Jaclyn Diaz

Updated at 5:50 a.m. ET

French President Emmanuel Macron tested positive for the coronavirus and will quarantine for a week, his official residence announced Thursday.

Macron was tested for the virus following the onset of symptoms, though the Élysée Palace didn't immediately explain what those symptoms might include. He will isolate himself for seven days and will continue to work remotely, his residence said.

The U.S. on Wednesday reported the highest number of new cases of the coronavirus and the most COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began.

As of 1:30 a.m. Thursday, more than 3,600 Americans died Wednesday from complications of the coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking coronavirus infection data.

New Zealand has advance purchased two new coronavirus vaccines from pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca and Novavax, giving the small island country the ability to vaccinate its 5 million residents.

Government officials also announced Thursday they will go a step further and provide free doses to its population as well as neighboring nations Tokelau, Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa, Tonga, and Tuvalu, should they want them.

A Japanese court sentenced a convicted murderer dubbed the "Twitter Killer" to death early Tuesday.

Takahiro Shiraishi, 30, was found guilty by the Tokyo District Court for the murder of eight women and one man, according to reports. Shiraishi also robbed and sexually assaulted the eight women he murdered, some of whom were minors.

Updated Wednesday at 6:30 a.m. ET

The Federal Trade Commission is demanding that nine social media and tech companies share details on how they harness users' data and what they do with the information.

Updated at 5:00 p.m. ET

Russian hackers working for the Kremlin are believed to be behind breaches of U.S. government computer systems at the departments of Treasury, Commerce and Homeland Security that may have lasted months before they were discovered, according to U.S. officials and media reports.

Updated at 11:15 a.m. ET

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris defeated Donald Trump twice this year: once at the polls and again for Time's Person of the Year.

Time's choice to name Biden and Harris over Trump, who was also shortlisted, marks the first time a president-elect and vice president-elect have appeared together on a Person of the Year cover. Harris is also the first vice president-elect to get the designation.

Brandon Bernard, convicted for his involvement in the brutal murder of two youth ministers in 1999, was executed Thursday evening after failed eleventh-hour appeals from criminal justice advocates and celebrities, including Kim Kardashian West, to spare his life.

He was pronounced dead at 9:27 p.m. from a lethal injection at the Federal Correctional Center in Terre Haute, Indiana.

The Justice Department filed a lawsuit against Alabama on Wednesday, saying unsafe and unsanitary conditions in the state's men's prisons violate the Constitution.

The DOJ says Alabama's prison system fails to provide adequate protection from prisoner-on-prisoner violence, sexual abuse and excessive force at the hands of prison staff.

Rudy Giuliani has left the hospital following treatment for COVID-19, days after his coronavirus diagnosis was made public in a tweet by President Trump.

Giuliani, the president's personal attorney, was spotted Wednesday evening leaving Georgetown University Hospital. He flashed a thumbs up sign out of his car's passenger-side window as he passed reporters.

Regulators in the United Kingdom are warning people with a history of severe allergies not to get the new coronavirus vaccine.

The advisory comes after two National Health Services employees, both with a history of severe allergies, had bad reactions after receiving the new Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine Tuesday, the first day of the U.K.'s nationwide immunization campaign.

Health officials in the United Arab Emirates announced Wednesday that a Chinese vaccine provides 86% efficacy against COVID-19 infection.

Subsequently, the UAE's Ministry of Health and Prevention officially pushed for a registration of the Sinopharm vaccine following several health agencies' analysis of late-stage trials in the country, officials said in a release on the state-run WAM news agency.

Margaret Keenan, a grandmother of four, made history Tuesday after getting a potentially lifesaving birthday present.

With one shot — or "jab" as Britons might say — Keenan, who turns 91 next week, officially launched the United Kingdom's nationwide coronavirus immunization campaign — the largest such effort in its history.

Who better to promote a product than a former president? How about three?

Former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton are willing to lend their star power for a good cause, saying this week that they would publicly take a coronavirus vaccine, once it's available in the U.S., to encourage skeptical Americans to do the same.

Obama said that if Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country's top infectious disease expert, thought the vaccine was safe and effective, then he would get his shot.

Updated Thursday at 11:20 a.m. ET

More than 100,000 Americans are in the hospital with COVID-19, at the same time the nation recorded its worst daily death toll since the start of the pandemic.

Data from the COVID Tracking Project show 100,226 people were hospitalized on Wednesday with the disease caused by the coronavirus — a figure that has been steadily rising for weeks.

The captain of a dive boat that caught fire last year off the coast of Santa Barbara, Calif., was indicted Tuesday on 34 counts of negligent manslaughter.

Thirty-three passengers and one crew member died during the early morning hours of Sept. 2, 2019, when a fast moving fire broke out on the 75-foot Conception. The boat was docked off Santa Cruz Island for a chartered three-day diving trip.

Updated at 4:30 a.m. ET

The U.K. has formally approved Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine, becoming the first Western country to OK its use for the general public.

The British regulatory agency, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority, or MHRA, announced early Wednesday the approval of the vaccine from Pfizer and the German company BioNTech for emergency use. The vaccine promises up to 95% protection against COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

The coronavirus was present in the U.S. weeks earlier than scientists and public health officials previously thought, and before cases in China were publicly identified, according to a new government study published Monday.

The virus and the illness that it causes, COVID-19, were first identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, but it wasn't until about Jan. 20 that the first confirmed COVID-19 case, from a traveler returning from China, was found in the U.S.

Germany is extending its current coronavirus lockdown measures through mid-December, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced this week.

The country will remain under measures introduced in early November that include limits on private gatherings and it will keep bars, restaurants, and museums closed.

Residents will be given some leeway around the Christmas holiday. Members of one household can meet up with 10 people between Dec. 23 to Jan. 1. Children under 14 are exempt.

Updated at 3:27 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court has temporarily barred New York from enforcing strict attendance limits on places of worship in areas designated coronavirus hot spots, in a decision released just before midnight on Wednesday.

A North Korean man seeking to escape his homeland took a nearly 10-foot leap of faith earlier this month. The jump, which occurred under — or more accurately over — the noses of soldiers, brought him to safety in South Korea, where he told troops he wanted to defect.

It's no surprise that the man claims he is a former gymnast.

France will begin easing COVID-19 restrictions in the country this week after the nation passed the peak of the virus's second wave, President Emmanuel Macron announced Tuesday.

Updated at 2:20 a.m. ET

David Dinkins, New York City's only African American mayor, died Monday night at 93.

Dinkins led New York in the early 1990s as its mayor, a position he called "the greatest job there is."

Dinkins' office operations manager, Lynda Hamilton, confirmed his death to NPR early Tuesday.

Updated at 5:03 a.m. ET

International travelers heading to England could cut their mandatory quarantine time by more than half under new rules announced by the British government Tuesday.

Starting Dec. 15, certain travelers could cut their 14-day mandatory quarantine down to five days if they take a COVID-19 test and the results are negative.

Updated at 12:50 p.m. ET

President-elect Joe Biden will nominate Antony Blinken for the coveted secretary of state post.

Blinken, 58, has extensive foreign policy experience, serving as deputy secretary of state and deputy national security adviser under President Barack Obama.

Patrick Quinn, the co-creator of the viral Ice Bucket Challenge, has died at the age of 37 after a seven-year fight with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease.

The Ice Bucket Challenge, which took the Internet by storm in 2014, raised $115 million for the ALS Association and more than $220 million around the world for ALS research, according to the association.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is raising concerns with the leaders of the world's wealthiest countries that when a coronavirus vaccine becomes available, poorer countries could miss out.

Speaking on Sunday during a two-day virtual G20 global summit, Merkel said progress toward developing a system for distribution to less wealthy countries has been slow and that she would raise the issue with the global vaccine alliance, GAVI.

U.K.-based pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has developed a vaccine that initial results show to be "highly effective in preventing" COVID-19, the company announced Monday.

South Australia officials say a worker at a pizza shop lied about the circumstances of his exposure to the coronavirus, leading the region to a strict lockdown earlier this week.

South Australia Premier Steven Marshall announced the six-day coronavirus lockdown on Monday to curtail a growing virus outbreak in the area. As a result, schools were closed and outdoor exercise and non-essential businesses were banned.

California has reached more than 1 million confirmed coronavirus cases, becoming only the second state to reach the bleak milestone since the start of the pandemic.

The most populous state in the country crossed the million mark on Thursday, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.

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