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International News

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 ...

EU targets 11 Myanmar officials over coup, crackdown

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union and the United States imposed sanctions Monday on a number of Myanmar officials accused of involvement in the country's military coup and the ensuing crackdown on protesters. The EU announced penalties on 11 officials, including 10 top military officers. ...

Australia PM wants more women in politics after new scandal

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia's prime minister said on Tuesday he was shocked and disgusted by the latest sex scandal to rock his government and vowed to do more to attract women into politics. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said a lawmaker's staff member at the center of the latest ...

Putin to get coronavirus vaccine shot in Russia on Tuesday

MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin said he will get a coronavirus vaccine shot on Tuesday, several months after widespread vaccination started in Russia. Kremlin opponents have criticized Putin for not getting vaccinated amid a comparatively slow rollout of the shot in Russia, arguing ...

Scottish leader under fire after lawmakers fault testimony

LONDON (AP) — Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon has dismissed suggestions that she misled lawmakers, saying opposition members of a legislative panel had made up their minds before they heard her evidence. Sturgeon told Sky News that she stands by the eight hours of testimony she gave to a ...

Greek police recover ancient statue of ‘exceptional artwork’

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — A man has been arrested on suspicion of antiquities smuggling for trying to sell an ancient marble statue of "exceptional artwork" that once likely adorned a temple on Athens' famed Acropolis or the slopes around it, Greek authorities said Friday. Police said the 5th ...

US prosecutors say Honduras president took bribes in 2019

NEW YORK (AP) — Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernández accepted bribes from a drug trafficker as recently as 2019 — not just while running for office years earlier — a U.S. prosecutor said Friday. In the closing arguments of the trial of accused Honduran drug trafficker Geovanny ...

UN says no international staff left in North Korea

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A U.N. spokesman said the world body in North Korea has been left with no international staff, who are now working remotely. Despite claiming to be coronavirus free, North Korea has sealed off its borders as part of stringent anti-pandemic measures that also ...

Striking Myanmar rail workers move out as protests continue

MANDALAY, Myanmar (AP) — Residents of Myanmar's second-biggest city helped striking railway workers move out of their state-supplied housing Saturday after the authorities said they would have to leave if they kept supporting the protest movement against last month's military coup. Mandalay ...

Azeri president marks Nowruz in retaken cultural city

MOSCOW (AP) — Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev marked the Nowruz holiday Saturday by lighting a ceremonial fire outside Shusha, a culturally revered city that Azerbaijan took from Armenian forces in last autumn's war. Shusha, a center of Azeri culture for centuries, came under Armenian ...

Eruption of Iceland volcano easing, not affecting flights

REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) — The eruption of a long-dormant volcano that sent streams of lava flowing across a small valley in southwestern Iceland is easing and shouldn't interfere with air travel, the Icelandic Meteorological Office said Saturday. The fissure eruption began at around 8:45 ...

Half of UK adults have gotten one dose of COVID-19 vaccine

LONDON (AP) — The U.K. says half of the country's adults have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, a milestone in the government's drive to reach everyone over age 18 by the end of July. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Saturday that more people received injections on Friday ...

Thai police use tear gas, rubber bullets to break up protest

BANGKOK (AP) — Police in the Thai capital used water cannons, tear gas and rubber bullets Saturday night to break up a rally by pro-democracy protesters calling for the release of detained activists, constitutional changes and reform of the nation's monarchy. The rally held outside Bangkok's ...

After testy meeting, China says will discuss climate with US

BEIJING (AP) — China said Saturday it had agreed with the U.S. to take up climate change and a handful of other issues, a sign of small but possible progress at recently concluded talks that were otherwise marked by acrimonious public exchanges over the divisions between the world's two ...

Italy honors COVID dead with living monument on anniversary

ROME (AP) — Italy inaugurated a living monument to its COVID-19 dead Thursday as it marked the anniversary of one of the most haunting moments of the pandemic: when Bergamo's death toll reached such heights that an army convoy had to transport coffins out because its cemeteries and ...