Officials were deliberating Tuesday night and no final decisions have been made, but an announcement could come as soon as this week. Currently, travelers are required to test three days before their departures. The move under consideration would shorten that timeline to one day.
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told reporters earlier Tuesday that the CDC was “evaluating how to make international travel as safe as possible, including pre-departure testing closer to the time of flight and considerations around additional post-arrival testing and self-quarantines.”
On Monday, the US banned all travel from South Africa and seven neighboring nations, with the exception of US citizens and legal permanent residents, who must test negative to enter the US but not once they have arrived.
This story is breaking and will be updated.
Here are the key details:

How to listen and follow along

Arguments begin at 10 a.m. ET.
The court still doesn’t allow TV cameras, but it has finally relented on live audio. You can listen on CNN.com and follow along with our live coverage.

What is the Mississippi law at issue?

It bars most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, a standard that violates Roe v. Wade. It’s one of several laws passed in various states with the purpose of getting the Supreme Court to hear a direct challenge to Roe.
The 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals — perhaps the most conservative appeals court in the country — blocked the law, saying it violated Roe and Supreme Court precedent. Mississippi appealed to the Supreme Court, which agreed last spring to hear the case.

What does Roe say?

Roe guaranteed a woman’s right to obtain an abortion nationwide, using a trimester approach.
For the first trimester of pregnancy, the court said the abortion decision should be left to the woman and her physician; for the second trimester, a state could regulate the abortion procedure in ways reasonably related to the woman’s health; for the final trimester, after fetal viability, the state could promote its “important and legitimate interest in potential life” and ban abortion except when necessary for the woman’s life or health.

What is Casey?

In 1992, the court, asked to reconsider Roe, ditched the trimester approach but kept the viability standard, though it shortened it from about 28 weeks to about 23 weeks.
It said the new standard should be on whether a regulation puts an “undue burden” on a woman seeking an abortion. That phrase has been litigated over ever since.

What about Texas? Didn’t SCOTUS just hear an abortion case?

The Texas law banning most abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy — often before a woman knows she is pregnant — remains in full force. The justices let it take effect in early September, then heard oral arguments on November 1 and have yet to act despite its conflict with Roe v. Wade.
SCOTUS-watchers anticipated that the justices had heard the Texas case quickly in order to rule before they took up the Mississippi law, but that hasn’t happened.
The Texas law has a novel enforcement mechanism that allows people to sue abortion providers or others who assist women who obtain abortions after six weeks, rather than directing state officials to enforce it. It’s created a legal mess, as the law was designed to avoid a preemptive challenge but the court is still considering who’s allowed to sue and whom the suits should be directed toward.

What happens if Roe is overturned

The Texas law in effect now could be considered a model for a post-Roe world where abortions are limited or prohibited in certain states or regions.
Abortion clinics as far from the state as Florida have reported that women from Texas have traveled there for abortions, and should Roe be overturned, there would be a large swath of the country where abortions are illegal, since states would be allowed to ban them.
According to the pro-abortion rights Guttmacher Institute, 26 states are certain or likely to ban abortions if Roe is overturned. Meanwhile, Illinois, North Carolina and California are among the states that could see an increase in out-of-state abortion patients, as their clinics would be closest for women whose own states are positioned to quickly ban the procedure, Guttmacher’s analysis says.

Who’s arguing on each side

Mississippi Solicitor General Scott Stewart, a former clerk of Justice Clarence Thomas, will go first.
Stewart is likely to emphasize a main point he argued in briefs: “Under Roe and Casey, the Judiciary mows down state law after state law, year after year, on a critical policy issue. That is dangerously corrosive to our constitutional system.”
He’ll be followed by Julie Rikelman, the senior director at the Center for Reproductive Rights, arguing on behalf of Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the last abortion clinic in the state.
In March 2020, Rikelman won a case striking down a Louisiana abortion law when Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the liberals on the court. That, however, was before the court’s makeup changed with the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett.
Overturning Roe could mean women seeking abortions have to travel hundreds of miles
After Rikelman, Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar, a former clerk to Ginsburg and Justice Elena Kagan, will step up in support of the clinic.
Prelogar, the Biden administration’s top lawyer before the Supreme Court, said in legal papers that the justices should consider what would happen if they decided to return the issue to the states. “The effects are likely to be felt most acutely by young women, women of color, and those of lesser means, further diminishing their opportunities to participate fully and equally in the Nation’s social and economic life,” she said.
Because Mississippi brought the challenge, Stewart will have the chance to return to the podium.
Arguments are scheduled to last for 70 minutes, but if past is precedent, the court will go into overtime.

Which justices are key?

Thomas has repeatedly urged the court to overturn Roe v. Wade, saying there is no right to an abortion found in the Constitution. Earlier this year, he was praised for his position on “unborn life” by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican.
When the justices agreed to hear the case last May after months of closed-door deliberations, the question they agreed to decide was whether “all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortion are unconstitutional.”
But when Mississippi filed its opening brief it went much further, asking the justices to overturn Roe and Casey. Some justices might see that as a bait and switch forcing them to address a much bigger question. Watch Roberts, who might express institutional concerns with overturning a decision from so long ago.
All eyes will also be on Barrett, whose vote to take up the case was likely critical. The court now includes three of former President Donald Trump’s nominees — recall that Trump vowed to appoint “pro-life” judges.
“I spoke to the January 6th committee to ensure they included the full record of how stolen election claims damage our democracy — whether in 2016, 2018, or 2020,” Raffensperger, a Republican and Georgia’s top elections official, said in a statement to CNN.
“While liberals in Washington, D.C. remain focused on Trump, conservatives should focus on the kitchen table issues that really matter to the American people,” he added.
Raffensperger told CNN in August that he would talk to the committee if asked to do so.
During a now-infamous phone call in January, then-President Donald Trump pressed Raffensperger to “find” the more than 11,000 votes needed to overturn results showing Joe Biden had won the state. Raffensperger refused.
The call and the White House’s efforts to pressure Raffensperger and Georgia officials to overturn the election have emerged as significant areas of interest to the House select committee.
CNN previously reported that criminal investigators in the state have been quietly conducting interviews, collecting documents and working to build a line of communication with congressional investigators as they aim to build a case against Trump for his alleged attempts to overturn the state’s 2020 election results.
Another key area of focus in that probe has been the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, after Trump called officials there following the 2020 election and pressed them to help to investigate his allegations of fraud.


CNN
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Silk pillowcases are having a moment, bolstered by claims they can help reduce wrinkles, acne and even frizziness in hair — all while giving you a better night’s sleep.

First, let’s parse fact from rumor. After several weeks of sleeping on a silk pillowcase and speaking with several experts about whether these added beauty benefits are real or just clever marketing myths, we can confirm that there is likely some truth to at least some of the claims. There is a study that links sleeping on silk to acne reduction, and according to the experts we consulted, since the fabric creates less friction than other fabrics like cotton, there’s anecdotal evidence that silk can benefit skin and hair. (You can read more from the skin and textile experts we consulted below.)

While we determined there is some truth to the beauty benefits and that they don’t entirely reside in dreamland, there’s no doubt that these ultra soft, smooth pillowcases are a wonder to lay your head upon. But which silk pillowcases are the best? To figure this out, we chose 13 top-rated silk pillowcases and put them to the test. We surveyed the initial look and feel of our facial skin and our hair after each sleep. We washed and dried each case, reapplied them to our pillows, then slept on them again. Six weeks of testing later (during which we slept on each pillowcase three nights total), we found three silk pillowcases that stood out:

Best silk pillowcase overall

Fishers Finery — made from the finest silk available — felt luxuriously silky, fit our pillows perfectly, offered beautiful nights of sleep and were easy to wash and dry both by hand and in the machine.

Best affordable silk pillowcase

The MYK Silk Natural Silk Pillowcase, featuring lovely silk on one side and white cotton on the other, offered a good fit, restful sleep and for about half the price of the Fishers Finery option — though it’s notably less luxurious-feeling.

Best luxury silk pillowcase

We couldn’t get enough sleeps on the Lunya Washable Silk Pillowcase. Also a silk on one side, cotton on the other option, Lunya’s silk surface case was the most lavish to the touch, and design details made it feel significantly elevated.

Best silk pillowcase overall: Fishers Finery 25mm 100% Pure Mulberry Silk Pillowcase ($49.99; amazon.com)

Fishers Finery 25mm 100% Pure Mulberry Silk Pillowcase

Amazon
Fishers Finery 25mm 100% Pure Mulberry Silk Pillowcase

Our above and beyond winner is Fishers Finery’s 100% long-strand, luxurious mulberry silk and feels impossibly soft to the touch.

Fishers Finery cases are made from the finest silk out there. The cases are weighted at 25 momme count — a standard unit to measure the weight and quality of silk — which is at the upper end of the scale. They’re spun from 100% pure grade 6A Mulberry silk, which is believed to be smoother, stronger and more uniformly colored than other silks. (Read more about momme and silk grading below.)

We should note that while in general we experienced that sleeping on silk reduced frizziness and could understand how they might even help soften facial wrinkles, we couldn’t discern significant differences in these benefits from one brand to the next. That said, the first time we slept on Fishers Finery, it was almost like we didn’t notice the pillowcase — that’s how much it melded into our face, hair and sleep experience. The silk felt noticeably softer against the skin and hair compared to other pillowcases we tested.

Fishers Finery’s cases had the best fit for our pillows: well-fitting but slightly loose, so they’re easy to put on and pull off. There’s a cute envelope foldover closure that looks nice and makes the bed feel a bit neater than a loose, open pillowcase end.

We also found these easiest to wash and wear, so to speak. Like all of the brands we tested, these are both machine- and hand-washable, and after washing them by hand, we found they fit perfectly to our pillows and, bonus, these cases were the least wrinkly after being washed and squeezed out by hand — a plus if you’re someone who, like us, is never going to iron or steam a pillowcase. We also washed these, as well as the others we tested, in the machine on a delicate cycle, then hung them to dry — machine washing without hand-wringing led to fewer wrinkles once dry, for both these and the other pillowcases we tested.

These come in three sizes, standard, queen and king, and in 11 colors, more than most of the brands we tested. Fishers are priced solidly in the middle range of the brands we tested, and we found these to be an excellent mid-range pick, though one that doesn’t feel at all middle-of-the-road.

If you’re new to the silk pillowcase market and want an entry point that’s not overly expensive, this is an excellent starter choice that should last for years to come.

Best affordable silk pillowcase: MYK Silk Natural Silk Pillowcase with Cotton Underside ($23.99; amazon.com)

MYK Silk Natural Silk Pillowcase with Cotton Underside

Amazon
MYK Silk Natural Silk Pillowcase with Cotton Underside

MYK Silk’s pillowcase is less luxurious than Fishers Finery’s lush Mulberry silk, but terrific in lots of ways, including its price point.

Made from 100% 19 momme mulberry silk — lower weight than Fishers Finery but still quite nice to the touch — and OEKO-TEX certified to standard 100 (this label indicates that every component of a product has been tested for harmful substances), these are very good pillowcases for the price. When we pulled them out of their unadorned packaging, they felt like bedding you’d find in the interiors department of a high-end store: soft silk on the face, cotton on the underside, which made them feel more sophisticated than bargain bedding. They’re also very soft and comfortable against the face, without being one of the overly slinky, slippery silk options.

MYK Silk’s cases fit our queen-size pillows more traditionally than most of the other brands we tested — snugly in both width and length. They have a zipper closure, which is a nice functional touch, but because the zipper’s opening and closing points are placed about an inch in from the actual end of the pillow, the opening of the case is a bit shorter than the length of the pillowcase. This meant that putting a fluffier down pillowcase with more volume into the pillowcase was slightly less facile than doing so with some of the looser, larger pillowcases. Once fitted to the pillow, though, MYK Silk’s looked nicely appointed on the bed.

These also provided an amazing sleep and, as noted above, like all the silk cases, they seemed to leave our hair feeling less bothered than standard pillowcases. They’re machine washable, or can be washed by hand and line dried (we did both, with good outcomes in terms of softness of the material) and are hypoallergenic, protecting against dust, allergens and toxins.

MYK Silk pillowcases are sold in three sizes (standard, queen, and king), and nine colors. For a third of the price, you’re giving up the most luxurious feeling pillowcase, but you’re getting lots of color options, and a fantastic night of sleep.

Best luxury silk pillowcase: Lunya Washable Silk Pillowcase ($74; lunya.co)

Delivered in a thin zippable pouch imprinted with the words “good in bed” (which can be saved to store the pillowcase when not in use), Lunya, a brand that makes beautiful silk sleepwear and other textiles, also makes superlative pillowcases.

Lunya’s hybrid silk pillowcase is 100% washable silk on the front and 100% woven cotton on the back, similar to the MYK Silk option above. But Lunya’s washable silk is a reminder of just how luxurious silk can feel. Like pressed velvet or some fabric in a different category of quality from cotton, the Lunya pillowcase was so soft and touchable it was downright evocative. Sleep felt so restful on Lunya’s silk we didn’t want to lift our heads out of bed. But once we did rise, we did seem to notice less frizz (compared to sleeping on other pillowcases in our testing pool), almost as if we’d slept in a shower cap or a towel.

Lunya’s pillowcases fit a bit more loosely than the others we tested, fitted in the width, but easy to slip on and off, and extra long in length. Though these are very good-quality silk, they really are washable. Throw them in the machine on cold, or wash them by hand with a little liquid detergent, then hang to dry (we did both — hand washing takes more time of course, but both cleaning methods resulted in good outcomes, with the machine washing leaving them less wrinkly after line-drying).

Lunya silk pillowcases only come in two sizes, standard queen and king, and in just one color, Tranquil White, which may be too limiting for some customers. That, plus the significantly higher price point over our two other winners, kept Lunya’s out of our top spot.

Still, the Lunya pillowcase was just downright dreamy, offering the best night’s sleep and some of the most noticeably positive effects on our hair, making them worth the upgrade.

Everything you need to know about silk pillowcases

There’s a lot to consider when buying silk pillowcases, from the type of silk and possible benefits to ease of care and price point. So we’ve compiled all our research to walk you through exactly what you need to know before you add to cart.

While there’s documented evidence that silk pillowcases might reduce acne, other skin benefits — such as reducing wrinkles — are mostly anecdotal. Dendy Engelman, M.D. cosmetic dermatologist with the NYC-based Shafer Clinic, said that no one should expect silk pillowcases to completely eliminate wrinkles, but adds that they can “help to slow down the formation of them,” especially “sleep wrinkles,” the lines some dermatologists believe develop from sleeping on your side or your stomach as your face scrunches into your pillow. “Silk creates fewer wrinkles and indentations on the skin as you sleep because it helps reduce strain or friction,” Engleman says.

Silk is also less absorbent than cotton, Engleman adds, so it doesn’t drink in our nighttime skin care products the way cotton can, which means night serums and moisturizers stay on the skin doing their work there, not on the pillowcase.

We did not see a noticeable short-term difference in the condition of our skin while sleeping on silk during our testing. That said, whereas the acne study we cited above lasted 12 weeks, our testing process lasted only six, took place during winter, when skin is more dry, and during a pandemic, when stress levels have been higher than normal. In other words, our first-hand experience wasn’t long enough for us to definitively assess the impact sleeping on silk has on skin. There could be long-term benefits to our facial skin that we’ll see accrue over a longer time, including that we are getting better nights of sleep sleeping on silk.

The decreased friction factor of silk is also thought to aid in managing frizzy hair. The smoother surface of silk can mean “less messing, fuzzing, split ends of your hair,” says textile expert Deborah Young. This benefit is more pronounced for those with thick and curly hair. Simply put, Young says, “less texture equals less bedhead.”

This tester, possessing said thick and curly hair, did notice right away a reduction in dryness and frizziness after just the first sleep on the first silk pillowcase. Those calming and non-irritating effects on hair continued with each of the subsequent silk pillowcases tested. Our hair seemed more supple and healthy during the many weeks of the testing process, though we didn’t find that one specific pillowcase brand was quantifiably better in its treatment of our hair.

In addition to the boosts silk can give your skin and your hair, the material also just feels good to sleep on, our experts said. “The first thing that people respond to is the luxurious hand, or feel of the fabric,” says Young. “Although silk is warm to wear, it has a cool hand, or touch. This means that although your silk pajamas will be wonderfully warm, as a pillow, the fabric will remain quite cool and soothing.” Silk is also often hypoallergenic, Young notes, making silk pillowcases a good option for those with allergies or skin sensitivities.

To those worried that silk may be too high maintenance as a bedding item, Young swears it’s worth it. “Silk can absolutely be machine washed – inside out, in a mesh lingerie bag, with a detergent formulated for silk on a delicate cleaning cycle and absolutely no bleach – ever!” Young advises washing separately, or as she prefers, by hand and in cold water, gently squeezed out in a rolled up towel, lay flat or hung to dry. We washed all of the cases we tested both by hand, then hung to dry, and by machine, on delicate, then hung to dry, with fine results from both processes. Though most of the care instructions for these pillowcases indicate that drying in a machine on low heat is OK, as an option to line drying, we adhered to our expert’s advice and only line-dried. Machine washing was less laborious than hand-washing, but took about the same time to complete.

If you’re shopping for silk pillowcases, Young advises, you’ll find the highest quality if you select real silk (which includes most of the pillowcases we tested, including our winners). Young notes though that some “silk” pillowcases are actually made of 100% polyester, which “could be a budget, but successful, alternative.” (A couple of the cases in our testing pool were polyester, a noticeable difference from real silk in terms of touch and quality, but still effective in terms of offering good, comfortable sleep and less flyaway hair.) Pure silk is perceived as more valuable and luxurious, Young says, but silk blends may be more affordable and still quite effective when it comes to pillowcases.

There’s also a range of types of silk you’ll hear about when shopping. Momme, as noted above, denotes the thickness and durability of the fabric, a higher momme being a heavier weight, Young explains. Mulberry silk comes from cultivated silkworms that eat only leaves from the mulberry tree. “There are other silks that are rougher and more cotton-like, but the shiny stuff is mulberry or cultivated silk,” Young says. Charmeuse is a lighter weight silk. And the grade of silk rates its quality. Silk is graded on an A, B or C scale, A being the finest quality. A number attached to that grade is a more specific marker of quality, 6 being the highest (and the number linked to our top winner.)

How we tested

Quality/feel

  • Initial feel: We unpacked each pillowcase (and noted details about the packaging) and assessed its initial feel. Is it super soft? Luxurious? Slinky? Satiny? Velvety? Matte? Shiny? Does it feel high-quality? Does it feel synthetic or cheap? We noted all of our initial impressions.
  • Sleep feel: We slept on each pillowcase for a minimum of three nights. We woke up and quickly noted our impressions: Did the case feel comfortable against our face and hair? Did we slip or slide against the material at all? Was it a comfortable, or better-than-comfortable sleep? Was it cool against our face? Did it resist absorbing any skin care products we might have applied before sleep?
  • Post-wash feel: We washed and dried each pillowcase at least once. After washing and drying, we observed: Did the pillowcase feel any different, or even softer?
  • Durability: We recorded, after multiple sleeps, and after laundering, did the pillowcases pill, shrink or fade in any noticeable way? Did they still fit the pillow?
  • Fit: Each pillowcase we tested was queen size. We noted how each pillowcase fit our queen-size pillows, and tried each case on different types of pillows.
  • Ease of care: We read the washing instructions on each pillowcase. Is each case machine-washable, and dryable? Is delicate cycle a mandate? Is hand-washing recommended or preferred? Line drying? After hand washing and line drying, what’s the wrinkle factor of each case?

Noticeable benefits

  • Reduction in skin or hair frizziness: After each night of sleep, we surveyed the condition of our facial skin and the texture of our hair. Was there any noticeable change in visible wrinkles, dryness, or other condition? Were there fewer flyaways, frizziness or “bedhead”? We assessed if either our facial skin or our hair feel less dry than usual after sleeping on standard pillowcases.

Options

  • Sizes: We noted in how many sizes each pillowcase is available. Most come in standard or queen, and king (or all three), at a width of about 20 inches, and length ranging from about 26 to 40 inches. Some cases have a smaller travel or toddler size, or a slightly longer than king size.
  • Colors: We recorded how many colors are available for each case. Some of the higher end brands are only available in white, and many of the more affordable ones have upwards of 25 colors, and some patterns.

Other silk pillowcases we tested

Slip Silk Queen Pillowcase ($89; amazon.com)

Our dermatologist source Dr. Engelman’s favorite silk pillowcase brand is Slip, and after testing, we’re also huge fans. Slip pillowcases also come in a cute, slick cardboard box designed with witty copy (“sleep with us, tell your friends”) and a magnetized cover that can be used to store the pillowcase when not in use. The pillowcase itself is of a more slinky variety than some of the other high-end brands we tested, giving us vibes of a silky robe or, yes, a lingerie slip — in the best way. It’s made from high grade, 6A long fiber mulberry silk, with a thickness of 22 mommes. It’s soft and sleek to the touch and against the skin and hair. This one is a more traditional, closer fit to the pillow, plus it washes (both by hand and by machine) and line dries beautifully.

The Slip silk pillowcase comes in two sizes, queen and king, and in 13 colors. Slip, while deliciously soft and wonderful to sleep on, didn’t feel necessarily more pleasing than Fishers Finery, nor did it feel more over-the-top fantastic than Lunya, which is why, at its price point of $89, Slip didn’t end up one of our winners. If you do spring for this indulgent pick, though, we imagine you’ll love it a lot, and sleep on it, quite peacefully, for years to come.

Blissy Silk Pillowcase ($79.95, originally 99.95; blissy.com)

Also a highly ranked option (and one that textile expert Young recommends) is Blissy’s silk pillowcases, on sale right now. Blissy arrives in a delicate iridescent cardboard box with a pullout drawer lined with tissue paper, that feels like you’re opening a fancy little gift of fine jewelry. Blissy’s cases are 100% silk, 22 momme 6A grade — indulgently soft for sure, and similarly high quality, but more of a satin finish than that washable silk feel of Fishers Finery or Lunya that we loved so much. Blissy’s silk offered amazing nights of sleep, with no residue from nighttime face moisturizers or leftover makeup from the day. And we woke up feeling like our hair had been treated somehow, like it was wrapped in a protective towel over the night. Blissy’s case was among the snuggest fitting of the cases we tested, and with its hidden zipper closure, almost feels like your pillow is being swaddled, in an unexpectedly comforting way. And if these specific features — a satiny-silk texture, a close fit, premium packaging and design — are appealing, you may indeed never sleep without what the brand calls “your new bed time best friend.”

Blissy is machine-washable, but instructions encourage hand washing in cold water and line drying for best product life. They come in standard, queen, and king sizes, but only one color, white — that limitation, plus the almost-double price as compared to Fishers Finery, kept Blissy from being one of our winners.

Brooklinen Mulberry Silk Pillowcase ($59; brooklinen.com)

We’re loyal fans of Brooklinen bedding, having tested and loved its linen sheets and super-plush bath towels. And now, we’re fans of its 100% long-strand pure mulberry silk pillowcases too. The brand’s specialty charmeuse weave (which refers to how the fibers are woven together to create a lustrous finish) silk feels so deliciously smooth against the hands and the face, like all of their products. Generous in width and length, these are easy to slip on to a pillowcase, and feel luxuriously drapey. They come in standard and king size, and in multiple lovely colors, including the chic emerald, cerulean, blush and celestial (navy background with an adorable star pattern). We loved Brooklinen’s pillow cases very much, but they came in just under our very top winner because we loved the Lunya hybrid super-silk touch just a little bit more.

Hairfinity Mulberry Silk Pillowcase ($48.99; hairfinity.com)

Silky, luxurious and high-end, Hairfinity’s was one of the first silk pillowcases we tested, and we were instant converts. There’s an off-the-boudoir feel to this one, in part because it only comes in black and in one size. If black pillow cases match your existing decor, these are an attractive option. We had wonderful nights of sleep on these and did notice less flyaways the next mornings (their site boasts that they smooth the hair cuticle and reduce dryness by retaining moisture). These hand wash and line dry easily, and are also machine washable. Hairfinity was an excellent mid-priced option, but their being available only in black kept them from being an overall winner.

SpaSilk 100% Pure Silk Pillowcase for Hair and Skin Beauty ($20.99; amazon.com)

SpaSilk’s silk pillowcase is a bargain option, and the packaging reflects that. But the product within feels of a higher grade: silky, sumptuous even. They’re a minimalist design with an envelope closure, and the fit on the pillow is about average, loose-ish but not baggy. These offered an amazing few nights of sleep, and our skin and hair both did feel a bit less dry the next mornings. We washed these by hand and line-dried them, like all the rest, to a fine outcome. Two cool options with SpaSilk: In addition to the queen and king sizes, they come in a toddler/travel size, which is a nice convenience, especially at this price point. And, they come in 12 colors, including a paisley and a leopard print, which, if you’re going to be investing in silk pillowcases, why not create a mood? SpaSilk didn’t feel quite as nice to the touch as MYK Silk did, which is why it didn’t come in as our first-place bargain pillowcase.

Cuddledown Silk Pillowcase ($59; cuddledown.com)

Another well-reviewed brand of silk pillowcases is Cuddledown. Made of 100% silk charmeuse and finished with piped hems and French seams, Cuddledown’s cases look minimalist chic, feel divine and fit our pillows perfectly. They offered several restful nights of sleep, and didn’t seem to dry out our hair and face. They’re as easy as all the others to hand wash and dry, or throw in the machine, though with this silk material, they would look nice if steamed after drying. They didn’t rank as high as some of our winners only because we didn’t love them quite as much to the touch, but they were more than satisfying. They’re sold in two sizes and nine colors.

Blissford Luxury Satin Pillowcase for Hair ($10.99; amazon.com)

Blissford’s satin pillowcase, made from 100% polyester, is less luxurious than the 100% silk cases we tried, but a solid option nonetheless. It feels synthetic compared to many of the silk brands, and it’s a distinction we felt against our face during sleep (and one that kept them from being ranked as our best bargain option). However, we did still achieve several good nights of sleep on this case, and our hair and skin did feel unbothered afterward, too. Blissford cases fit our pillow perfectly, and look nice, with a zippable flap closure. These were a breeze to hand wash and line dry, and they’re machine washable as well. Perhaps because they’re satin and not silk, they stand up to being wrung out by hand better than silk, and hardly wrinkled at all once air-dried.

Bedsure Satin Pillowcase for Hair ($8.99 for set of two; amazon.com)

Another satin option that feels less luxurious than the silk ones but nonetheless quite suitable for a good night of sleep are Bedsure’s pillowcases. A good second bargain option, Bedsure’s cases come in a package of two for less than Blissford’s one. These cases are a much looser and drapier fit than some we tested, and they also have an envelope closure at the end for a neatly-made pillow. Like Blissford’s satin, these are easy to hand-wash and line dry, and are machine washable, and because they’re 100% polyester, emerge from wringing and line drying with few wrinkles. They come in a whopping 24 colors and in four sizes, all 20 inches wide, with increasing inches in length, from 26 to 40. On their Amazon page, Bedsure looks a bit cheesy and lower quality, but in person, the packaging is attractive and the product is quite decent, especially for the price.

Read more from CNN Underscored’s hands-on testing:

The 7-4 decision by the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit says that the state’s restriction on the size of magazines that may be used with firearms only minimally interferes with the right to self-defense, and there is no evidence that anyone was unable to defend their home and family due to the lack of high-capacity magazines.
The court noted that in the past 50 years, high-capacity magazines have been used in about three-quarters of gun massacres with 10 or more deaths and in 100% of gun massacres with 20 or more deaths.
The judges added that more than twice as many people have been killed or injured in mass shootings that involved a high-capacity magazine compared to mass shootings that involved a smaller-capacity magazine.
Meet the federal judge who overturned California's decades-old assault weapons ban
“The ban on legal possession of large-capacity magazines reasonably supported California’s effort to reduce the devastating damage wrought by mass shootings,” the court said. “In sum, large-capacity magazines provide significant benefit to soldiers and criminals who wish to kill many people rapidly. But the magazines provide at most a minimal benefit for civilian, lawful purposes.”
The original case was filed by the California Rifle & Pistol Association and private gun owners.
“Today’s decision is a victory for public safety in California,” California Attorney General Rob Bonta said in a statement. “Gun violence is an epidemic in this country, but laws like our ban on large-capacity magazines are commonsense ways to prevent this violence, including devastating mass shootings.”
The ban outlaws high-capacity magazines which can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
According to a news release from Bonta’s office, these high-capacity magazines can “pose a substantial threat to the public and law enforcement because they allow shooters to fire scores of rounds from the same firearm in a short period of time without needing to reload.”
Federal judge overturns California's ban on assault weapons and likens AR-15 to Swiss Army knifeFederal judge overturns California's ban on assault weapons and likens AR-15 to Swiss Army knife
US District Judge Roger Benitez in San Diego previously ruled that the assault weapons ban violates the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms.
Benitez compared the AR-15 rifle to a Swiss Army knife and said the ban deprives Californians of owning assault-style weapons commonly allowed in other states.
Bonta appealed the ruling and argued that the state’s restrictions on high-capacity magazines respect the public’s Second Amendment right while advancing the state’s interest in combating gun violence and reducing the number of deaths and injuries caused by mass shootings.
“I’m thankful to the court for giving this case a second look, and confirming what we know to be true: our laws keep Californians safe while allowing law-abiding gun owners to exercise their constitutional rights,” Bonta added.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom applauded the decision in a tweet.
“Weapons of war don’t belong on our streets,” said Newsom. “This is a huge victory for the health and safety of all Californians.”
CNN has reached out to the California Rifle & Pistol Association for comment.
“The New York Attorney General’s office released transcripts and exhibits Monday that shed new light on Chris Cuomo’s involvement in his brother’s defense,” a CNN spokesperson said Tuesday evening. “The documents, which we were not privy to before their public release, raise serious questions.”
“When Chris admitted to us that he had offered advice to his brother’s staff, he broke our rules and we acknowledged that publicly,” the spokesperson continued. “But we also appreciated the unique position he was in and understood his need to put family first and job second.”
“However, these documents point to a greater level of involvement in his brother’s efforts than we previously knew,” the spokesperson added. “As a result, we have suspended Chris indefinitely, pending further evaluation.”
This is a breaking news story and will be updated…
In Chicago, Los Angeles and other major cities, police departments are increasing patrols at retailers targeted by mobs of thieves in brazen raids. In Northern California, district attorneys formed an alliance to prosecute organized theft rings. At the federal level, the FBI said it is in “close contact” with local law enforcement investigating such cases and prepared to take further action.
Why some US cities are facing a spree of 'smash-and-grab' crimes
“We have been seeing this wave of people invading stores in large numbers,” San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said. “There is no way in my mind that we can have a situation where 20, up to 80 people can invade a store or series of stores and there not be some communication and some organization.”
On the weekend before Thanksgiving Day, thieves swarmed the Southland Mall in Hayward, in the San Francisco Bay Area, smashing display cases with hammers at a store before grabbing jewelry and fleeing.
Three suspects were arrested November 20 after a mob ransacked a Nordstrom store in Walnut Creek, east of San Francisco. Some 80 suspects were involved, and they fled the outdoor mall in at least 10 vehicles, police said. That theft followed similar raids that weekend near San Francisco’s Union Square, where thieves targeted Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Bloomingdale’s stores, a Walgreens and cannabis dispensaries.

‘Instilling fear in merchants, customers and the wider community’

Seven Bay Area district attorneys — in San Joaquin, Contra Costa, Alameda, San Francisco, Marin, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties — announced last week an alliance that also included law enforcement and state agencies to combat organized retail theft.
Each office agreed to assign a prosecutor to target the thieves, including fencing rings and people who purchase the stolen goods, according to a joint statement.
“These are clearly carefully orchestrated crimes, working together in large groups to create a mob-like mentality,” Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said in the statement. “They are instilling fear in merchants, customers and the wider community. This is especially appalling at a time where many are out and about during the holiday season.”

Law enforcement presence increasing at retail locations

Gov. Gavin Newsom has ordered “saturation patrols” by the California Highway Patrol near major retail sites in the state during the holiday season in response to the organized thefts.
Four men were arrested over the weekend in connection with a theft at a Home Depot in California, where as many as 10 people entered the Lakewood store Friday night and left with a range of tools typically used in smash-and-grab thefts — hammers, sledgehammers, crowbars.
4 arrested in California Home Depot mass theft 4 arrested in California Home Depot mass theft
The four men, ranging in age from 19 to 22, were taken into custody by Los Angeles Sheriff’s Office detectives and booked for conspiracy to commit burglary, officials said.
In Santa Monica, police said, “the keen observation skills and quick thinking” of a downtown security guard may have thwarted a smash-and-grab theft at a Nordstrom’s store last Friday.
Santa Monica Police Chief Ramon Batista said in a Facebook post Monday that the security guard radioed for police assistance after spotting seven vehicles carrying about 28 people parked in a fire lane outside the store. The people in the vehicles left before police arrived.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, a Democrat, on Monday blamed cuts in the number of city police officers for the wave of smash-and-grab thefts as well as a spike in gun violence.
“Let me be clear, Oakland needs more police,” she told CNN’s Kate Bolduan.
Schaaf said the pandemic interrupted the city’s recruitment and training of new officers. She called for greater coordination by law enforcement at all levels to combat retail thefts.
“We need state and federal resources to interrupt those efforts,” she said. “Lord knows (the thieves) are coordinated. We need to be coordinated as well.”
Best Buy CEO: Jump in theft is traumatizing staffBest Buy CEO: Jump in theft is traumatizing staff
Organized thefts have been reported throughout the country, including a case involving at least 30 people who stole electronics from a Best Buy store on Black Friday in Burnsville, Minnesota.
In Illinois, Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said on Monday that his department was “particularly focused” on smash-and-grab thefts. He said two teenagers were arrested for the theft of $8,500 worth of items from a beauty supply store.
Chicago Police Chief of Operations Brian McDermott said the department had increased patrols in the central business district and other locations and tracking “stolen cars and vehicles typically used in these type of crimes.”

FBI ‘prepared to take a more active role’

An FBI spokesperson told CNN Monday that federal agents are monitoring the spate of brazen thefts and remain in close contact with local police.
“Should information come to our attention that constitutes a federal crime, we are prepared to take a more active role,” the spokesperson said.
3 arrested after at least 18 people break into Nordstrom store in Los Angeles, police say3 arrested after at least 18 people break into Nordstrom store in Los Angeles, police say
Stephanie Martz, chief administrative officer and general counsel with the National Retail Federation, said smash-and-grab thefts have gradually increased over the past year and a half, starting with drugstores and spreading to department stores and high-end retailers.
About 69% of retailers reported a jump in organized retail crime in the past year, citing factors ranging from the pandemic to changes in sentencing guidelines, according to a 2021 retail security survey by the National Retail Federation. Many retailers who participated in the self-reported, online survey also said suspects have become more aggressive and violent.
The recent group shoplifting incidents come during what experts say is a decades-long decline in overall property crime.
The FBI’s Uniform Crime Report showed the country’s property crime rate at an all-time low in 2020. According to the National Commission for Covid-19 and Criminal Justice, this downward trend has continued into 2021.
3 arrested after dozens ransack a Nordstrom store near San Francisco, police say  3 arrested after dozens ransack a Nordstrom store near San Francisco, police say
In its most recent report, the NCCCJ — which surveys crime across 34 major cities — reported a 7% decline in nonresidential burglaries between the first quarter of 2020 and 2021. However, San Francisco, where many of the smash-and-grab thefts have taken place, reported a sharp increase in burglaries in 2020 compared to 2019. It’s an outlier in California, where the rate of burglaries has steadily declined over time.
Shoplifting data, however, can be flawed. For example, a report by the San Francisco Chronicle showed that the city’s 2021 monthly shoplifting reports saw a dramatic spike in September stemming from one Target store that had recently switched to a new reporting system.
The shooting happened around noon on November 19 in the parking lot of Hinkley High School in Aurora, police said. Three people were wounded.
Larry Renee Jefferson, Dalen Lenale Brewer and Diego Flores are each charged with:
  • Four counts of attempted first-degree murder
  • One count of first-degree assault
  • One count of second-degree assault
  • One count of possession of a weapon on school grounds
  • Two crime-of-violence sentence enhancers.
Jefferson also faces a charge of using a prohibited large-capacity magazine during a crime.
Parents reunite with their children outside Hinkley High School in Aurora, Colorado, on November 19, 2021.
CNN contacted the Aurora Public Defender’s Office for comment but did not immediately hear back.
Jefferson and Brewer have status hearings scheduled in their cases December 15. The status hearing for Flores is set for March 7.
Two of the people shot are Hinkley students, and a third is a student at APS Avenues school. None of the injuries was life-threatening, Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson said.
At the time of the shooting, police said no motive had been discovered.

(CNN) — The central European country of Poland and the central African nation of Niger were among four new additions to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “very high” risk travel category on Tuesday.

The island nations of Papua New Guinea in the southwestern Pacific and Trinidad and Tobago in the southern Caribbean were also added to Level 4.

Niger moved from low-risk Level 1 to Level 4 on Tuesday, a move the CDC said was because of case counts and not the Omicron variant detected in southern Africa. The other three countries moved up from Level 3, “high” risk.

Typically, the CDC places a destination at Level 4 when more than 500 cases per 100,000 residents are registered in the past 28 days, but the addition of seven southern African nations late last week to the Level 4 category was because of Omicron, not their case numbers. The eighth nation affected by Omicron and the travel ban, Botswana, was already in the Level 4 category.

“The travel restrictions were implemented due to concerns about the Omicron variant, and unknowns surrounding the variant,” the CDC said in an email to CNN Travel on Monday afternoon. “There is enough evidence to act to restrict travel and slow the spread of the variant, while still learning more about the degree of threat posed by this variant.”
A woman is seen walking in the old city of Agadez, Niger, on September 15.

A woman is seen walking in the old city of Agadez, Niger, on September 15.

Michele Cattani/AFP via Getty Images

People should avoid traveling to locations designated with a “Level 4” notice, the CDC recommends. Anyone who must travel should be fully vaccinated first, the agency advises.

Countries added to Level 4 on November 30:

• Niger
• Papua New Guinea
• Poland
• Trinidad and Tobago

Traveling safely

A question on many of our minds: How should I be thinking about Omicron in terms of travel safety?

There’s still a lot scientists don’t yet know about the new coronavirus variant, but the best thing anyone can do right now is to get vaccinated, according to Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Getting vaccinated is essential for two reasons, he said.

The first is the Delta variant. “That’s the virus that’s here, right now, in each and every community, spreading,” Schaffner said. “But No. 2, and this has to do with Omicron, it is likely that our vaccines will provide at least partial protection. And partial protection is always better than no protection.”

The CDC upped its recommendations Monday regarding booster shots for those already vaccinated because of the emergence of the Omicron variant. It is now saying everyone 18 and older should get a booster.

“I strongly encourage the 47 million adults who are not yet vaccinated to get vaccinated as soon as possible and to vaccinate the children and teens in their families as well, because strong immunity will likely prevent serious illness,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said.

The other essential safety measure is still wearing a mask when you’re out in public.

Schaffner’s advice on traveling is largely the same as it was before the discovery of the new variant.

Make sure you’re vaccinated, wear a mask, socially distance as much as possible while you’re traveling and carefully consider what you’re going to do when you get there, which likely puts you at greater risk than the journey itself.

New entries on Level 3

The CDC also made updates to its other categories on Tuesday, which descend in risk to Level 1: Covid-19 low.

The Level 3 category — which applies to destinations that have had between 100 and 500 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days — had five updates this week, with a big showing from islands from the Caribbean and Atlantic to the South Pacific.

These five destinations moved to Level 3 on November 30:

• Bermuda
• Costa Rica
• French Polynesia
• Guyana
• Saint Lucia

The move was actually good news for all five destinations, which had been at Level 4.

Updates on Level 2

The CDC moved two countries — Argentina and Djibouti — down from Level 3 to the less-risky Level 2. Guinea-Bissau in western Africa moved up from Level 1.

These destinations moved to Level 2 on November 30:

• Argentina
• Djibouti
• Guinea-Bissau

Destinations carrying the “Level 2: Covid-19 Moderate” designation have seen 50 to 99 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days.

Keep in mind the CDC list updates weekly, and the situation in any country can change for better or worse from week to week.

Level 1 and no ratings

In the best news category, four countries moved into the Level 1 “low” risk category on Tuesday.

In “Level 1: Covid-19 Low” destinations, fewer than 50 new cases per 100,000 residents have been logged over the past 28 days.

The four destinations moved into Level 1 on November 30 are:

• Benin
• British Virgin Islands
• Democratic Republic of the Congo
• Timor-Leste

Finally, there are destinations for which the CDC has an “unknown” risk because of a lack of information. As of November 30, that list included Burundi, Madagascar, Cambodia, Nicaragua and Macau.

In its broader travel guidance, the CDC has recommended avoiding all international travel until you are fully vaccinated.

“Fully vaccinated travelers are less likely to get and spread Covid-19. However, international travel poses additional risks, and even fully vaccinated travelers might be at increased risk for getting and possibly spreading some Covid-19 variants,” the agency said.

About 52% of the rejections were because voters had missed requesting absentee ballots before the cutoff, 11 days before the election, according to elections data analyzed by CNN.
The data was first reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
In March, Georgia’s Republican-controlled state legislature passed SB 202, an election law aimed at overhauling Georgia’s election code, including limiting absentee voting — a method that 1.3 million of the state’s residents had used to vote in the November 2020 general election.
Under the new law, voters have to request absentee ballots 11 days before an election, a significant change from four days before Election Day.
Richard Barron, Fulton County’s director of registration and elections, told CNN that the county “saw a significant number of absentee ballot applications rejected because of SB 202.”
“This just goes to show that from eliminating our mobile voting units to slashing our ability to use drop boxes to cutting back the time voters have to request an absentee ballot, SB202 is a poorly created and damaging law,” Barron said in an emailed statement.
Supporters of the new deadline include some voting advocates, who say it is more reasonable and ensures voters have enough time to apply for and complete their ballots.
“Four days is a really short period for a board of elections to receive a ballot application, process it, send it out, have it arrive at voters and be returned by 7 p.m. on Election Day. That time frame is just too short,” Susannah Scott, president of the League of Women Voters of Georgia, told CNN in a phone interview on Tuesday.
However, Scott said the new deadline is too long and the previous was too short, calling instead for a “happy medium” in between. Local election administrators have suggested seven days as the best time frame for meeting voters’ needs and ensuring absentee ballots are counted.
“Far too many voters end up being disenfranchised,” Sara Tindall Ghazal, the Democratic Party of Georgia’s member on the State Election Board, told the Atlanta newspaper. “It leads to many voters getting their applications rejected and not able to access their ballot otherwise.”
Overall, election officials rejected about 4% of all absentee ballot requests for the November 2 municipal elections, according to an analysis of state election data conducted by CNN. Of the 35,312 requests for absentee ballots, 1,362 were rejected, with 708 of those reported as arriving past the deadline. The rejection rate is up from less than 1% in last year’s general election, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s analysis.
Georgia is one of 19 states that have enacted new voting restrictions this year, according to the Brennan Center for Justice — amid a drive by Republican-controlled legislatures to tighten election rules.