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International News

New virus restrictions in Europe; Merkel warns of hard days

BERLIN (AP) — Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Germans to come together like they did in the spring to slow the spread of the coronavirus as the country posted another daily record of new cases Saturday. "Difficult months are ahead of us," she said in her weekly video podcast. "How winter will ...

Japan’s populist, pragmatic new PM Suga pushes Abe’s vision

TOKYO (AP) — Japan's new prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, leaves Sunday on his first overseas foray since taking over from his former boss Shinzo Abe last month, heading to Vietnam and Indonesia. The choice to visit Southeast Asia underscores Japan's efforts to counter Chinese influence and ...

German water utility pulls plug on Tesla over unpaid bills

BERLIN (AP) — A German utility company says it has shut down the pipes supplying Tesla with water for the construction of a factory near Berlin because the automaker hasn't paid its bills. A spokeswoman for the company WSE said Thursday that Tesla was given repeated warnings its water supply ...

Nagorno-Karabakh volunteers get weapons as clashes intensify

MARTUNI, Nagorno-Karabakh (AP) — As the fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces rages on in the separatist territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, its residents are joining volunteer squads to defend their towns. The Ovanisyan family and their neighbors were called Wednesday to receive their ...

Mexico’s ex-defense secretary arrested in Los Angeles

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Former Mexican defense secretary Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos, who led the country's armed forces for six years under ex-President Enrique Peña Nieto, has been arrested at Los Angeles International Airport, Mexico's top diplomat said Thursday. Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard ...

Brazil Catholics drawn to worship despite downsized services

APARECIDA, Brazil (AP) — Inside, there was nothing massive about the Mass: Just 1,000 people were spaced carefully across the pews of a vast basilica that normally holds 35,000 as the Roman Catholic Church tried to protect parishioners from the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet such caution wasn't ...

Slovakia’s far-right leader sentenced to 4 years in prison

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) — The leader of a far-right party with seats in the Slovak parliament was convicted of illegal use of neo-Nazi symbols and sentenced to four years and four months in prison on Monday. Marian Kotleba, head of the People's Party Our Slovakia, was standing trial after ...

Kyrgyz president declares new state of emergency

MOSCOW (AP) — Kyrgyzstan's president on Monday ordered a new, week-long state of emergency in the country's capital after parliament failed to consider and approve his previous order within the legally required three days. The confusion reflected the chaos that has engulfed the country after ...

Lives Lost: London rabbi worked to end community’s isolation

LONDON (AP) — Rabbi Avrohom Pinter gave his life to save his neighbors. When the British government ordered a lockdown to slow the spread of coronavirus, Pinter went door-to-door in northeast London to deliver the public health warning to the ultra-Orthodox Jews in his community. Within ...

Assad makes rare visit to areas hit by fires in west Syria

BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian President Bashar Assad has made a rare public visit to the coastal province of Latakia where he toured areas that suffered heavy damage in last week's wildfires that killed three people, state media reported Tuesday. Assad's public visits to areas around Syria have been ...

German population slightly lower as virus hits immigration

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's population has contracted slightly for the first time in nearly a decade because immigration shrank as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, official data showed Tuesday. Some 83.1 million people lived in Germany at the end of June, with the population declining by ...

Brits accused in beheading of hostages plead not guilty

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — Two British men charged with helping the Islamic State group carry out executions and ransom negotiations for Western hostages pleaded not guilty Friday in a federal court. El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey are identified by authorities as two of four men who were ...

French hostage freed in Mali arrives home in France

PARIS (AP) — A 75-year-old French aid worker held hostage for four years by Islamic extremists in Mali was reunited Friday with her grandchildren in France, as relatives also welcomed home two Italians and a Malian politician freed with her this week. They were released earlier this week, ...

Switzerland says Swiss hostage in Mali has been killed

GENEVA (AP) — Switzerland's Foreign Ministry said Friday that a Swiss woman who was held hostage in Mali has been killed by an Islamist group. The ministry said it was informed by French authorities that the hostage had been "killed by kidnappers of the Islamist terrorist organization ...

Peru bet on cheap COVID antibody tests; it didn’t go well

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, the harried health officials of Peru faced a quandary. They knew molecular tests for COVID-19 were the best option to detect the virus – yet they didn't have the labs, the supplies, or the technicians to make them ...

Kyrgyzstan opposition divided amid political chaos, protests

MOSCOW (AP) — Opposition parties in Kyrgyzstan failed to form a new government Wednesday as different groups argued over who would be the new prime minister after three days of political chaos in the Central Asian country. Mass protests erupted in the capital of Bishkek on Monday following a ...

Mexico’s ex-security chief pleads not guilty to drug charges

NEW YORK (AP) — Former top Mexican security official Genaro Garcia Luna pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to drug trafficking charges, including a new one of engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise that could add 20 years to his sentence if convicted. In a hearing by video, to which ...

US signs 10-year military cooperation deal with Morocco

RABAT, Morocco (AP) — The United States and Morocco on Friday signed an accord that aims to strengthen military cooperation and the North African kingdom's military readiness over the next decade. U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper signed the 10-year agreement during a two-day visit to ...

UK, EU leaders to discuss Brexit, free trade talks

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union and Britain said Friday that wide gaps remained in their fraught talks on a rudimentary trade agreement following the Brexit divorce and called for intensified negotiations before a deadline in a couple of weeks. European Commission President Ursula von der ...

Madrid readies for partial lockdown, files legal challenge

MADRID (AP) — Madrid was set to go into partial lockdown on Friday night, complying with an order from the Spanish government but determined to fight it in the courts. Measures that ban all nonessential trips in and out of the capital and nine of its suburbs — covering around 4.8 million ...