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International News

Longest-serving bookseller among 25,000 Czech virus victims

PELHRIMOV, Czech Republic (AP) — A year after the Czech Republic recorded its first death from the coronavirus, the central European nation paused to remember all the citizens who lost their lives in the pandemic. By the end of the day, the number had surpassed 25,000. Bells tolled across ...

North Korea snaps back at Biden over criticism of launches

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea on Saturday snapped back at President Joe Biden's criticism of its ballistic missile tests, calling his comments a provocation and encroachment on the North's right to self-defense and vowing to continuously expand its "most thoroughgoing and overwhelming ...

UK variant hunters lead global race to stay ahead of COVID

LONDON (AP) — On March 4, 2020, when there were just 84 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.K., professor Sharon Peacock recognized that the country needed to expand its capacity to analyze the genetic makeup of the virus. The Cambridge University microbiologist understood that genomic ...

Africa’s elephants now endangered by poaching, habitat loss

LIBREVILLE, Gabon (AP) — Increasing threats of poaching and loss of habitat have made Africa's elephant populations more endangered, according to a report released Thursday by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The African forest elephant is critically endangered, and the ...

Venezuelan COVID patients increasingly seeking in-home care

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Chef Carlos Páez has a long and tough road ahead after a serious case of COVID-19 that required a constant supply of oxygen. He is showing improvement, but his health is still fragile. Páez, however, didn't receive treatment at one of Venezuela's hospitals despite ...

Iceland introduces restrictions after UK variant is detected

REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) — Gym classes, happy hours and the near-normal life enjoyed so far by the people of Iceland ended abruptly on Thursday, when the government ordered new restrictions after detecting six coronavirus cases believed to be the variant first found in Britain. Authorities ...

EU offers Turkey aid, trade help despite rights concerns

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union leaders on Thursday offered new incentives to Turkey to improve cooperation on migration and trade despite democratic backsliding in the country and lingering concerns about its energy ambitions in the Mediterranean Sea. Seizing on the recent conciliatory tone ...

US gives $15 million to Palestinians to deal with COVID-19

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United States said Thursday it is giving $15 million to vulnerable Palestinian communities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic, a sharp reversal from the Trump administration which cut off almost all aid to the Palestinians. U.S. ...

Mexico tops 200,000 COVID-19 deaths, but real toll is higher

MEXICO CITY (AP) — As Mexico surpassed 200,000 test-confirmed deaths from COVID-19 Thursday, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador framed ramped up vaccination efforts as a race against time. The president prepared to call out more military, state and local personnel to spur the ...

Romania OKs holding Easter celebrations despite virus surge

BUCHAREST (AP) — Romanian authorities announced Thursday that Easter celebrations in the deeply Christian country will go ahead in person this year, even though Romania is battling a surge of COVID-19 infections that is threatening to overwhelm its hospitals. The announcement came after ...

North Korea test-fires ballistic missiles in message to US

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea on Thursday test-fired its first ballistic missiles since President Joe Biden took office as it expands its military capabilities and increases pressure on Washington while nuclear negotiations remain stalled. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said ...

Rare Van Gogh masterpiece sells for $15.4 million in Paris

PARIS (AP) — A rare painting by Vincent Van Gogh was sold at auction Thursday by Sotheby's Paris for 13.1 million euros ($15.4 million). The sale of "Street Scene in Montmartre" was highly anticipated as it was one of the few paintings by the Dutch Impressionist master to still have been in ...

Russia opposition leader Navalny’s health worsens in prison

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has accused prison authorities of failing to provide proper treatment for his back pain and leg problems, saying in a letter posted Thursday that his physical condition has worsened in prison and he now has trouble walking. Navalny ...

Final vote results show major setback for Israel’s Netanyahu

JERUSALEM (AP) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his right-wing allies fell short of winning a parliamentary majority in Israel's latest election, according to a final vote count released Thursday, leaving a political deadlock that put the long-time leader's future in question. The ...

Hundreds arrested in Belarus ‘Freedom Day’ protest

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Protesters calling for the resignation of Belarus' authoritarian president marched in small groups Thursday throughout the capital of Minsk, the first sizable turnout of demonstrators since weeks of protest rocked the country last year. The groups marched through ...

Torch relay for Tokyo Olympics kicks off its 121-day journey

TOKYO (AP) — The torch relay for the postponed Tokyo Olympics began its 121-day journey across Japan on Thursday and is headed toward the opening ceremony in Tokyo on July 23. The relay began in northeastern Fukushima prefecture, the area that was devastated by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami ...

Germany’s Merkel: EU needs to increase vaccine production

BERLIN (AP) — The European Union's problems with getting deliveries of coronavirus vaccines have underscored the need for the bloc to redouble its efforts to produce its own doses, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday. Speaking to Parliament ahead of an EU summit, Merkel ...

UN-backed vaccine delivery program warns of supply delays

GENEVA (AP) — The U.N.-backed program to ship COVID-19 vaccines worldwide has announced supply delays involving a key Indian manufacturer, a major setback for the ambitious rollout aimed at helping low- and middle-income countries vaccinate their populations and fight the pandemic. Gavi, the ...

UK extends emergency coronavirus powers by 6 months

LONDON (AP) — British lawmakers agreed Thursday to prolong coronavirus emergency measures for six months, allowing the Conservative government to keep its unprecedented powers to restrict U.K. citizens' everyday lives. The House of Commons voted to extend the powers until September, and ...

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 ...