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Pandemics

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PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — The overcast, drizzly skies match the somber mood at the Tshwane University of Technology, a hot spot in South Africa’s latest surge of COVID-19 cases, apparently driven by the new omicron variant that is leading countries around the world to impose new restrictions.

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BERLIN (AP) — Swiss voters on Sunday gave clear backing to legislation that introduced a system with special COVID-19 certificates under which only people who have been vaccinated, recovered or tested negative can attend public events and gatherings.

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The Netherlands confirmed 13 cases of the new omicron variant of the coronavirus and Australia found two on Sunday as the countries half a world apart became the latest to detect it in travelers arriving from southern Africa.

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LONDON (AP) — The new potentially more contagious omicron variant of the coronavirus popped up in more European countries on Saturday, just days after being identified in South Africa, leaving governments around the world scrambling to stop the spread.

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THE HAGUE (AP) — Nations across Europe took new measures Friday in an attempt to keep a COVID-19 spike from spiraling out of control, hoping that action now will safeguard the joys of Christmas next month.

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WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland's resistance to introducing new lockdowns and restrictions amid skyrocketing COVID-19 infections and deaths is drawing criticism from the country's medical professionals and is bucking a growing European embrace of limits on the unvaccinated.

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FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The holiday tree is towering over the main square in this central German city, the chestnuts and sugared almonds are roasted, and kids are clambering aboard the merry-go-round just like they did before the pandemic. But a surge in coronavirus infections has left an uneasy feeling hanging over Frankfurt's Christmas market.

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BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel labelled Thursday “a very sad day” and backed calls for more restrictions, as her country became the latest to surpass 100,000 deaths from COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The European Union's drug regulator on Thursday authorized Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine for use on children from 5 to 11 years old, clearing the way for shots to be administered to millions of elementary school pupils amid a new wave of infections sweeping across the continent.

KAYA, Burkina Faso (AP) — Mariama Sawadogo sits in a small studio, translating notes from French to the local language of Moore and scribbling talking points in the margins. Transmission, prevention, vaccination — Sawadogo hits these topics in her bimonthly radio show on Zama FM, interviewing doctors and nurses about COVID-19 and testing callers on their knowledge.

KAYA, Burkina Faso (AP) — Mariama Sawadogo sits in a small studio, translating notes from French to the local language of Moore and scribbling talking points in the margins. Transmission, prevention, vaccination — Sawadogo hits these topics in her bimonthly radio show on Zama FM, interviewing doctors and nurses about COVID-19 and testing callers on their knowledge.

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DALLAS (AP) — Determined to reclaim Thanksgiving traditions that were put on pause last year by the pandemic, millions of Americans will be loading up their cars or piling onto planes to gather again with friends and family.

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ROME (AP) — The Italian government on Wednesday decided to exclude unvaccinated people from certain leisure activities in a bid to contain rising coronavirus infections and stave off financially crippling lockdowns just as the economy is starting to grow again.

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Portugal on Wednesday reported its highest number of new daily COVID-19 infections since July amid a surge in cases across Europe, though hospitalizations are rising more slowly in the country where 86% of people are vaccinated.

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ESCHWEILER, Germany (AP) — As Germany inches toward the mark of 100,000 deaths from COVID-19, the country's leader-in-waiting announced plans Wednesday to create an expert team at the heart of the next government to provide daily scientific advice on tackling the coronavirus pandemic.

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The U.S. is facing its second Thanksgiving of the pandemic in better shape than the first time around, thanks to the vaccine, though some regions are seeing surges of COVID-19 cases that could get worse as families travel the country for gatherings that were impossible a year ago.

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