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Home to the London Stock Exchange, the Bank of England and scores of corporations, the financial district, known as the City, is normally teeming with activity.

But the scenes, sounds and scents of the normally busy City have been restrained thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.

Recently, people in the area noticed something else in the air.

The smell of cannabis.

President Biden is preparing to reverse a Trump administration policy that prohibits U.S. funding for nongovernmental groups that provide or refer patients for abortions — the first of several moves reproductive rights advocates are hoping to see from the Biden administration.

In prepared remarks released by the White House on Thursday, Dr. Anthony Fauci tells the World Health Organization's executive board that Biden will soon revoke the Mexico City Policy "as part of his broader commitment to protect women's health and advance gender equality at home and around the world."

The number of Americans filing for new state unemployment benefits dipped to 900,000 — down from the previous week but still high by historical standards, signaling the economic challenges facing the Biden administration.

The latest weekly data from the Labor Department was likely distorted somewhat by the ebb and flow of government relief programs, but the overall picture continues to show a struggling U.S. job market as President Biden takes office.

Overall demand for COVID-19 vaccinations is strong in the Peoria area and statewide. But that high demand can mask a hesitancy among some groups to roll up their sleeves and get the shot. This is especially true among Black and Latinx communities.

Updated at 10:06 a.m. ET

"I am honored to announce that the United States will remain a member of the World Health Organization," Dr. Anthony Fauci said Thursday, informing the WHO's executive board that President Biden has reversed former President Donald Trump's move to leave the U.N.'s health agency.

The U.S. will also fulfill its financial obligations to the WHO, Fauci, chief medical adviser to the president, said, as well as cease a drawdown of U.S. staff who work with the organization.

Wednesday's inauguration ushered in new occupants of the White House, as well as a revamped White House website.

Shortly after President Biden and Vice President Harris took office, sharp-eyed Internet users noticed several major changes relating to the inclusivity and accessibility of the executive branch's official site. Among them are a new feature allowing users to include their pronouns when submitting contact forms and a relaunch of the Spanish-language website.

Back in April, COVID-19 hit the city of Manaus, Brazil, extremely hard. In fact, the outbreak there was arguably the worst in the world. One study, published in the journal Science, estimated that so many people were infected that the city could have reached herd immunity — that the outbreak there slowed down because up to 76% of the population had protection against the virus.

WCBU's On Deck has everything you need to know to start your day for Thursday, January 21, 2021. Our top story is about how as the Federal Correctional Institute in Pekin endures its second COVID-19 outbreak, the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois is monitoring conditions at all prisons and jails.

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In his inaugural address, President Joe Biden called for an end to, quote, "this uncivil war."

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PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: We must set aside politics and finally face this pandemic as one nation, one nation.

Updated at 3:36 p.m. ET

President Biden signed a series of orders and directives on his second day in office to take charge of stopping the spread of the coronavirussteps that he and his advisers say will start to boost testing, vaccinations, supplies and treatments.

President Biden.

That's going to take some getting used to after these past four years.

The new president was sworn in Wednesday and made an inaugural address aimed at unity. Biden didn't sugarcoat, however, the hurdles to bringing Americans together, and he leaned into the challenges the U.S. faces, as he sees it.

Here are six takeaways from Biden's inauguration:

1. A starkly different tone was set.

NICK EVANS, BYLINE: Columbus City Council will look to those ideas as it starts work on its budget next month. The council president says his top priority is finding a new way to respond when residents call 911, a response that may not immediately involve police. For NPR News, I'm Nick Evans in Columbus.

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Just Scream Hotline Allows People To Vent

Jan 21, 2021

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If you ever hear the news and just want to scream, there's a number you can dial the let it all out. We'll let one of the callers explain.

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Updated at 6:56 p.m. ET

Twin suicide bombings at a Baghdad market killed at least 32 people and injured 110 others on Thursday, according to Iraq's health ministry. Of the injured, 36 are being treated in hospitals.

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attacks, according to the SITE Intelligence Group.

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In his inaugural address, President Biden called for an end to, quote, "this uncivil war."

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: We must set aside politics and finally face this pandemic as one nation, one nation.

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A memorable phrase of President Biden's inaugural address was his call to end this uncivil war.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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More than 100 anti-fascist demonstrators in Portland attacked police and vandalized the city's Democratic Party of Oregon building Wednesday afternoon, breaking several windows in the process, according to police.

Police arrested eight people between the ages of 18 and 38, some of whom were armed with knives and long poles, the department said.

Before descending on the offices of the Democratic Party of Oregon, the crowd scuffled with police on bikes who were monitoring the area where the group had told supporters to meet.

A growing number of grocers are adopting a novel approach in the race to get their workers vaccinated against COVID-19: providing pay incentives.

Aldi this week became the latest grocery chain to offer employees compensation for getting vaccinated, saying it would provide workers with two hours of pay for each of the two vaccine doses.

The grocer also promised workers receiving vaccines that they would not lose pay for missed hours from work and that it would help pay for the shots.

The devastating fall and winter wave of coronavirus infections that is causing so much misery across the U.S. appears to have finally peaked, according to several researchers who are closely tracking the virus.

While another surge remains possible, especially with new, more infectious variants on the horizon, the number of new daily infections in the current wave appears to have hit a high in the past week or two and has been steadily declining in most states since, the researchers say.

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"Cops And Robbers" is an eight-minute animated film on Netflix. In it, a young Black man jogs through a suburban neighborhood. He remembers childhood innocence, and then his thoughts turn to adulthood.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "COPS AND ROBBERS")

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In his inaugural address, President Biden called for an end to, quote, "this uncivil war."

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: We must set aside politics and finally face this pandemic as one nation - one nation.

The newly inaugurated Biden administration wasted no time in taking two major steps to dismantle much-criticized Trump-era immigration policies in its first day in office.

The Department of Homeland Security announced that starting Thursday, it would pause deportations for certain noncitizens in the United States for 100 days and would stop new enrollments in the Migrant Protection Protocols policy, also known as the "remain in Mexico" program.

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CLASSICS: City Lights

Jan 20, 2021

Front Row Classics is celebrating the 90th anniversary of Charlie Chaplin's 1931 masterwork, City Lights. Join Brandon and Eric as they pay tribute to Chaplin's genius in a film that's still funny and heartwarming nearly a century later. Topics include: the precision of some of Chaplin's greatest comedic set pieces and the world events surrounding the film. The hosts also discuss the importance of going back and watching silent movies

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