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Zhang was the picture of despair the first time I met him.

He had accidentally delivered a package to a neighbor of mine who took it and would not give it back. Now, trembling, he wanted to personally reimburse me for the lost item.

Kurt Papenfus, a doctor in the small town of Cheyenne Wells, Colo., started to feel sick around Halloween. He developed a scary cough, intestinal symptoms and a headache. In the midst of a pandemic, the news that he had COVID-19 wasn't surprising, but Papenfus' illness would have repercussions far beyond his own health.

Papenfus is the lone full-time emergency room doctor in the town of 900, not far from the Kansas line.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

In civil court in The Netherlands, hearings began Tuesday in a case against energy company Shell that could have implications for future cases and the role of companies in meeting climate targets.

The case was brought by a group of seven environmental organizations and more than 17,000 Dutch citizens who are co-plaintiffs. The plaintiffs are demanding that Shell be forced to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 45% by 2030 compared with 2019 levels.

Updated 5:48 p.m. ET

A federal advisory committee to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted Tuesday to recommend who should get COVID-19 vaccines first once one is authorized for use.

Updated at 5:15 p.m. ET

Just hours after a bipartisan group of House and Senate lawmakers revealed a $908 billion legislative framework to try to break a months-long impasse on a new round of pandemic-related relief measures, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters he's talking to administration officials about a separate coronavirus bill that President Trump will sign.

Updated at 3:37 p.m. ET

With confirmed coronavirus cases and hospitalizations spiking and the nation's job market struggling to pull itself out of the abyss caused by the pandemic, President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday formally announced the advisers who he hopes can guide the United States back to solid economic footing.

New coronavirus vaccines will help the world's economy bounce back in 2021, but the gains will depend on how the vaccines are distributed, among other factors, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development says.

In its new projection, the group says global GDP should rise by 4.2% next year, after falling 4.2% in 2020.

The leader of the Islamist group that rules the Gaza Strip has tested positive for the coronavirus as infections reach record levels in the Palestinian territories.

Hamas leader Yehiya Sinwar is in stable condition, according to Gaza's Health Ministry. He is one of several senior Hamas officials who have tested positive for the coronavirus in recent months.

"The situation in Gaza is really concerning. The recent spike of cases has put the health system in a critical situation," said Ignacio Casares of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Gaza.

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