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Humanitarian Crises

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid fell last week to 498,000, the lowest point since the viral pandemic struck 14 months ago and a sign of the job market's growing strength as businesses reopen and consumers step up spending.

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — When the pandemic passed the one-year mark, Lisa Phillips wasn't exactly eager to walk down memory lane. She had developed symptoms and quarantined with a suspected case of COVID-19 last spring, lost her mother to the disease in July and been hospitalized in November from what she describes as a nervous breakdown fueled by grief and isolation.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — After nearly three decades in London, Christophe Reech was fed up with the city's pandemic lockdowns. This spring, he sold his luxury townhouse and jetted off to the desert sheikhdom of Dubai to start a new life with his family.

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The catastrophic wave of Covid-19 in India has prompted donors to send millions of dollars to the country, which Tuesday crossed the grim mark of more than 20 million cases of the killer disease.

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Confronted with a stream of unaccompanied children crossing the border from Mexico, the U.S. government has awarded shelter-construction and management contracts to private companies that critics say may not be equipped to adequately care for the minors.

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GENEVA (AP) — U.S. biotech company Moderna will provide up to 500 million doses for the U.N.-backed program to ship coronavirus vaccines to needy people in low- and middle-income countries, but shipments won't begin until the fourth quarter, the company and program leaders said Monday.

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) — A Roman Catholic priest better known for his outreach to the poor is winning new fans with his catchy public health-focused lyrics set to a popular 1990s salsa tune as Costa Rica experiences its worst moment of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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NEW YORK (AP) — New York City's subway will begin rolling all night again and existing capacity restrictions for houses of worship and most types of businesses will lift statewide in mid-May as COVID-19 infection rates continues to decline, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday.

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BERLIN (AP) — Bavarian officials on Monday canceled Oktoberfest festivities for a second year in a row due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19, saying there are too many risks in hosting the celebrations — which bring in visitors from around the world — during a global pandemic.

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