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Humanitarian Crises

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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