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Covid 19 Pandemic

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O’FALLON, Mo. — A swath of southern Missouri is seeing a big rise in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations at just the wrong time — as tourists eager to get out after being cooped up for a year make their way to popular destinations like Branson and Lake of the Ozarks.

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DENVER (AP) — A coalition that wants to ask Colorado voters to approve higher taxes on recreational marijuana to help children make up for learning losses during the pandemic and address special needs for low-income and disadvantaged students said Wednesday it’s been endorsed by former Democratic and Republican governors.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve signaled Wednesday that it may act sooner than previously planned to start dialing back the low-interest-rate policies that have helped fuel a swift rebound from the pandemic recession but have also coincided with rising inflation.

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NEW YORK (AP) — More than 4 million people say they fear being evicted or foreclosed upon in the coming months just as two studies released Wednesday found that the nation's housing availability and affordability crisis is expected to worsen significantly following the pandemic.

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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A commission that reviews emergency spending requests said Wednesday that it would not approve the allocation of millions of federal dollars sought by North Dakota agencies, due to a state law that limits the panel’s spending to $50 million each two-year legislative cycle.

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Ashley Pearce’s daughter was set to start kindergarten last year in Maryland’s Montgomery County school system. But when it became clear that the year would begin online, Pearce found a nearby Catholic school offering in-person instruction and made the switch.

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BOSTON (AP) — Some pandemic-era policies that had expired on Tuesday — such as allowing restaurants to offer take-out cocktails — were quickly extended Wednesday after Republican Gov. Charlie Baker signed a bill sent to him by state lawmakers.

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As cases tumble and states reopen, the potential final stage in the U.S. campaign to vanquish COVID-19 is turning into a slog, with a worrisome variant gaining a bigger foothold and lotteries and other prizes failing to persuade some Americans to get vaccinated.

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The smell of fresh empanadas wafted through the stands at Portland's Saturday Market. People talked through their masks with artists as others sifted through fork windchimes, crystal necklaces, tie dye dresses and clay mugs.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — As the coronavirus pandemic raged over the past year, Virginia prison officials released more than 2,100 inmates early to try to control the spread of the virus by reducing the prison population. That practice will end on July 1, the Department of Corrections announced Wednesday.

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MEXICO CITY (AP) — A preliminary report by experts into the collapse of a Mexico City elevated subway line that killed 26 people placed much of the blame Wednesday on poor welds in studs that joined steel support beams to a concrete layer supporting the track bed.

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LONDON (AP) — Britain will require COVID-19 vaccinations for nursing home workers in England, arguing that the need to protect vulnerable residents outweighed employees' right to choose whether to get the jab.

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MIAMI (AP) — Royal Caribbean International is postponing for nearly a month one of the highly anticipated first sailings from the U.S. since the pandemic began because eight crew members tested positive for COVID-19, the company's CEO said.

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A California man charged with joining anti-government extremists in rioting at the U.S. Capitol told the IRS last year that he formed a charity called the American Phoenix Project to defend “human and civil rights” and educate the public about vaccines.

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