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NEW YORK (AP) — The omicron variant of COVID-19, which had been undetected in the U.S. before the middle of this week, had been discovered in at least five states by the end of Thursday, showing yet again how mutations of the virus can circumnavigate the globe with speed and ease.

While all eyes are on the new and little-understood omicron variant that is popping up around the country, the delta form of the coronavirus isn't finished wreaking havoc in the U.S., swamping hospitals with record numbers of patients in the Midwest and New England.

DRAPER, Utah (AP) — When her 10-year-old daughter tried spraying air freshener on herself before school one morning, Brittany Tichenor-Cox suspected something was wrong with the sweet little girl whose beaming smile had gone dormant after she started the fifth grade.

Here’s a brief daily update on the coronavirus pandemic. State and county statistics reflect totals as of 11:59 p.m. Wednesday. National statistics reflect totals last updated at 3:02 p.m. Thursday. World statistics are as of 11:51 a.m. Thursday.

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JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa has accelerated its vaccination campaign by giving jabs at pop-up sites in shopping centers and transportation hubs to combat a rapid rise in new COVID-19 cases a week after the discovery of the omicron variant of the coronavirus.

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — At least 50 people in and around Norway's capital have been infected with the omicron coronavirus variant, and the cases are connected to a Norwegian company’s Christmas party in an Oslo restaurant, officials said Thursday.

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NEW DELHI (AP) — India on Thursday confirmed its first cases of the omicron coronavirus variant in two people and officials said one arrived from South Africa and the other had no travel history. A top medical expert urged people to get vaccinated.

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PARIS (AP) — The global initiative to share coronavirus vaccines fairly already scaled back its pledge to the world's poor once. Now, to meet even that limited promise, COVAX would have to deliver more than a million doses every hour until the end of the year in some of the world's most chal…

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The European Union drug regulator said Thursday it has started a rolling review of a new coronavirus vaccine made by French startup Valneva, the first step toward giving the vaccine the green light to be used in the 27-nation EU.

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TOKYO (AP) — Japan says it has retracted a ban on new incoming international flight bookings to defend against the new variant of the coronavirus only a day after the policy was announced, following criticisms that it was an overreaction.

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DALLAS (AP) — Marcus Lamb, CEO and founder of the conservative Christian Daystar Television Network who was outspoken against COVID-19 vaccines, has died at age 64 after contracting the virus.

Here’s a brief daily update on the coronavirus pandemic. State and county statistics reflect totals as of 11:59 p.m. Tuesday. National statistics reflect totals last updated at 2:39 p.m. Wednesday. World statistics are as of 12:16 p.m. Wednesday.

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ATHENS, Greece -- Greek lawmakers have approved legislation making vaccination for COVID-19 mandatory for all people aged over 60 living in the country on pain of a monthly fine, to deal with an infection surge and the emergence of the omicron variant.

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LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria has detected its first case of the omicron coronavirus variant in travelers who arrived from South Africa in the past week, the country’s national public health institute said Wednesday, correcting its earlier statement that it found the variant in samples taken…

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MADRID (AP) — Juan Esteban Mariño, a healthy 29-year-old, has been part of the rare cohort in Spain who have resisted health authorities' strong recommendations to get their vaccine shots. His position only changed when he planned an end-of-the-year holiday in Portugal, where authorities are…

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TOKYO (AP) — Japan has asked international airlines to stop taking new reservations for all flights arriving in Japan until the end of December as the country further tightens its border controls against a new coronavirus variant, the transportation ministry said Wednesday.

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Fiji welcomed back its first tourists in more than 600 days on Wednesday after pushing ahead with reopening plans despite the threat posed by the newly detected omicron variant of the coronavirus.

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UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, said Tuesday the COVID-19 pandemic has diverted scientific and financial resources from the fight against AIDS, seriously impeding global efforts to achieve the U.N. goal of ending AIDS by 2030.

Here’s a brief daily update on the coronavirus pandemic. State and county statistics reflect totals as of 11:59 p.m. Monday. National statistics reflect totals last updated at 4:51 p.m. Monday. World statistics are as of 11:05 a.m. Monday.

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LONDON (AP) — New measures to combat the new omicron variant of coronavirus took effect in England on Tuesday, with face coverings again compulsory in shops and on public transportation, as the government said it would offer all adults a booster dose of vaccine within two months to bolster t…

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AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — The head of the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees said Tuesday it was unable to pay its 28,000 employees on time this month because of a major funding crisis, warning of potential cuts in vital services to millions of people amid a global pandemic.

NEW YORK (AP) — Maggie Gyllenhaal's Elena Ferrante adaptation “The Lost Daughter" won four Gotham Awards including best feature film at the 31st Gotham Awards, the annual New York independent film celebration that serves as a boozy kickoff to Oscar season.

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BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union’s medical agency chief said Tuesday that it is ready to deal with the new omicron variant, and that it will take two weeks to have an indication whether the current COVID-19 vaccines will be able to deal with it.

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Black Eyed Peas’ will.i.am said Monday that politics don’t dictate his actions, with pressure from pro-Palestinian activists unable to deter him from performing in Israel and maintaining ties to the country's high-tech scene.

Here’s a brief daily update on the coronavirus pandemic. State and county statistics reflect totals as of 11:59 p.m. Sunday. National statistics reflect totals last updated at 12:51 p.m. Sunday. World statistics are as of 11:05 a.m. Monday.

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Dutch military police arrested a husband and wife Sunday who had left a hotel where they were being quarantined after testing positive for COVID-19 and boarded a plane to fly home to Spain.

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JOHOR BAHRU, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysians working in Singapore held joyful reunions with their loved ones after returning to their homeland on Monday following the partial reopening of a land border that has been shuttered for nearly two years due to the pandemic.

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — The emergence of the omicron variant hasn't changed New Zealand's plans to ease restrictions in Auckland and move the nation into a new, more open phase of its pandemic response, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Monday.

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Cases of the omicron variant of the coronavirus popped up in countries on opposite sides of the world Sunday and many governments rushed to close their borders even as scientists cautioned that it's not clear if the new variant is more alarming than other versio…

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