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Humanitarian Crises

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O'FALLON, (AP) — After more than a year of severe restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus in Missouri’s two urban areas, Kansas City, St. Louis and St. Louis County on Friday took major steps to allow businesses, schools and other places to return to some semblance of normal.

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LONDON (AP) — When London’s Science Museum reopens next week, it will have some new artifacts: empty vaccine vials, testing kits and other items collected during the pandemic, to be featured in a new COVID-19 display.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — In a major step toward returning to pre-pandemic life, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has eased mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people, allowing them to stop wearing masks outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings.

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MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine president has eased a coronavirus lockdown in the bustling capital and adjacent provinces to fight economic recession and hunger but still barred public gatherings this month, when many Roman Catholic summer religious festivals are held.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Reports of sexual assaults among the U.S. military increased by a very small amount in 2020, a year when troops were largely locked down for months as bases around the world grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Pentagon.

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The presidents of the nation's two major teachers unions called separately for a full return to in-person learning in the fall, with the leader of the American Federation of Teachers declaring Thursday that her organization was “all-in.”

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to 473,000, a new pandemic low and the latest evidence that fewer employers are cutting jobs as consumers ramp up spending and more businesses reopen.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The government is providing $7.4 billion to expand the nation's public health capacity, including hiring school nurses to vaccinate kids, setting up a health care service corps and bolstering traditional disease detection efforts, White House officials said Thursday.

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Republican lawmakers across the country have tried to roll back the emergency powers that governors wielded during the COVID-19 pandemic, as they ordered businesses shut, mask-wearing in public and students home for distance learning.

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NEW YORK (AP) — Children ages 12 and older can now roll up their sleeves for COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S., offering parents and schools a chance to relax their pandemic precautions and bringing the country a step closer to controlling the virus.

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As a lengthy, bitter fight over mask requirements for students neared its conclusion, the chairperson of a Florida school board announced that she would agree to lift a mandate that had been in place since September even though she preferred leaving it in place until the end of the academic year. Parents hurled insults in response.

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri lawmakers pushed back Wednesday against local coronavirus restrictions, passing legislation limiting the duration of public health orders that have shut down businesses and schools and limited how many people can gather.

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