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Putin and Macron shake hands at Versailles in May, 2017. Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

Russia claims Presidents Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron agreed on a phone call to stay in “close contact” and coordinate their actions to avoid military escalation in Syria, per the AP. The French readout did not mention coordination.

What it means: Trump is also coordinating next steps with the French, along with the British. If Russia is being kept in the loop, that reduces the likelihood of escalation. But if strikes only target the Assad regime and not Russia and Iran, “it will not harm Assad’s backers and therefore is unlikely to weaken [Assad's] resolve,” according to Jenny Cafarella of the Institute for the Study of War.

Go deeper

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

The winners and losers of the pandemic holiday season

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The pandemic has upended Thanksgiving and the shopping season that the holiday kicks off, creating a new crop of economic winners and losers.

The big picture: Just as it has exacerbated inequality in every other facet of American life, the coronavirus pandemic is deepening inequities in the business world, with the biggest and most powerful companies rapidly outpacing the smaller players.

Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise/Axios

The daily rate of new coronavirus infections rose by about 10 percent in the final week before Thanksgiving, continuing a dismal trend that may get even worse in the weeks to come.

Why it matters: Travel and large holiday celebrations are most dangerous in places where the virus is spreading widely — and right now, that includes the entire U.S.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled late Wednesday that restrictions previously imposed on New York places of worship by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) during the coronavirus pandemic violated the First Amendment.

Why it matters: The decision in a 5-4 vote heralds the first significant action by the new President Trump-appointed conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who cast the deciding vote in favor of the Catholic Church and Orthodox Jewish synagogues.

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