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Human Welfare

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VATHY, Greece (AP) — Around dawn one recent spring day, an inflatable dinghy carrying nearly three dozen people reached the Greek island of Samos from the nearby Turkish coast. Within 24 hours, refugee rights groups say, the same group was seen drifting in a life raft back to Turkey.

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GENEVA (AP) — The U.N. refugee agency says war, violence, persecution and human rights violations caused nearly 3 million people to flee their homes last year, even though the COVID-19 crisis restricted movement worldwide as countries shut borders and ordered lockdowns.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — In another victory for religious groups at the Supreme Court, the justices on Thursday unanimously sided with a Catholic foster care agency that says its religious views prevent it from working with same-sex couples. The court said the city of Philadelphia wrongly limited its relationship with the group as a result of the agency's policy.

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Justice Samuel Alito called it a “wisp” of a decision — a Supreme Court ruling Thursday that favored Catholic Social Services in Philadelphia but was far from the constitutional gale wind that would have reshaped how courts interpret religious liberty under the First Amendment.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden signed legislation Thursday establishing a new federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery, saying he believes it will go down as one of the greatest honors he has as president.

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The smell of fresh empanadas wafted through the stands at Portland's Saturday Market. People talked through their masks with artists as others sifted through fork windchimes, crystal necklaces, tie dye dresses and clay mugs.

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MILWAUKEE (AP) — Every Sunday at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, the Rev. Joseph Jackson Jr. praises the Lord before his congregation. But since last fall he’s been praising something else his Black community needs: the COVID-19 vaccine.

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DENVER (AP) — A coalition that wants to ask Colorado voters to approve higher taxes on recreational marijuana to help children make up for learning losses during the pandemic and address special needs for low-income and disadvantaged students said Wednesday it’s been endorsed by former Democratic and Republican governors.

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — When it comes to deciding whether a sperm donor should pay child support, a judge should follow the paternity laws of the state where the child is conceived, a North Carolina appeals court ruled this week.

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