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Photo: Dave Chan/Getty Images

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Monday that the country will close its borders to all foreign nationals, with exemptions for Canadian residents, U.S. citizens, diplomats and some other groups.

Why it matters: Trudeau is one of many global leaders who have taken the drastic step of closing their country's borders in an effort to stop the spread of the virus. The decision to exempt U.S. citizens will likely raise questions, especially considering that New York and Washington state — both of which border Canada — are the epicenters of the U.S. outbreak.

  • Asked why the ban doesn't apply to Americans, Trudeau said: "The level of integration of our two economies ... puts the U.S. in a separate category from the rest of the world."
  • Trudeau did not rule out closing the border to the U.S. at a later date.

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
21 mins ago - World

China's Xi Jinping congratulates Biden on election win

Photo: Paul J. Richards/AFP via Getty Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a message to President-elect Biden on Wednesday to congratulate him on his election victory, according to the Xinhua state news agency.

Why it matters: China's foreign ministry offered Biden a belated, and tentative, congratulations on Nov. 13, but Xi had not personally acknowledged Biden's win. The leaders of Brazil, Mexico and Russia are among the very few leaders still declining to congratulate Biden.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
1 hour ago - Sports

College basketball is back

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A new season of college basketball begins Wednesday, and the goal is clear: March Madness must be played.

Why it matters: On March 12, 2020, the lights went out on college basketball, depriving teams like Baylor (who won our tournament simulation), Dayton, San Diego State and Florida State of perhaps their best chance to win a national championship.

1 hour ago - World

Scoop: Israeli military prepares for possibility Trump will strike Iran

Defense Minister Benny Gantz attends a cabinet meeting. Photo: Abir Sultan/POOL/AFP via Getty

The Israel Defense Forces have in recent weeks been instructed to prepare for the possibility that the U.S. will conduct a military strike against Iran before President Trump leaves office, senior Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: The Israeli government instructed the IDF to undertake the preparations not because of any intelligence or assessment that Trump will order such a strike, but because senior Israeli officials anticipate “a very sensitive period” ahead of Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20.