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BERLIN (AP) — Chancellor-designate Olaf Scholz announced Monday that an epidemiologist who has been a prominent voice of caution in the coronavirus pandemic will be Germany's new health minister, part of a team that includes the first woman to become the country's top security official.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A California official defending the state’s landmark law that mandates women be placed on corporate boards testified Thursday that it was essentially toothless and there are no plans to penalize companies for not complying.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and their spouses held a “family” celebration of Hanukkah at the White House Wednesday, with the first Jewish spouse of a vice president, second gentleman Doug Emhoff, joining in lighting the menorah.

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Dr. Mandy Cohen, the head of North Carolina's health department and face of regular updates on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the state for two years, is stepping down from her post, Gov. Roy Cooper announced Tuesday.

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ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan (AP) — Turkmenistan’s autocratic president has put his only son in charge of the Central Asian nation's energy sector, further expanding his clout in a move seen as laying the foundations for a political dynasty.

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NANTUCKET, Mass. (AP) — Two women of color are President Joe Biden’s picks to lead the White House budget office, a milestone for the powerful agency after his first choice withdrew following criticism over her previous attacks on lawmakers from both parties.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Biotechnology entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes, a former billionaire accused of engineering a massive medical scam, expressed some remorse while on the witness stand Tuesday, but denied trying to conceal that her company's blood-testing methods weren't working as she had promised.

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SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Biotechnology entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes, a former billionaire accused of engineering a massive medical scam, expressed some remorse while on the witness stand Tuesday, but denied trying to conceal that her company's blood-testing methods weren't working as she had promised.

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Inflation is driving up consumer prices and will drive a big salary increase for Pennsylvania state lawmakers, judges and top executive branch officials in 2022. For many of these positions, it's the biggest increase in three decades.

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana edged forward Wednesday with its latest effort to update the state's voting system, with the convening of a new commission that will help choose the technology after receiving broader input than officials did during prevous unsuccessful efforts to replace thousands of old voting machines.

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TOKYO (AP) — The Japanese government's preparations for the next virus surge include adding thousands more hospital beds to avoid a situation like last summer when many COVID-19 patients were forced to stay home, even while dependent on oxygen deliveries.

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TOKYO (AP) — Fumio Kishida, reelected as Japan’s prime minister on Wednesday after his governing party scored a major victory in key parliamentary elections, said the coronavirus remains the country's most urgent issue and pledged to take steps to mend the pandemic-battered economy.

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CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia’s deal to acquire submarines powered by U.S. nuclear technology was aimed at protecting the United States from Chinese nuclear attack and had changed Australia-Sino relations, former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating said on Wednesday.

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