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International News

South Africa closes beaches to fight resurgence of COVID-19

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced the closure of many of the country's beaches throughout the festive season to fight a resurgence of new COVID-19 infections. All beaches will be closed from Dec. 16 until January in the Eastern Cape province and the ...

Polish leader hails summit deal on use of EU sanctions

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland's conservative ruling party leader says the compromise struck at last week's European Union summit that limits the use of financial sanctions is a "saber" protecting the country against any potential "attack" on the EU's part. Jaroslaw Kaczynski said in comments ...

U.N. food agency receives Nobel prize in online event

ROME (AP) — Calling food the "pathway to peace," the head of the U.N. World Food Program on Thursday accepted the Nobel Peace Prize at the agency's headquarters in Rome, instead of in Oslo, Norway, in a break with pomp-filled tradition amid the COVID-19 pandemic. WFP Executive Director David ...

Inferno in large squat for migrants kills 3 in Spain

BADALONA, Spain (AP) — Mamadou Dieye was talking to his family back in Senegal when he heard shouts of distress downstairs. Smoke quickly followed the screams, and in the ensuing panic Dieye watched in horror as several fellow squatters plummeted from three stories high to escape the fire ...

German court halts felling of trees at site of Tesla plant

BERLIN (AP) — A German court has ruled that automaker Tesla Inc. has to stop clearing trees on the site where it's building its first electric car factory in Europe, the news agency dpa reported Thursday. The top administrative court in the Berlin-Brandenburg region decided on a temporary ...

Argentine congress debates abortion rights; activists gather

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentine lawmakers debated far into the night Thursday over a bill that would legalize abortion in most cases as demonstrators for and against the initiative gathered in separate areas outside the congress building. The bill, backed by President Alberto ...

Bahrain plans free shots, Saudi Arabia approves Pfizer jab

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Bahrain has announced plans to give the public free coronavirus vaccines, as Saudi Arabia said it approved an inoculation by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech to fight the pandemic. The island nation of Bahrain, off the coast of Saudi Arabia, made the ...

New report says part of South Sudan is in ‘likely famine’

JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — One county in South Sudan is likely in famine and tens of thousands of people in five other counties are on the brink of starvation, according to a new report by international food security experts. Nowhere in the world has been in famine since one was declared ...

Hezbollah member sentenced to life in Hariri assassination

LEIDSCHENDAM, Netherlands (AP) — A U.N.-backed tribunal sentenced a member of the Hezbollah militant group to life imprisonment Friday for his involvement in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. The defendant, Salim Ayyash, has never been arrested and was ...

Businesses plead for Brexit deal as trade talks remain stuck

By JILL LAWLESS and RAF CASERT Associated Press LONDON (AP) — British businesses and some European Union leaders on Friday urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to strike a last-minute trade deal with the EU, as the two sides told their citizens to brace for New Year upheaval in the U.K.-EU ...

ICC prosecutor ready to open investigation into Ukraine

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The International Criminal Court's prosecutor said Friday that a preliminary probe has found "a reasonable basis at this time to believe" that crimes against humanity and war crimes have been committed in Ukraine which merit a full-scale investigation. The ...

Protesters hurl eggs as South Korea releases child rapist

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Angry protesters threw eggs and shouted insults as one of South Korea's most notorious child predators was released from a prison in southern Seoul on Saturday at the end of a 12-year term. Law enforcement authorities strapped the 69-year-old Cho Doo-soon with an ...

Pandemic threatens India’s children with child labor rising

LUCKNOW, India (AP) — A boy who cried out when he was beaten for complaining of stomach pains drew attention from a passerby, who alerted police in the central Indian city of Agra. Officers broke a padlock on the gate of the illegal shoe factory where the boy was working and found a dozen ...

With traditional venues shut, Berlin artists take to streets

BERLIN (AP) — With theaters and concert halls shuttered to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, some Berlin artists are taking their performances to the streets of the German capital in an effort to keep their edge during the pandemic and entertain a population craving cultural ...

In Greece, political spat over lockdown turns personal

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Holiday goodwill during the coronavirus lockdown? In Greece, it's been in short supply between the nation's two leading politicians. A spat has erupted over competing claims that the prime minister and his main rival broke the spirit of pandemic restrictions that have ...

UN health agency’s advice for the holidays: Don’t hug

GENEVA (AP) — The World Health Organization has an unwelcome but potentially life-saving message for the holiday season: Don't hug. To stop the spread of the coronavirus, WHO's emergencies chief said Monday that the "shocking" rate of COVID-19 cases and deaths, particularly in the U.S., ...

Lidia Menapace, Italian Resistance member, dies at age 96

ROME (AP) — Lidia Brisca Menapace, a Resistance member during World War II who later was an advocate of pacifism and women's rights and was elected to the Italian Senate on a Communist party ticket, has died. She was 96. Italian state radio said she had been hospitalized for several days ...

Ghana votes for president in test of country’s stability

ACCRA, Ghana (AP) — Voters in Ghana cast their ballots Monday for presidential and legislative elections likely to test the West African nation's credentials as one of the continent's most politically stable countries. There are 12 presidential candidates, including three women, with ...

Mexico City hospitals are filling up, but so are the streets

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Sometimes Latin American dance tunes on the radio — salsa, cumbia, ranchera — bring a little cheer into the emergency room of Mexico City's Ajusco Medio hospital, which is operating well over normal capacity because of the coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Marta Patricia ...

Swiss slopes buzz as those of neighbors sit idle in pandemic

GENEVA (AP) — Two weeks after beating COVID-19, Thierry Salamin huffs as his ski boots crunch through Swiss snow near the Matterhorn peak, readying for a downhill run with his mood as bright as his blue and fluorescent yellow ski getup and the sun overhead. The 31-year-old real estate agent ...