Jackie Northam

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On Nov. 4, the day after the election, the United States will officially exit the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

The date is a coincidence. Still, the timing underscores a crucial victory for the Trump administration in its efforts to derail federal action on global warming, which the president dismisses as a hoax.

In April 2018, Tianna Spears joined the State Department, looking forward to the promise of a fulfilling career. Then 26, she had spent three years learning Spanish in the Dominican Republic and Spain to help land a position in the Foreign Service.

"I was super-excited to start," she says. "I had dreams of being a diplomat and living in several places in Latin America."

At least once a week, the Port of Los Angeles launches a drone over its expansive facility. It gives port officials a good vantage point to check on the 7,500 acres and 43 miles of waterway that make up the busiest container port in North America.

Earlier this month, the port's executive director, Gene Seroka, displayed photos from a recent drone flight showing stacks of cargo containers on the docks.

Consumer goods are arriving from China and elsewhere, but a lot is not getting to its destination.

A flotilla of Saudi tankers loaded with crude oil has begun arriving on the U.S. Gulf Coast, worrying American shale producers who face uncertainty because of an oversupply of oil.

At least 18 very large crude carriers, each carrying 2 million barrels of oil, are headed to the U.S., according to Michelle Wiese Bockmann, markets editor and oil analyst for Lloyd's List, a shipping news service in London.

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A fleet of oil tankers from Saudi Arabia has begun arriving on the U.S. Gulf Coast. But this country already has plenty of crude oil. So why is there more coming in from Saudi Arabia? NPR's Jackie Northam explains.

The scale of oil market turbulence is on stark display along the California coast. About three dozen massive oil tankers are anchored from Los Angeles and Long Beach up to San Francisco Bay, turning into floating storage for crude oil that is in short demand because of the coronavirus.

Scientists are still trying to determine the origin of the coronavirus, but the predominant theory is that it began in a food market in Wuhan, China.

So-called "wet markets" — usually a jumble of stalls carrying produce, seafood, some farmed meat — are found across China, as well as in many other parts of the world. The problem is that these wet markets sometimes also carry live animals — occasionally including illegal, sometimes exotic, wildlife — bought and slaughtered on the spot, increasing chances for the spread of disease.

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Iran is dealing with one of the worst outbreaks of the coronavirus in the world, with a death toll surpassing 2,200 people. But getting help into the country is hindered both by a truculent Iranian leadership and strong U.S. sanctions.

The State Department says it is temporarily suspending routine visa services at all U.S. embassies and consulates because of the coronavirus.

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As of Friday, China had reported more than 55,500 confirmed cases of coronavirus and more than 1,300 deaths from the virus. In countries around the world, there are now at least 366 cases, including 15 confirmed in the U.S.

Updated at 7:25 p.m. ET

Airlines, cruise ships and high-end hotels worldwide are bracing for a sharp downturn in business because of the fast-spreading strain of coronavirus.

Looking out across a foggy harbor toward a peninsula jutting off the Norwegian coast, Rune Rafaelsen has a bold plan that could raise the profile of his remote Arctic town — with a little help, he hopes, from China.

He is the mayor of Sor-Varanger, a municipality in the far northeast corner of Norway, close to the Russian border. His office is in the small town Kirkenes — population a little over 3,500 — which overlooks the icy gray Barents Sea.

Since 2017, the Trump administration has placed layers of tough sanctions on Iran in an effort to deprive the regime of financial resources and to force it to negotiate a new nuclear deal.

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The Trump administration is applying what it calls maximum pressure on Iran to force it to the negotiating table, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the strategy is working.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

The U.S. killing of senior Iranian military commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani left many of America's allies in the Middle East confused and nervous. That includes Saudi Arabia, the top regional rival of Iran.

The Saudi-U.S. relationship has become particularly close since President Trump took office. It could prove to be a double-edged sword for the kingdom, analysts say, as Iran contemplates its next moves. Iran and Saudi Arabia have long battled for regional dominance, and the U.S. has supported the Saudi-led war in Yemen against Iran-backed Houthi forces.

The U.S. killing of a top Iranian military leader, Qassem Soleimani, in an airstrike in Baghdad this week has raised thorny legal questions. Experts disagree over whether the U.S. had the legal authority to launch the deadly strike.

President Trump stated that Soleimani was plotting "imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and American personnel, but we caught him in the act and terminated him."

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On a pitch-perfect autumn afternoon, a remote sheep farm in southern Greenland is quiet. The only movement is from a little girl playing outside her house with a fluffy border collie puppy.

The silence is abruptly broken when dozens of sheep come thundering across the hills overlooking the farm. Shooing them along is the girl's grandfather, Lars Nielsen, and her dad, 37-year-old Kunuk Nielsen.

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On Nov. 28, 1979, Air New Zealand Flight 901 was on a sightseeing tour of Antarctica. The 11-hour first-class tour from Auckland included a champagne breakfast and premier views of the frozen beauty of Antarctica. Most of the passengers were New Zealanders, but there were also Australians, Americans, Canadians and Japanese on board.

Shortly before 1 p.m., the plane crashed into the side of Mount Erebus, a volcano, killing all 257 people on board. It was New Zealand's worst peacetime disaster.

Violent protests swept across parts of southern Iraq and Baghdad on Thursday in a growing display of public anger over Iran's interference in Iraqi affairs. This comes one day after demonstrators set fire to an Iranian consulate in the holy Shiite city of Najaf.

Across the country, more than two dozen protesters have been killed and 165 wounded since Wednesday, according to The Associated Press.

The southern Greenland town of Narsaq is just a speck of place. About 1,200 people live in colorful A-frame houses along a fjord, and it's a good hour's boat ride from the nearest community. While it may be remote, Narsaq has strategic importance.

The craggy hills surrounding the town are estimated to hold about a quarter of the world's rare earth minerals. With names such as cerium and lanthanum, rare earths contain key ingredients used in many of today's technologies — from smartphones to MRI machines, as well as electric cars and military jets.

Suriya Paprajong remembers the day he first set eyes on Greenland. It was the middle of winter in 2001 and he had just gotten off a long plane ride from his homeland, Thailand, where the temperature was 104 degrees Farenheit. The temperature in Greenland was -43 degrees. Paprajong didn't have a coat.

"It's very hard when we come to ... Greenland," he recalls. "It's a lot of snow. The body, it's like a shock."

His first Arctic winter may have been a challenge, but 18 years on, Paprajong has built up a life in Greenland, including opening his own restaurant.

There are precisely 525 stairs from the icy waters of the Barents Sea to the top of the observation post in the far northeast corner of Norway, along the Russian border. It's a steep climb, but once you reach the apex, there's a good chance one of the young Norwegian conscripts manning the outpost will have a platter of waffles — topped with strawberry jam and sour cream, a Norwegian favorite — waiting.

Three weeks after journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed a year ago at Saudi Arabia's Consulate in Istanbul, an international investment conference got underway in the Saudi capital of Riyadh.

The Future Investment Initiative — dubbed "Davos in the Desert" — was set up to showcase business opportunities in the kingdom. A year earlier, it had been a glittering event and brought in some of the biggest names in international banking and investment. But not last year.

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