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Wednesday 23 December 2020

Cambridge, England
New York Times reporting: On a recent evening, the 16 boys and 14 men of the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, stood in the gothic chapel where they perform, spread out in the flickering candlelight. A few of the choristers gazed at the vaulted ceiling about 80 feet above them. Then Daniel Hyde, the choir’s music director, signaled that he was ready to begin, and all slipped off the masks they had been wearing to sing “I Saw Three Ships,” a sprightly carol that will be heard by about 100 million people Thursday.
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Monday 21 December 2020

New York, USA
Just as vaccines begin to offer hope for a path out of the pandemic, officials in Britain on Saturday sounded an urgent alarm about what they called a highly contagious new variant of the coronavirus circulating in England.
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Tuesday 8 December 2020

New York, USA
Science Times: Walking for at least 11 minutes a day could reduce the undesirable health consequences of sitting for hours and hours, according to a helpful new study of the ways in which both inactivity and exercise influence how long we live. The study, which relied on objective data from tens of thousands of people about how they spent their days, found that those who were the most sedentary faced a high risk of dying young, but if people got up and moved, they slashed that threat substantially, even if they did not move much.
Tuesday 8 December 2020

Cambridge-MA, USA
According to the conventional wisdom, the twenty-first century will be characterized by the global shift from American hegemony to Sino-American rivalry. But a bipolar international order is neither inevitable nor desirable, and in fact, would be deeply unstable. Its emergence would heighten the risk of violent conflict and three of the biggest challenges facing humanity would either be ignored or made worse. We should start imagining and working toward alternative arrangements. - By Daron Acemoglu.
Wednesday 2 December 2020

Geneva, Switzerland
The shock of COVID-19 has pushed the number of people who need humanitarian assistance worldwide to a record high – up by 40 per cent compared to the same time last year. UN Secretary-General António Guterres said yesterday that humanitarian aid budgets face dire shortfalls as the impact of the global pandemic continues to worsen and called for the world to mobilize resources and “stand in solidarity with people in their darkest hour of need." Multiple famines loom on the horizon for poor countries.
Monday 30 November 2020

Geneva, Switzerland
New York Times reporting: An unexpected contest over the 2021 presidency of the U.N. Human Rights Council is pitting some of the United Nations' most powerful member states against tiny Pacific Island nations and is playing out as U.N. members jockey for influence in anticipation of a new, more engaged U.S. administration.
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Monday 30 November 2020

San Francisco, USA
New York Times science reporting: Take a moment to marvel at the full moon. Do you notice anything different? It’s subtle, but on November 30 (Sunday night if you’re on the U.S. west coast) [Monday night in Tonga], the full moon should appear a bit darker than usual. That’s because you’re witnessing a penumbral lunar eclipse, a celestial occurrence in which the moon dips behind Earth’s faint, outer shadow, or penumbra.
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Friday 27 November 2020

New York, USA
New York Times reporting: A day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged Americans to stay home for Thanksgiving, more than 1 million people in the United States got on planes, marking the second day that more than 1 million people have flown since March. Nearly 3 million additional people have flown in the days since. For some, the desire to see family is worth the risk of potentially getting the coronavirus while traveling.
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Wednesday 25 November 2020

Melbourne, Australia
New York times reporting: The shark attacked Sunday, when Charles Cernobori, 59 and a father of three, was bodysurfing off Cable Beach in Western Australia. A couple found him, dragged him to the beach and called emergency services.
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Wednesday 25 November 2020

Washington DC, USA
Though it has not come as a surprise, the attack on the credibility of the 2020 election by US President Donald Trump and his Republican Party cannot simply be brushed under the rug of history. Once the norms that underpin constitutional democracy have been tossed aside, there is little left to fight for. America’s failures to address past injustices – including the subjugation of indigenous peoples, slavery, racism, and the deprivations of the poor, immigrants, and the incarcerated – helps to explain why trust in democratic institutions has been so corroded in the first place. Having been made brittle, America’s institutions have long been vulnerable to attack. By Katharina Pistor
Tuesday 24 November 2020

New York, USA
New York Times reporting: Emily Murphy, the administrator of the US General Services Administration, on Monday formally designated Joe Biden as the apparent winner of the US presidential election, providing federal funds and resources to begin a transition and authorizing his advisers to begin coordinating with Trump administration officials.
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Monday 23 November 2020

New York, USA
New York Times reporting: At the end of a tough year, spiritual leaders offer some ways to prepare yourself for whatever comes next. By Erik Vance.
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Thursday 19 November 2020

New York, USA
New York Times reporting: The United States passed a grim milestone Wednesday, hitting 250,000 coronavirus-related deaths, with the number expected to keep climbing steeply as infections surge nationwide. Experts predict that the country could soon be reporting 2,000 deaths a day or more.
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Monday 16 November 2020

Beijing, China
New York Times reporting: After eight years of talks, China and 14 other nations from Japan to New Zealand to Myanmar on Sunday formally signed one of the world’s largest regional free trade agreements, a pact shaped by Beijing partly as a counterweight to U.S. influence in the region.
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Friday 13 November 2020

New York, USA
New York Times reporting: The New York Times and other news media outlets have not anointed Biden the winner of the presidential election but have just done the math: the former vice president has won enough states by enough votes that Trump cannot overcome those deficits through legal challenges or recounts. Most states are set to certify their election results and declare winners by the end of November.
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Sunday 8 November 2020

Melbourne, Australia
Joe Biden has won the US presidency, but he will have a hard time restoring ethical concerns in a country with so many voters who have become indifferent to the well-being of those outside their immediate communities. Donald Trump has been defeated, but the election showed that more Americans than ever have come to identify with his narcissism. By Peter Singer
Sunday 8 November 2020

New York, USA
New York Times reporting: The former vice president achieved victory offering a message of healing and unity. He will return to Washington facing a daunting set of crises.
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Thursday 5 November 2020

London, United Kingdom
New York Times reporting: An indecisive U.S. presidential election hurtling toward legal challenges transfixed the world Wednesday, with viewers in Europe, Asia and elsewhere riveted by the pitched battle between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden and appalled by Trump’s demand to stop counting votes. By Mark Landler and Damien Cave.
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Tuesday 3 November 2020

Canberra, Australia
Whoever claims victory in the US presidential contest this week, Washington’s grasp over Asia’s future is on the wane. The world’s confidence in US power and the moral authority it once commanded and the capacity to deploy it are much diminished. Even the most energetic and driven administration won’t restore it easily, soon or perhaps ever. ...The reality is that small and middle powers in Asia now have to play an unfamiliar leadership role. This ominous responsibility will remain long after the 46th President of the United States settles into the White House. By East Asia Forum editors.
Monday 2 November 2020

New York, USA
New York Times reporting: From the droves of people voting by mail to the widespread protests for racial justice to the pandemic and worries about the electoral process itself, the 2020 US election cycle provides “a recipe for a lot of angst” on Election Day, Nov. 3 ...“We’re seeing a huge increase in the need for mental health services,” said Eva Escobedo, a therapist in Texas. “I think that people are way more polarized even within their families and essential groups than they ever have been before.” So how can you engage with friends and family members across the political divide on Election Day and afterward without succumbing to fights and finger-pointing? By Katherine Cusumano.
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