×

International News

China bashes US over racism, inequality, pandemic response

BEIJING (AP) — China took the U.S. to task Wednesday over racism, financial inequality and the federal government's response to the coronavirus in an annual report that seeks to counter U.S. accusations of human rights abuses by China's ruling Communist Party. The 28-page report issued by ...

Merkel drops Easter shutdown plan for Germany, apologizes

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday dropped plans for a five-day shutdown over Easter, which had prompted confusion and criticism. She called the idea a mistake and apologized to Germans. Merkel announced the decision after a hastily arranged videoconference with ...

German Cabinet approves 2022 budget plan with more new debt

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's Cabinet on Wednesday approved 2022 budget plans that will see rules against running up new debt suspended for the third consecutive year as the government seeks to help Europe's biggest economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic. The government foresees spending of ...

Flying the flag: UK govt tells ministries to wave Union Jack

LONDON (AP) — The British government said Wednesday that the national flag should fly on all government buildings, the latest move in a highly visible embrace of the Union Jack by Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The government has told ministries and local administrations that the ...

Belgium reverts to tighter Easter lockdown amid virus spike

BRUSSELS (AP) — Belgium is reintroducing a strict lockdown in response to a surge of new COVID-19 infections, with the government saying Wednesday that schools would close and residents would have limited access to nonessential businesses. Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said the ...

Turkey rejects Macron’s claim of possible vote interference

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey on Wednesday rejected French President Emmanuel Macron's suggestions that Ankara could seek to interfere in France's next election by manipulating public opinion. In an interview with France 5 television, Macron accused Turkey and Turkish state media of engaging ...

Spaniards line up for AstraZeneca amid concerns over vaccine

MADRID (AP) — Desperate to finally put the coronavirus pandemic behind them, thousands of Spaniards lined up to get shots of AstraZeneca on Wednesday as the European country became the latest to restart use of the vaccine whose credibility has suffered a series of setbacks recently. Like ...

Brazil becomes 2nd nation to top 300,000 COVID-19 deaths

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazil topped 300,000 confirmed COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday, becoming the second country to do so amid a spike in infections that has seen the South American country report record death tolls in recent days. The United States reached the grim milestone on Dec. 14, but has a ...

2 trapped drivers become first Australian flood fatalities

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Two men trapped in vehicles hundreds of kilometers (miles) apart have become the first fatalities of record flooding on Australia's east coast. A car got trapped in floodwater northwest of Sydney at dawn Wednesday and emergency services later recovered it with a ...

Stuck ship in Egypt’s Suez Canal imperils shipping worldwide

ISMAILIA, Egypt (AP) — A skyscraper-sized cargo ship wedged across Egypt's Suez Canal further imperiled global shipping Thursday as at least 150 other vessels needing to pass through the crucial waterway idled waiting for the obstruction to clear, authorities said. The Ever Given, a ...

Pope, citing pandemic effect, cuts pay for cardinals, others

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Trying to save jobs as the pandemic pummels Vatican revenues, Pope Francis has ordered pay cuts for cardinals and other clerics, as well as nuns, who work at the Holy See. In a decree published online Wednesday by the Vatican's official newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, ...

Born in war, Bangladesh marks 50 years of independence

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Shafiqul Islam was studying business at Dhaka College in 1971 when a bloody and brutal war for independence ravaged Bangladesh. After undergoing guerrilla training in India, he returned to fight against Pakistani soldiers. "It was a time of total destruction," he ...

Germany drops Easter shutdown plan, Merkel apologizes

BERLIN (AP) — Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday dropped plans for a five-day shutdown in Germany over Easter, which had prompted confusion and criticism. She called the idea a mistake and apologized to Germans. Merkel announced the decision after calling a hastily arranged ...

France hit by 3rd virus surge; culture minister in hospital

PARIS (AP) — France's high-profile culture minister has been hospitalized for COVID-19, the latest senior official to become ill as the nation faces a third surge of coronavirus infections, this one propelled by a highly contagious variant first found in Britain. Roselyne Bachelot, 74, ...

Pope taps Chilean sex abuse whistleblower for Vatican panel

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Wednesday named a Chilean man who helped uncover a clerical sex abuse scandal to a Vatican commission that advises the pontiff on how to protect children from pedophile clergy. The Vatican said Juan Carlos Cruz is the latest member of the Pontifical ...

Cosmic mouthful: Tasters savor fine wine that orbited Earth

BORDEAUX, France (AP) — It tastes like rose petals. It smells like a campfire. It glistens with a burnt-orange hue. What is it? A 5,000-euro bottle of Chateau Petrus Pomerol wine that spent a year in space. Researchers in Bordeaux are analyzing a dozen bottles of the precious liquid – ...

Hong Kong halts use of Pfizer vaccine, cites defective lids

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong suspended use of the Pfizer vaccine Wednesday after its Chinese distributor informed the city that one batch had defective bottle lids. The city's government said the suspension was immediate while the matter is investigated by distributor Fosun Pharma and ...

EU moves toward stricter export controls for COVID vaccines

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union moved Wednesday toward imposing stricter export controls for coronavirus vaccines, seeking to make sure there are more COVID-19 shots to boost the bloc's flagging vaccine campaign as new infections surge. The EU's executive body said on the eve of a summit ...

UK unveils plan for smaller, more high-tech armed forces

LONDON (AP) — Britain plans to cut the size of its army and boost spending on drones, robots and a new "cyber force" under defense plans announced by the government on Monday. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said the British Army would shrink from 76,500 soldiers to 72,500 by 2025. He said the ...

Brazil economists call for tougher measures as cases ramp up

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Hundreds of Brazilian economists, including former finance ministers and central bank presidents, urged the Brazilian government in an open letter published on Monday to speed up vaccination and adopt tougher restrictions to stop the rampant spread of COVID-19. The ...