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International News

Russian court sentences activist under law on ‘undesirables’

MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian court on Thursday handed a suspended sentence to an activist accused of membership of an "undesirable" organization, part of the authorities' effort to tighten control over the nation's political scene. Anastasia Shevchenko, 41, was accused of engaging in political ...

NATO chief urges Afghan govt, Taliban to step up peace talks

BRUSSELS (AP) — NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday urged the Afghan government and the Taliban to step up the pace of peace talks amid doubts over whether the military alliance will pull thousands of troops out of the country by a May deadline. NATO has just under 10,000 ...

Kremlin rebuffs European court’s demand to free Navalny

MOSCOW (AP) — The Kremlin on Thursday strongly rejected the European human rights court's order to release jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny as "inadmissible" meddling in Russia's affairs. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday's decision by the European Court of Human Rights, ...

Italy’s COVID anniversary commemoration nixed by new variant

ROME (AP) — One of this weekend's main events commemorating the anniversary of the start of Italy's COVID-19 outbreak was canceled Thursday after a cluster of new infections traced to the British variant forced localized lockdowns in hardest-hit Lombardy and around the country. Italy's ...

NATO boosts Iraq mission with thousands of personnel

BRUSSELS (AP) — NATO is planning to scale up its mission training Iraq's security forces with thousands of new personnel as the military alliance seeks to help keep the Islamic State group at bay, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday. "The size of our mission will increase from ...

Myanmar protests focus on junta’s economic support

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — State railway workers in Myanmar continued to strike Thursday despite a police rampage the previous night targeting them in a sign of the military junta's concern over growing civil disobedience by public workers protesting the coup. Three-quarters of the country's ...

Biden withdraws Trump’s restoration of UN sanctions on Iran

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The Biden administration on Thursday rescinded former president Donald Trump's restoration of U.N. sanctions on Iran, an announcement that could help Washington move toward rejoining the 2015 nuclear agreement aimed at reining in the Islamic Republic's nuclear ...

10 years after Christchurch quake, survivors share stories

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) — One woman channeled her anger to ensure buildings are safer. Others have found peace after heartbreaking losses. Ten years after an earthquake killed 185 people and devastated Christchurch, New Zealand, some of those profoundly affected are sharing their ...

Asia stocks follow Wall St. down after weaker US jobs data

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets followed Wall Street lower on Friday after disappointing U.S. jobs and economic data. Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Australia all declined. Overnight, Wall Street's benchmark S&P 500 index lost 0.4% for its third straight daily decline. Stocks ...

DIY education: Greek teacher creates TV classes for inmates

AVLONA, Greece (AP) — Setting up a television channel from scratch isn't the most obvious or easiest thing for a math teacher to do — especially without prior technical knowledge and for use inside a prison. But that is exactly the task Petros Damianos, director of the school at Greece's ...

UK queen’s husband Prince Philip, 99, admitted to hospital

LONDON (AP) — Britain's 99-year-old Prince Philip has been admitted to a London hospital after feeling unwell, Buckingham Palace said Wednesday. The palace said the husband of Queen Elizabeth II was admitted to the private King Edward VII Hospital on Tuesday evening. It called the admission ...

In Athens, rare snow blankets Acropolis, halts vaccinations

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Heavy snowfall blanketed the Acropolis and other ancient monuments in Athens, caused power cuts and halted COVID-19 vaccinations in the Greek capital on Tuesday as the weather brought many services across the country to a standstill. Greek media reported that three ...

Estonia report: Russia bets on COVID-19 weakening the West

HELSINKI (AP) — Estonia's foreign intelligence agency said Wednesday that Russia is counting on the COVID-19 pandemic to weaken unity in the West which would help Moscow gain a more prominent role in international affairs and lead to "declining Western influence on the global stage." The ...

Dubai princess’ backers seek Biden help to win her freedom

LONDON (AP) — Supporters of an Emirati princess held against her will for almost three years are urging Joe Biden to put pressure on her father to release the woman, saying the U.S. president is one of the few world leaders with the stature to win her freedom. The case of Sheikha Latifa bint ...

Snowstorms hit East Med, army called out in Greece

Greece called in the armed forces Wednesday to help repair widespread damage caused by heavy snowfall in Athens, while blizzards continued to cause havoc in neighboring Turkey and with the snow reaching as far as Libya. The Athens snowstorm, described by authorities as the most severe in 40 ...

NATO chief dismisses early pullout of Afghan troop trainers

BRUSSELS (AP) — NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday that the military alliance will only leave Afghanistan when security conditions allow, as a deadline for withdrawing troops set out in a peace deal with the Taliban nears. NATO has just under 10,000 troops in the ...

Sicilian village cleans up ash, stones from Mt Etna eruption

PEDARA, Sicily (AP) — Residents and municipal teams worked Wednesday to clean up a Sicilian village near Mount Etna after Europe's most active volcano spewed lava, ashes and volcanic stones. The eruption, which featured spectacular displays of gushing lava, forced the temporary closure of ...

Netanyahu and Biden speak about pandemic, Iran, peace effort

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — U.S. President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by phone Wednesday after a month of silence that raised concerns in Israel about a frostier relationship between the two allies. Netanyahu's office was first to announce the conversation, ...

UN chief urges global plan to reverse unfair vaccine access

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres sharply criticized the "wildly uneven and unfair" distribution of COVID-19 vaccines on Wednesday, saying 10 countries have administered 75 percent of all vaccinations and demanding a global effort to get all people in every nation ...

Allegations of abductions grip Uganda after tense elections

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Ugandan opposition leader Bobi Wine on Monday released a list of 243 people who have allegedly been abducted by the security forces, piling pressure on the government to find those missing amid continuing political tensions after last month's elections. Wine, a singer ...