their lives on the line to protect the U.S. Capitol from a violent mob on Jan. 6, most congressional Republicans scrambled to hide from the invaders.


The CDC’s Masking Reversal Marks a Difficult New Phase of Joe Biden’s Pandemic Fight

Two months ago, COVID-19 cases were down in 49 of 50 states. The number of Americans hospitalized by the virus was a quarter of the levels seen at the beginning of the year. Vaccinations were climbing steadily, and President Joe Biden announced on May 13 that vaccinated Americans didn’t need to wear masks. “Today is a great day for America in our long battle with coronavirus,” Biden said with a smile. That battle is dragging out longer than Biden expected.


What Jeff Bezos' Philanthropy Tells Us About His New Priorities

Money is power, so when the world's richest man begins to spend his fortune, it's worth paying attention to what he's doing. Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and newly minted pseudo-astronaut, has a lot of money to spend. On July 19, the day before he took a 10 minute joyride 66 miles (106 km) above the earth, his wealth increased by $13 billion, thanks to a bump in the Amazon's share price. That flight cost $5.


Review: The Green Knight Is an Extravagant Unicorn Tapestry of a Movie

In a guttural growl, as if possessed by a demon, a medieval queen reads aloud a threatening letter that has just been delivered by a gargantuan bark-covered warrior on an equally imposing steed. She faints as she reaches the letter’s final line; the paper drops to the floor and bursts into flames. Cinema! There’s nothing more ridiculous, or more awesome. There is no lettre flambée, specifically, in the late 14th century poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.


Will Foxconn Billionaire Terry Gou’s COVID-19 Vaccine Deal Bring Taiwan Closer to China?

For 18 months, Taiwan was a model of COVID-19 prevention and President Tsai Ing-wen reaped the political benefits. Her approval rating surged to a record 73% in May 2020. Then, a year later, the island's first major outbreak hit and it became clear that its COVID-19 defense was lacking one major component: vaccines. As infections surged this May, Taiwan had just over 300,000 COVID-19 vaccines for its 23.5 million people.


John Kerry on Border Carbon Tax: The U.S. Doesn’t Want to Push Others Away

When the European Union laid out the details of a measure to tax carbon at its borders earlier this month, all eyes turned across the Atlantic to see how the U.S. would respond. Would the Biden Administration, as it forges ahead with its own ambitious plans to reduce emissions in the U.S.


Naomi Osaka Knocked Out of Olympics in Straight Sets by No. 42-Ranked Player

Naomi Osaka was knocked out of the women's singles tennis at the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday when she suffered a surprise defeat in the third round of competition to Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic. Vondrousova, the 2019 French Open runner-up, is ranked no. 42 in the world. She beat Osaka, who is ranked no. 2, in just 1 hour and 8 minutes of play. That makes Vondrousova the first player to move through to the quarter-finals.


The U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Team Is Still the Favorite. But There’s Little Room for Error

Coming into the Tokyo Olympics, most of the gymnastics community agreed about one thing—Team USA's women were the ones to beat. As the reigning Olympic champions, the U.S. is returning to defend its title with one of the greatest gymnasts in the sport, Simone Biles. The team also builds off a legacy of Olympic titles that dates back to 1996.


How Tokyo Olympics COVID-19 Countermeasures May Be Falling Short

Holding an Olympics during a pandemic was never going to be easy, and the Tokyo Organizing Committee consulted with numerous public health experts and invested in tracking app systems to help curb the spread of the virus within the Olympic community.


‘I Try Not to Overthink It.’ After Mental Health Break, Naomi Osaka Just Keeps Winning

Naomi Osaka circled her neck while hopping up and down on Monday morning in Tokyo, moments before the start her second round Olympic match against Switzerland's Viktorija Golubic. She was loosening up, and sure seemed plenty loose while unleashing those 105 miles per-hours serves soon after.


How Katie Ledecky Swims So Fast

At first blush, there’s no reason to think Katie Ledecky would be as dominant in freestyle swimming events as she is. “She doesn’t have especially large feet or hands which you really need to push a huge mass of water. She’s 5’11”, which is tall but she’s certainly shorter than other great swimmers," says Rowdy Gaines, three-time Olympic gold medalist and now a swimming analyst for NBC. "And she definitely has a subpar kick.


Column: Working for J. Edgar Hoover, I Saw His Worst Excesses and Best Intentions

Some people have tough bosses. Back in 1966, mine was one of the most feared men in America. J. Edgar Hoover had been running the FBI for an unfathomable forty-one years on the morning I was scheduled to report for duty as his assistant. Then only twenty-three years old, I was a bit nervous about the assignment and made sure to arrive at the Bureau building early so I could do a pre-check of the great man’s office.


In Val, an Actor Turns the Camera on Himself for a Profound Reflection on His Life and Work

Now that we’re used to recording our whole lives on cell phones, it’s hard to imagine an era when we didn’t walk around with mini movie cameras in our pockets. In the early 1980s, Val Kilmer—who would go on to give vibrant performances in movies like The Doors (1991) and Tombstone (1993)—became an early adopter of video recorders.


Column: Emmett Till Would Have Been 80 Today. His Story Still Defines the Ongoing Fight for Justice

In 2020, stories about young Black people like Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor—as well as those of adults like George Floyd—spotlit the persistent, terrifying specter of unjust violence and the precarity of Black life in the United States. Their stories roused many in our country to outrage over their murders, and to a collective consciousness about the prevalence of race-based brutality in our day-to-day lives.


“We’ve Found the Enemy, and It’s Not Each Other.” Heather McGhee’s Quest to End America’s Zero-sum Thinking on Race

Heather McGhee was cooking dinner in her Brooklyn apartment in January as she opened a YouTube link to watch Joe Biden deliver his first speech on race as the President. As she bustled around the kitchen, Biden recited a line that seemed so familiar that she nearly dropped her wineglass. "We've bought the view that America is a zero-sum game in many cases: 'If you succeed, I fail,'" Biden said. But, he continued, "When any one of us is held down, we're all held back.


When Parents Said No to Their Kids Being Vaccinated, This Teenager Created VaxTeen

Like many 18-year-olds, Kelly Danielpour is preparing to start college in the fall, planning out her classes, buying dorm necessities and wondering what her roommate will be like. Unlike many 18-year-olds, she’s also spending her spare time helping teens across the country navigate vaccine-hesitant parents and get their COVID-19 vaccines.


Inside the Quest to Distribute Billions in Rental Assistance Before Eviction Moratoriums Expire

Katrina Dennis, 51, was so sure she would be evicted from her Phoenix, Arizona rental home that she had already started packing to move in with family. The pandemic cost Dennis her airline customer relations job in June 2020, and while she has since found temporary work in the travel industry, the gig hasn’t paid enough to make up for the months she was unemployed. She still owed $6,000 in rent.


Column: The Climate Crisis Is a Call to Action. These 5 Steps Helped Me Figure Out How to Be of Use

At the age of 16, perched on a ridge in western North Carolina, I scrawled these words into a handbound journal: Want to help the world. Be connected with the Earth. Change the way I live. My mother has always called the Appalachians “wise old mountains,” not as tall or dramatic as their younger brethren out west but sage and powerful. In the presence of these remnants of geologic uplift, now carved up by cold water and swathed with moss, one feels called to deeper truths.


I Tried to Live Off Women-Owned Businesses. Turns Out, Men Still Run Everything

There are not many pasta companies run by women. I discovered this while standing in the aisle of my grocery store on the third day of a weeklong effort to buy things only from companies owned by or run by women, as I frantically Googled "CEO" alongside "Barilla," "De Cecco" and then, desperately, "Banza." Nor are there many women-run companies that make canned beans, tomato sauce, milk (oh, the irony), beef—or a laundry list of other grocery products.