Nation/World

Despite the repeated warnings of public health experts and officials, millions of people traveled for Thanksgiving.

Perhaps you're one of them.

U.S. shoppers are on track to spend more than $755 billion during the holiday shopping season in what's expected to be a new sales record despite the coronavirus recession.

In fact, this year's Cyber Monday promises to become the largest online sales day in history. During the peak hour of 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Pacific time, shoppers could spend $13 million per minute, according to Adobe Digital Insights, which tracks online spending.

Updated at 5:37 p.m. ET

Officials in Arizona and Wisconsin have certified their states' presidential election results, affirming President-elect Joe Biden's razor-thin victories over President Trump in the two key swing states.

Don't promote democracy, talk about the royal families or comment on treatment of foreign workers.

Israel is advising tourism professionals and businesspeople to avoid discussing those and other sensitive political topics with residents of the United Arab Emirates, as it protects its new peace deal with the Gulf Arab country and promotes new daily flights between Dubai and Tel Aviv, launched last week.

With their savings running out, many Americans are being forced to use credit cards to pay for bills they can't afford — even their rent. Housing experts and economists say this is a blinking-red warning light that without more relief from Congress, the economy is headed for even more serious trouble.

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Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Two COVID-19 vaccines are moving toward an emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration, and both have been found to be more than 94% effective. Yet despite progress on the vaccine front, misinformation continues to spread, fueling doubts among skeptics who may decide not to take the vaccine at all.

Copyright 2020 Jefferson Public Radio. To see more, visit Jefferson Public Radio.

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Jamesha Waddell spent nearly two months in the hospital with COVID-19. She died earlier this month at just 23 years old.

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Jamesha Waddell spent nearly two months in the hospital with COVID-19. She died earlier this month at just 23 years old.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Her grandmother Janice Waddell had a nickname for Jamesha.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Jamesha Waddell spent nearly two months in the hospital with COVID-19. She died earlier this month at just 23 years old.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Her grandmother Janice Waddell had a nickname for Jamesha.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Jamesha Waddell spent nearly two months in the hospital with COVID-19. She died earlier this month at just 23 years old.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Her grandmother Janice Waddell had a nickname for Jamesha.

Copyright 2020 KOSU. To see more, visit KOSU.

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Jamesha Waddell spent nearly two months in the hospital with COVID-19. She died earlier this month at just 23 years old.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Her grandmother Janice Waddell had a nickname for Jamesha.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Jamesha Waddell spent nearly two months in the hospital with COVID-19. She died earlier this month at just 23 years old.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Her grandmother Janice Waddell had a nickname for Jamesha.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Jamesha Waddell spent nearly two months in the hospital with COVID-19. She died earlier this month at just 23 years old.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Her grandmother Janice Waddell had a nickname for Jamesha.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Jamesha Waddell spent nearly two months in the hospital with COVID-19. She died earlier this month at just 23 years old.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Her grandmother Janice Waddell had a nickname for Jamesha.

Updated at 7:17 p.m. ET

California hospitals are in a new surge of COVID-19 cases, and if trends continue, state intensive care units could be overwhelmed by Christmas Eve.

The state saw a new daily high for coronavirus cases, reaching 14,034 and an overall total of 1,212,968. An additional 20 deaths were reported for a total of 19,141.

China is deepening its spat with Australia, refusing to apologize after a government official posted an altered image of an Australian soldier holding a knife to a young Afghan boy's throat. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had asked for an apology; instead, a Chinese government representative excoriated Australia for its troops' alleged brutality in Afghanistan.

Biden's Historic Cabinet Nominations

19 hours ago

President-elect Joe Biden has announced more names to fill his economic and communications teams. NPR’s Mara Liasson discusses the historic Cabinet nominations and why some Republican senators could jeopardize at least one confirmation next year.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

The demand for testing is coinciding with coronavirus surges across the U.S, but the country isn’t keeping up. In many parts of the U.S., lines are long and test results can take days or weeks to come back.

Cyber Monday is usually the day when retailers flood the internet with online-only holiday deals. But online sales are already making records following Black Friday, and even though they’ve had months to prepare, retailers could face a challenge in getting all those packages delivered in time for Christmas.

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As surges in COVID-19 cases strain hospital capacity across the country, morgue capacity is also a growing concern for the coroner of Washoe County, Nevada.

Dr. Laura Knight has been preparing for a scenario where she could run out of space in the weeks ahead. She speaks with Here & Now‘s Robin Young.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Democrats made history in the Southwest in the 2020 election. As political analyst Ron Brownstein points out, the party will hold all the Senate seats in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico for the first time since the 1940s.

And the Democrats will hold all of those seats and the presidency for the first time since 1936. It’s a sign perhaps that the Sun Belt may be just as important as the Rust Belt in future elections.

The dawn of 2020 saw a record number of American children experiencing homelessness. For many of those million-plus children, school was the most reliable place in their life. So what happens when schools close, and education goes remote?  

Guests

Barbara Duffield, executive director of SchoolHouse Connection, a non-profit focused on homeless youth and education. (@DuffieldBarbara)

A Boston pastor recently invited Dr. Anthony Fauci for a Zoom meeting with her congregation to help build confidence in coronavirus vaccines. 

Anti-vaccination activists have been spreading false fears about vaccinations since the pandemic began, but health officials are worried about doubters with a well-founded distrust of the medical community, which experimented first on enslaved people and into the last century on Black Americans. 

The Historic 2020 Hurricane Season

20 hours ago

A significant hurricane season ends on Monday. In 2020, a record-breaking 30 storms were named and 12 made landfall in the continental United States. There were six major hurricanes, meaning the hurricanes had top winds of 111 mph or greater.

This is the most storms on record, surpassing the 28 from 2005, and the second-highest number of hurricanes on record.

Kaiser Health News’ Julie Rovner joins Here & Now‘s Peter O’Dowd to discuss who President-elect Joe Biden might nominate to be health secretary, and what influence Congress might have on the incoming administration’s coronavirus response including increased testing and a vaccine rollout.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

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