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International News

In Easter speech, pope calls wars in pandemic ‘scandalous’

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis in his traditional Easter Sunday address denounced as "scandalous" how armed conflicts continue to rage even as the coronavirus pandemic has triggered severe social and economic suffering and swollen the ranks of the poor. Francis tempered his "Urbi et Orbi" ...

UK eyes testing COVID-19 passports at mass gatherings

LONDON (AP) — Britain is planning to test a series of measures including "coronavirus status certifications" over the coming weeks to see if they can allow people to safely return to mass gatherings at sports arenas, nightclubs and concerts. People attending a range of events this month and ...

Jordan’s king sends tough message on dissent in royal family

JERUSALEM (AP) — Jordanian authorities said Sunday they foiled a "malicious plot" by a former crown prince to destabilize the kingdom with foreign support, contradicting the senior royal's claims that he was being punished for speaking out against corruption and incompetence. Faced with ...

Hymns through masks: Christians mark another pandemic Easter

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Christianity's most joyous feast day was celebrated worldwide with the faithful spaced apart in pews and singing choruses of "Hallelujah" through face coverings on a second Easter Sunday marked by pandemic precautions. From vast Roman Catholic cathedrals to Protestant ...

Israel PM back in court as parties weigh in on his fate

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was back in court for his corruption trial on Monday as the country's political parties were set to weigh in on whether he should form the next government after a closely divided election or step down to focus on his legal ...

Gaza man says Hamas forced him to divorce after torture

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — After months of torture and interrogations in a Hamas prison, Palestinian activist Rami Aman says he was offered an unconventional proposition: Divorce your wife and you are free to go. Aman had recently signed a marriage contract with the daughter of a Hamas ...

Madrid slows down vaccine jabs over Easter despite govt plea

MADRID (AP) — Spain's Madrid region halted COVID-19 vaccinations Thursday at health centers for four days so medical staff can rest over the Easter holiday, despite pleas from the national government not to halt the fight against surging infections. The shutdown came as the country scrambles ...

Africa CDC says India vaccine woes could be ‘catastrophic’

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Africa is unlikely to meet its targets for vaccinating the continent against COVID-19 if supply delays from a key Indian manufacturer continue, the director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Thursday. Dr. John Nkengasong told a press ...

Saudi minister urges caution on oil production levels

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Saudi Arabia's energy minister took a cautious view of any increase in oil production as members of the OPEC cartel met Thursday with allied non-member countries to decide production levels. Speaking ahead of the meeting, Abulaziz bin Salman said the approach taken ...

Merkel: ‘A quiet Easter’ needed to counter rising infections

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel asked citizens Thursday to consider the strain that nurses and doctors are under as they care for a rising number of COVID-19 patients and help them by respecting social distancing and other rules over Easter. Germany's disease control agency ...

Serbia cracks down on anti-vaccination activists

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Serbian police brought in a well-known Serbian doctor and other vocal anti-vaccination activists for questioning Thursday, saying they are jeopardizing the Balkan country's successful coronavirus inoculation drive. Serbian state TV said psychiatrist Jovana Stojkovic, ...

Fire kills 3 in market near Rohingya camp in Bangladesh

COX'S BAZAR, Bangladesh (AP) — A fire on Friday destroyed more than 20 shops in a makeshift market near a Rohingya refugee camp in southern Bangladesh, killing at least three people, police and witnesses said. Local police chief Ahmed Sanjur Morshed said they recovered the bodies from the ...

Virus pandemic overshadows Bulgarian parliamentary election

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — After months of nationwide anti-government protests over corruption, stalled reforms and a stagnating economy in the European Union's poorest member state, Bulgarians are gearing up for a parliamentary election overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic. The election is ...

Greece accuses Turkey of escorting migrant smuggling boats

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece is reporting a series of brushes with Turkey's coast guard in the narrow stretch of water between the eastern Greek island of Lesbos and the Turkish coast, at a time of generally testy relations between the two neighbors and NATO allies. The Greek coast guard ...

Italy: Officer held for spying says he had no sensitive info

ROME (AP) — An Italian Navy captain accused of passing classified documents to Russia says he didn't have access to any information that would have compromised the security or strategic operations of Italy or NATO, his lawyer said Friday. Attorney Roberto De Vita met with Capt. Walter Biot ...

Protests grow in Italy over the wiretapping of journalists

ROME (AP) — Italian journalists and lawmakers on Friday protested the wiretapping of reporters' phone calls during investigations into Libya-based migrant trafficking and humanitarian rescue groups. Italian daily Domani reported that among the conversations intercepted by investigators a few ...

Pope on Good Friday hears children tell of pandemic losses

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis prayed that people don't feel lost amid the problems of the pandemic as he listened to children's poignant accounts of sorrow and loneliness, which provided the motif for an unusual Way of the Cross torch-lit Good Friday procession in St. Peter's ...

Christians mark Good Friday, Holy Week under virus woes

JERUSALEM (AP) — Christians in the Holy Land marked Good Friday without the mass pilgrimages usually seen in the days leading up to Easter because of the coronavirus, and worshippers in many other predominantly Christian countries where the virus is still raging observed their second annual ...

Epic Games complains about Apple to UK competition watchdog

LONDON (AP) — Epic Games submitted a complaint Tuesday about Apple's alleged "monopolistic practices" to the U.K. competition watchdog, which is investigating the iPhone maker over concerns it has a dominant position in app distribution. The move by the maker of the popular video game ...

Syrian who fled to Germany drops out of race for parliament

BERLIN (AP) — A Syrian man who came to Germany as an asylum-seeker in 2015 and was running for a seat in parliament in his new country's September election said Tuesday that he is withdrawing his candidacy. Tareq Alaows, who joined the opposition Green party last year and was running as its ...