Friday’s top stories

Jeff Tracy
Updated Nov 26, 2021 - Sports

The potential GOAT of chess faces intriguing challenger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The World Chess Championship between Norway's Magnus Carlsen and Russia's Ian Nepomniachtchi began on Friday, 1,094 days after Carlsen won his fourth consecutive title.

Why it matters: During the long, COVID-fueled layoff, chess entered a new era, and with the championship finally here, the age-old game is ready for its close-up.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
Updated Nov 26, 2021 - Health

COVID vaccines of the future might not be shots

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As vaccine makers pursue the next generation of COVID-19 vaccines, some are working to develop products that wouldn't require a shot.

Why it matters: Delivering a vaccine through a pill or a nasal spray could make them much easier to administer, especially in places where distribution is challenging — or even for people who just don't like needles.

Listen to “Axios Today”
Biden got some much-needed good news this week.
Nov 26, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Manchin’s next blow to liberals

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

During his six years as governor, Sen. Joe Manchin developed a rough three-part test he's taken to Washington: Are proposed programs paid for? Do they have bipartisan support? And do they solve a specific problem facing his constituents?

Why it matters: The West Virginia Democrat wields unparalleled power in a 50-50 Senate, but in many ways he still thinks of himself as a state executive with a practical streak — and that may spell trouble for President’s Biden’s $2 trillion social spending plan as it moves to consideration in the Senate.

Nov 26, 2021 - Science

Reader survey: You can put up your Christmas tree now

Data: Axios survey; Note: 1,834 readers of Axios Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, D.C., Northwest Arkansas, Philadelphia and Tampa Bay were surveyed Nov. 19-23, 2021; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios; Illustrations: Aïda Amer/Axios

Axios Local asked readers across the country to weigh in on one of the most polarizing holiday debates: How early is too early to put up your tree?

The verdict: Now's the time. Go nuts.

Hope King, author of Closer
Nov 25, 2021 - Economy & Business

Post-Thanksgiving shopping looks to make up for lost time

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Americans are itching to get back into their holiday traditions this year — including the traditional post-Thanksgiving shopping blitz.

Why it matters: Black Friday and Cyber Monday aren't the seismic economic and cultural events they used to be, and supply-chain issues have put a damper on things this year, but retailers expect shoppers to come back after a year of isolation — and to spend big.