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CDC chief warns America.

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DECEMBER 3, 2020

Reuters News Now

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS TODAY

Americans face ‘rough’ winter
The head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned the pandemic will pose the country’s grimmest health crisis yet over the next few months, before vaccines become widely available.

CDC Director Dr Robert Redfield urged stricter adherence to safety precautions such as wearing face coverings, social distancing and good hand hygiene.

The reality is that December, January and February are going to be rough times,” Redfield told a livestream presentation hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. “I actually believe they’re going to be the most difficult time in the public health history of this nation.”

The mayor of Los Angeles ordered residents on Wednesday to stay in their homes and banned social gatherings.

Hackers targeting vaccine supply process
IBM is sounding the alarm over hackers targeting companies critical to the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, a sign that digital spies are turning their attention to the complex logistical work involved in inoculating the world’s population.

The information technology company said in a blog post published on Thursday that it had uncovered “a global phishing campaign” focused on organizations associated with the COVID-19 vaccine “cold chain” - the process needed to keep vaccine doses at extremely cold temperatures as they travel from manufacturers to people’s arms.

Germany to extend restrictions
Germany will extend restrictive measures designed to stem a tide of new infections until Jan. 10, Chancellor Angela Merkel said after talks with German state leaders.

The measures, which had been due to expire on Dec. 20, include keeping restaurants and hotels shut and limiting private gatherings to five people from two households.

While the daily rise in infection numbers has started to fall, Germany reported its highest single-day death toll on Wednesday since the start of the pandemic, and regions that had been spared the worst are seeing case numbers surge.

Spain caps year-end parties at 10 people
The Spanish government agreed with regional authorities that a maximum of 10 people per household will be allowed to gather for the Christmas and New Year holidays.

The agreement means a slight relaxation of the current general rule that allows gatherings of up to six people, except in some regions that have defined their own limits.

The start of the nighttime curfews in force in most Spanish regions would be moved to 1:30 a.m. from 11 p.m. on Dec. 24 and Dec. 31.

Last foreign Red Cross workers leave North Korea
The last remaining foreign staff of the International Committee of the Red Cross have left North Korea, the aid organization said on Thursday, the latest in a mass exodus of foreigners amid strict coronavirus lockdowns.

North Korea has reported zero confirmed cases, but the government has imposed stifling measures that in some cases go beyond the controls already in place in the politically and economically isolated country.

North Korea has suspended almost all international flights and cross-border train and road traffic, with residents near the border warned that guards would shoot anyone trying to cross.

Track the global spread with our live interactive graphic here.

Breakingviews - Corona Capital: Planes, High fashion, Bill Ackman. Even China can’t save luxury goods from a slow recovery, and Qantas gives its shareholders some hope. Catch up with the latest 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?

We need your tips, firsthand accounts, relevant documents or expert knowledge. Please contact us at coronavirus@reuters.com.

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U.S.

A group of U.S. states led by New York is investigating Facebook for possible antitrust violations and plans to file a lawsuit against the social media giant next week, four sources familiar with the matter said. The complaint would be the second major lawsuit filed against a Big Tech company this year.

President Donald Trump’s administration is pushing to finalize new immigration restrictions before his term ends in January, according to three senior homeland security officials, a last-gasp effort in a policy area that was a central focus during his four years in office.

Trump’s pardoning of his former adviser Michael Flynn has fueled speculation over whether the president could pardon other associates, and even members of his family, during his final weeks in office. Read an overview of Trump’s pardon power, which is sweeping but not absolute, here.

Trump’s threat to veto a defense bill if it does not repeal legal protections for social media companies faced stiff bipartisan opposition, setting the stage for a confrontation with lawmakers scrambling to pass the massive bill by year-end.

COVID SCIENCE

New coronavirus may have reached the U.S. last December
The new coronavirus may have been circulating in the United States last December, well before the first COVID-19 case was diagnosed on Jan. 19, a new analysis of donated blood reveals. Researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked for COVID-19 antibodies in archived samples of blood donations collected by the American Red Cross from Dec. 13, 2019 to Jan.

Some cancer therapies may prolong COVID-19 infectiousness
COVID-19 patients who received cancer treatments that suppress their immune system may remain contagious and able to spread the coronavirus for two months or more, according to a study published on Tuesday in The New England Journal of Medicine.

BUSINESS

How American investors are gobbling up booming bitcoin

Bitcoin has grabbed headlines this week with its dizzying ascent to an all-time high. Yet, under the radar, a trend has been playing out that could change the face of the cryptocurrency market: a massive flow of coin to North America from East Asia.

7 MIN READ

American Airlines goes full throttle to restore Boeing MAX fleet

American Airlines’ maintenance team is scrambling to complete safety changes to its fleet of Boeing 737 MAX jets ahead of a phased return to service, while deliveries of new jets are set to begin as early as this week.

3 MIN READ

3M to cut 2,900 jobs globally in restructuring

3M said it would undertake a restructuring that would impact about 2,900 jobs globally. The company expects to record a pre-tax charge of $250 million to $300 million as a result of the restructuring, it said.

1 MIN READ

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