Experts disputed the Oxford-developed vaccine’s claims of 70 percent effectiveness, pointing out that major trials showed 62 percent efficacy, while only a small UK test generated a higher result of 90 percent. Share prices dropped and the company announced it would rerun final stage trials before seeking approval. Meanwhile, new case numbers zoomed up as Americans celebrated Thanksgiving, but the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to reject COVID-19 restrictions on religious gatherings, in what many see as a sign of things to come with unequivocal conservative control of the high court.
Taking media questions for the first time since the election, President Donald Trump said that if the electoral college certifies Joe Biden as his successor, he’ll vacate the White House. But he refused to concede President-elect Biden’s win, alleging widespread voter fraud without evidence. To a reporter who pushed back, he said, “Don’t talk to me that way. You’re just a lightweight.” While Trump says he’s still focused on this election rather than a future White House run, aides have said he’s considering another try in 2024.
After accusations of brutality against refugees earlier this week, Parisian police have sparked new outrage over footage of officers viciously beating a Black music producer in his studio. Lawmakers recently decided to advance a bill that would make it illegal to share such video online. Meanwhile, Indian police tear gassed thousands of farmers marching to protest new laws that they fear will make them vulnerable to exploitation by large corporations. The farmers, who say they’re determined to keep going, have been seen using their tractors to tear down police barricades.
4. Retailers Brace as Holiday Shopping Season Begins
Though the yearly ritual of a Black Friday shopping free-for-all has had to change in deference to public health measures, stores are worried about what the pandemic may mean for their holiday bottom line. Many Americans have less cash to spend, and a switch to online shopping in the face of closures and lockdowns could be disastrous for small businesses. Meanwhile, economist Yanis Varoufakis called for a boycott of Amazon during today’s shopping bonanza, pointing out that the company has profited massively from the pandemic despite complaints from workers over poor treatment.
Try This: Feeling presidential after a week of briefings? Prove it with the OZY News Quiz!
You Got It! We asked earlier this week which KBO baseball team was dead last in the league’s rankings. Just three people correctly guessed the Hanwha Eagles: Congratulations, Joan B., Kurt S. and Barbara W.!
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Is it the most dangerous game? Members of a hunting party in the Czech Republic say they were out in the woods when a deer, startled by a dog, charged at their party. It snagged the strap of a .22 Hornet repeating rifle on its antlers, pulling it from a hunter’s shoulder, then ran away. The party couldn’t catch up to the gunslinging herbivore, which was spotted, still armed, by another hunter. Authorities, who’ve also failed to get the gun back despite searching the forest, have asked anyone finding the unloaded weapon to hand it over to police.
2. Brazilian Bots Are Targeting US Election Confidence
China, Russia and Iran get all the attention. But as many as 2,000 social media bots based in Brazil are thought to be amplifying human-generated posts and spreading disinformation about the American election, OZY reports. President Jair Bolsonaro, a vocal ally of President Trump, is seen as the first Brazilian president to use Twitter as a campaigning tool — and these bot accounts appear not to be government-driven intelligence campaigns. They instead represent a coalescing of the far right internationally to stave off an unwanted election outcome.
3. China Tariffs to Upend Australian Wine Industry
They’re seeing red. As part of an ongoing diplomatic dispute, China has announced it’ll levy import duties of up to 212 percent on wines from Oz — a huge blow to Aussie vintners, who sell 37 percent of their wine to China. Australia’s pushback against Chinese human rights abuses has led to similar trade war tactics in a number of industries, including coal and live lobster, tons of which spoiled while held at Shanghai’s airport. Still, some things are looking up Down Under: The state of Victoria announced that it’s officially eradicated COVID-19 after 28 days without new cases.
4. Claire the Scottish Deerhound Is New US Top Dog
She knows how to strike a paws. The National Dog Show’s broadcast is a U.S. Thanksgiving Day tradition — and it went forward despite the pandemic, admittedly without any spectators or sponsors. Claire, whose grandmother took the title at Westminster in 2011, was awarded Best in Show after beating out 537 other dogs, reduced from a normal year’s 2,000 contestants. This ups her profile ahead of the 2021 Westminster Dog Show, which will be held in upstate New York rather than its usual Madison Square Garden due to COVID-19.
5. Diego Maradona Mourners Defy COVID-19 Restrictions
The crowds of grieving fans stretched for 11 blocks through Buenos Aires as the Argentine soccer legend was laid to rest. President Alberto Fernandez declared three days of official national mourning for Maradona, who died of a heart attack Wednesday at the age of 60. Argentina’s seen a strict COVID-19 lockdown for the past eight months, and gatherings of more than 10 people are normally banned. But fans waited overnight in socially distanced lines to pay respects to the icon — though later on, police clashed with crowds as they tried to shut down the line in order to prepare for a small, private funeral.
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