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International

North Korea lifts virus

lockdown at border town

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un lifted a lockdown in a major city near the border with South Korea where thousands had been quarantined for weeks over coronavirus worries, state media said Friday.

But Kim during a ruling party meeting on Thursday also insisted the North will keep its borders shut and rejected any outside help as the country carries out an aggressive anti-virus campaign and rebuilds thousands of houses, roads and bridges damaged by heavy rain and floods in recent weeks.

Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency also said Kim replaced Kim Jae Ryong as Cabinet premier following an evaluation of the Cabinet’s performance in economic affairs and appointed Kim Tok Hun as his successor.

Entering the last year of an ambitious five-year national development plan, Kim Jong Un in December declared a “frontal breakthrough” against international sanctions while urging his nation to stay resilient in a struggle for economic self-reliance.

Mexico City reopens movie

theaters to sparse crowds

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The few, the brave — those were the people returning this week to movie theaters in Mexico City that had been closed for four months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Yes, there was popcorn. But movie goers had to wear face masks, and could only lift them to eat or drink. And their temperatures were checked at the entrance. They also had to walk on a sanitizing mat.

Dates were okay, but forget about sitting with a group of friends: no more than two people were allowed to sit together, as long as they were surrounded by empty seats.

Theaters in the capital have been allowed to open at only 30% of capacity — entire rows were blocked off with yellow tape — but even so there was no competition for the best seats.

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