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THURSDAY - 12/31/20
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"The greatest gift is not being afraid to question.”
—Ruby Dee

Welcome to Bullet Points by News Bling where we give you a well-rounded dose of bias-free news in the fewest words possible so you can start your day smart. 🧐
 

US 🦅

Coronavirus variant reported in the US

  • The new coronavirus variant that was discovered in the UK was first reported in Colorado on Tuesday, and a second confirmed case was reported in California on Wednesday
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials fear that the new and more infectious strain could further stress hospitals already overwhelmed by coronavirus patients

WORLD 🌎

UK becomes first country to approve Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine

  • The coronavirus vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca has been approved for emergency use in the United Kingdom with doses expected to roll out next week 
  • The AstraZeneca vaccine could hold great value to less developed parts of the world due to its low cost and ability to be stored in common refrigerators rather than ultra-low temperatures

BUSINESS 💰

Amazon to buy podcast company Wondery

  • On Wednesday, Amazon announced it will acquire the podcast network Wondery. Wondery will join Amazon Music after the music streaming service adds podcasts to its platform in September 
  • The deal will give Amazon a strong footing in the podcast market, where other companies like Apple and Spotify have doubled down on investments

TECH 📱

Apple takes down app that promoted partying

  • Apple has removed the app Vybe Together—an app that allowed people to arrange and attend parties that might violate coronavirus safety protocols—from its app store
  • The app also had its account on TikTok removed and most of its online presence scrubbed. Vybe Together’s tagline was “Get your rebel on. Get your party on”

POLITICS 🏛️

Census Bureau to miss deadline for congressional count

  • On Wednesday, the Census Bureau announced it will miss the December 31 deadline to deliver population counts used to divide House seats in Congress between states
  • The 2020 Census Bureau was complicated by delays from the coronavirus pandemic and last-minute changes from the Trump Administration, whose efforts to exclude undocumented immigrants from the count has been jeopardized by the missed deadline

CORONAVIRUS 💉

Vaccine distribution criticized for slow speed

  • At least 2.6 million Americans have received a coronavirus vaccine while over 12.4 million doses have been distributed to states. However, an analysis found that at the current distribution rate, it would take almost ten years to vaccinate enough Americans to get the pandemic under control  
  • Through Operation Warp Speed, the Trump Administration has a goal to ensure that 80% of the country gets vaccinated by late June, but in order to meet that goal 3 million people per day would need to receive the vaccine

EXTRA BLING ✨

  • Politics 📰. Louisiana Congressman-elect dies from coronavirus
  • Travel 🚄. New Moynihan Train Hall in Penn Station to open January 1
  • Science 🧬. Preserved Ice Age woolly rhino discovered in Siberia
  • Food 🍔. US to ban palm oil shipments from  one of the world’s biggest producers over forced labor concerns
  • Funny 😂. Robots show off their dancing skills 


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