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International

UK eases lockdown but nervously eyes European virus surge

LONDON (AP) — Britain is taking another small step out of lockdown as it looks nervously at a new virus surge inundating its European neighbors. With U.K. coronavirus vaccination rates outstripping those of European Union nations, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is easing the stark "stay at ...

Thousands flee into Thailand following Myanmar air strikes

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Thai authorities along the country's northwestern border braced themselves Monday for a possible influx of more ethnic Karen villagers fleeing new airstrikes from the Myanmar military. Myanmar military aircraft carried out three strikes overnight Sunday into Monday, ...

Swiss banker to Venezuelan kleptocrats becomes star witness

MIAMI (AP) — Matthias Krull pulls up his pant leg and slides a gardening shear on the ankle monitor that for two years has been a constant reminder of his crimes. With a court order in hand, and a child's voice echoing from the next room, the former Swiss banker snips the hard plastic — ...

Hundreds evacuated from fire at Indonesian oil refinery

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — At least 500 people were being evacuated from a nearby village after a massive fire broke out at the Pertamina Balongan Refinery in Indonesia's West Java province. Residents of Balongan village were moving to two evacuation centers on Monday. Authorities urged ...

AP Exclusive: WHO report says animals likely source of COVID

BEIJING (AP) — A joint WHO-China study on the origins of COVID-19 says that transmission of the virus from bats to humans through another animal is the most likely scenario and that a lab leak is "extremely unlikely," according to a draft copy obtained by The Associated Press. The findings ...

China cuts taxes to spur semiconductor development

BEIJING (AP) — China announced tax breaks Monday to spur growth of its semiconductor industry following U.S. sanctions that alarmed the ruling Communist Party by cutting off access to American processor chips for tech giant Huawei and some other companies. Leaders declared accelerating ...

In Brazil, moms are bearing the brunt of pandemic’s blow

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — When Sao Paulo city officials put out a call last month for 4,500 public school cleaning jobs, targeting Brazilian mothers affected by the raging pandemic, they were unprepared for the ensuing tsunami. More than 90,000 women applied in just two days. "It exceeded our ...

Paris doctors warn of catastrophic overload of virus cases

PARIS (AP) — Critical care doctors in Paris say surging coronavirus infections could soon overwhelm their ability to care for the sick in the French capital's hospitals, possibly forcing them to choose which patients they have the resources to save. The sobering warnings were delivered ...

Slovak premier resigns to end crisis over Russian vaccine

PRAGUE (AP) — Slovakia's prime minister said Sunday he will step down to clear the way for a Cabinet reshuffle that will defuse a political crisis triggered by a secret deal to buy Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine. Prime Minister Igor Matovic said he proposed swapping posts with ...

Poland plans pensions for dogs, horses in state employment

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — They locate survivors in collapsed buildings, track down fugitives, foil drugs and explosives smugglers and help control rowdy crowds. All in exchange for food and lodging — and an occasional pat on the head. But when retirement time comes, state care ends for the ...

UK protesters scuffle with police during rally over new law

LONDON (AP) — Police in the English city of Bristol say they arrested 10 people during a third night of protest against a new policing law. Hundreds of demonstrators against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill staged a sit-down protest outside a police station in the southwest ...

Modi’s party seeks big win as 2 key Indian states vote

NEW DELHI (AP) — Two Indian states with sizeable Muslim populations began voting in local elections Saturday in a test of strength for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose Hindu nationalist agenda is being challenged by months of farmer protests and a fresh wave of the pandemic. Top Bharatiya ...

US questions legality of Bolivian arrests of ex-officials

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — The United States said Saturday that it is concerned about increasingly "anti-democratic behavior and the politicization of the legal system" in Bolivia following the arrests of officials from the country's former interim government. U.S. Secretary of State Antony ...

Police in Belarus capital arrest more than 100 protesters

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Police in the capital of Belarus arrested more than 100 people who assembled for a protest march Saturday to call for the resignation of the country's authoritarian president. The planned event in Minsk indicated that supporters of the political opposition seek to revive ...

Longest-serving bookseller among 25,000 Czech virus victims

PELHRIMOV, Czech Republic (AP) — A year after the Czech Republic recorded its first death from the coronavirus, the central European nation paused to remember all the citizens who lost their lives in the pandemic. By the end of the day, the number had surpassed 25,000. Bells tolled across ...

North Korea snaps back at Biden over criticism of launches

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea on Saturday snapped back at President Joe Biden's criticism of its ballistic missile tests, calling his comments a provocation and encroachment on the North's right to self-defense and vowing to continuously expand its "most thoroughgoing and overwhelming ...

UK variant hunters lead global race to stay ahead of COVID

LONDON (AP) — On March 4, 2020, when there were just 84 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.K., professor Sharon Peacock recognized that the country needed to expand its capacity to analyze the genetic makeup of the virus. The Cambridge University microbiologist understood that genomic ...

Africa’s elephants now endangered by poaching, habitat loss

LIBREVILLE, Gabon (AP) — Increasing threats of poaching and loss of habitat have made Africa's elephant populations more endangered, according to a report released Thursday by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The African forest elephant is critically endangered, and the ...

Venezuelan COVID patients increasingly seeking in-home care

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Chef Carlos Páez has a long and tough road ahead after a serious case of COVID-19 that required a constant supply of oxygen. He is showing improvement, but his health is still fragile. Páez, however, didn't receive treatment at one of Venezuela's hospitals despite ...

Iceland introduces restrictions after UK variant is detected

REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) — Gym classes, happy hours and the near-normal life enjoyed so far by the people of Iceland ended abruptly on Thursday, when the government ordered new restrictions after detecting six coronavirus cases believed to be the variant first found in Britain. Authorities ...