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Humanitarian Crises

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Anti-vaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. made “deeply offensive" comments when he suggested things are worse for people today than they were for Anne Frank, the teenager who died in a Nazi concentration camp after hiding with her family in a secret annex in an Amsterdam house for two years, several Jewish advocacy and Holocaust remembrance groups said Monday.

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BERLIN (AP) — Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Germany's 16 state governors decided Monday to keep existing coronavirus restrictions in place and examine how best to use increasingly strained PCR test capacities as the highly contagious omicron variant fuels a steep rise in infections.

GENEVA (AP) — The World Health Organization's director-general on Monday warned that conditions remain ideal for more coronavirus variants to emerge and it's dangerous to assume omicron is the last one or that “we are in the endgame.”

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BEIJING (AP) — A cluster of COVID-19 cases in Beijing has prompted authorities to test millions and impose new measures two weeks ahead of the opening of the Winter Olympics, even as the city of Xi'an in north-central China lifted on Monday a monthlong lockdown that had isolated its 13 million residents.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea will expand rapid testing and shorten quarantines as it reshapes its pandemic response to deal with a faster-than-expected surge in coronavirus infections driven by the highly contagious omicron variant.

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OSLO, Norway (AP) — A Taliban delegation led by acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi on Sunday started three days of talks in Oslo with Western officials and Afghan civil society representatives amid a deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — The Gaza Strip’s Hamas rulers on Sunday tried to distance themselves from a protest staged by a pro-Iranian militant group that harshly attacked Saudi Arabia over its role in Yemen’s civil war.

BEIJING (AP) — The homeless, the sick, the elderly: For people who fell through the cracks of the official system, the then-unprecedented decision to isolate the central Chinese city of Wuhan and its 13 million people was a matter of life or death.

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SANAA, Yemen (AP) — A Saudi-led coalition airstrike hit a prison run by Yemen's Houthi rebels on Friday, killing at least 70 detainees and wounding dozens, a rebel minister said. The strike was part of a pounding aerial offensive that knocked the Arab world's poorest country off the internet.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Conservative Utah lawmakers overturned mask mandates in two counties Friday as the omicron variant of the coronavirus fueled a punishing surge.

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SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) — In Costa Rica, officials are encouraging those infected with the coronavirus to skip voting in upcoming national elections. On the other side of the world, Beijing is locking down residential communities as the country anxiously awaits the start of the Winter Olympics on Feb. 4.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Gov. Glenn Youngkin has asked the Supreme Court of Virginia to dismiss a lawsuit challenging his executive order allowing parents to opt out of mandates requiring children to wear masks in school.

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan's health director on Thursday ordered nursing homes to offer on-site booster shots to residents who are not up to date on the COVID-19 vaccine in a state that lags others in vaccinating people in long-term care facilities.

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Some European countries such as Spain are making tentative plans for when they might start treating COVID-19 as an “endemic” disease, but the World Health Organization and other officials have warned that the world is nowhere close to declaring the pandemic over. A look at what endemic means and the implications for the future.

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Emergency health workers in California Wednesday blasted hours-long waits to transfer patients from ambulances to hospital emergency rooms in what they said were chronic delays worsened by the nearly two-year coronavirus pandemic.

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