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For the first few months of the coronavirus pandemic, correctional officer Kareen "Troy" Troitino says things were "pretty relaxed" at FCI Miami. There were no cases of COVID-19 at the low-security federal prison, which currently houses some 1,000 inmates.

That all changed, he says, early last month. "And then on the week of the Fourth of July, we had one case, and then it just spread in one week. I mean, tremendously. It's like wildfire. And you don't even see the fire because you don't know who has it until it's too late."

Amid deteriorating U.S.-China relations, further aggravated by a highly unusual trip to Taiwan this weekend by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Defense Secretary Mark Esper talked for 90 minutes on Thursday with his Chinese counterpart, Defense Minister Wei Fenghe.

Updated at 6:18 p.m. ET

Amid staggering job losses in March and April, Florida's unemployment system was the slowest in the country to process claims. Residents described nightmarish experiences as they tried to get benefits. By April 20, just 6% of Floridians who had applied for unemployment benefits had received a check.

After Mississippi lawmakers voted in June to remove the Confederate battle emblem from the state's flag, they asked people to send in designs for a new flag — and received nearly 3,000 submissions.

Updated at 12:45 a.m. ET Friday

Some of Beirut's residents, angered by their city's seeming negligence that led to this week's deadly warehouse explosion, took to the streets late Thursday to demand reform.

Near parliament, Lebanese security forces fired tear gas as they clashed with anti-government protesters.

In the central square of Beirut's mostly destroyed downtown, a group of Lebanese, some carrying shovels to dig through the debris, shouted, "The people want the fall of the regime."

A federal appeals court in San Francisco has denied the Justice Department's motion for a retrial in the case against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who led an armed standoff against federal agents over cattle grazing near his ranch in 2014.

How much will vaccines against the coronavirus cost? Even though none has finished clinical testing, some clues about pricing are starting to emerge.

Cambridge, Mass.-based Moderna, one of the leading horses in the vaccine race, has already made deals at between $32 and $37 per dose of its experimental coronavirus vaccine in agreements with some foreign countries, rattling consumer advocates, who fear an unfair deal for U.S. taxpayers.

STACEY VANEK SMITH, HOST:

Mississippi currently has no state flag. The former flag was retired earlier this summer after nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd. Mississippi was the only state left that still had the Confederate battle flag emblem. To find a new flag for the state, Mississippi asked people to submit designs. Nearly 3,000 submissions were turned in, and now a state commission will review the designs and pick one for voters to approve in November. Reuben Anderson is the chair of the commission to redesign the Mississippi state flag. He joins us now.

Copyright 2020 Oregon Public Broadcasting. To see more, visit Oregon Public Broadcasting.

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Who Is Sen. Anne Ranch?

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STACEY VANEK SMITH, HOST:

Mississippi currently has no state flag. The former flag was retired earlier this summer after nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd. Mississippi was the only state left that still had the Confederate battle flag emblem. To find a new flag for the state, Mississippi asked people to submit designs. Nearly 3,000 submissions were turned in, and now a state commission will review the designs and pick one for voters to approve in November. Reuben Anderson is the chair of the commission to redesign the Mississippi state flag. He joins us now.

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