UN urges SE Asia to build back better from COVID-19 crisis

BANGKOK (AP) — The United Nations advised Southeast Asian nations to tackle inequality and green their economies to build a more resilient and inclusive future as they strive to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The policy report released Thursday said other critical missions for the region’s governments should be bridging the digital divide and upholding human rights and good governance practices.

“One pathway could lead to a prolonged, deep recession, exacerbated by closed borders and characterized by rising social tensions, vulnerabilities and a return to environmentally unsustainable development,” the report said. “The second pathway involves adopting globally and regionally coordinated policies that recognize the imperative of an inclusive, resilient and sustainable approach to development.”

It said the pandemic has highlighted problems in Southeast Asia despite the region’s strong economic performance before the pandemic hit. It cited high inequality, low social protections, a large informal working sector, regressions in justice and

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Being fit, losing weight is a powerful force against COVID-19 but cities have to do more

The annual ranking of the fittest U.S. cities, out today, tracks with some of the cities that weathered COVID-19 better — but the reverse is also often true. 

The ranking underscores how cities can help or hinder residents’ opportunities to be physically active, lose weight and avoid chronic conditions including diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, which increase the risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19.  

The COVID-19 death rate for Arlington, Virginia, the nation’s fittest city for the third year in a row, is 56 per 100,000 population. Like most of the other Washington, D.C. suburbs, Arlington had more cases per-capita than more rural parts of the state. Indiana’s Marion County, which includes 94th-ranked Indianapolis, has the highest number of cases and deaths in the state. 

“We know from research that physical activity can build a healthier immune system and overall wellness which help minimize harmful effects of illness

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