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Singapore studies pregnancy puzzle.

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NOVEMBER 30, 2020

Reuters News Now

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS TODAY

Singapore studies pregnancy puzzle
Doctors are studying the impact of COVID-19 on pregnant women and their unborn babies in Singapore, where an infant delivered by an infected mother earlier this month had antibodies against the virus but did not carry the disease.

The ongoing study among the city-state’s public hospitals adds to international efforts to better understand whether the infection or antibodies can be transferred during pregnancy, and if the latter offers an effective shield against the virus.

The World Health Organization says while some pregnant women have an increased risk of developing severe COVID-19, it is not yet known whether an infected pregnant woman can pass the virus to her foetus or baby during pregnancy or delivery.

COVID-19 infections are still rising in 64 countries. There have been at least 62,428,000 reported infections and 1,455,000 reported deaths caused by the new coronavirus so far. Track daily COVID-19 infections and deaths data for 240 countries and territories around the world.

Novavax delays U.S. vaccine trial again
Vaccine maker Novavax said it has pushed back the start of a U.S.-based, late-stage trial for its experimental COVID-19 vaccine and now expects it to begin in the coming weeks instead of this month. It is the second time that Novavax, which already has a late-stage UK trial underway, has rescheduled the Phase 3 trial after first flagging an October start, due to issues in scaling up its manufacturing.

England’s infections down 30% during lockdown
COVID-19 infections have fallen by 30% during England’s month-long national lockdown, and the virus is now in retreat, a large-scale study of more than 100,000 volunteers showed. England began its second national lockdown on Nov. 5 to curb rapidly rising infection numbers and protect its health system. The country is due to return to a regional approach to restrictions from Dec. 2.

Infected returnees skip quarantine in Thailand
Thailand was racing to track down about 200 people in its northern provinces to stop a potential outbreak, after three Thai nationals entered the country illegally from Myanmar and tested positive days later. Three women bypassed immigration checks and entered via natural border crossings last Tuesday and Friday, skipping the mandatory quarantine for new arrivals, Chiang Rai provincial governor Prachon Pratsakul said.

Malaria death toll to exceed COVID-19’s in sub-Saharan Africa
Deaths from malaria due to disruptions during the coronavirus pandemic to services designed to tackle the mosquito-borne disease will far exceed those killed by COVID-19 in sub-Saharan Africa, the World Health Organization warned. More than 409,000 people globally - most of them babies in the poorest parts of Africa - were killed by malaria last year, the WHO said, and COVID-19 will almost certainly push that toll higher in 2020.

From Breakingviews - Corona Capital: Swiss vote, ABN Amro, Aussie wine.
Swiss voters narrowly reject a plan to make multinationals liable for human rights abuses abroad, and Australian wine falls victim to China trade tensions. Catch up with the latest pandemic-related financial insights.

Reuters reporters and editors around the world are investigating the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

We need your help to tell these stories. Our news organization wants to capture the full scope of what’s happening and how we got here by drawing on a wide variety of sources.

Are you a government employee or contractor involved in coronavirus testing or the wider public health response? Are you a doctor, nurse or health worker caring for patients? Have you worked on similar outbreaks in the past? Has the disease known as COVID-19 personally affected you or your family? Are you aware of new problems that are about to emerge, such as critical supply shortages?

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U.S.

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to unveil his picks for several top economic positions as early as Monday when he will also finally receive his first classified intelligence briefing, an essential step towards taking control of national security.

While Biden’s transition to the White House appeared to be hitting its stride, the president-elect was hobbling after fracturing his foot while playing with his dog.

Supreme Court justices are set to consider President Donald Trump’s move to exclude illegal immigrants from the population totals used to allocate congressional districts to states, a facet of his hardline stance toward immigration being pursued in his final weeks in office.

The challengers to Trump’s July directive include various states led by New York, cities, counties and immigrant rights groups. They have argued that the Republican president’s move could leave several million people uncounted and cause California, Texas and New Jersey to lose House seats, which are based on a state’s population count in the decennial census.

WORLD

Democracy Darkens: Prince Wong is part of a crop of young democrats in the so-called ‘resistance bloc’ who aim to upend Hong Kong’s political order through disruptive, unorthodox tactics. A year after young activists, veteran democrats, working-class families and middle-class professionals collectively formed the boldest people’s revolt against Beijing in decades, Hong Kong is being ‘mainlandized’ with shocking rapidity, democracy advocates say.

A senior Iranian official said an opposition group was suspected alongside Israel in the killing of a prominent Iranian nuclear scientist, an attack that has raised the prospect of a new standoff between Tehran and its longtime enemy. Iran will give a “calculated and decisive” response to the killing of scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, said a top adviser to Iran’s supreme leader, while a hardline newspaper suggested Tehran’s revenge should include striking the Israeli city of Haifa.

Twitter has suspended a Thai pro-royalist account linked to the palace that a Reuters analysis found was connected to thousands of others created in recent weeks spreading posts in favor of King Maha Vajiralongkorn and the monarchy.

BUSINESS

Exclusive: Trump to add China's SMIC and CNOOC to defense blacklist - sources

The Trump administration is poised to add China’s top chipmaker SMIC and national offshore oil and gas producer CNOOC to a blacklist of alleged Chinese military companies, according to a document and sources, curbing their access to U.S. investors and escalating tensions with Beijing weeks before President-elect Joe Biden takes office.

5 MIN READ

Exclusive: VW's executive committee to convene Tuesday to discuss CEO's future

Volkswagen Group’s executive committee is convening on Tuesday to discuss Chief Executive Herbert Diess’s demand for a contract extension, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

2 MIN READ

Cyber Monday set to be biggest online shopping day in U.S. history

Cyber Monday is on track to bring in a record of as much as $12.7 billion in online sales, according to latest industry estimates, surpassing Black Friday’s digital numbers as U.S. retailers reached the last leg of an extended holiday selling season caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

3 MIN READ

OIL

OPEC+ to discuss extending oil cuts or gradually raising output

OPEC+ members will consider whether to extend existing oil cuts for three to four months or to increase output gradually from January during their two days of talks that start on Monday, OPEC+ sources told Reuters.

3 MIN READ

U.S. shale firms amp up natural gas output as futures signal more gains

Higher natural gas futures prices for 2021 and a continued glut of crude oil are prodding U.S. shale firms to boost gas drilling and production. Shale producers are increasing spending on natural gas, a change from the past, amid forecasts for a 45% jump in gas prices next year compared to a 15% gain for Brent prices.

4 MIN READ

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