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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee paid thousands of dollars for social media influencers to promote a contentious new initiative that uses $2.5 million in taxpayer dollars to offer flight vouchers largely to out-of-state residents.

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ROME (AP) — Pope Francis on Monday decried as criminal the existence of hunger in a world which can produce enough food for all, building on a warning from U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that climate change and conflict are a consequence and driver of poverty and income inequality.

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JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa's government has lifted a ban on liquor sales and relaxed other pandemic restrictions, reporting that a recent spike in coronavirus cases has passed its peak, the president said.

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LONDON (AP) — The British government has sought to ease food supply pressures in England by exempting more than 10,000 workers from quarantine rules that led to staff shortages and empty shelves and fears of panic-buying.

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — The top health official in Los Angeles County on Thursday implored residents to get vaccinated as the LA area sees a coronavirus surge similar to last summer’s, while authorities in three San Francisco Bay Area counties urged employers to enforce mask-wearing for any workers who haven’t received shots.

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FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Daimler AG's luxury car brand Mercedes-Benz says it is stepping up its transition to electric cars, doubling the share of sales planned by 2025 and sketching out a market scenario in which new car sales would “in essence” be fully electric by the end of the decade.

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As a $26 billion settlement over the toll of opioids looms, some public health experts are citing the 1998 agreement with tobacco companies as a cautionary tale of runaway government spending and missed opportunities for saving more lives.

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