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UNDATED (AP) The second Thanksgiving day of the COVID-19 pandemic comes after a revived virus pushed new infections in the US to 95,000 every day and caused alarming increases in hospitals in Michigan, Minnesota, Colorado and Arizona. American families are facing dilemmas about rallies being charged with the same political debates and coronavirus consuming other arenas. Many of those who bypassed traditional rallies last year, before vaccines became available, are putting aside concerns and reuniting. Others are choosing to be careful and stay in smaller groups and avoid traveling.

NEW YORK (AP) The Macys Thanksgiving Day parade is back in full swing after it was tightened by the coronavirus pandemic last year. The lineup of balloons, notes, marching bands, clowns, performers and Santa Claus again started moving on 2 1/2 miles of Manhattan streets Thursday morning. Participants were confined to a block or sometimes pre-recorded last year. The spectators closed in 2020, but this time they are paving the way again. Thanksgiving Parade is the latest holiday event in the US to return in the midst of the ongoing pandemic. However, some security measures continue. Parade staff and volunteers should be vaccinated against COVID-19 and most should wear masks.

BERLIN (AP) German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke of a very sad day as her country became the last to have exceeded 100,000 deaths from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. The National Disease Control Agency said Thursday it recorded an additional 351 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of COVID-19s to 100,119. In Europe, Germany is the fifth country to cross this point, after Russia, the United Kingdom, Italy and France. The tall German leader, who is currently in office as caretaker until her successor is sworn in, warned that hundreds more deaths were already on the horizon. The Robert Koch Institute said Germany set a record for 75,961 confirmed daily cases in the past 24-hour period.

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) The European Union drug regulator has authorized the coronavirus Pfizers vaccine for use in children aged 5 to 11 years. Thursday’s move paves the way for administering injections to millions of elementary school students amid a new wave of infections sweeping across Europe. It is the first time that the European Medicines Agency has cleared a COVID-19 vaccine for use in young children. The agency said it recommended extending the indication for the Comirnaty vaccine for COVID-19 to include use in children aged 5 to 11 years.

ROME (AP) The famous green-eyed Afghan girl from National Geographics has arrived in Italy as part of the evacuation of Afghans from the West after the Taliban invaded the country. The office of Prime Minister Mario Draghi said Italy organized the evacuation of Sharbat Gullas after she sought help to leave the country. Now the Italian government will help her integrate into life in Italy. Gulla gained international fame in 1984 after war photographer Steve McCurrys, her picture, with sharp green eyes, was published on the cover of National Geographic. In 2014, she appeared in Pakistan but hid and was ordered to be deported. She was transported in 2016 to Kabul, where the president handed her the keys to a new apartment.

Copyright 2021 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed.

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