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Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Europe is now recording far more new coronavirus cases than ever before.

The big picture: One reason is testing. Deaths and hospitalizations remain far below the levels seen in the spring, though they continue to tick upward.

  • Officials in Spain and France are scrambling to respond to their particularly worrying outbreaks. Madrid is now under quarantine, while Paris has closed bars for two weeks.
  • Germany had fared better but is now facing a spike. Germany's public health agency said "parties and family gatherings, including weddings, birthdays and funerals, were the main sources of new infections," per the WSJ.

The flipside: Hope is rising that Latin America is now past the peak of a long, brutal climb.

  • Hard-hit countries including Brazil, Mexico and Peru have all seen significant declines in new cases and deaths.
  • It's unclear whether the encouraging trend will continue. The WSJ warns that "Latin Americans, comforted by the recent declines, have filled hair salons, bars and gyms."
  • "With only 8% of the world’s population, Latin America has now accounted for a third of global deaths from Covid-19."

India's case count is also trending downward, though it's too early to conclude the worst is over.

Go deeper

Rep. Lou Correa tests positive for COVID-19

Lou Correa. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) announced on Saturday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Correa is the latest Democratic lawmaker to share his positive test results after last week's deadly Capitol riot. Correa did not shelter in the designated safe zone with his congressional colleagues during the siege, per a spokesperson, instead staying outside to help Capitol Police.

UN poll: Most see climate change as global emergency amid pandemic

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg (C) fronts a Fridays For Future protest at the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm in September. Photo: Jonathan Nacksrtrand/AFP via Getty Images

64% of people from around the world say climate change is a global emergency, a United Nations poll published Wednesday finds.

Why it matters: It's biggest global survey on climate change ever conducted, with some 1.2 million participants from 50 countries — including the U.S. where 65% of those surveyed view climate change as an emergency.

Collins helps contractor before pro-Susan PAC gets donation

Sen. Susan Collins during her reelection campaign. Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

A PAC backing Sen. Susan Collins in her high-stakes reelection campaign received $150,000 from an entity linked to the wife of a defense contractor whose firm Collins helped land a federal contract, new public records show.

Why it matters: The executive, Martin Kao of Honolulu, leaned heavily on his political connections to boost his business, federal prosecutors say in an ongoing criminal case against him. The donation linked to Kao was veiled until last week.