Welcome to the Overnight News Digest with a crew consisting of founder Magnifico, regular editors side pocket, maggiejean, Chitown Kev, Interceptor7, Magnifico, annetteboardman, Besame and jck. Alumni editors include (but not limited to) Man Oh Man, wader, Neon Vincent, palantir, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse (RIP), ek hornbook (RIP), ScottyUrb, Doctor RJ, BentLiberal, Oke (RIP) and jlms qkw.
OND is a regular community feature on Daily Kos, consisting of news stories from around the world, sometimes coupled with a daily theme, original research or commentary. Editors of OND impart their own presentation styles and content choices, typically publishing each day near 12:00 AM Eastern Time.
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Covid-19: Global coronavirus cases pass 50 million
The total of confirmed coronavirus cases has surged past 50 million following record numbers of new cases in several countries.
More than 1.25 million people have now died after contracting the virus, according to Johns Hopkins university.
But the numbers are thought to be higher because of insufficient testing in many countries.
A second wave of the virus has accounted for a quarter of all cases, Reuters reported.
Europe, with more than 12.5 million cases and 305,700 deaths, is again a hotspot after being the first epicentre of the pandemic earlier this year.
In the US just under 10 million have tested positive. It has seen more than 125,000 cases per day three days in a row.
The states of North and South Dakota have the highest rates of death per capita.
'Very worst of the pandemic' ahead in US with no apparent strategy, experts say
A lame-duck presidency and political gridlock after a bitterly fought election are set to worsen the US’s coronavirus crisis just as the pandemic enters its deadliest phase, according to health experts.
With two months to go before a presidential handover from Donald Trump to Joe Biden, the federal government’s strategy for containing the virus has experts worried.
Outside of embracing conspiracy theories, Trump administration officials appear to have pinned their hopes on improved testing and eventual vaccine approval.
“The strategy, if you can summarize in one word, is hope,” said Dr Carlos del Rio, executive associate dean of the Emory School of Medicine and Grady Health System in Georgia. “And hope is not a strategy.”
And as Covid-19 cases surge, the economic recovery falters and coronavirus government aid runs out, the lack of a coordinated response to the pandemic during the interregnum will have serious consequences, according to experts.
Myanmar election: Aung San Suu Kyi win expected as vote count begins
Vote counting is under way in Myanmar following Sunday's general election, with Aung San Suu Kyi expected to win comfortably.
Millions voted in the election, just the second since military rule ended in 2011.
Ms Suu Kyi won the last election with a landslide victory and entered into a power-sharing agreement with generals who still hold huge power.
The results of the election are not expected until at least Monday.
Late on Sunday thousands of her supporters gathered outside her party's headquarters waving flags and chanting.
Despite Ms Suu Kyi's popularity, the Nobel Prize winner and global icon has dramatically fallen from grace internationally for her response to the Rohingya crisis.
Hundreds of thousands of Muslim Rohingyas fled an army crackdown in 2017 in what the UN described as ethnic cleansing. The army in Myanmar said it was targeting militants.
No comment: Some world leaders silent on Biden win
As many world leaders rushed to send President-elect Joe Biden congratulations on his projected US election victory over Donald Trump, others were notable in their silence on Sunday.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he would not congratulate Biden on his victory until all legal challenges are resolved.
While outspoken disappointment was scarce, several prominent leaders who have maintained warm relations with Trump’s administration also kept silent on Biden’s win. That included President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia.
Also noticeably absent from well-wishing were Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China Xi Jinping.
China’s rocky relationship with the Trump administration could continue under the president-elect. Biden has at times gone even further than the outgoing president in attacking China.
He has referred to Chinese President Xi Jinping as a “thug” and sworn to lead an international campaign to “pressure, isolate and punish China.”
His campaign has also labelled China’s actions against Muslims in Xinjiang “genocide” – a step further than current policy, with significant implications if that designation is formalised.
“The United States does need to get tough with China,” Biden said in an article published in March as the coronavirus pandemic, which was first recorded in the Chinese city of Wuhan, took hold.
Biden win opens door for improved predictability in China-U.S. relations: state media
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Chinese state media struck an optimistic tone in Monday in editorials reacting to Democrat Joe Biden’s win of the U.S. presidential elections, saying relations could be restored to a state of greater predictability and could start with trade.
While acknowledging the United States was unlikely ease pressure on China on issues such as Xinjiang and Hong Kong, state-backed newspaper Global Times said Beijing should work to communicate with the Biden team as thoroughly as it can.
The Trump administration had deliberately created tensions in China-U.S. relations, especially after adopting a campaign strategy of pressuring China, which led to “bubbles” occurring in U.S.-China policy, it said.
“We believe it is possible to pop those bubbles,” it said. “It’s in the common interests of people from both countries and of international community that China-U.S. relations become eased and controllable.”
Storm Eta hits Cuba, expected to be hurricane and strike Florida (Punishment?)
A strengthening Tropical Storm Eta sliced across Cuba Sunday and was aimed at the southern tip of Florida, where a hurricane warning was posted for a storm that has left scores dead and over 100 missing in Mexico and Central America, where it hit last week as a major hurricane.
The United States’ National Hurricane Center in Miami said the storm could become a hurricane again before reaching the Florida Keys and it declared hurricane and storm surge warnings for the Keys from Ocean Reef to the Dry Tortugas, including Florida Bay, with the storm expected to reach that area by Monday night or early Tuesday.
Eta had maximum sustained winds of 100km/h (62mph) on Sunday morning and it was centred just north of Cuba about 380km (235 miles) south-southeast of Miami. It was moving toward the north at 22km/h (14 mph).
The storm swelled rivers and flooded coastal zones in Cuba, where 25,000 had been evacuated. But there were no reports of deaths.
Eta hit Cuba even as searchers in Guatemala were still digging for people believed buried by a massive, rain-fuelled landslide. Authorities on Sunday raised the known death toll there to 27 from 15 and said more than 100 were missing in Guatemala, many of them in the landslide in San Cristobal Verapaz.
PM who won Nobel peace prize takes Ethiopia to brink of civil war
The beginning of the week saw Abiy Ahmed, the prime minister of Ethiopia, in one role: a forward-looking statesman, with a vision of peace and prosperity, and a tailored suit. The 44-year-old leader was at Addis Ababa’s recently modernised airport to welcome General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, effective leader of neighbouring Sudan for a two-day visit including trade discussions and tours of the Ethiopian capital’s skyscrapers, a seedling nursery and an industrial park.
The second half of the week saw Abiy in a different mode: on national television in a dark bomber jacket to make the startling announcement he had ordered troops to respond to an alleged deadly attack on a government military base by local forces in the country’s Tigray province.
A day later, senior Ethiopian generals spoke of being “at war” amid reports of artillery duels, while officials in Tigray claimed that jets had bombed parts of its capital.
'Secret Life Of Supermarkets' Shines A Light On Bounty's Dark Side
The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly heightened our awareness of our food supply — and the grocery stores we visit to stock up. Grocery workers became even more essential in March and April, as many of the rest of us were sent home to work or were laid off.
But how much do most customers know about what really goes on behind the scenes in our local supermarkets — now or before the pandemic? What's gained and lost as all that food makes its way to the shelves?
Author Benjamin Lorr spent five years looking into that as he studied all aspects of American supermarkets — from the suppliers, the distributors, and supply routes, to the workers in the retail outlets themselves. In the reporting for his new book The Secret Life of Groceries: The Dark Miracle of the American Supermarket, Lorr met with farmers and field workers and spent 120-hours-straight driving the highways with a trucker as she made her multistate rounds. He worked the fish counter at a Whole Foods market for a few months, and went to trade shows to learn about entrepreneurs who were trying to break into the industry. He also traveled to Asia to learn about commodity fishing – finding human rights violations along his journey.
Biden win pumps up risk assets, dollar nurses losses
SYDNEY (Reuters) - Shares surged, oil prices jumped and the dollar stayed weak on Monday as expectations of fewer regulatory changes and more monetary stimulus under U.S. president-elect Joe Biden supported risk appetite.
The Democratic candidate’s victory at the U.S. Presidential election was largely priced-in by markets, which had been trading with the view of a Biden presidency and a Republican-controlled U.S. Senate since last week.
E-mini futures for the S&P 500 ESc1 jumped more than 1.5% on Monday while Nasdaq futures NQc1 rallied over 2%, signalling a positive start for U.S. markets.
New York Times
Christian Conservatives Respond to Trump’s Loss and Look Ahead
When President Trump won the White House four years ago in a surprise victory, conservative Christians could not believe their good fortune.
At every turn of his presidency, he gave them everything they wanted: Two hundred federal judges appointed for life. An embassy in Jerusalem. Anti-abortion policies. Two Supreme Court Justices, and then in the final hours, a third. He was their bulwark, their defender, at a time when the country as they knew it, and their place in it, was changing. And he brought their movement to a pinnacle of political maturity. As Republican evangelicals around the country processed the week’s events, they reflected on how much they had gained in the last four years and on their fears over what could happen under a Biden administration. They also wondered when and how they would regain power.
Donna Rigney, a pastor whose church meets in the lodge of an R.V. park in Salt Springs, Fla., had supported the president since 2016, when she received what she saw as a direct message from God supporting his candidacy.
After this election, she sent an email to the people in her prayer circles urging them not to give up. “We have to drag Donald Trump over the finish line with prayers of faith, worship, fasting and staying in the place of loving and forgiving our enemies,” she wrote.
Back from the dead: Race to save Romania's 65 million-year-old fish
In a tiny stretch of the fast-flowing Valsan river in Romania lives one of the rarest fish in Europe, and quite possibly the world.
The 65-million-year-old Asprete was first discovered by a biology student in 1956, and for decades it has teetered on the brink of extinction.
"After many years trying to save [it], people were telling us that the species was extinct," Nicolae Craciun, a 59-year-old biologist, told the BBC. "But we were sure they still existed."
The Asprete, a small nocturnal fish that hides under rocks, has an uncertain future and faces myriad threats.
Official estimates number the population at around 10-15 specimens, which are thought to exist on a 1km (0.6 mile) stretch of the shallow, rocky Valsan. This compares with around 200 specimens in the early 2000s.
But a small team of scientists and conservationists are campaigning to save the endemic fish species, also known as Romanichthys valsanicola.
And they have been encouraged by a recent discovery in the river.