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As the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage around the world, some of the largest outbreaks are in countries that fall into one particular economic category. They're not rich. They're not poor. They're middle income.

In fact, of the countries reporting the most cases globally, 6 of 7 are middle-income nations.

In any ordinary school year, school nurses are busy. This year, that's an understatement.

"Our role has expanded tenfold," says Eileen Gavin, who co-leads a team of nurses for Middletown Township Public Schools in New Jersey.

In any ordinary school year, school nurses are busy. This year, that's an understatement.

"Our role has expanded tenfold," says Eileen Gavin, who co-leads a team of nurses for Middletown Township Public Schools in New Jersey.

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Facing the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Peoria-area real estate market slipped a bit in the second quarter. But brokers are still seeing indications of a turnaround.

“We've seen a really active real estate market since early spring,” said Kendra Sipes, president of the Peoria Area Association of Realtors (PAAR). “We did expect things to kind of be a lot slower when our initial shelter-in-place went into effect.”

Kirk Gallegos is a single father of four. He works construction in Barstow, Calif. Prudence Carter is a single mother of one. She's the dean of the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley.

Both share the same problem with tens of millions of other parents around the country: Their public schools aren't operating full time in-person this fall. And the rest of the child care system, which had been stretched even before the pandemic, is itself under pressure.

If you spend any time on social media, you know it can be a war of words out there. Whether it's the debate over wearing masks, the racial unrest sweeping across the U.S. or the impending presidential election — everyone's got an opinion and someone is always ready to give a hot take.

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"In my hospital, last week was the deadliest week I've ever had in my life."

The words of a Houston doctor treating COVID-19 patients illustrate the brutal reality facing many in the U.S. medical system now.

Maybe it's been awhile since you got out. Staying home during the coronavirus pandemic has meant your view has not changed. For months.

Try a change of scenery — without going outside.

Take in a view from Mumbai, India, where a steady rain drizzles in a park. Or from a balcony in Luneberg, Germany, where a family splashes in a pool. Or from an apartment in Sao Paulo, Brazil, with the sun setting over a construction site.

Controversy sparked by "thin blue line" flags flying on town property in Hingham, Mass., continues to roil the small, coastal community, in the latest of many such flare-ups around the nation. Residents are planning rallies both for and against the flags, which some see as a proud tribute to police officers, and others denounce as a racist symbol.

While firefighters have agreed, after more than a week, to comply with town orders to remove the flags hanging on firetrucks, they're now planning an even bolder display.

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Extra unemployment benefits to help Americans get through the pandemic expire today.

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As protests over racial injustice in the U.S. continue, Major League Baseball is honoring an institution created 100 years ago because of its own racist past. The Negro Leagues showcased Black baseball players when they were banned from the big leagues.

MLB had to reschedule a celebration of the leagues' centennial originally set for June because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of Negro Leaguers left to celebrate is dwindling. The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Mo., estimates there are about 100 players still living.

A new report from the centrist Democratic group Third Way, shared first with NPR, finds that Democrats are on track to win the suburbs in five of six key states they lost in the 2016 presidential election.

The analysis is based on voter-file data from the progressive-aligned firm Catalist and models that measure the likelihood of people to vote Democratic or Republican. It finds the following:

Earlier this month, when the Trump administration told hospitals to send crucial data about coronavirus cases and intensive care capacity to a new online system, it promised the change would be worth it. The data would be more complete and transparent and an improvement over the old platform run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, administration officials said.

Instead, the public data hub created under the new system is updated erratically and is rife with inconsistencies and errors, data analysts say.

WCBU's On Deck has everything you need to know to start your day for Friday, July 31, 2020. Our top story is about how Governor J.B. Pritzker came to Peoria Thursday to deliveer the message that west central Illinois is just three days away from implementing new COVID-19 restrictions if trends don't revierse.

Updated at 2 p.m. ET

A federal judge has unsealed hundreds of pages of deposition transcripts and other documents related to a now-settled defamation suit brought against Ghislaine Maxwell, who is accused of helping the late Jeffrey Epstein run a sex trafficking operation that catered to rich and powerful men.

The 47 documents include a deposition given by Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre, the draft of a memoir she was writing about her experiences inside the sex-trafficking ring, and previously unseen email exchanges between Maxwell and Epstein.

Updated at 8:35 p.m. ET

Spikes in online shopping during the pandemic helped Amazon net $5.2 billion in profits as its sales soared to record highs between April and June.

"I was proud that John Lewis was a friend of mine," former President Barack Obama said on Thursday, delivering an emotional eulogy for the civil rights leader who was an inspiration for America's first Black president.

The arrival of federal agents in Portland three weeks ago to crack down on racial justice protests fueled tensions there, and helped push the city to the forefront of coverage of the nation's racial justice movement.

As one of the whitest big cities in the America, Portland's outsize role in the nationwide protests may strike some as surprising.

U.S. Census Bureau workers have started going door-to-door in the Peoria area to boost participation in the nationwide population count.

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