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Photo: Charlotte Graham/WPA Pool/Getty Images

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday postponed easing some portions of England's coronavirus lockdown due to rising cases, the BBC reports.

Why it matters: The decision, which comes after a move to reimpose far more stringent lockdown measures across some cities in northern England, highlights the difficult balance countries across the world face between reopening their economies and keeping their caseloads in check.

What's happening: Entertainment venues like casinos, bowling alleys and skating rinks were set to open on Aug. 1, but that has been pushed back until at least Aug. 15.

  • The mandatory use of face masks was expanded from shops and public transit to other settings, including movie theaters and places of worship.

What they're saying: "We have probably reached the limits of what we can do in terms of opening up as a society. ... The idea that we can open up everything is clearly wrong. Choices will need to be made," said England's chief medical officer Chris Whitty.

  • Johnson added that "the prevalence of the virus in the community, in England, is likely to be rising for the first time since May."

Go deeper

Nov 7, 2020 - Health

Defense Department sends medical teams to El Paso as COVID-19 cases surge

An attendant talks to a person waiting in their car at a coronavirus testing site at Ascarate Park in El Paso. Photo:Cengiz Yar/Getty Images)

The Department of Defense has deployed three U.S Air force Medical Specialty Teams to El Paso to help officials cope with a surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Friday.

Why it matters: El Paso currently has 23,702 active COVID-19 cases, including 1,300 new cases reported on Friday, per the city's health department. At least 1,049 coronavirus patients have been hospitalized, including 311 who are in the ICU.

Updated 1 hour ago - World

Pentagon: 8,500 troops on high alert for possible deployment to eastern Europe

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has placed 8,500 U.S. troops on "heightened preparedness to deploy" to eastern Europe in case NATO activates its rapid-response force over tensions with Russia, the Pentagon announced Monday.

Why it matters: No decisions have been made to deploy U.S. forces, but the heightened alert level will allow the military to rapidly shore up NATO's eastern flank in the event that Russia invades Ukraine. The Pentagon warned that Russia has shown "no signs of de-escalating," and continues to amass troops on Ukraine's borders.

Alabama's new congressional map rejected by federal judges

The Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery. Photo: Taylor Hill/Getty Images

Federal judges on Monday night blocked Alabama's newly drawn congressional map and ordered the Republican-led State Legislature to create a new one that includes two districts, rather than the planned one.

Why it matters: "Black voters have less opportunity than other Alabamians to elect candidates of their choice to Congress," the panel of three judges wrote in their ruling.

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