A U.S. soldier at a border crossing in Donna, Texas, on Nov. 6. Photo: Andrew Cullen/AFP/Getty Images

The midterms are over. But the 5,600 American troops sent to the southern border with Mexico are "still going through the motions of an elaborate mission that appeared to be set into action by a commander in chief determined to get his supporters to the polls," the New York Times reports.

What's happening: Troops at the border are sleeping in tents that house 20 soldiers and have no electricity or air conditioning, with some suffering heat exhaustion within days of starting the mission. There's no mess hall — only pre-made "Ready-to-Eat" meals — and the only phone chargers available are attached to "a few generators that power spotlights around the living area." Department of Defense officials worry that if the number of troops increases to 15,000, the cost could be as high as $200 million.

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Biden's China plan: Bring allies

Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Joe Biden is planning to confront China across the globe, embracing some of President Trump's goals but rejecting his means.

The big picture: By starting a trade war with China, Trump has fundamentally altered the U.S.- China relationship — and forced both Republicans and Democrats to accept a more confrontational approach towards Beijing.

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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  2. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases
  3. Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" wave France imposes lockdown Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month.
  4. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.

In pictures: Storm Zeta churns inland after lashing Louisiana

Debris on the streets as then-Hurricane Zeta passes over in Arabi, Louisiana, on Oct. 28. It's the third hurricane to hit Louisiana in about two months, after Laura and Delta. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Tropical Storm Zeta has killed at least two people, triggered flooding, downed powerlines and caused widespread outages since making landfall in Louisiana as a Category 2 hurricane on Wednesday.

The big picture: A record 11 named storms have made landfall in the U.S. this year. Zeta is the fifth named storm to do so in Louisiana in 2020, the most ever recorded. It weakened t0 a tropical storm early Thursday, as it continued to lash parts of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle with heavy rains and strong winds.