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International News

China applies to join Pacific trade pact abandoned by Trump

BEIJING (AP) — China has applied to join an 11-nation Asia-Pacific free trade group in an effort to increase its influence over international policies. Commerce Minister Wang Wentao submitted an application to the trade minister of New Zealand as a representative of the Comprehensive and ...

Putin: Dozens in inner circle infected with coronavirus

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin says dozens of his staff have been infected with the coronavirus and that he will continue his self-isolation because of the outbreak. The Kremlin announced earlier this week that he would self-isolate after someone in his inner circle was ...

EU earmarks 30 billion euros for health crisis agency

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union said Thursday that it will fund its new health preparedness and rapid response agency to the tune of 30 billion euros ($35 billion) over the next six years, even pushing it higher if individual efforts from the member nations and private sector are taken ...

Zimbabwe orders government workers to get COVID vaccinations

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Zimbabwe's government has ordered all its employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or they won't be allowed to come to work. The Public Service Commission, which is in charge of employment conditions for government workers, issued an internal notice Wednesday ...

Italy requires COVID-19 pass for all workers from Oct. 15

MILAN (AP) — Italian workers in both the public and private sectors must display a health pass to access their workplaces from Oct. 15 under a decree adopted Thursday by Premier Mario Draghi's broad-based coalition government. The measures are the first by a major European economy requiring ...

With foreign funds frozen, Afghan aid groups stuck in limbo

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A month after the fall of Kabul, the world is still wrestling with how to help Afghanistan's impoverished people without propping up their Taliban leaders — a question that grows more urgent by the day. With the Afghan government severed from the ...

North Korea says it tested rail-launched ballistic missiles

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea said Thursday it successfully launched ballistic missiles from a train for the first time and was continuing to bolster its defenses, after the two Koreas test-fired missiles hours apart in dueling displays of military might. Wednesday's launches ...

Pope questions vaccine skeptics, including cardinals

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (AP) — Pope Francis said Wednesday he didn't understand why people refuse to take COVID-19 vaccines, saying "humanity has a history of friendship with vaccines," and that serene discussion about the shots was necessary to help them. "Even in the College of Cardinals, ...

Bulgaria to hold an early election after political deadlock

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgaria's president has called a third parliamentary election this year that will be held on Nov. 14 after two previous votes failed to produce a government, authorities said Wednesday. Parliament will be dissolved and a new caretaker government will be appointed in ...

UK’s Johnson replaces foreign secretary in Cabinet shake-up

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson demoted his top diplomat and fired his education minister in a major government shakeup Wednesday, as he tried to move on from a series of political missteps and revive his promise to "level up" prosperity across the U.K. In the biggest ...

France says head of Islamic State in Sahara has been killed

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — France's president announced the death of Islamic State in the Greater Sahara's leader late Wednesday, calling Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi's killing "a major success" for the French military after more than eight years fighting extremists in the Sahel. French President ...

Southwest China earthquake collapses homes, kills at least 2

BEIJING (AP) — An earthquake collapsed homes, killed at least two people and injured dozens Thursday in southwest China's Sichuan province, state media reported. Rescue work was underway following the magnitude-6.0 earthquake. It struck at 4:33 a.m. in Luxian county at a depth of 10 ...

Australia buys US nuclear subs due to changed security needs

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia decided to invest in U.S. nuclear-powered submarines and dump its contract with France to build diesel-electric submarines because of a changed strategic environment, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday. President Joe Biden on Wednesday had ...

Report: Most nations fall far short in plans to curb warming

Nearly every nation is coming up short — most of them far short — in their efforts to fight climate change, and the world is unlikely to hold warming to the internationally agreed-upon limit, according to a new scientific report. Only one nation — tiny The Gambia in Africa — is on ...

Sidelined by rivals, Germany’s far-right AfD bides time

BERLIN (AP) — Immigration is a side issue in this year's German election campaign, but that hasn't stopped the country's biggest far-right party from trying to play it up. "Cologne, Kassel or Konstanz can't cope with more Kabul," Alternative for Germany declared on one of its posters ahead ...

EU pledges 200 million vaccine doses to low-income nations

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union's top official said Wednesday that ramping up COVID-19 vaccinations around the world was the bloc's No. 1 priority right now and committed another 200 million vaccine doses to Africa and low-income nations. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen ...

Alberta leader apologizes, imposes restrictions and passport

TORONTO (AP) — The leader of the Canadian province of Alberta apologized Wednesday for his handling of the pandemic and says he's now reluctantly introducing a vaccine passport and imposing a mandatory work from home order two months after lifting nearly all restrictions. Alberta declared a ...

Zimbabwe’s older people often sent to homes amid pandemic

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Banana bread was served at a recent birthday party at Melfort Old People's home, where a group of residents mustered a raspy happy birthday tune. Just a week after arriving at the facility, Rodrick Bhatare, in his 90s, said he felt a bittersweet moment at the ...

Pope urges compassion as he wraps Slovakia pilgrimage

SASTIN, Slovakia (AP) — Pope Francis urged Slovakians on Wednesday to look out for the neediest among them as he ended his first post-surgery trip with a huge open-air Mass that drew tens of thousands of people amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Cheering, maskless crowds lined Francis' ...

Unvaccinated French health care workers face suspension

PARIS (AP) — Health care workers in France face suspension from their jobs starting Wednesday if they haven't been vaccinated against COVID-19. With as many as 300,000 workers still not vaccinated, some hospitals fear staff shortages will add to their strain. Vaccines are now compulsory for ...