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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The high school bands played, the costumed marching groups danced and float riders threw Moon Pies and beads to the thousands of people who turned out Saturday for New Orleans' first big parade since the onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic put the brakes on the city's signature brand of frivolity.

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Serbia on Saturday is set to launch partial COVID-19 passes while Croatia and Slovenia reported high daily rates of infections, as countries with low vaccination rates grapple with a persisting virus surge.

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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Depending on whom you ask, Maine’s proposed “right to food” constitutional amendment would simply put people in charge of how and what they eat — or would endanger animals and food supplies, and turn urban neighborhoods into cattle pastures.

Even as schools have returned in full swing across the country, complications wrought by the pandemic persist, often falling hardest on those least able to weather them: families without transportation, people with limited income or other financial hardship, people who don't speak English, children with special needs.

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Federal health regulators said late Friday that kid-size doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine appear highly effective at preventing symptomatic infections in elementary school children and caused no unexpected safety issues, as the U.S. weighs beginning vaccinations in youngsters.

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Earlier this year, an insistent cry arose from business leaders and Republican governors: Cut off a $300-a-week federal supplement for unemployed Americans. Many people, they argued, would then come off the sidelines and take the millions of jobs that employers were desperate to fill.

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Earlier this year, an insistent cry arose from business leaders and Republican governors: Cut off a $300-a-week federal supplement for unemployed Americans. Many people, they argued, would then come off the sidelines and take the millions of jobs that employers were desperate to fill.

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — With expanded access to coronavirus boosters approved and vaccinations for younger kids on the horizon, family physicians are fielding phone calls from people eager to get the shots. But this round of vaccinations is more complicated than the last — with mix-and-match possibilities between different vaccine brands, different dosage sizes and varying rules about exactly who qualifies for which booster.

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Doctor Petruta Filip is working 100-hour weeks at a Bucharest hospital which, like hospitals throughout Romania, is struggling under an onslaught of COVID-19 patients in a country with worryingly low vaccination rates.

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KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Belarusian authorities on Friday horrified doctors by abolishing mask mandates, less than two weeks after their introduction for the first time during the pandemic and a day after the country registered a record number of new coronavirus infections.

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