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Why it matters: The U.S. has responded to standoffs with North Korea, Russia, Iran and Venezuela in unorthodox and unpredictable ways. Alliances are rupturing, authoritarians are rising, and China is steadily becoming the most powerful rival America has ever faced.

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8 hours ago - Health

Berlin to open six mass COVID vaccination centers

German Chancellor Angela Merkel at German federal parliament in Berlin on Nov. 26. Photo: Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Berlin aims to open six centers with the capacity to vaccinate up to 4,000 people per day with an approved COVID-19 vaccine by mid-December, project coordinator Albrecht Broemme told Reuters on Thursday.

Why it matters: If successful, Germany could be a model for the U.S. and other wealthy countries to handle the logistical challenges of administering a vaccine that requires strict temperature control and storage.

Updated 11 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.
13 hours ago - World

European countries extend lockdowns

A medical worker takes a COVID-19 throat swab sample at the Berlin-Brandenburg Airport. Photo by Maja Hitij via Getty

Recent spikes in COVID-19 infections across Europe have led authorities to extend restrictions ahead of the holiday season.

Why it matters: "Relaxing too fast and too much is a risk for a third wave after Christmas," said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

14 hours ago - Health

Africa CDC: Vaccines likely won't be available until Q2 of 2021

Africa CDC director Dr. John Nkengasong. Photo: Mohammed Abdu Abdulbaqi/Anadolu Agency via Getty

Africa may have to wait until the second quarter of 2021 to roll out vaccines, Africa CDC director John Nkengasong said Thursday, according to the Associated Press.

Why it matters: “I have seen how Africa is neglected when drugs are available,” Nkengasong said.

21 hours ago - World

Ethiopia PM: "Final phase" of offensive in Tigray region to start

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed during a 2019 press conference in the country's capital, Addis Ababa. Photo: Michael Tewelde/AFP via Getty Images

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed tweeted Thursday that the country's military will begin the "final phase" of an offensive in the northern Tigray region after his 72-hour ultimatum for local leaders to surrender expired.

Why it matters: The government of Abiy, who won the Nobel Peace Prize last year, has said it will show "no mercy" if civilians don't "move away from the Tigray leaders in time" as weaponry including tanks near the regional capital, Mekelle, per AP.

Go deeper: Ethiopia clashes raise risk of civil war

Nov 26, 2020 - World

Death toll from New Zealand's White Island eruption rises to 22

Steam rises from the Whakaari/White Island volcano on Dec. 11, two days after the volcanic eruption, off the coast from Whakatāne, on New Zealand's North Island. Photo: Marty Melville/AFP via Getty Images

The death toll from New Zealand's Whakaari/White Island volcanic eruption has risen to 22, almost one year on from the tragedy, police announced in a statement Thursday.

The big picture: 24 people were on NZ's only active marine volcano when it erupted Dec. 9, 2019, including New Zealanders and tourists from the U.S., Australia, the U.K., China and Germany. Police identified the latest victim as Horst Westenfelder, 64. The German man died in a hospital overseas "due to medical complications while receiving treatment for injuries" he sustained on the island, per the statement.

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