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Dispatches Human Race

Goodbye, Alex Trebek

Alex Trebek (Astrid Riecken For The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Died

Longtime Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek died Nov. 8 at age 80.

Trebek was quietly tenacious, a trait he traced back to his Canadian upbringing and years of playing ice hockey. During his 30-plus-year tenure on Jeopardy!, he canceled only one taping—when he lost his voice completely.

Trebek earned seven Emmy Awards, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and a Guinness World Record for the most game show episodes hosted by the same presenter. He used his fame to promote geography, a subject that had always captivated his interest. He also supported the charities World Vision and Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission in Los Angeles.

The host announced in March 2019 that he had stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Trebek’s wife and their three children survive him.

Encouraged

By mid-November, drug manufacturers Pfizer and Moderna announced their COVID-19 vaccines showed about 95 percent effectiveness rates in trials, and Pfizer planned to apply for emergency FDA approval for the vaccine “within days.” President Donald Trump praised the quick development of Pfi­zer’s vaccine and suggested that front-line workers and high-risk Americans could get a vaccine “in a matter of weeks.” Widespread rollout would likely take longer. The Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed is supporting development and production of Mo­derna’s vaccine as well as manufacturing and distribution for Pfizer’s.

Resigned

Peruvian interim President Manuel Merino announced his resignation in a televised address on Nov. 15, less than one week after he replaced President Martín Vizcarra. Vizcarra’s ouster sparked mass demonstrations and accusations that Congress staged a coup. Half of Merino’s Cabinet resigned on the day before his resignation, and two demonstrators in their 20s died during protests. Human rights groups reported about 41 people missing and 112 injured in one day’s demonstrations. Congress eventually voted in as a new caretaker president Francisco Sagasti, who for a day was head of Congress. Peru’s constitutional crisis comes as the country faces a recession and high coronavirus infections.

Investigated

A 400-plus-page internal Vatican investigation named a series of former and current bishops, cardinals, and popes who it said turned a blind eye to former U.S. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s alleged sexual misconduct toward children and adults. McCarrick served as a priest, bishop, and archbishop in New York and New Jersey from the 1950s until becoming archbishop of Washington, D.C., in 2000. The report places most of the responsibility on the late Pope John Paul II, who appointed McCar­rick as archbishop of Washington after an inquiry confirmed his misconduct with seminarians.