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International News

Report: Retired Pope Benedict XVI ill after visit to Germany

BERLIN (AP) — Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI has fallen ill after his return from a trip to his native Bavaria to visit his brother, who died a month ago, a German newspaper reported Monday. The daily Passauer Neue Presse quoted Peter Seewald, a biographer of the retired pontiff, as saying that ...

Champagne losing its fizz as global pandemic clobbers sales

REIMS, France (AP) — Champagne is losing its fizz. For months, lockdown put the cork on weddings, dining out, parties and international travel — all key sales components for the French luxury wine marketed for decades as a sparkling must at any celebration. Producers in France's eastern ...

German defense minister: Planned US withdrawal ‘regrettable’

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's defense minister on Friday described the planned withdrawal of some 12,000 U.S. troops from her country as "regrettable," while suggesting it underlines the need for Europe to do more for its own security. American defense leaders said Wednesday that the U.S. will ...

Japan funds save Lithuania museum on diplomat who saved Jews

VILNIUS, Lithuania (AP) — A museum in Lithuania dedicated to a Japanese diplomat who helped thousands of Jews flee Europe in the early years of World War II has been extended an economic lifeline by people in Japan, officials said Friday. The memorial museum in Lithuania's former capital ...

Scores of Zimbabwe protesters arrested, military in streets

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Scores of people were arrested Friday in Zimbabwe as hundreds of military troops as well as police attempted to thwart an anti-government protest, with streets empty and many people hiding indoors. Organizers said demonstrators originally planned to protest alleged ...

UK’s Johnson names brother and Brexiteers to House of Lords

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson named 36 new members to Parliament's unelected House of Lords on Friday, including his brother, several prominent Brexit supporters and a Russian-born newspaper owner whose father was a KGB agent. The list of new peers also includes ...

Asia Today: SKorea arrests leader of church with big cluster

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean prosecutors arrested the elderly leader of a secretive religious sect Saturday as part of an investigation into allegations that the church hampered the government's anti-virus response after thousands of worshippers were infected in February and ...

Vietnam reports 2nd death, more cases linked to hospital

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — A second person died of coronavirus complications in Vietnam, officials said Saturday, a day after the country recorded its first death from the virus, while more than two dozen new cases were confirmed. Both men died in a hospital in Da Nang, a hot spot with more than ...

Hurricane Isaias lashes Bahamas while Florida battens down

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Hurricane Isaias ripped shingles off roofs and blew over trees as it carved its way through the Bahamas early Saturday and headed toward the Florida coast, where officials in Miami said they were closing beaches, marinas and parks. Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos ...

Belarus says Russians plotted attacks; Kremlin rolls eyes

MINSK, Belarus (AP) — Belarusian authorities on Thursday accused more than 30 detained Russians of plotting terror attacks amid a presidential election campaign, allegations that Russian officials angrily rejected. The grave accusations mark an unprecedented spike in tensions between Russia ...

Livestock prices stress Muslims in Africa ahead of Eid

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Even in the best of times, many Muslims scramble to afford a sheep to slaughter on Eid al-Adha, a display of faith that can amount to an entire month's income. Now, the financial pressures brought on by the coronavirus pandemic are straining families across Africa even ...

Former president who brought direct elections to Taiwan dies

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Former Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui, who brought direct elections and other democratic changes to the self-governed island despite missile launches and other fierce saber-rattling by China, has died. He was 97. Taipei Veterans General Hospital said Lee died Thursday ...

Reports: Hong Kong may postpone election, citing coronavirus

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong may postpone highly anticipated legislative elections scheduled for Sept. 6, citing a worsening coronavirus outbreak in the semi-autonomous Chinese city, local media reports said Friday. An announcement could come as soon as Friday evening, multiple Hong Kong ...

Asia-Pacific tourism makes patchy restart, and some missteps

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Tourism operators across Asia and the Pacific are making furtive and faltering advances, as well as some spectacular missteps, after travel was largely halted by the coronavirus pandemic that continues ebbing and mostly surging around the globe. The Indonesian ...

Technology infuses ancient hajj rites amid global pandemic

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The vast white marble floors surrounding Islam's holiest site, the cube-shaped Kaaba in Mecca, would normally be packed with hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from around the world the day before the hajj. On Tuesday, however, only a few officials and ...

UK travel ban on Spain strikes new blow to tourism industry

LONDON (AP) — Britain's effective ban on travel to Spain following an upswing in coronavirus cases in that country's northeast on Tuesday hammered home the lack of a comprehensive, continent-wide approach to suppressing the virus and giving hard-hit, tourism-reliant economies a chance to ...

Germany: over a quarter of population has immigrant roots

BERLIN (AP) — More than a quarter of Germany's inhabitants are immigrants or have immigrant roots, according to official data for 2019 released Tuesday. Some 21.2 million, or 26% of the total population, have a "migrant background," according to figures from a 2019 microcensus, the Federal ...

American charged with aggravated murder of wife in France

LE PECQ, France (AP) — A Brooklyn man who told French police investigators that he killed his wife by stabbing her twice during an argument has been charged with her murder, a prosecutor said Monday. The French-American, identified in French media reports as Billy Kruger, told investigators ...

Spain: Court hears testimony on whether Assange was spied on

MADRID (AP) — Spain's National Court heard testimony Monday in an investigation into whether a Spanish company was hired to spy on Julian Assange during the seven years the WikiLeaks founder spent in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. The court is investigating whether David Morales, a ...

Iran moves mock aircraft carrier to sea amid US tensions

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran has moved a mock aircraft carrier to the strategic Strait of Hormuz amid heightened tensions with the United States, satellite photographs released on Monday show, likely signalling the Islamic Republic soon plans to use it for live-fire drills. An ...