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International News

Beijing offering COVID-19 boosters, 4 months before Olympics

BEIJING (AP) — China's capital Beijing has begun offering booster shots against COVID-19, four months before the city and surrounding regions are to host the Winter Olympics. Anyone 18 or older who have received two-dose Chinese vaccines and belong to at-risk groups, including those ...

First female head of Japan labor lobby vows to empower women

TOKYO (AP) — The first female president of Japan's powerful labor union federation said Friday she will work to correct the gender gap in wages and working conditions to help empower women. "Progress is extremely slow," said Tomoko Yoshino, who was elected this month as head of the 7 ...

Turkish lira continues to slide after interest rate cut

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — The Turkish lira continued to slide and reached a record low against the U.S. dollar Friday, a day after the Central Bank sharply cut interest rates. It was another hit after a global financial watchdog placed Turkey on a list of countries to monitor for money laundering ...

Thailand easing tourist quarantine rules in November

BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand is accelerating plans to reopen the country to foreign tourists, slashing mandatory quarantines beginning Nov. 1 for fully vaccinated visitors arriving by air from 46 countries and territories, officials announced Friday. The Center for COVID-19 Situation ...

Malaysia reopens cautiously to foreign workers, tourists

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia said Friday it will reopen to foreign workers to address a labor crunch, and allow fully vaccinated tourists at the northern resort island of Langkawi next month without quarantine. Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the government will use the ...

Saudi Arabia pledges 2060 target of net-zero emissions

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — One of the world's largest oil producers, Saudi Arabia, announced Saturday it aims to reach "net zero" greenhouse gas emissions by 2060, joining more than 100 countries in a global effort to try and curb man-made climate change. The announcement, made by ...

Russia hosts Afghan talks, calls for an inclusive government

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia hosted talks on Afghanistan on Wednesday involving senior representatives of the Taliban and neighboring nations, a round of diplomacy that underlined Moscow's clout in Central Asia. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov opened the talks and emphasized that "forming a ...

Australian town overwhelmed by response to free land offer

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The Australian Outback town of Quilpie hoped its offer of free residential land to anyone who would make it their home might attract five new families to the remote community of 800. But authorities have been overwhelmed by more than 250 inquires in less than two ...

UK, New Zealand approve trade deal; hope it opens more doors

LONDON (AP) — Britain agreed to a trade deal with New Zealand on Wednesday, eliminating tariffs on a wide range of goods as the U.K. seeks to expand economic links around the world following its exit from the European Union. The deal was cemented in a conference call between U.K. Prime ...

For sleepy Hong Kong residents, 5-hour bus tour is a snooze

HONG KONG (AP) — Travel-starved, sleep-deprived residents might find a new Hong Kong bus tour to be a snooze. The 76-kilometer (47-mile), five-hour ride on a regular double-decker bus around the territory is meant to appeal to people who are easily lulled asleep by long rides. It was ...

Struggling Chinese developer calls off $2.6B asset sale

BEIJING (AP) — A major Chinese real estate developer whose struggle to avoid defaulting on billions of dollars of debt rattled financial markets says it has called off the sale of a $2.6 billion stake in a subsidiary and has made no progress in selling other assets. China Evergrande Group's ...

At least 3 dead in apparent gas explosion in north China

BEIJING (AP) — An apparent gas explosion gutted part of a high rise in northern China on Thursday morning, killing at least three people and injuring 30. It occurred at a hotel in Shenyang, a city of more than 8 million people and a major industrial center that is in the process of ...

Brazil senators readying call for Bolsonaro criminal charges

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — Brazilian senators met into Tuesday night discussing a report that will recommend President Jair Bolsonaro be indicted on criminal charges for allegedly bungling the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and pushing the country's death toll to second-highest in the ...

UK encourages booster jabs, resists new virus restrictions

LONDON (AP) — Under pressure from rising infections and worried health experts, the British government on Wednesday urged millions of people to get booster vaccine shots but resisted calls to reimpose coronavirus restrictions such as mandatory mask-wearing. Health Secretary Sajid Javid said ...

Senate report urges charging Brazil’s leader over pandemic

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — A Brazilian Senate report recommended Wednesday pursuing crimes against humanity and other charges against President Jair Bolsonaro for allegedly bungling Brazil's response to COVID-19 and contributing to the country having the world's second-highest pandemic death ...

India hits 1B vaccine doses, worries about gap between shots

NEW DELHI (AP) — India has administered 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines, officials said Thursday, a milestone for the South Asian country where the delta variant fueled a crushing surge earlier this year. About 75% of India's total eligible adult population has received at least one ...

Moscow tightens restrictions as infections, deaths soar

MOSCOW (AP) — The authorities in Moscow on Thursday announced a plan to shut restaurants and non-food stores and introduce other restrictions later this month as Russia registered the highest daily numbers of new coronavirus infections and deaths since the start of the pandemic. The ...

Retired pope hopes to soon join friends in ‘the afterlife’

ROME (AP) — Retired Pope Benedict XVI has said he hopes to soon join a beloved professor friend in "the afterlife," in a sign that the 94-year-old pontiff is not only accepting his eventual death but welcoming it. Benedict penned an Oct. 2 letter to a German priest, thanking him for letting ...

Pope praises freedom of children after boy gets a skullcap

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Wednesday praised the "spontaneity and freedom" of children after a young boy approached him during his weekly general audience and motioned that he wanted the pope's white skullcap. A good-humored Francis kept the boy by his side, and the head of the ...

Wave of killings triggers memories of dark past in Kashmir

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — The Kashmiri Hindu activist was listening to religious hymns on his cellphone when he was interrupted by a tragic WhatsApp message. It brought news of a fatal shooting of a prominent chemist from his community, just a few miles from the activist's home in Srinagar, the ...