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International News

Virus looms over China’s national legislative session

BEIJING (AP) — When China convenes its National People's Congress on Friday, will the 3,000 delegates stand shoulder to shoulder as they have in years past? Will they wear masks? This year's version of China's biggest annual political meeting will be unlike any other. Delayed from March ...

Croatian president sets parliamentary vote for July 5

ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — Croatia's President Zoran Milanovic on Wednesday scheduled a parliamentary election in the European Union nation for July 5. Milanovic formally set the date for the ballot after Croatia's lawmakers voted earlier this week to dissolve parliament. The Balkan country of ...

Singapore sentences drug suspect to death on Zoom

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Singapore has sentenced a drug suspect to death on the popular videoconferencing app Zoom because of the city-state's coronavirus lockdown, in a move slammed by a human rights group as callous and inhumane. Defense lawyer Peter Fernando said the Supreme Court ...

Serbia-Montenegro tensions escalate amid church dispute

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Serbia's president has pledged to protect Serbs in Montenegro who he says are threatened by the possible formation of an independent Orthodox Church in the small state, as tensions escalated between the two former Balkan allies. President Aleksandar Vucic said after ...

Burundi holds crucial presidential election amid pandemic

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A crucial election was underway Wednesday in the East African nation of Burundi, where President Pierre Nkurunziza is stepping aside after a divisive 15-year rule but will remain "paramount leader" in the country that continues to reject outside scrutiny. The vote is ...

UK lawmakers say testing lapses increased nursing home toll

LONDON (AP) — An influential group of British lawmakers on Tuesday accused Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government of failing to conduct enough tests for the new coronavirus, saying the lapse helped COVID-19 cut a deadly swath through U.K. nursing homes. As official statistics revealed ...

An antidote to coronavirus blues? A Picasso on your wall

LE PECQ, France (AP) — How's this as an antidote for coronavirus blues: A genuine painting by Pablo Picasso on your wall. After an eight-week delay caused by France's COVID-19 lockdown, the Christie's auction house in Paris is hosting a raffle draw Wednesday for "Nature Morte," an oil on ...

Song critical of Polish leader disappears from hit chart

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A song took aim at an alleged abuse of power by Poland's ruling party leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski. It rose to the top of the chart of a public radio station. Then it disappeared. The public broadcaster is now accused of censorship. The scandal, which has been a top issue ...

India and Bangladesh brace for strong cyclone

NEW DELHI (AP) — A strong cyclone was moving toward India and Bangladesh on Tuesday as authorities tried to evacuate millions of people while maintaining social distancing. Cyclone Amphan is expected to make landfall on Wednesday afternoon, and forecasters warned of extensive damage from ...

‘Get Out! Move!’ Belgium relaxes lockdown for lazier nation

By RAF CASERT Associated Press BRUSSELS (AP) — Belgium is taking the next step in its relaxation of the coronavirus lockdown on Monday and is also telling people: get up! Schools are opening up to more students, markets are setting up again and museums are the reopening their doors. And the ...

Italy opens churches as virus rules dictate how to eat, pray

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Italy and the Vatican opened a new phase in the virus crisis Monday, with churches resuming public Masses after a sharp confrontation between the Italian church and state over limits on worshipping in the era of COVID-19. Guards in hazmat suits took the temperature of the ...

Taliban suicide bomber kills 9 troops in eastern Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A suicide bomber in a stolen military Humvee targeted a base in eastern Afghanistan belonging to the country's intelligence service early on Monday, killing at least nine members of the force, Afghan officials said. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the ...

St John Paul II honored as Poland sees new abuse allegations

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — St. John Paul II was honored on the centennial of his birth Monday with special Masses at the Vatican and in his native Poland, an anniversary that comes as the Polish church finds itself confronted by new allegations of clerical sex abuse. From the small town of ...

Some traffic returns to roads as India eases virus lockdown

NEW DELHI (AP) — People trickled outdoors and thin traffic returned to roads in some Indian states on Monday, a day after the federal government extended the nationwide coronavirus lockdown to May 31 but eased many restrictions to restore economic activity. Small shops and other businesses ...

Albanian protesters, police clash over theater demolition

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian police clashed Sunday with opposition supporters who were protesting the demolition of the country's National Theater building in the capital. Police pulled a group of artists and some opposition leaders away from the building in Tirana early in the morning ...

Virus heads upriver in Brazil Amazon, sickens native people

MANAUS, Brazil (AP) — In the remote Amazon community of Betania, Tikuna tribe members suspect the coronavirus arrived this month after some returned from a two-hour boat trip down the Solimoes River to pick up their government benefit payments. Dozens subsequently got headaches, fevers and ...

Burundi defies COVID-19 for election ending a bloody rule

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Burundi is pushing ahead with an election on Wednesday that will end the president's divisive and bloody 15-year rule. When President Pierre Nkurunziza hands over power, it could be the first truly peaceful transfer of authority in the East African nation since ...

Virus lockdown gives Venice a shot at reimagining tourism

VENICE, Italy (AP) — In Venice, a city famous for being visited by too many and home to too few, children's play now fills neighborhood squares, fishermen sell their catch to home cooks, and water buses convey masked and gloved commuters to businesses preparing to reopen. At the same time, ...

Adopt a grandparent: Young help the old in Bolivian pandemic

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — Sergio Royela lived far from his parents in Bolivia and was concerned how they were faring in the quarantine imposed by interim President Jeanine Áñez to stop the spread of the coronavirus. "So, I looked for a neighbor to help me and I did the same in my condominium ...

Top fugitive in Rwanda’s genocide arrested in Paris

KIGALI, Rwanda (AP) — One of the most wanted fugitives in Rwanda's 1994 genocide has been arrested in Paris, authorities said Saturday. Felicien Kabuga, who had a $5 million bounty on his head, had been accused of equipping militias in the genocide that killed more than 800,000 ethnic Tutsis ...