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Wong Maye-E / AP

After a reprieve over the weekend with the bellyflop of the North Korean missile test, experts warn that tensions with the U.S. will "remain dangerously high for the indefinite future."

Why it matters: Just 12 days from Trump's 100-day mark, his biggest test (including of his vow to both talk and act tough) is unfolding in real time — with massive global consequences.

The New York Times captures it most memorably in a front-page analysis by David Sanger and Bill Broad: "What is playing out, said Robert Litwak of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, ... is 'the Cuban missile crisis in slow motion,' but the slow-motion part appears to be speeding up."

We can hear that unmistakably in remarks today by Vice President Pence inside the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea — at Freedom House, a few meters from the military demarcation line, which he described as a "frontier of freedom," per a pool report by AFP's Andrew Beatty:

"Asked his message to the people of North Korea, VPOTUS said: ... 'the era of strategic patience is over.'"
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Go deeper

14 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.

16 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 18 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.