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When officials in Chester, Georgia, heard that the 2020 census had pegged their small town at 525 people, their jaws dropped. They believed the town was almost triple that size and feared an inaccurate number could force them to make budget cuts.

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ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — A proposal to overhaul New Mexico’s social studies standards has stirred debate over how race should be taught in schools, with thousands of parents and teachers weighing in on changes that would dramatically increase instruction related to racial and social identity beginning in kindergarten.

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RENO, Nev. (AP) — University of Nevada, Reno President Brian Sandoval is defending his decision to begin the spring semester with mostly in-person classes this week after a group of faculty members called for a two-week classroom closure in the face of unprecedented growth in COVID-19 cases.

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VIENNA (AP) — Austria’s parliament voted Thursday to introduce a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for adults from Feb. 1, the first of its kind in Europe, with maximum potential fines of up to 3,600 euros ($4,000) for people who don't comply after a series of reminders.

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri's Republican Gov. Mike Parson in his State of the State address Wednesday proposed spending hundreds of millions of dollars to boost child care services and teacher wages as the state battles the latest COVID-19 surge.

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The Biden White House this month pushed to protect scientific and statistical agencies like the U.S. Census Bureau from political interference in a report issued just days before newly disclosed documents showed the “unprecedented" extent of the Trump administration's efforts to gain politically from the 2020 headcount.

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ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece imposed a vaccination mandate Monday for people 60 and older as a spike in infections has put sustained pressure on Greek hospitals, where most of the seriously ill patients belong to that age group.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has stopped a major push by the Biden administration to boost the nation's COVID-19 vaccination rate, a requirement that employees at large businesses get a vaccine or test regularly and wear a mask on the job.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Fully vaccinated and mostly masked, the Supreme Court’s conservative majority appeared skeptical Friday of the Biden administration's authority to impose a vaccine-or-testing requirement on the nation's large employers. The court seemed more open to a separate vaccine mandate for most health care workers.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia will join other Republican-led states and business groups in challenging Biden administration mandates intended to increase the nation’s COVID-19 vaccination rate once GOP Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin and Attorney General-elect Jason Miyares take office, the two said in a statement Friday.

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On the tennis court, Novak Djokovic’s timing is perfect. But when the No.1 player boarded a plane for Australia to play the first Grand Slam of the year with a COVID-19 vaccine exemption, his timing hardly could have been worse.

With a large wave of retirements expected throughout Connecticut state government next year, discussions are underway about how to ensure many of those soon-to-be vacant positions will be filled with more diverse workers, in addition to making sure the state can continue to adequately provide services.

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