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Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Many Americans got the day off Monday because of Columbus Day, but the federal holiday is instead being celebrated as Indigenous Peoples Day in many spots throughout the nation.

The big picture: Roughly 10 states and 100+ U.S. cities observe some version of Indigenous Peoples Day this month. Native American advocates have been working since the early 1990s to get states to make the swap, the AP reports.

The latest: As tensions over the holiday's original intention rise, Columbus statues in San Francisco and Providence, Rhode Island, were vandalized with red paint Monday, CNN reports.

  • "Vandals had chained a sign to the base of the statue that said 'Stop Celebrating Genocide' and spray painted the word 'Genocide' on the monument."

What they're saying:

  • "It's about celebrating people instead of thinking about somebody who actually caused genocide on a population or tried to cause the genocide of an entire population," Baley Champagne, tribal citizen of the United Houma Nation, told NPR.
  • "While Columbus Day affirms the story of a nation created by Europeans for Europeans, Indigenous Peoples Day emphasizes Native histories and Native people — an important addition to the country’s ever-evolving understanding of what it means to be American," writes historian Malinda Maynor Lowery.
  • The other side: "By renaming the holiday Indigenous People’s Day, they have decided to emphasize the sorrier aspects of Western colonization and conquest of the Americas rather than its virtues," writes Washington Post columnist Henry Olsen.

Go deeper: Memorial Day: The tangled backstory

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

Taiwan leader confirms U.S. troops on island training forces

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen in Taipei earlier this month. Photo: I-Hwa Cheng/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen told CNN Thursday that a small number of American troops are on the island for training purposes and she has "faith" the U.S. would defend the democracy against a Chinese military attack.

Why it matters: This is the first time a Taiwanese leader has publicly acknowledged the presence of U.S. troops on the self-governing island since the last U.S. garrison left in 1979, when Washington switched formal diplomatic recognition to Beijing.

Updated 5 hours ago - Health

NYC firefighters union urges members to defy mayor's vaccine mandate

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

The president of New York City's firefighters union told reporters Wednesday that he's advised unvaccinated members to ignore Mayor Bill de Blasio's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for city workers, per Reuters.

Why it matters: Under de Blasio's order that's due to take effect Friday, unvaccinated city employees would be placed on unpaid leave. But Uniformed Firefighters Association head Andrew Ansbro said he told members that "if they choose to remain unvaccinated, they must still report for duty," according to Reuters.

6 hours ago - Health

Study: Common antidepressant guards against COVID hospitalization

A COVID-19 intensive Care Unit in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil on May 27, 2021. Photo: Fabio Teixeira/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The readily available antidepressant fluvoxamine significantly reduced COVID-related hospitalizations, according to a large study published Wednesday.

Why it matters: The clinical trial suggests that a cheap, readily available drug could dramatically reduce serious illness and death when prescribed early.

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