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African-American to lead U.S. State Department.

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4:43 AM (6 hours ago)
to me
by Korva Coleman and Jill Hudson

First Up

Gen. Lloyd Austin addresses military recruits during an induction ceremony in Tampa, Fla., in 2015.
Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP
Here's what we're following today.

President-elect Joe Biden plans to name Lloyd Austin, a retired U.S. Army four-star general, as his pick for secretary of defense in his incoming administration. Austin will bring to the Pentagon decades of military experience. He would be the first African American to lead the department.

Vaccinations against the coronavirus have begun in the U.K. A 90-year-old woman from Coventry received the first vaccine shot as part of the United Kingdom's nationwide immunization campaign launched Tuesday. And the Food and Drug Administration's analysis of the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer and its partner BioNTech finds it effective and safe.

A federal judge on Monday fully blocked the Trump administration's attempt to ban TikTok in the U.S., the latest defeat in the White House's legal efforts against the video-sharing app.

Dr. Anthony Fauci is urging people to spend the holidays with as few people as possible as the pandemic spreads rapidly across the country. 

Virginia Military Institute removed a statue of Confederate Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson from its grounds on Monday. It’ll be relocated to the Virginia Museum of the Civil War. The statue got attention after The Washington Post reported that Black VMI students and alumni endured “relentless racism.”

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Today's Listens

Chuck Yeager, standing next to the "Glamorous Glennis," the Bell X-1 experimental plane in which he first broke the sound barrier.
AP

One of the world's most famous aviators has died: Chuck Yeager — best known as the first to break the sound barrier — died at the age of 97. Many people learned about him decades after his legendary test flights after the publication of the book and popular 1983 movie The Right StuffListen here or read the obituary

Nearly 60 years after writing such counterculture classics as "Blowin' in the Wind" and "Like a Rolling Stone," Bob Dylan has sold his entire songwriting catalog — more than 600 songs — to Universal Music Publishing Group in a deal announced Monday morning by Universal. Click here for the story
 
These days only park rangers and loggers are allowed in to Big Basin Redwoods State Park following a devastating wildfire that destroyed most of the infrastructure in California's oldest and one of its most iconic state parks. Big Basin is home to the largest continuous stand of ancient coastal redwoods south of San Francisco.
Eric Westervelt/NPR

California's ancient redwoods are facing new challenges from wildfires and a warming climate. Click here to listen or read the story

Santiago Potes is one of the hundreds of thousands of DACA-recipients currently living in the U.S. He is also the first Latino DACA recipient to be awarded a prestigious Rhodes scholarship. Listen to his story or read about it

The Picture Show

Children climb a tree on the grounds of a school in La Rivera Hernandez, a neighborhood in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, that is notorious for high levels of violence in a city that has some of the highest homicide rates in the world.
Danielle Villasana

A new photo exhibit by the photography group Authority Collective and the nonprofit Atlanta Celebrates Photography captures the hope and strength of teens and children living through incredibly difficult circumstances around the globe. The exhibit is currently on display until the end of the year at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, but you can see some of the images by clicking here

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