Monday morning news – November 30, 2020

Health officials brace for new wave of coronavirus cases » Health officials are bracing for a wave of new COVID-19 cases in the weeks ahead following holiday gatherings. 

White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said those who gathered for Thanksgiving should get tested within the next week.

BIRX: But you need to assume that you’re infected and not go near your grandparents and aunts and others without a mask. We’re even asking families to mask indoors if they chose to gather over Thanksgiving.

Counties across California are tightening COVID-19 restrictions starting today.

Los Angeles County will impose a lockdown calling for its 10 million residents to stay home.

San Francisco and San Mateo counties moved to the most restrictive purple tier of restrictions. That shuts down places of worship, along with gyms, salons, restaurant dining rooms, and other businesses. 

Penn. high court tosses election lawsuit » Pennsylvania’s supreme court over the weekend threw out a lower court’s order blocking the state from certifying dozens of contests in its November 3rd election.

The lawsuit asserted that the state’s expansive mail-in voting law is unconstitutional. But that law is now a year old, and in a unanimous decision, the court said it’s too late to challenge it. 

Justice David Wecht wrote that the plaintiffs failed to show—quote—“that even a single mail-in ballot was fraudulently cast or counted.”

President-elect Joe Biden defeated President Trump by more than 80,000 votes in Pennsylvania. 

Iran vows retaliation for killing of nuclear scientist » Iran’s supreme leader is vowing—quote—“definitive punishment” of those behind the killing of a scientist who led the country’s military nuclear program. 

Former Navy Admiral William McRaven told ABC’s This Week… 

MCRAVEN: Iran either suspects or knows that Israel was responsible for this attack. And then of course kind of by association, they are going to assume that either collaborated with it or at a minimum were witting of the Israeli’s actions.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Iran “will respond to the assassination … in a proper time.” 

The attack has renewed fears of Iran striking back against the United States, Israel’s closest ally.

The Pentagon has moved the USS Nimitz carrier group back into the region.

Suspected extremists kill at least 40 farmers in Nigeria » Terrorists killed at least 40 rice farmers and fishermen over the weekend in Nigeria in the country’s northern state of Borno. Officials believe the attackers were affiliated with Boko Haram. 

One official said the death toll could rise to about 60 people.

Boko Haram militants often force villagers to pay illegal taxes by taking their livestock or crops. But some villagers have begun to resist the extortion, and the terror group may have carried out the attack in response to that resistance. 

Darth Vader actor Dave Prowse dies » Dave Prowse, the man underneath Darth Vader’s helmet in the original Star Wars trilogy, has died. 

His agent said he died over the weekend after a short illness at the age of 85. 

Though Star Wars audiences never heard his voice, he read all of the lines aloud in each scene during filming…

VADER: You are part of the rebel alliance and a traitor. Take her away! 

But editors later replaced the audio portion of his performance with the more menacing voice of James Earl Jones. 

Prowse won three British weightlifting championships before breaking into movies. He often landed roles that emphasized his commanding size.

Star Wars director George Lucas asked him to audition either for Darth Vader or the Wookie Chewbacca. Prowse chose Vader because—his words—“You always remember the bad guy.”

(AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, FILE) In this file photo dated Thursday, May 12, 2005, the Los Angeles, USA, premiere of the movie “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith”, is reflected in the mask eyeglasses of iconic baddie character Darth Vader. 

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