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Coronavirus, Migrant Children, November Books: Your Friday Evening Briefing

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Good evening. Here’s the latest.

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Credit...Bing Guan/Reuters

1. The U.S. had its worst week yet for coronavirus cases, recording more than 500,000 new cases.

Cases, hospitalizations and deaths across much of the country are the highest they have been during the pandemic. It’s not just a few areas driving the surge: Half of all U.S. counties had new cases peak during the past month. Above, a testing center in Bismarck, N.D.

In the Upper Midwest and Mountain West, records are being smashed almost daily. In New York City, once the epicenter of the epidemic, hospitalizations are slowly rising, but stays are shorter and fewer patients are dying.

In other virus developments:

Credit...Fernando Llano/Associated Press

2. Migrant children from other countries have been handed off to the authorities in Mexico in an apparent violation of U.S. child welfare policy.

The expulsions — more than 200 over the past eight months — put children from countries such as Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador at risk by sending them with no accompanying adult into a country where they have no family connections.

The removals are part of an aggressive border closure policy the Trump administration has said is necessary to prevent the coronavirus from spreading into the U.S. An internal email from a senior Border Patrol official, obtained by The Times, said the transfers violated the government’s own policies. Above, a border agent in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, last year.

Credit...Nitashia Johnson for The New York Times
Credit...Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

4. In battleground states, both parties are succeeding in coaxing infrequent voters like Geraldine Folk, above, off the sidelines. The all-important question is who will do it better.

In Pennsylvania, around 24 percent of the 424,000 registered Republicans who cast early mail-in votes did not vote four years ago, according to an elections data firm. Democrats are keeping pace — about one in four of the 1.3 million registered Democrats who have voted did not vote in 2016.

The trends playing out in Pennsylvania are seen across 14 battleground states, where more than 10 million people who didn’t vote in 2016 have already cast ballots this year.

If President Trump loses his re-election bid, female voters will probably have played a critical role. A cross-section of women shared what’s top of mind as they cast their votes.

Credit...Kiran Ridley/Getty Images

5. On paper, the European economy is snapping back smartly from the pandemic. But images from Paris, above, Madrid and Frankfurt tell a different story.

The risk of another severe downturn in Europe is rising as new lockdowns take effect in countries like Germany, France and Belgium, where the authorities are desperate to prevent a surge in coronavirus infections from overwhelming hospitals.

The gloomy and uncertain outlook overshadowed news of a record 12.7 percent quarterly increase in gross domestic product from the previous quarter in the 19 countries that use the euro.

Thousands of people tried to leave Paris on Thursday, just hours before France went into its second nationwide lockdown, prompting massive traffic jams as many fled to the countryside.

In the U.S., stocks suffered their biggest weekly drop since March.

Credit...Mert Cakir/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

6. At least 12 people were killed in Turkey and two in Greece when a 7.0 magnitude earthquake in the Aegean Sea rattled parts of both countries.

The quake was centered off Samos, a Greek island near Turkey’s coast, and caused major damage in the western Turkish province of Izmir. More than 700 people were confirmed injured in Turkey, and rescue efforts are underway. Here’s the latest.

The quake was felt in Istanbul, about 200 miles northeast of Izmir, and in parts of Greece. But much of the initial damage seemed to be centered in the city of Izmir, above, a center for tourism and industry that is prone to earthquakes.

Credit...Schmidt Ocean Institute

7. Explorers of the Great Barrier Reef have discovered a giant pinnacle of coral — and it is teeming with sea life.

Scientists said the detached coral was nearly one-third of a mile tall (that’s even taller than the Empire State Building). Its discoverers called it the first large new element of Australia’s famous reef system to be identified in more than 120 years. The good news comes amid growing concern over the decline of the Great Barrier Reef’s shallower areas.

In other underwater news, Americans may add five times more coastal plastic pollution worldwide than previously thought. A new study estimates that in 2016, the U.S. contributed between 1.1 million and 2.2 million metric tons of plastic waste to the oceans.

Credit...Alycee Byrd for The New York Times
Credit...Christopher Simpson for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.

9. Ballpark and Tex-Mex nachos are both ubiquitous in the U.S. But the original version is deeply rooted in the borderlands and Mexican home cooking.

Nachos were created back in 1943, when a maître d’hôtel at a restaurant in Piedras Negras, in Coahuila, Mexico, created a quick appetizer for a group of wives of Americans stationed at a nearby military base. The original recipe had just three elements: tortilla chips, cheese and pickled jalapeños.

The Mexican chef and Times contributor Pati Jinich traced the dish’s history from 1943 to its explosion in popularity in the States (partly thanks to an emulsified cheese sauce that requires no refrigeration). However you eat them, nachos should be “messy, saucy and provoke that ‘I can’t have just one’ feeling when you take a bite,” Pati writes.

10. And finally: new month, new books.

Our Books team rounded up 16 new books to watch for in November, including former President Barack Obama’s new memoir, a biography of Adrienne Rich and buzzy fiction from Jo Nesbo, Nicole Krauss and Susie Yang.

We also talked to Steve Martin, whose new book with Harry Bliss is “A Wealth of Pigeons,” about the last great book he read, his favorite genre (the “I can’t put this down” genre) and whom he would invite to a literary dinner party: Socrates, Nora Ephron, Mark Twain, Dorothy Parker, Adam Gopnik and Rebecca Solnit “so she could throw me looks whenever I became ‘that guy.’”

Hope you find a good reading nook this weekend.

Your Evening Briefing is posted at 6 p.m. Eastern.

Want to catch up on past briefings? You can browse them here.

What did you like? What do you want to see here? Let us know at briefing@nytimes.com.

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