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International News

Panel suggests WHO should have more power to stop pandemics

GENEVA (AP) — A panel of independent experts who reviewed the World Health Organization's response to the coronavirus pandemic says the U.N. health agency should be granted "guaranteed rights of access" in countries to investigate emerging outbreaks, a contentious idea that would give it more ...

Frustration in Japan as leader pushes Olympics despite virus

TOKYO (AP) — A full-page newspaper ad says Japanese will be "killed by politics" because the government is forcing them to endure the pandemic without vaccines. More than 300,000 people have signed a petition calling for the Tokyo Olympics to be canceled. And a swimming star has faced ...

Czechs light nearly 30,000 candles to honor COVID-19 victims

PRAGUE (AP) — Czechs lit nearly 30,000 candles at Prague Castle, the seat of the presidency, on Monday evening to pay their respects to the pandemic's victims. The hard-hit European Union nation of 10.7 million people has registered at least 29,711 virus-related deaths. After observing a ...

Pope creates lay ministry to boost supply of faith teachers

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis on Tuesday formally created a new lay ministry to encourage greater participation of secular women and men in the teaching of the Catholic faith, especially in places where priests are in short supply. The new law creating the lay ministry of catechists officially ...

China issues total ban on synthetic cannabinoids

BEIJING (AP) — China on Tuesday said it will add all synthetic cannabinoids to its list of banned drugs, in what it described as a first in the world, to curb their manufacturing, trafficking and abuse. It is the second time that Chinese authorities have imposed a class-wide ban on a ...

France wants tougher punishment for those who attack police

PARIS (AP) — "Dead or Alive." The chilling words were scrawled on photos of three police officers in their uniforms posted last month on a wall in a Grenoble suburb, in southwest France. To French police, this is just one more sign of an upsurge in violence specifically targeting police that ...

Vatican warns US bishops over get-tough Communion proposals

The head of the Vatican's doctrine office is warning U.S. bishops to deliberate carefully and minimize divisions before proceeding with a possible plan to rebuke Roman Catholic politicians such as President Joe Biden for receiving Communion even though they support abortion rights. The strong ...

Dracula’s castle proves an ideal setting for COVID-19 jabs

BUCHAREST (AP) — At Dracula's castle in picturesque Transylvania, Romanian doctors are offering a jab in the arm rather than a stake through the heart. A COVID-19 vaccination center has been set up on the periphery of Romania's Bran Castle, which is purported to be the inspiration behind ...

Vatican conference features Fauci, Francis — and Aerosmith

ROME (AP) — An eclectic mix of participants are taking part in a unique three-day Vatican conference on COVID-19, other global health threats and how science, solidarity and spirituality can address them. Along with Pope Francis, the event includes Dr. Anthony Fauci, soprano Renee Fleming, ...

Int’l Court sentences Ugandan to 25 years for war crimes

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The International Criminal Court sentenced a Ugandan former child soldier who turned into a brutal rebel commander to 25 years' imprisonment Thursday, with judges saying that his own abduction as a schoolboy and history as a child soldier prevented him being ...

France sends patrol boats as tensions flare with UK on fish

LONDON (AP) — France dispatched two patrol boats Thursday as French fishermen angry over loss of access to waters off their coast gathered for a maritime protest off the English Channel island of Jersey, the flashpoint for the first major dispute between France and Britain over fishing rights ...

Super Thursday: Britain votes in bumper crop of elections

LONDON (AP) — Polling stations across Britain opened Thursday for what are considered the biggest set of elections outside a general election, local and regional contests that could have huge repercussion for the future of the United Kingdom. On what has been dubbed Super Thursday, around 50 ...

Dubai luxury home market soars as world’s rich flee pandemic

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — After nearly three decades in London, Christophe Reech was fed up with the city's pandemic lockdowns. This spring, he sold his luxury townhouse and jetted off to the desert sheikhdom of Dubai to start a new life with his family. There was no turning back, ...

World mulls next step as US backs IP waiver on vaccines

GENEVA (AP) — Activists cheered, Big Pharma complained and government leaders assessed next steps on Thursday after the Biden administration's blockbuster move to support an easing of patent and other protections on COVID-19 vaccines that many hope will help poorer countries get more doses ...

EU delivers vaccine jabs to Balkans after China and Russia

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — The European Union started delivering EU-funded coronavirus vaccines Tuesday to the Balkans, a region that wants to join the 27-nation bloc but where China and Russia have already been making political gains by supplying the much-needed shots. The European Commission ...

Rights critics condemn French sale to Egypt of 30 more jets

PARIS (AP) — France is selling another 30 Rafale fighter jets to Egypt in a deal condemned Tuesday by rights advocates, including the French wife of a jailed activist. The deal, confirmed separately by both countries, will build up Egypt's fleet of the advanced warplane to 54, second only to ...

Thunberg: ‘We will not accept’ giving up on limiting warming

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Swedish teenage activist Greta Thunberg says those in power may "have given up" on the 2015 landmark Paris climate deal to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) since pre-industrial times. "We will not accept that ... we, the younger ...

G7 foreign ministers meet face-to-face after pandemic pause

LONDON (AP) — Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven wealthy industrialized nations gathered Tuesday in London for their first face-to-face meeting in more than two years, with the issue of whether to challenge or coax a surging China high on the agenda. Host nation Britain is keen to ...

Madrid’s champion of soft virus restrictions wins election

MADRID (AP) — Madrid's conservative leader, a champion of relaxed measures against the coronavirus and a scourge of the left-wing central government's handling of the pandemic, scored a solid win in a regional election Tuesday. Isabel Díaz Ayuso, who had campaigned under the slogan of ...

Overpass collapse on Mexico City metro kills at least 24

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The death toll from the collapse of an overpass on the Mexico City metro rose to 24 Tuesday as crews untangled train carriages from the steel and concrete wreckage that fell onto a roadway. Monday night's accident was one of the deadliest in the history of the subway, and ...