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Airline passengers wearing face masks walk out of the international terminal at the San Francisco International Airport on Jan. 31. Photo: Yichuan Cao/NurPhoto via Getty Images

San Francisco Mayor London Breed made an emergency declaration on Tuesday in response to the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

Why it matters: COVID-19 infections have spread from China to some 40 countries and territories. There are 57 cases in the U.S. The CDC anticipates it will spread further, and that's why Breed said she took the action. While there have been no confirmed cases among San Francisco residents, three people have been treated for the virus in hospitals in the city, the Los Angeles Times notes.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
42 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
2 hours 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.

2 hours 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.