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Trump's election loss has upended America's news landscape

President Trump's election loss has upended America's news landscape, cementing a parallel universe on the right where even Fox News isn't Trumpy enough for millions of his diehards.

Why it matters: The coming diffusion of news across many easily-accessible streaming channels will likely cause Americans to become even further entrenched in their own, partisan filter bubbles. This could lead to the most profound change in news consumption that America has seen in decades.

After years of dominance in cable ratings by Rupert Murdoch's Fox News, CNN in the past few weeks has pulled ahead consistently for the first time since 9/11.

  • In the week ending Sunday, CNN averaged 1.73 million viewers in Nielsen ratings — more than double from a year ago, AP reports. Fox News had 1.56 million. MSNBC had 1.53 million.

What's happening: Fox News is facing unprecedented competition from a pair of insurgent conservative cable challengers that are finding a gold mine in pandering to Trump loyalists who want to believe he still has a chance.

  • On Monday, ratings for Newsmax passed Fox for the first time ever, CNN's Brian Stelter reports.
  • As the Biden era begins, MSNBC has seen ratings gains for some daytime programs and for Rachel Maddow's marquee 9 p.m. show.

So Fox News' powerful primetime lineup, which has led cable news ratings for years, now has a two-front war: upstarts Newsmax and One America News (OAN), and tougher competition from traditional rivals CNN and MSNBC.

  • Fox News still led all cable networks last week, with an average of 2.65 million viewers. ESPN had 2.45 million, MSNBC had 2.18 million, CNN had 1.92 million and Hallmark had 1.67 million, per AP.
  • Fox said it had its highest-rated November ever.

Our thought bubble: The inevitable transition from cable to streaming means that it's unlikely that three networks will dominate the political news landscape, as they have for the past 24 years.

Biden explains justification for Syria strike in letter to congressional leadership

President Biden told congressional leadership in a letter Saturday that this week's airstrike against facilities tied to Iranian-backed militia groups in Syria was consistent with the U.S. right to self-defense.

Why it matters: Some Democrats, including Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), have criticized the Biden administration for the strike and demanded a briefing.

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FDA authorizes Johnson & Johnson's one-shot COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

The Food and Drugs Administration on Saturdayissued an emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson's one-shot coronavirus vaccine.

Why it matters: The authorization of a third coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. will help speed up the vaccine rollout across the country, especially since the J&J shot only requires one dose as opposed to Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech's two-shot vaccines.

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Italy tightens COVID restrictions for 5 regions amid warnings of a growing prevalence of variants

Italy on Saturday announced it was tightening restrictions in five of the country's 20 regions in an effort curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Driving the news: The announcement comes as health experts and scientists warn of the more transmissible coronavirus variants, per Reuters.

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Palestinian Authority announces new COVID restrictions as cases surge

The Palestinian Authority on Saturday announced fresh coronavirus restrictions, including a partial lockdown, for the occupied West Bank as COVID-19 cases surge.

The big picture: The new measures come as Israel, which leads the world in vaccinations, faces increased pressure to ensure Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip have equal access to vaccines.

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Myanmar military fires UN ambassador after anti-coup speech

Myanmar's military regime on Saturday fired the country's Ambassador to the United Nations, Kyaw Moe Tun, a day after he gave a pro-democracy speech asking UN member nations to publicly condemn the Feb. 1 coup, The New York Times reports.

Details: State television said the ambassador had "betrayed the country and spoken for an unofficial organization which doesn’t represent the country and had abused the power and responsibilities of an ambassador."

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Scoop: Biden admin call on Putin pipeline provokes GOP anger

A briefing between the State Department and congressional staff over Vladimir Putin's Russia-Germany gas pipeline got tense this week, with Biden officials deflecting questions about why they hadn't moved faster and more aggressively with sanctions tostop its completion.

  • The Biden officials also denied negotiating with the Germans over a potential side deal to allow the pipeline to be finished.
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