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Back in the 1980s, on a train heading for Budapest, I stood in the aisle with my elbows on the edge of an open window, enjoying the moonlit countryside rushing by. I was soon joined by a Czech woman who was doing the same thing. She told me she was on her first trip out of her country. I asked her if she was excited about visiting Budapest. She said she was most excited about eating a McDonald’s hamburger. The buzz throughout Eastern Europe was that Hungary had just opened a branch of the American chain.

Charles Brice portrays a CIA hacker in the new Netflix spy series, “In From the Cold." He describes his character as "trustworthy, loyal, unafraid to speak his mind and he loves his momma dearly." As for himself in real life, Brice said he's "as skilled in technology as any millennial who grew up during the time of Myspace and AOL Instant Messenger. Chris, on the other hand, is not only a highly skilled hacker — he is one of the best, which is exactly why Chauncey (Cillian O’Sullivan) conscripts his services." The Brooklyn resident will also be seen in the third season of Showtime's "City on a Hill."

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BEIJING (AP) — A cluster of COVID-19 cases in Beijing has prompted authorities to test millions and impose new measures two weeks ahead of the opening of the Winter Olympics, even as the city of Xi'an in north-central China lifted on Monday a monthlong lockdown that had isolated its 13 million residents.

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With abortion access increasingly restricted across much of the South and Midwest, two Illinois clinics near St. Louis announced Friday that they set up a logistics center to help abortion seekers get to their clinics and help them pay for it.

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NEW YORK (AP) — A month after “Encanto” debuted in theaters, Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote the movie's Colombia-inflected songs, took a long vacation. By the time he returned, something almost as extraordinary as the enchanted home of the movie had transpired.

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Manatees at risk of starvation because native seagrass is dying due to water pollution have for the first time started eating lettuce under an experimental feeding program, Florida wildlife officials said Friday.

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