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

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Al Roker marvels at the corona (NBC News)

Brian Williams had a great eclipse lead-in on his 11 p.m. MSNBC show, "The 11th Hour": "Just when we thought we run the show down here ... "

It was a rare day of community for America: to obsess about something non-Trump — something that was bigger than ourselves, and something that was terrifying to the ancients, but a diversion and fascination (and, yes, commercial opportunity) for us.

Of all the eclipse anchors, Fox's Shep Smith had by far the most fun, racing maniacally around the "Fox News Deck," his personal set, and having fun with the different brands of gum, cereal, etc., boxes that people were using for their eclipse-viewing gizmos:

"Gotta give us names on pets. C'mon: We love the pets! ... It's interesting that NASA has been able to place its logo next to the sun — see that over there. ... Tell us something amazing! ... No! No! Mr. Production Manager, remove the clouds!"

The networks branded the once-in-a-lifetime event:

  • Fox News graphics heralded "FIRST COAST-TO-COAST TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE IN 99 YEARS."
  • CNN — which at times had double "ECLIPSE CAM" boxes, with a tiny Wolf Blitzer head floating between them — dubbed it '"ECLIPSE OF THE CENTURY."
  • CBS went picture-in-picture during ads, keeping the eclipse image live.
  • ABC's coverage of 'THE GREAT AMERICAN ECLIPSE" included countdown clocks "TO END OF TOTALITY" and "TO NEXT TOTALITY."
  • MSNBC called it "TOTAL ECLIPSE 2017."
  • CNBC covered "THE GREAT AMERICAN ECLIPSE."

CNN got the last word, tracking the solar stunner after it was over on the U.S. mainland at 3 p.m. ET, with live cruise-ship coverage "Aboard Royal Caribbean in Atlantic Ocean" — from the Bermuda Triangle.

Go deeper

Study: Fear of debt keeps Latinos out of college

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Fear of never being able to pay off school loans is keeping many young Latinos in the U.S. from going to college or completing a degree, according to a report published in September.

State of play: Latinos tend to have more difficulty repaying school debt than white student borrowers, according to Federal Reserve data, at the same time that they need more loans in order to afford tuition.

22 mins ago - World

Scoop: Biden administration objects to Israeli settlements plan

Israeli PM Naftali Bennett (L) meets with Secretary of State Tony Blinken. Photo: Olivier Douliery/Pool/AFP via Getty

The Biden administration has privately protested to the Israeli government over its plan to approve the planning and construction of more than 3,000 new housing units in the Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, sources briefed on the issue tell me.

Why it matters: The approvals for new homes in the settlements will be the first since President Biden assumed office, and come after Biden and his top aides personally pressed Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to restrain settlement activity and decrease the number of new housing units.

2 hours ago - World

Pentagon warns of ISIS-K capabilities outside Afghanistan

The site of an airstrike conducted by the U.S. against a planner for ISIS-K in Nangarhar province, Afghanistan in August. Photo: Xinhua via Getty Images

U.S. intelligence believes ISIS-K has the "intent" to eventually launch attacks outside of Afghanistan and could be capable of doing so "somewhere between six or 12 months," a top Pentagon official told senators Tuesday.

Why it matters: The U.S. withdrawal and subsequent Taliban takeover of Afghanistan has raised fears that terrorist groups will reconstitute and potentially pose a renewed threat to the U.S. homeland.

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