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Coronavirus

As Reopening Nears Californians Spend Holiday in Upbeat

SAN FRANCISCO — California residents are celebrating the sunny Memorial Day weekend more upbeat than they have been for any other holiday since the pandemic began, thanks to dramatically lower virus case rates and increasing vaccinations.

About 90% of the state population is in the lower two of four tiers that restrict business operations and other activities. By June 15, California will end the tier system and relax social distancing and masking rules.

Many tourist attractions say they’re already swamped. One business owner in wine country says she’s had to limit the number of nights her restaurants and bar are open because she can’t find enough people to work.

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NEW YORK (AP) — President Joe Biden promised to distribute hundreds of millions of free COVID-19 tests and to open more testing sites to fight surging infections, but the stepped-up efforts will not come in time for people who want to find out if they are infected before the holidays.

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Politics

ANKARA - Turkey's swiveling between offering diplomacy or gunboats and demands that Greece take troops off its islands near Turkey's coast is roiling the waters between the countries and plans to hunt for energy.

United States

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Video

Despite Huge Volcano Blast, Tonga Avoids Widespread Disaster

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — The blast from the volcano could be heard in Alaska, and the waves crossed the ocean to cause an oil spill and two drownings in Peru.