Editor’s Note: This listicle is part of a weekly series by The Ball State Daily News summarizing five stories from around the world. All summaries are based on stories published by The Associated Press.
Enbridge Energy is approved for pipeline construction in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Arizona certify their election results, Dr. Anthony Fauci warns of virus surges, a blood test to help diagnose Alzheimer’s disease is being sold to commercial labs and President-elect Joe Biden names his Council of Economic Advisers make up this week's five national stories.
Minnesota regulators approved the final permit Nov. 30 for Enbridge Energy’s Line 3 crude oil pipeline replacement across northern Minnesota, giving the company the green light to begin construction on the $2.6 billion project. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency granted a construction storm water permit for the project, which was the last hurdle that Calgary, Alberta-based Enbridge needed to clear after years of reviews and court battles. The company and its supporters welcomed the decision, but opponents have vowed to keep up their fight. Opponents say the project threatens spills in pristine waters where Native Americans harvest wild rice and that the Canadian tar sands oil it plans to carry would aggravate climate change.
Two battleground states, Wisconsin and Arizona, certified their presidential election results in favor of Joe Biden, even as President Donald Trump’s legal team continued to dispute the results. Biden’s victory in Wisconsin was certified Nov. 30 following a partial recount that only added to his 20,600-vote margin over Trump, who has promised to file a lawsuit seeking to undo the results. Trump is mounting a longshot attempt to overturn the results by disqualifying as many as 238,000 ballots. Trump’s attorneys have alleged without evidence that there was widespread fraud and illegal activity.
The nation’s top infectious disease expert said Nov. 29 that the U.S. may see “surge upon a surge” of the coronavirus in the weeks after Thanksgiving, and he does not expect current recommendations around social distancing to be relaxed before Christmas. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told ABC’s “This Week” that the level of infection in the U.S. would not “all of a sudden turn around.” Fauci also appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” where he made similar remarks, adding that it’s “not too late” for people traveling home after Thanksgiving to help curb the virus by wearing masks, staying distant from others and avoiding large groups of people.
A company has started selling the first blood test to help diagnose Alzheimer’s disease, a leap for the field that could make it much easier for people to learn whether they have dementia. It also raises concern about the accuracy and impact of such life-altering news. Independent experts are leery because key test results have not been published and the test has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration — it’s being sold under more general rules for commercial labs. But they agree that a simple test that can be done in a doctor’s office has long been needed.
With unemployment still high and the pandemic threatening yet another economic slump, President-elect Joe Biden is assembling a team of liberal advisers who have long focused on the nation’s workers and government efforts to address economic inequality. Janet Yellen, announced Nov. 30 as Biden’s nominee for treasury secretary, served as chair of the Federal Reserve from 2014 to 2018, when she placed a greater emphasis than previous Fed chairs on maximizing employment and less focus on price inflation. Biden also named outspoken supporters of more government stimulus spending to his Council of Economic Advisers.