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International News

WHO: 7 million new omicron COVID cases in Europe last week

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — There were more than 7 million new cases of the omicron variant of COVID-19 across Europe in the first week of January, more than doubling in just two weeks, the World Health Organization said. WHO Europe director Dr. Hans Kluge said at a media briefing on Tuesday ...

Head of Serbian Orthodox Church tests positive for virus

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Patriarch Porfirije, the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church, has tested positive for COVID-19, the church said Tuesday, amid a surge in infections in the country and elsewhere in the Balkan region. Porfirije has developed "very mild symptoms of the virus infection" ...

Terrorism charge for suspect in South Africa Parliament fire

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — A homeless man accused of setting a fire that destroyed part of South Africa's historic Parliament complex was charged with terrorism Tuesday and sent to a psychiatric hospital for a month for assessment. Zandile Mafe, 49, appeared in a courtroom in Cape Town ...

Rome church condemns swastika-draped casket at funeral

ROME (AP) — The Catholic Church in Rome on Tuesday strongly condemned as "offensive and unacceptable" a funeral procession outside a local church in which the casket was draped in a Nazi flag and mourners gave the fascist salute. Photos and video of the scene outside St. Lucia church ...

Pope slips out of Vatican to visit record shop, gets CD

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis grew up listening to the opera on the radio, is a fan of Argentine tango and thinks Mozart "lifts you to God." But it still came as a something of a shock to see the 85-year-old pontiff coming out of a downtown Rome record shop late Tuesday with a CD in hand. He had ...

North Korea claims successful test of hypersonic missile

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea says leader Kim Jong Un oversaw a successful flight test of a hypersonic missile he claimed would remarkably increase the country's nuclear "war deterrent." The report by North Korean state media on Wednesday came a day after the militaries of the United ...

Israeli PM: Omicron unstoppable but no need for ‘hysteria’

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Tuesday tried to calm Israelis anxious about the rapid spread of the omicron variant, insisting the government is managing the crisis better than most and ruling out a national shutdown. Bennett said during an evening press conference ...

Egypt leader criticizes Europe’s handling of migrant crisis

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AP) — Egypt's leader on Tuesday criticized Europe's handling of the migration crisis and its refusal to receive refugees arriving at its borders, saying his own country has taken in millions of people who left their home countries. President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi said ...

Kazakh leader: Russia-led security group to pull out troops

MOSCOW (AP) — The president of Kazakhstan announced Tuesday that a Russia-led security alliance will start pulling out its troops from the Central Asian nation in two days after completing its mission. The mostly Russian troops were deployed to Kazakhstan last week by the Collective Security ...

Argentina protests Iranian suspect at Nicaragua event

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — The presence of a senior Iranian official at the investiture of Nicaragua's president has angered Argentina, which alleges the official was involved in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people. Argentina's Foreign Ministry said ...

Russia, US take tough stands ahead of more talks on Ukraine

MOSCOW (AP) — Moscow and Washington both took uncompromising stands Tuesday ahead of more talks amid a Russian troop buildup near Ukraine, with the U.S. rebuffing a demand to halt NATO expansion and the Kremlin saying it will quickly see if it's worthwhile to even keep negotiating. At ...

Poland hits sad milestone of 100,000 deaths from COVID-19

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland on Tuesday became the latest European nation to record 100,000 deaths related to coronavirus, a sad milestone that comes as the country braces for a surge of infections fueled by the omicron variant. Nearly a quarter of those deaths — some 24,000 — occurred ...

Bolivia VP, 6 cabinet ministers infected with coronavirus

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — Bolivia's vice president and six cabinet ministers have tested positive for the coronavirus and are in isolation, the government said Tuesday. The infection for Vice President David Choquehuanca came a week after he had received his first dose of an anti-COVID-19 ...

Bulgaria’s leaders self-isolate after speaker COVID-positive

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgaria's top leaders are self-isolating after being in contact with the parliamentary speaker who tested positive for the coronavirus, the country's chief health inspector said Tuesday. Speaker Nikola Minchev felt unwell and later tested positive for COVID-19, the ...

Trade data: Myanmar teak exports helping fund military rule

BANGKOK (AP) — American companies are still importing teak from Myanmar despite sanctions imposed after the military seized power last year, a report based on trade data said Tuesday. Teak is one of the most valuable hardwoods, used in yachts, home flooring, doors, window frames and ...

World Economic Forum warns cyber risks add to climate threat

LONDON (AP) — Cyberthreats and the growing space race are emerging risks to the global economy, adding to existing challenges posed by climate change and the coronavirus pandemic, the World Economic Forum said in a report Tuesday. The Global Risks Report is usually released ahead of the ...

Lithuania: Taiwan to set up $1B credit fund amid China spat

VILNIUS, Lithuania (AP) — Taiwan will set up a $1 billion credit program aimed at funding projects by Lithuanian and Taiwanese companies amid economic pressure from China over an office that the island opened in the European Union country, Lithuanian officials said Tuesday. It follows ...

Hungary sets election for April 3 in big challenge to Orban

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Hungary will hold a parliamentary election on April 3, the president said Tuesday, in a vote that will decide whether Prime Minister Viktor Orban will remain in office after 12 years in power. President Janos Ader made the announcement on the election date, which is ...

Macron warns against fake news ahead of French election

PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron said people spreading fake news online should be held accountable and possibly brought to justice, an issue that is becoming even more significant ahead of the country's presidential election in April. In a speech Tuesday in Paris, Macron warned ...

Quebec to force unvaccinated to pay financial penalty

MONTREAL (AP) — The premier of the French-speaking Canadian province of Quebec announced Tuesday that adult residents who refuse to get vaccinated against COVID-19 will be charged a financial penalty. Premier Francois Legault said not getting vaccinated leads to consequences for the health ...