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FILE - Author James Patterson poses for a portrait in New York on Aug. 30, 2016. Thousands of schoolteachers will receive $500 grants from Patterson. The grants are to help students build reading skills, especially as schools struggle to adapt to the coronavirus pandemic. The grant program is administered by Patterson and by Scholastic Book Clubs. (Photo by Taylor Jewell/Invision/AP, File)

James Patterson awards $500 grants to thousands of teachers

Sep. 29, 2020 4:59 PM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — Thousands of schoolteachers will receive $500 grants from author James Patterson to help students build reading skills, especially as schools struggle to adapt to the coronavirus pandemic. “Whether students are learning virtually at home or in the classroom, the importance of keeping...

Israeli protesters wave flags and chant slogans during a demonstration against a proposed measure to curtail public demonstrations during the current nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, in front of the Knesset, Israel's parliament in Jerusalem, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020.  (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

Israelis jam Jerusalem streets over bill to curb protests

Sep. 29, 2020 4:58 PM EDT

JERUSALEM (AP) — Hundreds of Israeli motorists protested in Jerusalem on Tuesday against a proposed measure to curtail public demonstrations during the current nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. A large convoy of cars clogged the streets surrounding the Knesset, Israel's parliament, and...

FILE - This Oct. 8, 2019 file photo shows the Apple Pay app on an iPhone in New York. Using contactless payments for in-person retail transactions offers convenience and security benefits, but amid the coronavirus pandemic, hygiene might be the best reason yet. “Contactless” usually means tap-to-pay credit and debit cards, smartphone digital wallets or retailer apps. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)

Millennial Money: Try touchless payment to avoid dirty money

Sep. 29, 2020 4:53 PM EDT

If you’re looking for a self-improvement task in this pandemic era, try teaching yourself to use contactless payments with your phone or “tap-to-pay” credit and debit cards. Any germaphobe will tell you that the surfaces of bills and coins have always been gross. And handing your credit card...

Blue water lines the coast of Koh Chang island in March 2018, Trat Province, southern Thailand. American expat Wesley Barnes, an English-language teacher in Thailand, was sued for criminal defamation by a hotel at which he stayed on the island because of derogatory reviews he posted online. He could face up to five years in prison on two charges if tried and found guilty. (AP Photo/Phusit wirutthanatporn)

US man could get prison for review of Thailand hotel

Sep. 29, 2020 4:52 PM EDT

BANGKOK (AP) — Labor activists, journalists and whistleblowers in Thailand have been targets in recent years of criminal defamation lawsuits for exposing alleged corporate wrongdoing, but now a disgruntled hotel guest has joined their ranks and could face prison time for his online comments disparaging a...

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll wears a mask as he talks to an official during the first half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

The Latest: Virus knocks out South Alabama-Troy game

Sep. 29, 2020 4:48 PM EDT

The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world: ___ South Alabama called off its Saturday game with Sun Belt rival Troy because of COVID-19. The school on Tuesday didn’t say how many players had been affected by the coronavirus, but the team was stopping workouts. South...

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, centre, arrives to take part in a coronavirus press conference, in Berlin, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. Chancellor Angela Merkel and the governors of Germany’s 16 states conferred on how to prevent the country’s coronavirus infection figures from accelerating to the levels being seen in other European countries. (Kay Nietfeld/dpa via AP)

As cases rise, Germany plans new virus restrictions, fines

Sep. 29, 2020 4:48 PM EDT

BERLIN (AP) — Chancellor Angela Merkel and the governors of Germany’s 16 states agreed Tuesday on plans meant to keep the country’s coronavirus infection figures from accelerating to levels being seen in other European countries, while keeping schools and businesses open if possible. New...

FILE - In this Thursday, May 28, 2020 file photo, children swing in a playground at Leopold park during the partial lifting of coronavirus, COVID-19, lockdown regulations in Brussels. The European Union's external auditor said Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020 that child poverty has reached worrying levels across the world's largest economy, and has become an unacceptable situation likely to worsen during the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, File)

Child poverty likely to increase in EU amid virus pandemic

Sep. 29, 2020 4:47 PM EDT

BRUSSELS (AP) — Child poverty has reached an “unacceptable" level across the European Union, the world's largest trading bloc, a situation likely to worsen during the coronavirus pandemic, the EU's external auditor said Tuesday. According to EU data, almost 23 million people under 18 —...

German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, right, delivers a speech during a budget debate as part of a meeting of the German federal parliament, Bundestag, at the Reichstag building in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. At left is German Chancellor Angela Merkel. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

German minister says debt won't reach financial crisis level

Sep. 29, 2020 4:45 PM EDT

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's debt load won't reach the level it did in the financial crisis a decade ago as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the finance minister said Tuesday, and it will still look better than that of Germany's peers in the Group of Seven did before the virus outbreak. Olaf Scholz was...

FILE- In this Aug. 7, 2020, file photo, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont addresses the media in Westport, Conn. During a coronavirus briefing on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, Lamont said the Connecticut Department of Labor will be applying for a federal program that could lead to $300 in additional weekly unemployment benefits for certain recipients who've lost work because of the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

The Latest: NYC to fine people without masks in some areas

Sep. 29, 2020 4:42 PM EDT

NEW YORK — Alarmed by a spike in coronavirus infections in a few Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods, New York City officials will start issuing fines in those areas to people who refuse to wear masks, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday. De Blasio said he was sending teams of hundreds of outreach workers and...

FILE - In this Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, file photo, Syrian children who were displaced with their family from eastern Aleppo play in the village of Jibreen south of Aleppo, Syria. An international aid group is warning that an additional 700,000 children in Syria face hunger because of the country's badly damaged economy and the impact of coronavirus restrictions. Save the Children said in a report released Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, that the new figures mean that in the last six months, the total number of food-insecure children across the country has risen to more than 4.6 million. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)

Aid group warns that 700,000 children in Syria risk hunger

Sep. 29, 2020 4:41 PM EDT

BEIRUT (AP) — An additional 700,000 children in Syria face hunger because of the country's badly damaged economy and the impact of coronavirus restrictions, an international aid group warned Tuesday. Save the Children said the new figures mean that in the last six months, the total number of food-insecure...