NPR News: 12-21-2020 3PM ET

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Live from npr news in washington. I'm louise schiavone. After months of political wrestling congress is expected to tie up another covid relief. Bill price tag almost a trillion dollars. Npr's windsor johnston has the latest senate. Majority leader mitch. Mcconnell says the agreement ends a months. Long stalemate we can find them report. What our nation as needed to here for a very long time. More help is on the way. The bipartisan measure includes additional federal aid for small businesses and an extension of jobless benefits senate minority leader. Chuck schumer says. The bill is a starting point for additional relief next year. Ignore mistake about it. This agreement is far from perfect but it will deliver emergency relief to a nation in the throes of a genuine emergency relief. Measure is likely to be part of the larger spending. Bill that would keep the government funded through next year. Windsor johnston npr news washington. A new strain of the coronavirus in the united kingdom has led to a strict lockdown and some parts of england. It's also prompted numerous countries in the european union asia and south america to temporarily suspend flights from the uk npr's alison aubrey reports that scientists in the us say they're working to learn more about this new mutation. This new strain accounts for more than sixty percent of recent cases identified in london and the concern. Is that it's more contagious. Angela rasmussen at university says the strain appears to be more transmissible. That doesn't mean that it's being transmitted in a different way and it also doesn't seem to be associated with any increase in violence meaning. That people might be more likely to get it but not more likely to get more sick. She says it is possible the strain could make its way to the us which is another reason to stay vigilant those. Cdc continues to advise people to postpone travel and stay home. This holiday season. Allison aubrey npr. News the governor of new york is concerned about the six daily flights from the uk that arrived at jfk airport. Andrew cuomo has a request for delta virgin atlantic and british airways. Hi i'm asking those airlines to add new york state to the list of the one hundred twenty countries that require tests before the flights leave the uk for new york. British airways is complying required travelers to test negative for the coronavirus before they board flights headed for jfk wall street travel shares are lower amid the latest travel restrictions airlines cruise lines. Hotels are trading lower although overall stocks have recovered ground since the morning. The dow up fifty eight points. The nasdaq off thirteen points. This is npr news in washington. The border closures. Between the uk and continental europe due to the new viral strain of course are making already complicated brexit situation more difficult. Npr's eleanor beardsley reports. That truckers trying to get goods through britain from the continent before the end of the year are now finding themselves stuck for weeks. There have been long lines of trucks in the port of calais as british importer stock up before the uk officially leaves the eu customs union and single market since midnight. Sunday rail fairy air traffic between france and britain has been suspended for forty eight hours. The netherlands germany ireland and belgium have also closed their borders more than half of british imports. Come from the eu vanessa. By lucia is a spokeswoman for france's national road haulage federation. she says thousands of french truckers are also stuck on the other side in dover with borders temporarily. Close transporters are refusing to send out any more shipments she says and britain could soon run very low on stocks. Eleanor beardsley npr news. Paris on the east coast. You have about an hour. And a half to get in position to view the merging of jupiter and saturn in the post sunset sky. Throwing up a bright light popularly known as the christmas star the last time planet earth had a good view of the event was in the thirteenth century. The next time will be twenty eighty. Astronomers recommend that you go out a little after sunset and looked to the south west. Despite appearances those two planets actually may be more than four hundred fifteen million miles apart. I'm louise schiavone npr news.

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