COVID-19 pandemic: Cities, states issue new mandates as cases rise

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Chicago will begin a stay-at-home advisory Monday, an initiative designed to limit meetings and social events during the coronavirus pandemic. The city is “strongly” advising residents to only leave home to go to work or school, to seek medical care, go to the grocery store or pharmacy, pick up take-out food or receive deliveries. Residents were also advised not to have gatherings at home with people outside of their households, to avoid all non-essential travel and cancel in-person Thanksgiving celebrations. The U.S. remains the global COVID-19 hot spot. The country has reported more than 11 million COVID-19 cases and 246,100 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Globally, there have been 54.3 million reported cases and 1.31 million deaths.

Biden, Harris to discuss economic plans in joint appearance

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will speak about the economy on Monday in Delaware. In their first speech addressing the country’s economic situation since their victory in the presidential election, the duo plans to discuss “the economic recovery and building back better in the long-term.” During the presidential race, Biden laid out an expansive economic agenda focused on increasing the number of American jobs, strengthening the social safety net and fighting economic inequality. The president-elect could offer updated versions of these plans, given the new realities of a worsening pandemic and economic outlook, as well as the likely reality of a divided Congress.

Deadline to file sex abuse claims against Boy Scouts of America ends

Abuse survivors have until 5 p.m. ET Monday to file claims in the Boys Scouts of America bankruptcy case. Tens of thousands have come forward ahead of the deadline for victims to file claims, with many of the allegations of abuse dating back decades. The case may become the largest-ever sex abuse case against a single national organization, rivaled only by the Catholic Church, where individual dioceses were targets. The Boy Scouts of America filed for bankruptcy in February amid declining membership and a drumbeat of child sexual abuse allegations that exposed the depth of the problem within the organization and the Scouts’ failure to get a handle on it.

Hurricane Iota strengthens to Category 4 storm, takes aim at Central America

A fast-strengthening Hurricane Iota sweeping over the western Caribbean became a very dangerous Category 4 storm early Monday, taking aim at Central American countries still reeling from Hurricane Eta’s devastating landfall that killed more than 120 people and left hundreds of thousands homeless less than two weeks ago. Forecasters said Iota continued to show signs of strengthening and could be a catastrophic Category 5 hurricane by the time it reaches Central America. Evacuations were being conducted from low-lying areas in Nicaragua and Honduras near their shared border, which appeared to be Iota’s likely landfall. Winds and rain were already being felt on the Nicaraguan coast Sunday night.

A mid-November treat: Catch the Leonid meteor shower

Shooting stars will make an appearance in the night sky late Monday night and early Tuesday morning with the peak of the Leonid meteor shower. The Leonids appear to be coming from the constellation Leo the Lion (hence their name) in the east, but they should be visible all the way across the sky. This year, NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke said that skywatchers can expect to see about 10 to 15 meteors per hour during the peak. As with most meteor showers, the best time to watch the Leonids is usually between the hours of midnight and dawn.

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