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A migrant sitting on a bus. Photo: Giovanni Isolino/AFP/Getty Images

So many sad, panicked people on the move: The Rohingya forced out of Myanmar to Bangladesh ... teenagers from Mexico and Central America seeking safety in the United States ... Syria's war refugees ... men from South Sudan and Nigeria crossing the Mediterranean Sea to feed their families.

The big picture: They're all part of a human wave roiling every continent, AP's Lori Hinnant and Colleen Barry report: The U.N. "refugee agency reported this week that nearly 69 million people were forcibly displaced in 2017, a record for the fifth straight year."

  • "While migration to the world's 35 richest countries dropped slightly last year for the first time since 2011, asylum claims rose by 26% in the United States, according to a new report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which represents the wealthy nations."
  • "[L]eaders of European Union member countries are trying anew to come up with continent-wide solutions to a mass migration crisis that has pitted nations and politicians against each other."
  • "In a sign of the continued divisions, Hungary marked World Refugee Day [yesterday] by approving measures making it harder to obtain asylum and threatening a prison sentence for those who help asylum-seekers."

Be smart, from the N.Y. Times' Megan Specia: "[T]he vast majority of the world’s refugees have not gone very far and are largely living in neighboring countries."

Go deeper

Biden says $1,400 stimulus payments can start going out this month

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

President Biden said Saturday that the Senate passage of his $1.9 trillion COVID relief package means the $1,400 direct payments for most Americans can begin going out later this month.

Driving the news: The Senate voted 50-49 Saturday to approve the sweeping legislation. The House is expected to pass the Senate's version of the bill next week before it heads to Biden's desk for his signature.

7 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 drives smell loss awareness, research

A health worker carries out an olfactory test outside Buenos Aires. Photo: Alejandro Pagni/AFP via Getty Images

The pandemic has thrust a relatively unknown ailment, anosmia — or smell loss — into the international spotlight.

Why it matters: Researchers hope smell testing becomes as standard as the annual flu shot, helping to detect early signs of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.