World - International

China's communists bash US democracy before Biden summit

China's Communist Party took American democracy to task on Saturday, sharply criticizing a global democracy summit being hosted by President Joe Biden next week and extolling the virtues of its governing system.

Thousands flee as Indonesia's Mount Semeru erupts

Indonesia's Mount Semeru erupted on Saturday, spewing out a tower of smoke and ash that plunged local communities into darkness and forced thousands of nearby residents to flee.

Populist leaders meet in Warsaw to discuss European Union

The leaders of right-wing populist parties are gathering Saturday in Warsaw to discuss how they can work together to bring change to the European Union, which they accuse of acting like a super-state that is eroding the traditions and powers of the EU's 27 member nations.

Germany's Social Democrats set to approve government deal

The center-left party of German Chancellor-designate Olaf Scholz is meeting Saturday to decide whether to approve a deal to form a new government with environmentalist and pro-business parties _ the first of three such decisions needed for Scholz to take office next week.

Pakistan detains scores in lynching of Sri Lankan

Police arrested 13 suspects and detained dozens of others in the lynching of a Sri Lankan employee at a sports equipment factory in eastern Pakistan, officials said Saturday.

In Greece, Pope to seek deeper ties with eastern churches

Pope Francis is starting the second leg of a five-day visit to Cyprus and Greece aimed at bolstering recently mended ties between the Vatican and Greek Orthodox churches.

Afghan judges in Brazil still fear the Taliban

A female judge, Muska, was hiding with her family from newly empowered Taliban militants in Afghanistan when an apparent reading mistake 7,000 miles away helped to drastically change her life.

Ukraine says Russia amassed over 94,000 troops at border

Ukraine's defense minister estimated Friday that Russia has amassed more than 94,000 troops near their borders and said there is a probability of a ``large-scale escalation'' in late January.

Taliban ban forced marriages of women in Afghanistan

The Taliban decreed Friday that they are banning the forced marriage of women in the war-torn country, in what appears to be a move to address criteria that developed nations consider a precondition to recognize their government and restore aid.

WHO says measures used against delta should work for omicron

Measures used to counter the delta variant should remain the foundation for fighting the coronavirus pandemic, even in the face of the new omicron version of the virus, World Health Organization officials said Friday, while acknowledging that the travel restrictions imposed by some countries may buy time.

Germany: 1 in 100 infected with virus, health minister says

Germany's health minister said Friday that more than 1% of the population is currently infected with the coronavirus, and he called on citizens to get vaccinated if they haven't done so yet.

Variants, boosters turn rich-poor vaccine gap into chasm

The global initiative to share coronavirus vaccines fairly already scaled back its pledge to the world's poor once. Now, to meet even that limited promise, COVAX would have to deliver more than a million doses every hour until the end of the year in some of the world's most challenging places.

US, EU and allies hit Belarus with coordinated sanctions

The United States, European Union, Britain and Canada on Thursday slapped simultaneous sanctions on dozens of officials, organizations and companies in Belarus, with the EU taking aim at those accused of taking part in a ‘hybrid attack’ on the bloc using migrants.

67 countries reach 'historic' deal on trade in services at WTO

A group of 67 countries, including the United States, China and EU members, reached a deal at the World Trade Organization Thursday on facilitating trade in services.

France rejects joint Channel border patrols with UK: PM's letter

France formally rejected the idea of joint patrols with British security forces on its Channel coast in a letter seen by AFP on Thursday that was sent from French Prime Minister Jean Castex to his British counterpart Boris Johnson.

Twitter shuts propaganda accounts in six countries

Twitter on Thursday said it had shut down nearly 3,500 accounts that were posting pro-government propaganda in six countries, including China and Russia.

India confirms first 2 cases of omicron variant

India has confirmed its first two cases of the omicron coronavirus variant. India's Health Ministry says the cases include two men in southern Karnataka state. The ministry says they came from abroad, but did not say where.

Russia says detains three Ukrainian spies

Russia said Thursday that it had detained three Ukrainian spies, including one who had allegedly been planning an attack with explosives, as tensions spike around Ukraine's conflict with pro-Russia separatists.

UN fears sectarian violence that could 'fracture' Ethiopia

If Ethiopia's conflict devolves into communal violence it could "fracture" society and possibly spark an exodus reminiscent of the chaotic evacuation at Kabul's airport in August, the UN aid chief warned.

1st US case of COVID-19 omicron variant identified

A person in California became the first in the US to have an identified case of the COVID-19 omicron variant, US officials said Wednesday as scientists continue to study the risks posed by the new strain of the virus.

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