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International

Vatican closes 2020 with shortfall, but better than forecast

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican closed out 2020 with a deficit of 66.3 million euros ($78 million), which was better than projected and even lower than pre-pandemic 2019, according to figures released Saturday. The Vatican's economy minister, the Rev. Juan Antonio Guerrero Alves, credited ...

Unvaccinated may face restrictions in Germany, official says

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel's chief of staff has warned that restrictions for unvaccinated people may be necessary if COVID-19 infection numbers reach new heights in the coming months. But Helge Braun said in an interview with the newspaper Bild am Sonntag that he doesn't ...

Australia avoids UNESCO downgrade of Great Barrier Reef

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia on Friday garnered enough international support to defer for two years an attempt by the United Nations' cultural organization to downgrade the Great Barrier Reef's World Heritage status because of damage caused by climate change. UNESCO had recommended ...

El Salvador seeks arrest of former president for corruption

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — Prosecutors in El Salvador have issued an arrest warrant for former president Salvador Sánchez Cerén on charges of embezzlement and money laundering. Attorney General Rodolfo Delgado said Thursday the charges are related to crimes allegedly committed when ...

Judge: ‘Plausible’ N Ireland bombing could have been stopped

LONDON (AP) — A Northern Ireland judge ruled Friday that there was plausible evidence that authorities could have prevented the worst single atrocity of the Troubles. High Court Justice Mark Horner recommended that authorities in the U.K. and the Republic of Ireland open an investigation ...

Top international official in Bosnia bans denial of genocide

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — The top international official in Bosnia on Friday outlawed denial of genocide in the Balkan country to counter attempts by Bosnia's Serbs to deny the scope of the 1995 massacre in Srebrenica, Europe's only post-World War II genocide. The International ...

Slovenia PM accuses EU official of lying over rule of law

LJUBLJANA, Slovenia (AP) — Slovenia Prime Minister Janez Janša on Friday accused a European Union official of being a liar in the wake of the publication this week of an annual report on adherence to the rule of law in the bloc that highlighted democratic challenges in the Balkan ...

Suspected rebels kill 16 in eastern Congo

CHANICHANI, Congo (AP) — At least 16 people were killed and eight injured in an attack by suspected Allied Democratic Forces rebels in Congo's North Kivu province, the military said. Others remain missing after the ambush that took place Thursday on a road between the towns of Chanichani and ...

Landslides, monsoon flooding kill over 100 in western India

NEW DELHI (AP) — Landslides and flooding triggered by heavy monsoon rain hit parts of western India, killing more than 100 people, officials and news reports said Friday. More than 1,000 people trapped by floodwaters were rescued. The dead included 54 killed in four landslides in the Raigad ...

US diplomat worried about pandemic, food supply in N Korea

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — America's No. 2 diplomat on Friday expressed sympathy for North Koreans facing hardships and food shortages linked to the coronavirus pandemic and renewed calls for the North to return to talks over its nuclear program. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has recently ...

US pilot thanks British man who guaranteed a happy landing

LONDON (AP) — U.S. Air Force Maj. Grant Thompson thanked a British photographer the best way he knew how - by ripping the flight patch from his shoulder and handing it to the man whose quick action last week ensured he landed safely after an engine in his F-15E Strike Eagle ...

England quarantine rules being relaxed to avoid shortages

By DANICA KIRKA and PAN PYLAS Associated Press LONDON (AP) — The British government has sought to ease food supply pressures in England by exempting more than 10,000 workers from quarantine rules that led to staff shortages and empty shelves and fears of panic-buying. However, it has come ...

China’s Tencent ordered to end exclusive music contracts

BEIJING (AP) — Internet giant Tencent was ordered by regulators to end exclusive contracts with music copyright holders, adding to increased enforcement of anti-monopoly and other rules as Beijing tightens control over booming online industries. Tencent controls more than 80% of "exclusive ...

UK’s summer getaway takes off but nothing like pre-COVID

LONDON (AP) — With all British schools now closed for the summer, airports and airlines were looking a tad more normal on Saturday, though the number of families heading off for warmer climes remains way down on the levels seen before the coronavirus pandemic struck. This weekend ...

Thousands protest lockdown in Sydney, several arrested

SYDNEY (AP) — Thousands of people took to the streets of Sydney and other Australian cities on Saturday to protest lockdown restrictions amid another surge in cases, and police made several arrests after crowds broke through barriers and threw plastic bottles and plants. The unmasked ...

South Africa’s jailed ex-leader attends brother’s funeral

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Former South African president Jacob Zuma was allowed to leave prison briefly Thursday to attend his brother's funeral. Zuma is currently serving a 15-month sentence for defying an order from the Constitutional Court, the country's highest court, that he should testify at ...

London mayor sends message of support to Hong Kong emigres

LONDON (AP) — London's mayor on Thursday sent a message of support to Hong Kong residents fleeing China's crackdown on democracy to seek new live in the United Kingdom, saying his office will spend 900,000 pounds ($1.2 million) to help new arrivals with housing, education and finding ...

Germany’s Merkel says pipeline deal with US good for Ukraine

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday that a compromise deal that will allow the completion of a Russian gas pipeline to Europe without the imposition of further U.S. sanctions is "good for Ukraine." The United States and Germany announced the deal on Wednesday. The two ...

Belarus leader vows to keep up raids of NGOs, media outlets

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — The longtime leader of Belarus vowed Thursday to continue a crackdown on civil society activists he regards as "bandits and foreign agents." President Alexander Lukashenko chided officials in his administration for allowing the operation of non-governmental organizations ...

Germans return to flooded town: ‘The memories are gone’

ERFTSTADT, Germany (AP) — They escaped with their lives, but little else remains for some residents of Erftstadt-Blessem after the devastating flood that hit their town and other parts of Germany and neighboring countries last week. Authorities allowed families in the town southwest of ...