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A health worker at Ebola quarantine in 2017. Photo: John Wessels /AFP/Getty Images

There is an outbreak of Ebola in the northwest of the Democratic Republic of Congo, with 2 confirmed cases, per the BBC. The World Health Organization says there have been 21 suspected cases of viral hemorrhagic fever and 17 deaths over the past five weeks.

Flashback: This is the 9th time an Ebola outbreak has been recorded in the DRC, where the virus was first discovered in 1976. More than 11,000 people were killed in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia during the 2014 outbreak of Ebola in West Africa.

What now:

  • The WHO freed up $1 million in an emergency fund and has deployed 50 experts to work with officials in the country. "Working with partners and responding early and in a coordinated way will be vital to containing this deadly disease,” the WHO’s Peter Salama said in a statement.
  • More specimens are being gathered to test for other cases, per the WHO.
  • Nigeria and Kenya have begun screening passengers for symptoms at border crossings and airports in an effort to prevent the outbreak spreading, per the BBC.

Go deeper

16 mins ago - Economy & Business

Boeing gets huge 737 Max order from Ryanair, boosting hope for quick rebound

Ryanair low cost airline Boeing 737-800 aircraft as seen over the runway. Photo by Nik Oiko/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Dublin-based Ryanair said it would add 75 more planes to an existing order for Boeing's 737 Max airplanes, a giant vote of confidence as Boeing seeks to revive sales of its best-selling plane after a 20-month safety ban following two fatal crashes.

The big picture: Ryanair's big order, on the heels of breakthrough vaccine news, is also a promising sign that the devastated airline industry might recover from the global pandemic sooner than expected.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
21 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Trump sets auction for Arctic refuge drilling rights before Biden takes office

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Interior Department on Thursday said it will auction oil drilling leases in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in early January.

Why it matters: The procedural step would make it harder for President-elect Joe Biden to thwart drilling in the region, even though any actual development is years away.

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney elected chair of House Democrats' campaign arm

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) on Thursday was elected chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for the 2022 cycle, narrowly defeating Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.) 119 to 107, Politico reports.

Why it matters: Maloney will be tasked with protecting House Democrats' slim majority in 2022 after they underperformed in November's election, losing seats in down-ballot races across the country.