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Humanitarian Crises

BEIJING (AP) — China on Wednesday expressed “serious concerns and dissatisfaction” with the United States over reports of an internal State Department request to allow the departure of diplomats and their families from China amid tightening anti-pandemic measures.

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California showed signs it turned the corner on the omicron wave of the coronavirus pandemic, with infection rates falling and hospitalizations well short of the overwhelming deluge officials feared a few weeks ago.

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania's state Senate fast-tracked legislation Tuesday to spend $225 million to help hospitals struggling to keep staff on board as the omicron variant of the coronavirus has packed hospitals with unvaccinated patients.

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The mayor of San Francisco expressed despair over the increase in reported hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders last year, up an astonishing 567% from the previous year, according to preliminary figures released by the police department on Tuesday.

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republicans who control the Wisconsin Assembly approved a pair of bills Tuesday that would require employers to count a prior coronavirus infection as an alternative to vaccination and testing and prohibit government agencies from issuing vaccine passports.

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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.

GENEVA (AP) — World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus laid out more plans Tuesday to fight the virus as he pitched his case for a new five-year term and faced criticism from his own country — Ethiopia — over his comments about the embattled Tigray region.

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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.

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.

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