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A Vermont hospital network is still recovering from a massive digital disruption in October, signaling the dangers of cyberattacks on the nation's health care system during a surge of COVID-19. The same day as the Oct. 28 attack, the FBI had warned of an incoming wave of criminal digital cyber threats to U.S. hospitals and providers. Experts say the pandemic has left health care organizations vulnerable to ransomware attacks that cut off access to health records and other technical infrastructure. Such attacks could complicate or disrupt patient care during a critical period as COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations surge across the country. Read more

A California attorney for an Illinois 17-year-old accused of fatally shooting two people and wounding a third during a night of unrest in Wisconsin is extracting himself from his criminal defense after prosecutors raised ethical concerns about the lawyer. Los Angeles civil lawyer John Pierce has been at the forefront of the case of Kyle Rittenhouse, who is accused in the shootings during protests in Kenosha this summer. Pierce has also worked to help secure the $2 million for Rittenhouse’s bail. Prosecutors allege Pierce has “significant personal financial difficulties” that raise ethical concerns. Pierce says Wisconsin attorney Mark Richards will handle the criminal case. Read more

France plans to launch a government-monitored online tool in January that is designed  to identify and root out discrimination by police. While announcing the initiative on Friday, French President Emmanuel Macron called it “unbearable” that people of color are more likely to be stopped by law enforcement officers than white people. Macron said in an interview with Brut media, “We are going to set up a large survey on an internet platform where people can say where they are discriminated against and in what way,. Police misconduct has received additional attention as a cause in France after footage emerged last month of French police officers beating up a Black man.  Read more

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For the second day in a row, Pennsylvania is reporting more than 11,000 new COVID-19 cases.  Read more

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U.S. stocks are heading back toward record highs on Friday, despite discouraging data detailing how much damage the deepening pandemic is doing to the job market. The S&P 500 was 0.7% higher in late morning trading, on pace to erase its slight loss from the day before and return to a record. The much weaker-than-expected jobs report may perversely have been bad enough to help kick Congress out of its paralysis and deliver more support for the economy. Hopes also remain deeply rooted on Wall Street that one or more coronavirus vaccines are on the way to rescue the global economy next year. Read more

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister has expressed optimism that the ongoing boycott of Qatar by four Arab nations may be nearing an end. Prince Faisal bin Farhan made the comment to the Italy’s annual Mediterranean Dialogues on Friday. He said: “We hope this progress can lead to a final agreement that looks in reach.” However, the other three nations who are boycotting Qatar — Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates — did not immediately acknowledge this burst of optimism. Over a year ago, a similar hope for an end to the dispute quickly faded. Read more

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Author James McBride and editor Chris Jackson were among those honored Thursday night by the Center for Fiction. McBride and Showtime received an On Screen Award for the acclaimed adaptation of his prize-winning historical novel “The Good Lord Bird,” which starred Ethan Hawke as the radical 19th century abolitionist John Brown. Jackson, whose authors range from Ta-Nehisi Coates to Bryan Stevenson, was given the Medal for Editorial Excellence Award. Jackson runs the One World imprint of Penguin Random House. The Center for Fiction awarded its First Novel Prize to Raven Leilani for “Luster." Read more

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A fugitive who shot a state trooper in Massachusetts two weeks ago has been killed during a shootout with U.S. marshals in New York City that left two of the officers wounded. Federal officials say the marshals are expected to recover after the confrontation early Friday in the Bronx. Officials say 35-year-old Andre Sterling was killed. He had been wanted for shooting the trooper in the hand Nov. 20 during a traffic stop. Officials say one deputy with a fugitive task force was hit in the leg Friday and another was struck in the arm and leg. Sterling was also wanted in Wyoming on drug charges. Read more

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President-elect Joe Biden is adjusting the scope of his agenda to meet the realities of governing under a divided Congress and the complications of legislating during a historic pandemic. His team and congressional Democrats are looking at ways they can wrap some climate change provisions into a coronavirus aid bill. They’re considering smaller-scale changes to the Affordable Care Act. And they’re already working on an array of executive actions that will allow Biden to achieve some of his priorities without Congress. The maneuvering reflects the reality that passing any major Democratic priorities would be a heavy lift. Read more

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America’s employers scaled back their hiring last month as the viral pandemic accelerated across the country, adding 245,000 jobs, the fewest since April and the fifth straight monthly slowdown. At the same time, the unemployment rate to a still-high 6.7%, from 6.9% in October, the Labor Department said. November’s job gain was down from 610,000 in October. Friday’s report of another slowdown in hiring was the latest evidence that the job market and the economy are faltering in the face of a virus that has been shattering daily records for confirmed infections. Read more

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Fire danger remains high amid unpredictable wind gusts and dry conditions in Southern California, as crews made progress against blazes that burned several homes and injured two firefighters. The region’s notorious Santa Ana winds decreased slightly but red flag warnings of extreme wildfire risk were in place into the weekend because of low humidity. After the weather calms in the southern part of the state, winds are expected to increase in Northern California. Firefighters were still busy trying to contain a number of blazes south and east of Los Angeles. The biggest, in Orange County’s Silverado Canyon, is 10% contained. Read more

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DOYLESTOWN, Pa., Dec. 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Accurate and sensitive testing to determine the presence of COVID-19 antibodies is essential for the development of safe and effective vaccines and therapeutics targeting the COVID-19 virus. Until now, the ELISA platform has been the gold standard for antibody testing, despite its limitations. Read more

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A senior official with the fugitive leadership of Ethiopia's embattled Tigray region says several thousand combatants have been killed in a month of fighting, although claims remain difficult to verify in the conflict between Ethiopian and regional forces. The senior adviser to the Tigray leader in an interview with Tigray TV has urged young people and others in the region to “rise and deploy to battle in tens of thousands,” days after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed over the weekend declared victory. But with communications and transport links still largely severed, it’s difficult to know the situation, including the extent of popular support. Read more

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PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Philadelphia Orchestra has selected Accordant Advisors to guide the next phase of its pioneering Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access Strategy (IDEAS) project. The Orchestra launched the IDEAS project in 2019 to deepen its commitment to creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive institution dedicated to the art form of orchestral music. Read more

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PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Pulled pork meat claws have become a staple barbecue accessory for pitmasters around the country over the past decade. The steep rise in popularity of barbecue shredding claws has led hundreds of brands to enter the space and develop their own bbq meat claws designs. However there has been very little innovation in the market outside of the standard 6 prong plastic meat claw and the slightly higher priced stainless steel meat claw design. Read more

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A year after a series of concerts in Puerto Rico that ended up being his last because of the pandemic, Daddy Yankee is bringing those performances to YouTube as a Christmas gift to his fans around the globe.  "DY2K20,” the digital version of his show “Con Calma Pal’ Choli,” will be released in three parts in Yankee’s YouTube channel starting Friday, with the second and third parts available on December 14 and 21, respectively. Yankee tells The Associated Press he has another surprise for his fans: A new music collaboration he will release in the coming days, although he wouldn’t provide details yet. Read more

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Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is pledging $19 billion to promote ecological businesses and innovation to achieve his goal of zero net carbon emissions by 2050. Suga, who took office in mid-September, set climate change as one of his main policy goals along with promoting a digital transformation of Japanese society — issues which were left behind by his predecessor, Shinzo Abe, who resigned because of ill health. His pledge to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 will be a major challenge given Japan’s significant reliance on fossil fuel. Suga says Japan needs to strive to become a global leader in achieving carbon neutrality, and that investment in the environment is a growth opportunity, not a burden. Read more

Officials in Germany say they are taking the potential for attacks on mass vaccination centers into consideration as they set up sites to be used once European Union regulators approve the first coronavirus vaccines. The former head of Germany’s civil protection agency was tasked with setting up six mass vaccination sites in Berlin. He said Friday that he plans to have “intense conversations” with police and private security firms about the protection of the Berlin vaccination centers but added that so far there haven’t been any concrete threats. A small but vocal minority in Germany has staged regular protests against pandemic restrictions and vaccinations. Read more

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An Emmaus woman has died of injuries she suffered in a crash in Allentown. Read more

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CHAMBERSBURG, Pa., Dec. 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Martin's® Famous Potato Rolls and Bread announces geographic expansion into the San Antonio, Texas, retail market. Read more

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Britain’s business minister said Friday that U.K.-EU trade talks are at a “difficult” point, as British officials poured cold water on hopes of an imminent breakthrough. France, meanwhile, says it could veto any agreement it doesn't like. U.K. Business Secretary Alok Sharma said Friday that Britain was “committed to reaching an agreement” but “time is short and we are in a difficult phase.” Negotiators Michel Barnier of the EU and Britain's David Frost remain locked in talks after a week of late-night sessions fueled by deliveries of sandwiches and pizza. U.K. officials briefed media outlets that the EU had set back negotiations by making last-minute demands. The EU denies the allegation. Read more

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The now 38-year-old is facing three felony child sex charges Read more

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The U.S. trade deficit widened 1.7% in October to $63.1 billion. The politically sensitive gap in the trade of goods with China and Mexico grew.The Commerce Department reported Friday that the gap between the goods and services the United States sold and what it bought abroad rose from $62.1 billion in September. The deficit in the trade of goods with China rose 9% to $26.5 billion and the gap with Mexico rose 10% to $11.8 billion. So far this year, the overall trade gap with the rest of the world has risen to $536.7 billion, up 9.5% from January-October 2019. Read more

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U.K. regulators are going on the offensive to beat back criticism that they rushed their authorization of a COVID-19 vaccine. The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency said Friday that its personnel rigorously analyzed data on safety and effectiveness in the shortest time possible without compromising the thoroughness of their review. The agency's comments came as the Times newspaper reported that the agency’s chief executive would give a series of radio interviews so she can speak directly to people who may be concerned about being vaccinated. The media blitz comes amid concerns that criticism of the approval process could undermine public confidence in the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, leading some individuals to shun shots.  Read more

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Denmark has decided to end all oil and gas activities in the North Sea by 2050 and has cancelled its latest licensing round. It says it is “now putting an end to the fossil era.” The Danish Parliament voted late Thursday to end the offshore gas and oil extraction, which started in 1972 and has made the country the largest producer in the European Union. Non EU-members Norway and Britain are far larger producers. But environmental activists hailed the move as significant as it shows the way forward in how to fight climate change. Read more

(The Center Square) – U.S. Rep. Kelly, R-Pa., asked the Supreme Court to invalidate 2.5 million ballots cast in Pennsylvania on Nov. 3 based on a law he says is unconstitutional. Read more

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President-elect Joe Biden (all times local): Read more

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Supportive Culture and Employee Dedication to Company Core Values Are Cited Read more

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HERSHEY, Pa., Dec. 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Hershey is introducing a new Blossoms cookie, the Holiday Sugar Cookie Blossoms, to spark festive cookie baking this year. With a sugar cookie base and the recently released Hershey's Kisses Sugar Cookie candy at the center, the new Holiday Sugar Cookie Blossoms are a colorful addition to holiday traditions. Read more

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Authorities in Bangladesh have sent the first group of more than 1,500 Rohingya refugees to an isolated island despite calls by human rights groups for a halt to the process. An official says the 1,642 refugees boarded seven Bangladeshi naval vessels for the trip to Bhashan Char. The island was once regularly submerged by monsoon rains but now has flood protection embankments, houses, hospitals and mosques built at a cost of more than $112 million by the Bangladesh navy. The island’s facilities are built to accommodate 100,000 people, just a fraction of the million Rohingya Muslims who have fled waves of violent persecution in their native Myanmar. Read more