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Anti-abortion activist: Planned Parenthood targets minority areas

Abby Johnson, a prominent pro-life activist, used her address at the Republican National Convention on Tuesday to advocate for the movement and stated that "Planned Parenthood abortion facilities are strategically located in minority neighborhoods."

  • "I was awarded Planned Parenthood’s Employee of the Year award and invited to their annual gala where they present the Margaret Sanger Award, named for their founder... And every year Planned Parenthood celebrates its racist roots by presenting the Margaret Sanger award."

Between the lines: Johnson said in a recent video that police officers would be "smart" to racially profile her biracial son, Jude, because “statistically, my brown son is more likely to commit a violent offense over my white sons," according to Vice News.

  • “Right now, Jude is an adorable, perpetually tan-looking little brown boy,” Johnson said. “But one day, he’s going to grow up and he’s going to be a tall, probably sort of large, intimidating-looking-maybe brown man. And my other boys are probably gonna look like nerdy white guys.”

More quotes from her speech:

  • "They don’t know about the Products of Conception room in abortion clinics, where infant corpses are pieced back together to ensure nothing remains in the mothers; Or that we joked and called it the “Pieces of Children” room."
  • "For me, abortion’s real. I know what it sounds like; what it smells like. I’ve been the perpetrator ... to these babies ... to these women."
  • "This election is a choice between two radical, anti-life activists, and the most pro-life President we’ve ever had. That’s something that should compel you to action ... Take action that re-elects our President. And do it with our most vulnerable Americans in mind – the ones who haven’t been born yet."

AstraZeneca CEO: "We need to do an additional study" on COVID vaccine

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on Thursday the company is likely to start a new global trial to measure how effective its coronavirus vaccine is, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Following Phase 3 trials, Oxford and AstraZeneca said their vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses.

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National standardized tests delayed until 2022 because of COVID-19

National standardized reading and math tests have been pushed from next year to 2022, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: There’s mounting national evidence that students are suffering major setbacks this year, with a surge in the number of failing grades.

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"Relaxing too fast": Europeans extend COVID lockdowns to reduce risk of Christmas third wave

Recent spikes in COVID-19 infections across Europe have led authorities to extend restrictions ahead of the holiday season.

Why it matters: "Relaxing too fast and too much is a risk for a third wave after Christmas," said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

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Expert says COVID vaccine likely won't be available in Africa until Q2 of 2021

Africa may have to wait until the second quarter of 2021 to roll out vaccines, Africa CDC director John Nkengasong said Thursday, according to the Associated Press.

Why it matters: “I have seen how Africa is neglected when drugs are available,” Nkengasong said.

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The winners and losers of the COVID holiday season

The pandemic has upended Thanksgiving and the shopping season that the holiday kicks off, creating a new crop of economic winners and losers.

The big picture: Just as it has exacerbated inequality in every other facet of American life, the coronavirus pandemic is deepening inequities in the business world, with the biggest and most powerful companies rapidly outpacing the smaller players.

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Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving

Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise/Axios

The daily rate of new coronavirus infections rose by about 10 percent in the final week before Thanksgiving, continuing a dismal trend that may get even worse in the weeks to come.

Why it matters: Travel and large holiday celebrations are most dangerous in places where the virus is spreading widely — and right now, that includes the entire U.S.

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Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled late Wednesday that restrictions imposed on New York places of worship by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) during the coronavirus pandemic violated the First Amendment, per Bloomberg.

Why it matters: The decision in a 5-4 vote heralds one of the first significant actions by the new President Trump-appointed conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who cast the deciding vote in favor of the Catholic Church and Orthodox Jewish synagogues.

Editor's note: This a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

Trump agency head who often skips mask tests positive for coronavirus

The acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development informed senior staff Wednesday he has tested positive for coronavirus, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Barsa, who staffers say rarely wears a mask in their office, is the latest in a series of top administration officials to contract the virus. His positive diagnosis comes amid broader turmoil at the agency following the election.

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