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International News

Concern among Muslims over halal status of COVID-19 vaccine

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — In October, Indonesian diplomats and Muslim clerics stepped off a plane in China. While the diplomats were there to finalize deals to ensure millions of doses reached Indonesian citizens, the clerics had a much different concern: Whether the COVID-19 vaccine was ...

NKorea vows to redevelop mountain tour site despite pandemic

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A top North Korea official has visited a mountain resort that had been jointly run with rival South Korea during past rapprochement and discussed efforts to unilaterally rebuild it into "a cultural resort envied by the whole world," state media reported Sunday. Some ...

Thousands line up for tests amid Thailand virus outbreak

SAMUT SAKHON, Thailand (AP) — Thousands of people lined up for coronavirus tests in a province near Bangkok on Sunday, as Thai authorities scrambled to contain an outbreak of the virus that has infected nearly 700 people. Triple lines of mainly migrant workers stretched for around 100 meters ...

Israel begins virus inoculation drive as infections surge

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Israel on Sunday began its coronavirus inoculation drive, aiming to vaccinate some 60,000 people a day in a bid to stamp out the illness that is once again surging among its population. The country will first immunize health workers, followed by the elderly, high-risk ...

Mexico’s president says army to run Maya train project

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Sunday the army will run the Maya train project and several airports, and use any profits to finance military pensions. The army is already overseeing construction on some parts of the controversial project, while ...

More EU nations ban travel from UK, fearing virus variant

BERLIN (AP) — A growing list of European Union nations and Canada barred travel from the U.K. on Sunday and others were considering similar action, in a bid to block a new strain of coronavirus sweeping across southern England from spreading to the continent. France, Germany, Italy, the ...

Swedes want checks for hull damage in 1994 ferry disaster

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Sweden said Friday it wants divers to inspect the wreck of one of Europe's deadliest peacetime maritime disasters, the sinking of a ferry in the Baltic Sea in 1994 that killed 852 people, in order to probe claims of a large hole in the hull. A 1997 report had ...

China to begin COVID-19 inoculations for front-line workers

BEIJING (AP) — China will soon begin coronavirus inoculations for workers in health care, transport and border control, a senior official said Saturday. Vice Minister of the National Health Commission Zeng Yixin gave few specifics but said the government was prioritizing those most at risk ...

Epstein-linked modeling agent charged with rape of minors

PARIS (AP) — A modeling agent associated with disgraced U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein has been charged in France with sexual harassment and the rape of minors over 15 years old. Jean-Luc Brunel was arrested as part of an ongoing investigation on Wednesday at Charles de Gaulle airport as he ...

Hospital fire kills 9 COVID-19 patients at ICU in Turkey

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A fire broke out Saturday at an intensive care unit treating COVID-19 patients in southern Turkey after an oxygen cylinder exploded, killing nine people, the health minister said. The state-run Anadolu news agency said the fire took place at the privately-run Sanko ...

Emails: WHO was warned of fallout over yanked Italy report

ROME (AP) — An author of a withdrawn World Health Organization report into Italy's coronavirus response warned his bosses in May that people could die and the U.N. agency could suffer "catastrophic" reputational damage if it allowed political concerns to suppress the document, according to ...

India’s virus cases cross 10 million as new infections dip

NEW DELHI (AP) — India's confirmed coronavirus cases have crossed 10 million with new infections dipping to their lowest levels in three months, as the country prepares for a massive COVID-19 vaccination in the new year. Additional cases in the past 24 hours dropped to 25,152 from a peak of ...

Canada administers first doses of COVID-19 vaccine

TORONTO (AP) — Canada administered its first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, becoming one of the first countries to do so in the effort to beat back the pandemic. Five front-line workers in Ontario were among the first Canadians to receive the vaccine at one of Toronto's ...

Dutch leader announces tough new nationwide virus lockdown

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte imposed a tough new five-week nationwide lockdown Monday, saying schools, nonessential shops, museums and gyms will close down at midnight until Jan. 19. "We have to bite through this very sour apple before things get better," a ...

Italians return French Legion awards after el-Sissi gets one

ROME (AP) — Two prominent Italian intellectuals announced Monday they were returning their Legion of Honor awards to France to protest that Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi was given the prize despite his government's human rights abuses. Corrado Augias, a longtime journalist for La ...

Daytime darkness: Total solar eclipse wows in Latin America

CARAHUE, Chile (AP) — Thousands of people gathered in the Chilean region of La Araucanía on Monday to witness a solar eclipse, rejoicing in the rare experience even though visibility was limited because of cloudy skies. Skies were clear in northern Patagonia in Argentina, where people also ...

Albanians hold a peaceful protest over police shooting

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — The first peaceful protest in Albania's capital over the fatal shooting of a man by police enforcing a coronavirus curfew quickly faded away Monday following a strong police warning to avoid illegal gatherings because of the coronavirus pandemic. In a significantly ...

1 dead, dozens wounded in tribal clashes in southern Tunisia

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Tunisian authorities ordered a curfew in regions in southern Tunisia after at least a man was killed and dozens of people wounded, two seriously, in tribal clashes that broke out over a land dispute. According to the official TAP news agency, the curfew from 4 p.m. to 5 ...

Volkswagen board issues vote of confidence in CEO Diess

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The board of automaker Volkswagen has given CEO Herbert Diess a public show of support for his push into digital and electric cars after media reports Diess had clashed with the company's powerful labor representatives over issues including top personnel ...

France’s Macron wants to add climate goals in constitution

PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron announced a referendum to add the fight against climate change and the need to preserve the environment into the French Constitution. Speaking on Monday to a citizen's group in charge of making proposals on climate-related issues, Macron proposed ...