5 things to know for November 24: Biden, coronavirus, Nigeria, China, emissions
Here's what you need to know to get up to speed and on with your day
1. Election 2020
The Trump administration is ready to begin the formal transition process with President-elect Joe Biden. The General Services Administration made the announcement yesterday, marking the first step the administration has taken to acknowledge the President’s electoral defeat. Now, Biden and his team will have access to a slew of resources, including federal employees and about $6.3 million to set up the next administration. Biden’s team unveiled a series of Cabinet nominations and staffing decisions yesterday. Janet Yellen, the first woman to chair the Federal Reserve, will likely be the first woman to serve as Treasury secretary. Also revealed were Alejandro Mayorkas, who’d be the first Latino and immigrant to run the Department of Homeland Security, and Avril Haines as Biden’s pick for director of national intelligence, the first woman to lead the intelligence community. More Biden staff picks are expected today.
The US could reach 20 million cumulative coronavirus cases by January 20, according to a new forecasting model. That means cases — already at record highs in some areas — would nearly double by then. For two weeks now, every day has brought a new record high for coronavirus hospitalizations. That number now stands at more than 85,800. And that optimistic news about the AstraZeneca vaccine with a 70% average effective rate? Medical experts still have a lot of questions about those findings, like what data led the drugmaker to conclusions about its effectiveness. As for whenever a vaccine is made available, members of a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory committee are reminding people that they may feel unwell for a bit after getting vaccinated — a common side effect of such regimens.
Officials in the Nigerian city of Lagos are investigating the shooting of protesters by military forces during widespread anti-police brutality demonstrations last month. However, a key piece of evidence is raising more questions than answers. The Lagos State government’s security camera footage of the Lekki toll gate shooting was played for a judicial panel this weekend. The footage shows soldiers approaching protesters and firing shots, but it pans away at a critical moment when other video from the scene shows the army appearing to fire directly at protesters. The US and UK have called on Nigeria to ensure that its investigation into the shooting — and the entire weeks-long series of protests leading up to the incident — is free and fair.
China appears to be doing quite a lot of building along a disputed border with India and Bhutan. The Doklam area in the Himalayas was the site of a months-long standoff in 2017, and new satellite imagery from a US-based company shows “significant construction activity,” including construction of “new military storage bunkers.” The Doklam area is claimed by both China and Bhutan, but it is also strategically important to India. Not only are Bhutan and India traditionally allies, but earlier this year, China and India had a separate clash along another disputed border area that left 20 soldiers dead. This pattern of Chinese fortification and possible border encroachment is echoed in the country’s recent behavior in the South China Sea, where it has shored up its position in several disputed areas.
Remember when we hoped plummeting pandemic travel would lead to cleaner air? That hasn’t happened. The concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere surged to a new record high this year, says the World Meteorological Organization. Turns out, the pandemic-related drop in carbon emissions was just a tiny blip on a much larger landscape. In related news, General Motors announced it’s withdrawing support from a Trump administration lawsuit aimed at taking away California’s decades-old right to set its own auto emissions rules, which are usually stricter than federal rules. Other automakers joined the Trump suit, saying they feared having to abide by two standards. However, with a new administration moving in next year, GM bowed out. Speaking of, Biden has appointed a new presidential envoy to tackle the climate crisis: former Secretary of State John Kerry.
‘Foot soldiers on the march to freedom’
David Dinkins, New York City’s first African American mayor, has died at age 93. Dinkins, a New Jersey native, served as the city’s 106th mayor, from 1990 to 1993.
‘Dancing with the Stars’ has crowned a new champion
The Mirrorball Trophy is basically the Stanley Cup of celebrity performance reality show awards.
‘Jeopardy!’ names Ken Jennings as its first interim host after Alex Trebek’s death
Because only a GOAT can fill another GOAT’s shoes.
These are the best of Netflix’s corny holiday rom-coms
Why, yes, we will be swaddling ourselves in a giant blanket and watching five hours of them in a row, why do you ask?
Ford’s new F-150 4×4 SuperCrew Limited hybrid comes with massage seats
Hauling stuff to the local solid waste management unit and then giving you a back rub: Get you a truck that can do both.
An invasive, snake-like hammerhead worm is popping up in Georgia
NO. Stop. Worms aren’t technically bugs, but the spirit still stands: No More Scary Bugs 2020!!!!!
Yes, Virginia, there will be a turkey pardoning
Despite the many changes swirling about the White House and his otherwise light schedule this month, President Trump is set to participate in the annual Thanksgiving turkey pardon later today.
That’s how many pickups and SUVs GM is recalling worldwide due to airbag problems. The recall centers on a defect in airbags made by Takata, the now-bankrupt Japanese manufacturer, that causes the bags to explode, spraying shrapnel through the vehicle.
“I think often of persecuted peoples: the Rohingya, the poor Uyghurs, the Yazidi — what ISIS did to them was truly cruel — or Christians in Egypt and Pakistan killed by bombs that went off while they prayed in church.”
Pope Francis, in his new book, “Let Us Dream: The Path to A Better Future.” This excerpt is significant because it is the first time the Pope has officially referred to China’s Uyghur minority as “persecuted,” breaking his silence on allegations of widespread human rights abuses toward the group.
The history of pumpkin pie
Hope you remembered to take the turkey out of the freezer, because time’s a-wastin’! (Click here to view.)
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