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  • Associated Press

    North Korea on alert for downpour damages amid COVID crisis

    North Korea said Tuesday it is making all-out efforts to prevent potential damages caused by heavy rains this week that outside observers worry could aggravate the country’s economic hardships amid its COVID-19 outbreak. Summer floods in North Korea, one of the poorest countries in Asia, often cause serious damage to its agricultural and other sectors because of its troubled drainage and deforestation. Typhoons and torrential rains in 2020 were among the difficulties that North Korean leader K

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  • Associated Press

    As COVID fears ebb, Japan readies for tourists from abroad

    The rickshaw men in Tokyo are adding English-speaking staff, a sure sign Japan is bracing for a return of tourists from abroad. Japan’s border controls to curb the spread of coronavirus infections began gradually loosening earlier this month.

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  • Associated Press

    White House to resume its full tour schedule next month

    Public tours of the White House will return to a full operating schedule next month, after nearly a year and a half of disruptions due to the coronavirus pandemic. Free tours of the executive mansion were suspended when President Joe Biden took office, as officials tightened virus protocols in line with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The White House said Monday it will “continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation with guidance based on recommendations from

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  • Reuters

    Ottawa police call in Canada Day reinforcements for 'freedom' protests

    Ottawa officials said on Monday they are closing roads and calling in reinforcements to keep anti-government "freedom" protesters from disrupting Canada Day festivities, which are being held for the first time in three years on Friday. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the free concerts and other activities usually held on the July 1 national holiday, which celebrates the founding of the country, were canceled. This year several groups that say they are protesting against a variety of things - inc

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  • Associated Press

    Germany's Lufthansa to return some A380s to service

    Germany's Lufthansa said Monday that it plans to put some of its Airbus A380 superjumbo jets back into service next year after mothballing the aircraft at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. Lufthansa said it is currently assessing how many A380s will be reactivated and where they will fly. It expects to use them again from summer 2023, and said the decision was made “in response to the steep rise in customer demand and the delayed delivery of ordered aircraft.”

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  • Associated Press

    US grapples with whether to modify COVID vaccine for fall

    U.S. health authorities are facing a critical decision: whether to offer new COVID-19 booster shots this fall that are modified to better match recent changes of the shape-shifting coronavirus. Moderna and Pfizer have tested updated shots against the super-contagious omicron variant, and advisers to the Food and Drug Administration will debate Tuesday if it’s time to make a switch — setting the stage for similar moves by other countries. “This is science at its toughest,” FDA vaccine chief Dr.

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  • Associated Press

    Families brace for changes to pandemic-era free school meals

    Before the pandemic, there was no room in the budget for Kate Murphy’s children to buy lunch at school. The free meals gave the Essex Junction, Vermont, family one less thing to worry about. “We make just too much money (literally by just a few dollars) to qualify for free or reduced lunches and other food-related benefits, but not enough to truly ever feel financially comfortable,” Murphy, a mother of four and administrator at a trust company, said by email.

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  • Reuters

    Drug use high in West and Central Africa, trafficking funds conflict: U.N

    Opioid and cannabis abuse are above global averages in West and Central Africa, while cocaine trafficking through the region is financing militant violence in the Sahel, the United Nations said in a report on Monday. Growing instability in West Africa, a transit route for illegal drugs on their way from South America to Europe, has facilitated drug production and trafficking, generating revenue for armed groups, said the U.N. Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

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  • Associated Press

    Lamar closes Glastonbury with call for women's rights

    Rapper Kendrick Lamar has closed this year's Glastonbury Festival with a powerful headline set that saw him chant “Godspeed for women’s rights” as fake blood poured down his face from a crown of thorns. The Pulitzer Prize-winning rapper was among big names including Diana Ross, Billie Eilish, Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen to feature at the festival in southwest England, which welcomed back 200,000 music fans for the first time since 2019 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Ross, 78, treate

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  • Reuters

    Spanish economic growth sped up in second quarter -minister

    MADRID (Reuters) -Spain's gross domestic product growth accelerated in the second quarter, pointing to a strong upswing over the course of this year, Economy Minister Nadia Calvino said on Monday. She attributed the economic rebound to the government's post-pandemic stimulus plans financed by European Union rescue funds. Spain's statistics institute on Friday revised first quarter economic growth to 0.2% quarter-on-quarter, down from a previous 0.3% in April.

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