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Lockdowns in Asia as some nations see 1st major COVID-19 waves

BANGKOK >> Several countries around Asia and the Pacific, experiencing their first major waves of coronavirus, rushed to impose severe restrictions, a year and a half into a pandemic that many initially coped well with. Faced with rapidly rising numbers of infections in recent months, authorities in countries such as Thailand, South Korea and Vietnam announced or introduced measures on …

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5 arrested in Honduras for brutal murder in Italian

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) – Five residents of a city in Honduras were arrested on Friday for the brutal murder of an Italian man. Edgardo Barahona, a spokesman for the public security department, said several possible suspects were wanted in the murder of the Italian. The victim was identified as Giorgio Scanu. Video of the killing Thursday showed dozens of people …

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France to withdraw more than 2,000 troops from the Sahel of Africa

PARIS (AP) – France is withdrawing more than 2,000 troops from an anti-extremism force in the Sahel region of Africa early next year and will instead turn its military presence into specialized regional forces, President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday. Macron last month announced a future reduction in France’s military presence, arguing that it is no longer tailored to the …

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A revealing ‘Gaffe’ Roils Asia

The Japanese government played clean-up this week after Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso announced that the country would intervene to repel a Chinese invasion of Taiwan. Such a Chinese military expansion, he said on Monday, could threaten Japan’s “survival” and “if so, Japan and the United States must defend Taiwan together.” Japan officially adheres to a “one-China” policy and favors …

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‘Treat all children equally’

California schools are still planning to require wearing masks indoors after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that teachers and students vaccinated against COVID-19 did not need to wear masks, state health officials said. The California Department of Public Health cited a CDC warning for its new mask-free recommendations – for when it is not possible to …

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