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Coronavirus pandemic worsens with onset of cold weather; Report suggests unlawful killings of Afghans by Australian troops; Activists stage mock COP26 after coronavirus postponement

The United States has surpassed 250,000 deaths from the coronavirus — the highest death toll by far in the world — and is turning the corner into what public health experts say will be the worst phase yet of the pandemic. And, a new report shows that elite Australian soldiers unlawfully killed 39 people during the war in Afghanistan. Also, young climate activists around the world have staged a mock COP26 virtual gathering in place of the actual UN conference that was delayed from this month until November 2021 because of the coronavirus.

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Hurricane Iota lashes Central America; Trump considered Iran strike options; SpaceX Dragon docks at ISS

Hurricane Iota made landfall Monday in Nicaragua as a Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of 155 mph. President Donald Trump reportedly asked his advisers last week for options to attack Iran’s main nuclear site but then decided not to take any action. And, the SpaceX Dragon capsule docked with the International Space Station (ISS) after a 27-hour completely automated journey.

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Coronavirus case totals surge with colder temperatures; More foreign leaders call President-elect Biden; Typhoon Vamco strikes the Philippines

The number of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations continues to soar in the US, Europe and elsewhere, with death tolls expected to rise quickly as well. And, the leaders of Japan, South Korea and Australia had their first calls with US President-elect Joe Biden, reaffirming close relations. Also, the second typhoon in a week in a half has struck the Philippines.

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