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International News

Australia invests in $1.6 billion South Pacific telco deal

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australian telco Telstra has partnered with the Australian government in a $1.6 billion deal to buy the South Pacific operations of Digicel in a deal that would prevent a key part of the region's telecommunications infrastructure falling into Chinese ...

Widodo calls for ASEAN travel corridor to bolster recovery

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Indonesian President Joko Widodo has urged Southeast Asian countries to speed up plans to create a regional travel corridor to help revive tourism and speed up a recovery from the economic damage of the pandemic. Citing U.N. and World Trade Organization data, ...

Toyota testing hydrogen combustion engines in race cars

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota said Monday it is testing hydrogen combustion engines in race cars as it works toward using the technology in commercial products. Such engines burn hydrogen as fuel instead of gasoline, much like rockets. The Japanese automaker said testing the technology in race cars ...

Russia marks another record number of daily COVID-19 cases

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia reported another daily record of confirmed coronavirus cases Monday as a surge in infections has prompted the Kremlin to tell most people to stay away from work starting later this week. The Russian government's coronavirus task force tallied 37,930 new confirmed cases ...

China to start vaccinating children to age 3 as cases spread

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Children as young as 3 will start receiving COVID-19 vaccines in China, where 76% of the population has been fully vaccinated and authorities are maintaining a zero-tolerance policy toward outbreaks. Local city and provincial level governments in at least five provinces ...

Queen Elizabeth II back at castle following hospital visit

LONDON (AP) — Britain's Queen Elizabeth II was back at Windsor Castle on Friday and in good spirits after revelations that she spent the night in a London hospital earlier this week. Buckingham Palace said the 95-year-old British monarch went to the private King Edward VII's Hospital in ...

Kremlin wall ‘tooth’ broken by collapsing scaffolding

MOSCOW (AP) — Falling scaffolding broke off one of the "teeth" on the top of the Kremlin wall on Friday, prompting Russian authorities to seal off Red Square. A gust of wind brought down the scaffolding, which was being used to repair a section of the Kremlin wall near Soviet founder ...

EU to keep fighting Belarus’s “weaponization” of migrants

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union leaders pledged on Friday to "keep up the pressure" on Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko to halt the flow of migrants from his country and raised the prospect of new sanctions amid calls by some bloc members to build walls and fences to thwart new ...

Scientists urge UK to prep rapid return of COVID measures

LONDON (AP) — The British government's scientific advisers urged the government on Friday to ensure coronavirus restrictions can be introduced rapidly, as the rate of new infections continues to grow. Britain has recorded an average of 47,000 new cases of COVID-19 a day in the past week, up ...

EU unconvinced by Polish arguments on rule of law changes

BRUSSELS (AP) — Polish arguments that fundamental judicial changes the country has made would not undermine the European Union on Friday failed to convince key bloc leaders who said that the withholding of billions in EU recovery funds would likely continue unless Warsaw falls back into ...

Report: Foreign aid lost in Syria exchange rate distortions

BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian President Bashar Assad's government benefited from variations in foreign currency exchange rates, boosting state coffers with at least $100 million in international aid money over the last two years, according to new research. The currency manipulation deprives Syrians, ...

Violence erupts at Islamists rally in Pakistan, killing 4

LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — Violent clashes erupted between Pakistan's security forces and Islamists in the eastern city of Lahore on Friday, killing at least two policemen and two demonstrators, a police spokesman and witnesses said. The incident happened after thousands of Islamists launched ...

Romania revives restrictions as hospitals struggle, jabs lag

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Doctor Petruta Filip is working 100-hour weeks at a Bucharest hospital which, like hospitals throughout Romania, is struggling under an onslaught of COVID-19 patients in a country with worryingly low vaccination rates. The European Union country of around 19 million ...

Israel outlaws Palestinian rights groups, alleging terrorism

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel on Friday effectively outlawed six prominent Palestinian human rights groups by declaring them terrorist organizations, a major escalation of its decades-long crackdown on political activism in the occupied territories. The declaration appeared to pave the way for ...

NKorea slams US for supporting Taiwan in nod to ally China

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea on Saturday accused the Biden administration of raising military tensions with China through its "reckless" backing of Taiwan, and said that the growing U.S. military presence in the region constitutes a potential threat to the North. In comments carried ...

Bangladesh to share ‘climate prosperity plan’ at COP26

NEW DELHI (AP) — Bangladesh plans to present its "climate prosperity plan" aimed at mitigating the effects of global warming on economic development at the forthcoming U.N. climate talks in Glasgow, a Bangladeshi climate official says. The plan envisions boosting renewable energy, making ...

Russian COVID spike persists, setting new death record

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia is reporting a record high number of coronavirus infections and COVID-19 deaths as the country approaches a week of nonworking days aimed at stemming the sharp surge in cases. The national coronavirus task force said Saturday that 1,075 people had died from the virus in ...

Orthodox Church’s top patriarch to visit US, meet with Biden

The spiritual leader of the world's 200 million Eastern Orthodox Christians brings an agenda spanning religious, political and environmental issues to a 12-day U.S. visit beginning Saturday that includes a meeting with President Joe Biden and various ceremonial and interfaith ...

New Zealand sets 90% vaccination target to end lockdowns

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand's government on Friday set an ambitious target of fully vaccinating 90% of all eligible people to end coronavirus lockdowns. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had been under pressure to provide a pathway to freedom for people living in Auckland, who ...

Japan OKs plan to push clean energy, nuclear to cut carbon

TOKYO (AP) — Japan adopted a new energy policy on Friday that promotes nuclear and renewables as sources of clean energy to achieve the country's pledge of reaching carbon neutrality in 2050. The new basic energy plan, adopted by the Cabinet just in time for the climate summit in early ...