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International News

Russia: Death toll in Siberian coal mine blast raised to 52

MOSCOW (AP) — A devastating explosion in a Siberian coal mine Thursday left 52 miners and rescuers dead about 250 meters (820 feet) underground, Russian officials said. Hours after a methane gas explosion and fire filled the mine with toxic fumes, rescuers found 14 bodies but then were ...

EU regulator authorizes Pfizer’s COVID vaccine for kids 5-11

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The European Union's drug regulator on Thursday authorized Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine for use on children from 5 to 11 years old, clearing the way for shots to be administered to millions of elementary school pupils amid a new wave of infections sweeping across ...

Afghan girl from famous cover portrait is evacuated to Italy

ROME (AP) — National Geographic magazine's famed green-eyed "Afghan Girl" has arrived in Italy as part of the West's evacuation of Afghans following the Taliban takeover of the country, the Italian government said Thursday. The office of Premier Mario Draghi said Italy organized the ...

Egypt unveils renovated ‘Avenue of the Sphinxes’ in Luxor

LUXOR, Egypt (AP) — Egyptian authorities were unveiling Thursday a renovated ancient promenade in the city of Luxor dating back 3,000 years, the latest government project undertaken to highlight the country's archaeological treasures. Egypt has struggled to revive its tourism industry, ...

Czech President Zeman back in hospital, now with COVID-19

PRAGUE (AP) — Czech President Milos Zeman was readmitted to hospital late Thursday after he tested positive for COVID-19, just hours after he had been discharged following more than a month's treatment for an unspecified illness. The presidential office said Zeman was tested after he arrived ...

As Europe virus cases surge, UK plows on with its new normal

LONDON (AP) — The bars are shut in Vienna, and the Christmas market is empty in Munich, as several European nations tighten up or even lock down to combat a spike in coronavirus infections. Meanwhile in London, couples sip mulled wine at a seasonal market near the River Thames, full-capacity ...

EU wants to stop flights from southern Africa over variant

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union nations were moving to stop air travel from southern Africa on Friday, seeking to counter the spread of a new COVID-19 variant as the 27-nation bloc battles a massive spike in cases. "The last thing we need is to bring in a new variant that will cause even more ...

US lawmakers meet with Taiwan president in surprise visit

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Five U.S. lawmakers met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Friday in a surprise one-day visit intended to reaffirm the United States' "rock solid" support for the self-governing island. The bipartisan group of lawmakers from the U.S. House of Representatives ...

Second group of Iraqis return after failed Europe gamble

IRBIL, Iraq (AP) — Defeated but somewhat relieved, a second group of Iraqis on Friday returned home to northern Iraq after a failed quest to reach the European Union, citing maltreatment and abuse suffered at the hands of Belarusian authorities. Over 570 people returned on two flights that ...

Thousands of Indian farmers celebrate 1 year of key protests

NEW DELHI (AP) — Thousands of jubilant Indian farmers waving green and white flags on Friday marked the anniversary of their movement by celebrating a victory that forced Prime Minister Narendra Modi to withdraw three agriculture laws the farmers feared would drastically reduce their incomes ...

Solomon Islands violence recedes but not underlying tension

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Violence receded Friday in the capital of the Solomon Islands, but the government showed no signs of addressing the underlying grievances that sparked two days of riots, including concerns about the country's increasing links with China. Solomon Islands Prime ...

Climate activists block Amazon UK warehouses on Black Friday

Climate activists are blockading Amazon warehouses across the U.K. on Friday in an attempt to pressure the ecommerce giant on one of its busiest days of the year to improve working conditions and end business practices that hurt the environment. Members of Extinction Rebellion targeted 13 ...

Japan seeks extra defense budget amid China, N Korea concern

TOKYO (AP) — Japan's Cabinet on Friday approved a 770 billion yen ($6.8 billion) request for an extra defense budget through March to expedite the purchase of missiles, anti-submarine rockets and other weapons amid rising concern over the escalation of military activities by China, Russia and ...

Europe’s Christmas markets warily open as COVID cases rise

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The holiday tree is towering over the main square in this central German city, the chestnuts and sugared almonds are roasted, and kids are clambering aboard the merry-go-round just like they did before the pandemic. But a surge in coronavirus infections has left an ...

Canary Islands: More than 400 migrants rescued in Atlantic

ARGUINEGUIN, Spain (AP) — Spanish rescuers have saved and disembarked more than 400 migrants and asylum-seekers to the Canary Islands in the past two days as they attempted to reach the Atlantic Ocean archipelago from West Africa on several overcrowded, unsafe smuggling boats. On Tuesday ...

Nicaragua drops visa requirements for Cubans

MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) — The Nicaraguan government has dropped visa requirements for Cuban citizens, a move that may spark an increase in Cubans travelling there in a bid to reach the United States. Nicaragua's Interior Ministry posted a statement on its web page Monday saying the decision ...

South Korea sets pandemic high with 4,000 new virus cases

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — New coronavirus infections in South Korea exceeded 4,000 in a day for the first time since the start of the pandemic as a delta-driven spread continues to rattle the country after it eased social distancing in recent weeks to improve its economy. The Korea Disease ...

New Zealand to start reopening borders to world from January

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand will reopen its borders to the world over the coming months, the government announced Wednesday, allowing for the return of displaced residents from January and tourists from April. The South Pacific nation imposed harsh border restrictions when the ...

The Base, Hezbollah get terrorist designation in Australia

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia intends to add far-right extremist group The Base and the entirety of the Lebanese group Hezbollah to its list of outlawed terrorist organizations as national security services grapple with a surge in neo-Nazi cells and other ideologically motivated ...

Germany faces grim COVID milestone with leadership in flux

ESCHWEILER, Germany (AP) — Germany is set to mark 100,000 deaths from COVID-19 this week, passing a somber milestone that several of its neighbors crossed months ago but which Western Europe's most populous nation had hoped to avoid. Teutonic discipline, a robust health care system and the ...