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COVID-19 forces new health restrictions.

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Accessed on 17 November 2020, 2033 UTC, Post 735.

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Russ Roberts

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4:34 AM (6 hours ago)
to me
by Korva Coleman and Jill Hudson

First Up

President-elect Joe Biden walks by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris before delivering remarks on his plan for economic recovery under his incoming administration.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Here's what we're following today.

The U.S. is entering the most challenging phase of the pandemic to date, and more states are reimposing coronavirus restrictions as numbers of new infections continue surging. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, who once dismissed coronavirus restrictions as "feel good" measures, announced Monday that everyone in the state aged two and older is required to wear a mask in indoor public spaces. 

President-elect Joe Biden says he fears more people will die if he has to wait until mid-January to coordinate plans for distributing a COVID-19 vaccine once it's approved. Biden is urging the White House to coordinate with his transition team. President Trump has yet to concede the 2020 election. 

Hopes for a vaccine have brought good times back to financial markets. Wall Street hit a record high on Monday after Moderna announced they have made progress toward developing an effective COVID-19 vaccine.

The White House will bring home 2,500 troops from Afghanistan and Iraq by the end of the year. The move is opposed by senior military leaders, given Afghanistan's fragile state. 

President Trump lost, but House Republicans had a better-than-anticipated 2020 election. They picked up at least eight seats and narrowed the House Democrats' majority.

Hurricane Iota is weakening rapidly as it plows deeper into Central America. It made landfall on Monday on Nicaragua's Atlantic coast as a much stronger Cat. 4 storm. 

Four astronauts aboard their SpaceX Dragon capsule "Resilience" have arrived at the International Space Station, where they will stay until spring.

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Today's Listens

Sacks of coal byproducts await sale at a manufacturing site in northwestern China's Ningxia region, where Benjamin Chen works as a salesperson.
Emily Feng/NPR

China banned fentanyl last year, but an NPR investigation reveals how Chinese vendors continue to market the chemicals used to make the drug on e-commerce and social media sites. Click here to listen or read the story. Much of the fentanyl reaching American street markets comes from mainland China despite restrictions imposed by their government last year.

The Baltimore Museum of Art's plan to sell three pieces of art to fundamentally alter its diversity drew so much criticism it had to be canceled. Listen here

Choreographer JaQuel Knight created the iconic routines in Beyonce’s "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)" and Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B’s "WAP." Now he’s working to copyright his choreography to stop corporations from unfairly profiting from them. Listen to the story here or read the profile

The Picture Show

A man paints the newly opened Mazaleni tuck shop in Covid. It sells a mix of products, from soap to matches to chips. In the foreground men drink at a outdoor shabeen — an unlicensed bar.
Samantha Reinders for NPR

Izwelethu, also known as "Covid," is an illegal settlement outside Cape Town comprising more than 800 tin shacks and 3,000-plus residents. It was started in March, when South Africa's national lockdown began, and has been weathering a number of storms ever since. It's just one of many new settlements that have sprung up on the outskirts of Cape Town during the pandemic. 

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