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FILE - In this Nov. 24, 2020, file photo, marks are seen on the face of registered nurse Shelly Girardin as she removes a protective mask after performing rounds in a COVID-19 unit at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis, Mo. Across the U.S., the surge has swamped hospitals with patients and left nurses and other health care workers shorthanded and burned out. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

The Latest: US hits record daily deaths, hospitalizations

Dec. 3, 2020 12:29 PM EST

NEW YORK — The U.S. has reached daily coronavirus records with more than 3,100 deaths and 100,000 hospitalizations New cases have topped 200,000 a day, according to figures released Thursday. The three benchmarks show a country slipping deeper into crisis, with perhaps the worst yet to come. Millions of...

This image taken by panoramic camera aboard the lander-ascender combination of Chang'e-5 spacecraft provided by China National Space Administration shows a moon surface after it landed on the moon on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020. Chinese government say the spacecraft landed on the moon on Tuesday to bring back lunar rocks to Earth for the first time since the 1970s. (China National Space Administration/Xinhua via AP)

Chinese moon probe begins return to Earth with lunar samples

Dec. 3, 2020 11:56 AM EST

BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese lunar probe lifted off from the moon Thursday night with a cargo of lunar samples on the first stage of its return to Earth, the government space agency reported, on what is expected to be a breakthrough mission for the rising Asian space power. Chang’e 5, the third Chinese...

A Russian peacekeeper guars an enter of the Dadivank, an Armenian Apostolic Church monastery dating to the 9th century, after the transfer of the Kalbajar region to Azerbaijan's control, as part of a peace deal that required Armenian forces to cede the Azerbaijani territories they held outside Nagorno-Karabakh, near Kalbajar, Azerbaijan, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020. A Russia-brokered peace deal that took effect Nov. 10 obliged Armenian forces to hand over all of the Azerbaijani regions they held outside Nagorno-Karabakh, including the Kalbajar region. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

Azerbaijan says 2,783 troops killed over Nagorno-Karabakh

Dec. 3, 2020 10:53 AM EST

BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Azerbaijan said Thursday it lost nearly 2,800 soldiers in 44 days of fighting with Armenian forces over the separatist territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, the first time it has disclosed its military casualties. The hostilities ended Nov. 10 with a Russia-brokered peace deal that saw...

Thousands rally in Moldova in support of pro-EU president

Dec. 3, 2020 9:27 AM EST

CHISINAU, Moldova (AP) — Thousands of protesters rallied outside Moldova's parliament building Thursday as lawmakers loyal to the outgoing pro-Russian president voted to strip his pro-Western successor of a key power. The move to prevent the former Soviet republic's president from having control of the...

FILE - This June 6, 2013, file photo shows the National Security Administration (NSA) campus in Fort Meade, Md. American officials conducted a cyber operation with Estonia this fall at that country’s invitation. That’s according to officials from both countries. The joint operation is part of an election-season effort to preemptively identify cyber threats from Russia and other adversaries that could be used against U.S. networks (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

US, Estonia partnered to search out cyber threat from Russia

Dec. 3, 2020 9:23 AM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a modern twist on old-fashioned war games, the U.S. military dispatched cyber fighters to Estonia this fall to help the small Baltic nation search out and block potential cyber threats from Russia. The goal was not only to help a NATO partner long targeted by its powerful neighbor but...

A student checks the time as others wait for the start of the annual college entrance examination amid the coronavirus pandemic at an exam hall in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. South Korean officials are urging people to remain at home if possible and cancel gatherings as about half a million students prepare for a crucial national college exam. (Kim Hong-Ji/Pool Photo via AP)

The Latest: Young S. Koreans taking crucial university exam

Dec. 3, 2020 3:45 AM EST

SEOUL, South Korea — Hundreds of thousands of masked students in South Korea, including 35 COVID-19 patients, are taking the country’s highly competitive university entrance exam despite a viral resurgence that has forced authorities to toughen social distancing rules. The Education Ministry says...

Attorney General William Barr leaves a meeting at the White House, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Barr's special counsel move could tie up his successor

Dec. 3, 2020 12:13 AM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — Outgoing Attorney General William Barr's decision to appoint a special counsel to investigate the handling of the Russia probe ensures his successor won't have an easy transition. The move, which Barr detailed to The Associated Press on Tuesday, could lead to heated confirmation hearings...

FILE - This May 4, 2020, file photo provided by the University of Maryland School of Medicine, shows the first patient enrolled in Pfizer's COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine clinical trial at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.  Pfizer and BioNTech say they've won permission Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020, for emergency use of their COVID-19 vaccine in Britain, the world’s first coronavirus shot that’s backed by rigorous science -- and a major step toward eventually ending the pandemic. (Courtesy of University of Maryland School of Medicine via AP, File)

Britain OKs Pfizer vaccine and will begin shots within days

Dec. 2, 2020 6:45 PM EST

LONDON (AP) — Britain became the first country in the world to authorize a rigorously tested COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday and could be dispensing shots within days — a historic step toward eventually ending the outbreak that has killed more than 1.4 million people around the globe. In giving the...

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting via video conference at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced start of large-scale vaccination of medics and teachers against COVID next week. Speaking during an online meeting dedicated to inauguration of new hospitals for coronavirus patients built by Russian Defense Ministry, Putin said Russia has enough capacity to start

Putin orders 'large-scale' COVID-19 vaccination in Russia

Dec. 2, 2020 3:24 PM EST

MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered a “large-scale” COVID-19 immunization campaign to start by late next week, with doctors and teachers set to be first in line to get a Russian-designed vaccine that has yet to complete the advanced studies needed to ensure its...

In this photo provided by the Armenian Prime Minister Press Service via PAN Photo, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan addresses the nation in Yerevan, Armenia, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. (Tigran Mehrabyan, Armenian Prime Minister Press Service/PAN Photo via AP)

Armenian opposition pushes PM to step down over peace deal

Dec. 2, 2020 2:20 PM EST

YEREVAN, Armenia (AP) — Thousands of demonstrators rallied in Armenia's capital Wednesday to continue to pressure the ex-Soviet nation's prime minister to resign over a peace deal with neighboring Azerbaijan that domestic critics see as a betrayal of national interests. The Russia-brokered agreement took...