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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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A wild weekend for Microsoft's play for TikTok

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

While its Big Tech rivals were testifying in front of a congressional antitrust committee last week, Microsoft was negotiating what could be the largest — and most politically perilous — tech acquisition of 2020.

The state of play: The hullabaloo surrounding Microsoft picking up TikTok has undergone a flurry of twists and turns over the weekend, as both the White House and the tech giant reacted in real time.

2 hours ago - Health

At least 41 people test positive for coronavirus aboard Norwegian cruise ship

The Hurtigruten Roald Amundsen is moored on August 3, 2020 in Tromsø, Norway. Photo: Terje Pedersen/NTB Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images

At least 5 passengers and 36 crew members aboard a Norwegian cruise ship have tested positive for the coronavirus, and authorities fear the outbreak may have spread to towns along the country's western coast, AP reports.

Why it matters: Cruise ships have shown to be a prime vector for coronavirus spread. Hundreds were infected aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship in the early days of the pandemic.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 18,117,821 — Total deaths: 690,181 — Total recoveries — 10,712,894Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 4,675,628 — Total deaths: 154,944 — Total recoveries: 1,468,689 — Total tests: 56,812,162Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi says Birx "enabled" Trump on misinformation.
  4. Business: Virtual school is another setback for retail — The pandemic hasn't hampered health care.
  5. Public health: The pandemic is boosting the public's view of doctors.
  6. Travel: At least 41 people test positive aboard Norwegian cruise ship.
Updated 9 hours ago - World

Australia's Victoria enacts strict new measures as coronavirus cases surge

Australian soldiers patrol the streets on Monday of Melbourne, Australia. They and police are imposing the city's 8pm–5am curfew that came into effect Sunday night. Photo: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Victoria's premier Dan Andrews said Monday all retailers except for essential services like grocery stores in state capital Melbourne must shut for six weeks, effective Aug. 7, as cases continue to surge in Australia's second-most populous state.

The big picture: A day after he declared a disaster in Victoria to enacted tougher measures, Andrews told a briefing, "we need to dramatically reduce people moving in the community." Restrictions including a nightly curfew in Melbourne began Sunday. Andrews confirmed 429 new cases and 13 deaths from COVID-19 — equaling the state and national death toll record set last month. Australia looked set to suppress COVID-19 in May. Most places have had few or no cases, but Victoria's have spiked in recent weeks.

11 hours ago - World

Kosovo prime minister the latest leader to test positive for coronavirus

Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti during a press conference in Pristina, Kosovo, in July. Photo: Armend Nimani/AFP via Getty Images

Kosovo's Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti announced on Facebook late Sunday that he's in isolation and will work from home for two weeks after testing positive for COVID-19, adding, "I have no signs, except a very mild cough."

The big picture: Kosovo has reported almost 8,800 cases and 249 deaths from the novel coronavirus, per Johns Hopkins data. The Kosovar government reintroduced lockdown measures last week for its population of 1.8 million amid surging cases, AP notes.

19 hours ago - World

In photos: Eid al-Adha celebrated during coronavirus pandemic

Morning prayers at the Jama Masjid mosque on Aug. 1 in New Delhi, India. Photo: Naveen Sharma/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Eid al-Adha, a major Muslim festival, was observed by thousands over the weekend — although the coronavirus pandemic has thwarted traditional celebrations.

The big picture: The United Arab Emirates closed mosques for Eid prayers, the hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia was scaled down, Oman reinstated a nighttime curfew, and Lebanon and Iraq recently entered two-week lockdowns, the Wall Street Journal reports.

21 hours ago - Health

Leading Indian politician tests positive for coronavirus

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah at the Parliament House on March 3. Photo: Prakash Singh/AFP via Getty Images

India's Home Minister Amit Shah was admitted to the hospital on Sunday after testing positive for the coronavirus, he said in a tweet.

Why it matters: Shah "is widely viewed as the second most powerful person in India" behind Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Aug 2, 2020 - Health

Stigma surrounding coronavirus could stifle response in Africa

A field hospital in Machakos, Kenya, on July 28, . Photo: Simon Maina/AFP

Arbitrary and sometimes harsh quarantine rules and a lack of information about the coronavirus have contributed to a culture of stigma around the virus in parts of Africa, which is approaching 1 million cases, AP reports.

Why it matters: Coronavirus patients were being treated “just like the way, early on in the HIV epidemic, patients were being treated,” Salim Abdool Karim, chair of South Africa’s COVID-19 ministerial advisory committee, told the World Health Organization last month. That's hampering nations' abilities to control the coronavirus pandemic.

Aug 2, 2020 - World

Berlin protesters clash with police at massive anti-lockdown rally

Thousands of demonstrators protest against the current measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus, in Berlin, Aug. 1. Photo: John MacDougall/AFP via Getty Images

Berlin police said Saturday night at least 18 officers were injured while trying to disperse a large crowd protesting Germany's coronavirus lockdown measures, according to a DW.com translation.

The big picture: Many in the estimated crowd of 17,000, made up of conspiracy theorists, right-wing populists and others, were not wearing masks, reports AP, which notes: "Unlike the U.S., Brazil and Britain, Germany’s government has been praised worldwide for its management of the pandemic." The country has confirmed more than 211,000 cases and just over 9,100 deaths from COVID-19, per Johns Hopkins data.

Editor's note: The top photo in this post has been replaced. The earlier photo depicted a demonstration against evictions.

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