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International News

Escalating Mideast violence bears hallmarks of 2014 Gaza war

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Rockets streamed out of Gaza and Israel pounded the territory with airstrikes Wednesday as the most severe outbreak of violence since a 2014 war took on many hallmarks of that devastating 50-day conflict, with dozens killed and no resolution in sight. Palls of ...

Ukraine charges Putin ally Medvedchuk with treason

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine has indicted a top opposition figure who is a close ally of Russia's president with treason and attempts to steal natural resources from Russia-annexed Crimea. Along with the Tuesday indictment of Viktor Medvedchuk, security service agents also searched his house ...

Hard-liner Ahmadinejad again seeks to be Iran’s president

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's former hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad registered Wednesday to run again for the Islamic Republic's presidency, raising the possibility that the populist leader who rapidly advanced Tehran's nuclear program to challenge the West could return to the country's ...

UK’s Johnson backs public inquiry into handling of pandemic

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that an independent public inquiry into the handling of the coronavirus pandemic will be held next year. He told lawmakers Wednesday that the inquiry will have wide-ranging statutory powers and that the government has a ...

Drop in Xinjiang birthrate largest in recent history: report

BEIJING (AP) — Xinjiang in far western China had the sharpest known decline in birthrates between 2017 and 2019 of any territory in recent history, according to a new analysis by an Australian think tank. The report from the Australian Strategy Policy Institute, obtained exclusively ahead of ...

UN watchdog: Iran has enriched uranium to highest purity yet

BERLIN (AP) — Iran has enriched uranium to slightly higher purity than previously thought due to "fluctuations" in the process, the United Nations' atomic watchdog said Wednesday. The report underscores the challenges diplomats face in ongoing talks, that began in April, to bring the United ...

Panel suggests WHO should have more power to stop pandemics

GENEVA (AP) — A panel of independent experts who reviewed the World Health Organization's response to the coronavirus pandemic says the U.N. health agency should be granted "guaranteed rights of access" in countries to investigate emerging outbreaks, a contentious idea that would give it more ...

Frustration in Japan as leader pushes Olympics despite virus

TOKYO (AP) — A full-page newspaper ad says Japanese will be "killed by politics" because the government is forcing them to endure the pandemic without vaccines. More than 300,000 people have signed a petition calling for the Tokyo Olympics to be canceled. And a swimming star has faced ...

Czechs light nearly 30,000 candles to honor COVID-19 victims

PRAGUE (AP) — Czechs lit nearly 30,000 candles at Prague Castle, the seat of the presidency, on Monday evening to pay their respects to the pandemic's victims. The hard-hit European Union nation of 10.7 million people has registered at least 29,711 virus-related deaths. After observing a ...

Pope creates lay ministry to boost supply of faith teachers

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis on Tuesday formally created a new lay ministry to encourage greater participation of secular women and men in the teaching of the Catholic faith, especially in places where priests are in short supply. The new law creating the lay ministry of catechists officially ...

China issues total ban on synthetic cannabinoids

BEIJING (AP) — China on Tuesday said it will add all synthetic cannabinoids to its list of banned drugs, in what it described as a first in the world, to curb their manufacturing, trafficking and abuse. It is the second time that Chinese authorities have imposed a class-wide ban on a ...

France wants tougher punishment for those who attack police

PARIS (AP) — "Dead or Alive." The chilling words were scrawled on photos of three police officers in their uniforms posted last month on a wall in a Grenoble suburb, in southwest France. To French police, this is just one more sign of an upsurge in violence specifically targeting police that ...

Vatican warns US bishops over get-tough Communion proposals

The head of the Vatican's doctrine office is warning U.S. bishops to deliberate carefully and minimize divisions before proceeding with a possible plan to rebuke Roman Catholic politicians such as President Joe Biden for receiving Communion even though they support abortion rights. The strong ...

Dracula’s castle proves an ideal setting for COVID-19 jabs

BUCHAREST (AP) — At Dracula's castle in picturesque Transylvania, Romanian doctors are offering a jab in the arm rather than a stake through the heart. A COVID-19 vaccination center has been set up on the periphery of Romania's Bran Castle, which is purported to be the inspiration behind ...

Vatican conference features Fauci, Francis — and Aerosmith

ROME (AP) — An eclectic mix of participants are taking part in a unique three-day Vatican conference on COVID-19, other global health threats and how science, solidarity and spirituality can address them. Along with Pope Francis, the event includes Dr. Anthony Fauci, soprano Renee Fleming, ...

Int’l Court sentences Ugandan to 25 years for war crimes

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The International Criminal Court sentenced a Ugandan former child soldier who turned into a brutal rebel commander to 25 years' imprisonment Thursday, with judges saying that his own abduction as a schoolboy and history as a child soldier prevented him being ...

France sends patrol boats as tensions flare with UK on fish

LONDON (AP) — France dispatched two patrol boats Thursday as French fishermen angry over loss of access to waters off their coast gathered for a maritime protest off the English Channel island of Jersey, the flashpoint for the first major dispute between France and Britain over fishing rights ...

Super Thursday: Britain votes in bumper crop of elections

LONDON (AP) — Polling stations across Britain opened Thursday for what are considered the biggest set of elections outside a general election, local and regional contests that could have huge repercussion for the future of the United Kingdom. On what has been dubbed Super Thursday, around 50 ...

Dubai luxury home market soars as world’s rich flee pandemic

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — After nearly three decades in London, Christophe Reech was fed up with the city's pandemic lockdowns. This spring, he sold his luxury townhouse and jetted off to the desert sheikhdom of Dubai to start a new life with his family. There was no turning back, ...

World mulls next step as US backs IP waiver on vaccines

GENEVA (AP) — Activists cheered, Big Pharma complained and government leaders assessed next steps on Thursday after the Biden administration's blockbuster move to support an easing of patent and other protections on COVID-19 vaccines that many hope will help poorer countries get more doses ...