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International

China cancels Everest climbs over fears of virus from Nepal

BEIJING (AP) — China has canceled attempts to climb Mount Everest from its side of the world's highest peak because of fears of importing COVID-19 cases from neighboring Nepal, state media reported. The closure was confirmed in a notice Friday from China's General Administration of Sport, ...

US climate envoy Kerry meets with pope on climate crisis

VATICAN CITY (AP) — John Kerry, President Joe Biden's climate envoy, met privately with Pope Francis on Saturday, afterward calling the pope a "compelling moral authority on the subject of the climate crisis" who has been "ahead of the curve." The former U.S. Secretary of State told Vatican ...

Myanmar junta attacks western town that resisted coup

BANGKOK (AP) — The U.S. and British embassies in Myanmar expressed concern about reports of fierce government attacks on a town in western Chin state, where the ruling junta declared martial law because of armed resistance to military rule. The fighting began around 6 a.m. Saturday when ...

Afghan cease-fire ends amid calls for fresh peace talks

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A three-day cease-fire marked by violent attacks — most claimed by the Islamic State group — ended Sunday in Afghanistan amid calls for renewed peace talks between the government and Taliban. Taliban political spokesman Suhail Shaheen said the negotiating teams ...

West Bank erupts in protest amid more Israel-Hamas fighting

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Turmoil from the battle between Israel and Hamas spilled over into the West Bank on Friday, sparking the most widespread Palestinian protests in years as hundreds of young demonstrators in multiple towns clashed with Israeli troops, who shot and killed at least 11 ...

UK races to test, vaccinate as virus variant threatens plans

LONDON (AP) — Britain deployed public health officials, supported by the army, to distribute coronavirus tests door-to-door in two northern England towns on Saturday in an effort to contain a fast-spreading variant that threatens plans to lift all lockdown restrictions next month. Cases of a ...

Back-to-back tornadoes kill 12 in China; over 300 injured

BEIJING (AP) — Back-to-back tornadoes killed 12 people in central and eastern China and left more than 300 others injured, authorities said Saturday. Eight people died in the inland city of Wuhan on Friday night and four others in the town of Shengze, about 400 kilometers (250 miles) east in ...

UK jubilant as lockdown restrictions to be lifted next week

LONDON (AP) — When London's Science Museum reopens next week, it will have some new artifacts: empty vaccine vials, testing kits and other items collected during the pandemic, to be featured in a new COVID-19 display. Britain isn't quite ready to consign the coronavirus to a museum — the ...

Misinformation surges amid India’s COVID-19 calamity

NEW DELHI (AP) — The man in the WhatsApp video says he has seen it work himself: A few drops of lemon juice in the nose will cure COVID-19. "If you practice what I am about to say with faith, you will be free of corona in five seconds," says the man, dressed in traditional religious ...

Lightning suspected of killing 18 Asiatic elephants in India

GAUHATI, India (AP) — Lightning is believed to have killed a herd of 18 wild Asiatic elephants in remote northeastern India, a forest official said Friday. The elephants, including five calves, were found dead during rains in the protected Kondali forest reserve, wildlife official Jayanta ...

Japan expands virus emergency ahead of Tokyo Olympics

TOKYO (AP) — Japan on Friday further expanded a coronavirus state of emergency, currently in Tokyo and five other prefectures, to nine areas, as Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's government is determined to hold the Olympics in just over two months. Japan has been struggling to slow the ...

N Ireland’s main British unionist party to choose new leader

LONDON (AP) — Northern Ireland's largest British unionist party was choosing a new leader Friday, in a contest with two candidates and only 36 voters. The Democratic Unionist Party, senior partner in Northern Ireland's Catholic-Protestant power-sharing government, was choosing a replacement ...

Court declares missing German billionaire dead after 3 years

BERLIN (AP) — A German court on Friday officially declared billionaire Karl-Erivan Haub dead, more than three years after the head of retail group Tengelmann went missing in the Swiss Alps. Haub, who was 58, was training for a ski mountaineering race when he disappeared under Switzerland's ...

Judge dismisses migrant case against Italy’s Matteo Salvini

MILAN (AP) — A judge in Sicily has dismissed a case against right-wing leader Matteo Salvini for keeping rescued migrants on board a coast guard ship in 2019, saying no crime had been committed. Salvini had faced a possible indictment in the Sicilian port of Catania on charges of kidnapping ...

UK fraud agency probes Liberty Steel owner’s Greensill links

LONDON (AP) — The business empire of Liberty Steel owner Sanjeev Gupta, including its financing arrangements with bankrupt Greensill Capital U.K., is being investigated by Britain's Serious Fraud Office, the agency said Friday. The SFO said in a statement that it is investigating suspected ...

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 ...