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(CNN)The holidays likely won’t look the same this year for a lot of us. So now’s the perfect time to start new traditions and find joy in the small things. Here’s what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.

(You can also get “5 Things You Need to Know Today” delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)1. CoronavirusA new, mutated form of the coronavirus that originated in England is spreading across the globe — and it could potentially be more contagious than what we’ve seen. Aside from the United Kingdom, the variant has been detected in Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands and Australia. Dr. Anthony Fauci says it’s probably already in the US. As scientists hunt for more information, here’s what we know and what we don’t. Pfizer and Moderna are now testing their vaccines to see if they work against the UK variant, though experts have said they still expect the vaccines to be effective. About 614,000 vaccines have been administered in the US so far, and 7.9 million doses from Moderna and Pfizer are expected to be distributed around the country this week.Fauci: Not recommending UK travel shut down right nowFauci: Not recommending UK travel shut down right nowFauci: Not recommending UK travel shut down right nowJUST WATCHEDFauci: Not recommending UK travel shut down right nowReplayMore Videos …MUST WATCH

Fauci: Not recommending UK travel shut down right now 01:472. StimulusRead MoreCongress finally approved the long-awaited $900 billion Covid relief package after months of partisan gridlock. It now goes to President Donald Trump’s desk for signature. The package includes direct payments of up to $600 per adult, enhanced jobless benefits of $300 per week, roughly $284 billion in Paycheck Protection Program loans, $25 billion in rental assistance, an extension of the eviction moratorium and $82 billion for schools and colleges. It also promises to speed up vaccine distribution. Though it was a bipartisan deal, both parties had to give up key demands to get it pSen. Mitch McConnell: 'More help is on the way'Sen. Mitch McConnell: 'More help is on the way'Sen. Mitch McConnell: 'More help is on the way'JUST WATCHEDSen. Mitch McConnell: ‘More help is on the way’ReplayMore Videos …MUST WATCH

Sen. Mitch McConnell: ‘More help is on the way’ 00:443. West PointThe US Military Academy at West Point is facing its worst cheating scandal in decades. Seventy-three cadets were accused of breaking the academy’s honor code by cheating on a calculus exam in May, when the elite school shifted to virtual classes because of the pandemic. Two of the cases were dropped for lack of evidence, and four other cadets resigned. The remaining 67 students await a decision on their fate. It’s not the first cheating scandal to rock West Point. The institution saw similar incidents in 1951 and in 1976, the latter of which involved 152 cadets.Cadets arrive for the 2020 graduation ceremony at West Point, New York, on June 13, 2020. Cadets arrive for the 2020 graduation ceremony at West Point, New York, on June 13, 2020. Cadets arrive for the 2020 graduation ceremony at West Point, New York, on June 13, 2020. 4. RussiaAlexey Navalny, the Russian opposition leader and nemesis of President Vladimir Putin, almost died after being poisoned in August. We now know how he was poisoned: the lethal nerve agent Novichok was planted in his underwear. A Russian agent who was sent to tail Navalny accidentally revealed the information during a phone call with who he thought was an official in Russia’s National Security Council. Turns out he was speaking to Navalny himself. Navalny has long been a thorn in Putin’s side, exposing corruption in high places and campaigning against the ruling United Russia party. He’s still recovering from the poisoning at a secret location in Germany.Exclusive audio reveals Navalny speaking to toxin team that poisoned himExclusive audio reveals Navalny speaking to toxin team that poisoned himExclusive audio reveals Navalny speaking to toxin team that poisoned himJUST WATCHEDExclusive audio reveals Navalny speaking to toxin team that poisoned himReplayMore Videos …MUST WATCH

Exclusive audio reveals Navalny speaking to toxin team that poisoned him 05:135. Federal architecturePresident Trump wants the nation’s buildings to look prettier. He signed an executive order on Monday looking to ensure that federal buildings feature “beautiful” architecture. The order doesn’t exactly define what standards buildings must meet to be considered beautiful, though it says they should be of classical design. It applies to all federal courthouses, agency headquarters, DC public buildings and all other public buildings costing more than $50 million. Perhaps unsurprisingly, some architects are not happy about it.The sun sets over the White Hous on December 21, 2020.The sun sets over the White Hous on December 21, 2020.The sun sets over the White Hous on December 21, 2020.BREAKFAST BROWSEKevin Greene, NFL sack legend and Hall of Famer, has diedGreene, who had the third most sacks in NFL history, was 58.Hawaii residents are being asked to stay indoors after the Kilauea volcano eruptedFeels like the theme of this year, really. One of the Midwest’s most influential newspapers apologizes for decades of racist coverageIt’s a step in the right direction for the Kansas City Star. Ho Oh No! A Santa impersonator got tangled up in some power linesPerhaps we should leave the more magical elements of Christmas to the real jolly old man in red. Five high school freshmen are being called heroes for saving two children from an icy pondIt should come as no surprise that all five of them are Boy Scouts.TODAY’S NUMBER255That’s how many days that Taiwan had been coronavirus free, with the exception of imported cases. The island recently recorded its first locally transmitted case of coronavirus since April.TODAY’S QUOTE”We deserve to be represented by a figure who truly embodies Virginia’s values.”Virginia Rep. Jennifer Wexton, on a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee being removed from the US Capitol. Lee’s statue will be replaced by one of the late Barbara Johns, an African American woman who played a key role in the civil rights movement.TODAY’S WEATHERCheck your local forecast here>>>AND FINALLYTime for a deep clean As we wind down the year, it’s a good time as any to refresh our homes. Here’s some inspiration — at the very least, it’s a satisfying watch. (Click here to view.)

Source Link:
https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/22/us/five-things-december-22-trnd/index.html

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