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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Federica Mogherini (L), European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Photo: Alexander Shcherbak\TASS via Getty Images

The U.K., Germany, France, Russia and China have agreed to establish a special payments system to circumvent U.S. sanctions on Iran stemming from President Trump's unilateral withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal, the Financial Times reports.

The big picture: The payments channel would be an alternative to SWIFT, the backbone of the global financial system that allows Iran to get paid for oil, pay for its imports and finance its activities abroad. The five countries involved in the agreement remain committed to doing business with Iran, which the International Atomic Energy Agency says is still complying with the terms of the nuclear deal. President Trump, meanwhile, has threatened that anyone doing business with Iran will not be able to do business with the U.S.

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Health

Food banks feel the strain without holiday volunteers

People wait in line at Food Bank Community Kitchen on Nov. 25 in New York City. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Food Bank For New York City

America's food banks are sounding the alarm during this unprecedented holiday season.

The big picture: Soup kitchens and charities, usually brimming with holiday volunteers, are getting far less help.

5 hours ago - Health

AstraZeneca CEO: "We need to do an additional study" on COVID vaccine

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on Thursday the company is likely to start a new global trial to measure how effective its coronavirus vaccine is, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Following Phase 3 trials, Oxford and AstraZeneca said their vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving.
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions.
  3. World: Expert says COVID vaccine likely won't be available in Africa until Q2 of 2021 — Europeans extend lockdowns.
  4. Economy: The winners and losers of the COVID holiday season.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.

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