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International News

State Dept.: Russia pushes disinformation in online network

CHICAGO (AP) — The State Department says Russia is using a well-developed online operation that includes a loose collection of proxy websites to stir up confusion around the coronavirus by amplifying conspiracy theories and misinformation. The disclosure on Wednesday was rare for the Trump ...

Colombia’s long virus lockdown fuels anxiety and depression

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Like much of the world, Colombia shut down in March as coronavirus cases surged in Europe and began trickling into the South American country. But while restrictions have been lifted in many places elsewhere, a nationwide stay-at-home order remains in effect in ...

Russia warns Belarus will pay price for contractors’ arrests

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's security chief described the arrest of 33 Russian private military contractors in Belarus as a presidential campaign stunt and warned Wednesday that it would have grave consequences for ties between the two neighbors and allies. Authorities arrested the Russian ...

US officials dispute Trump’s claim that Beirut was attacked

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Wednesday that most people think the deadly explosion Tuesday in Lebanon that killed at least 100 people was an accident, contradicting President Donald Trump, who said American generals told him it was likely caused by a bomb. Esper said ...

House arrest of Colombia’s Uribe exposes post-peace tensions

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Hero or villain? In Colombia, former President Álvaro Uribe is both. The rift over Uribe, and the broader rift in Colombian society, born of generations of violence that diminished with a 2016 peace accord with rebels, flared after the ex-leader was placed under ...

Not easy eating green: Herbivores most at extinction risk

Although scientists often worry most about the loss of the world's predators, a comprehensive new study finds that plant-eating herbivores are the animals most at risk of extinction. About one in four species of herbivores, 25.5%, are considered threatened, endangered or vulnerable by the ...

Serbian parliament convenes after elections, amid protests

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Serbia's new parliament convened Monday amid protests by the some opposition parties and far-right groups claiming that the parliamentary election, overwhelmingly won by the ruling populists, was rigged. Dozens of protesters booed and jeered at the lawmakers arriving ...

Lawmaker arrest spotlights UK Parliament’s sex abuse problem

LONDON (AP) — The weekend arrest of a British lawmaker accused of rape and the sexual assault conviction of a former legislator last week are increasing pressure on Britain's political leaders to confront a political culture that has often let abuse go unchecked. A Conservative Party ...

Notre Dame Cathedral’s organ getting 4-year-long cleaning

PARIS (AP) — Pipe by precious pipe, the organ that once thundered through Notre Dame Cathedral is being taken apart after last year's devastating fire. The mammoth task of dismantling, cleaning and re-assembling France's largest musical instrument started Monday and is expected to last ...

Court: Hugo Chávez’s former nurse hid gold in secret vault

MIAMI (AP) — It was 2014 and Venezuela's former treasurer Claudia Díaz was looking for a safe haven to store the unexplained wealth she had accumulated over the years. Then-president Hugo Chávez, who she once served as a nurse, had recently died and with the election of Nicolás Maduro, the ...

Genoa has new bridge 2 years after collapse that killed 43

GENOA, Italy (AP) — With a rainbow as a backdrop, Italy's president inaugurated a replacement bridge Monday in Genoa, but families of those killed when the Morandi Bridge collapsed boycotted the event along with the firefighters who pulled many of the 43 dead from smashed cars and ...

Spain’s former king leaving country amid financial scandal

LISBON (AP) — Spain's former monarch, Juan Carlos I, is leaving Spain to live in another, unspecified, country amid a financial scandal, according to a letter published on the royal family's website Monday. The letter from Juan Carlos to his son, King Felipe VI, said: "I am informing you of ...

Afghan forces retake prison after deadly attack by IS group

JALALABAD, Afghanistan (AP) — Militants affiliated with the Islamic State group stormed a prison in eastern Afghanistan in a daylong siege that left at least 39 people dead, including the assailants, and freed nearly 400 of their fighters before security forces restored order, a government ...

Report: Retired Pope Benedict XVI ill after visit to Germany

BERLIN (AP) — Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI has fallen ill after his return from a trip to his native Bavaria to visit his brother, who died a month ago, a German newspaper reported Monday. The daily Passauer Neue Presse quoted Peter Seewald, a biographer of the retired pontiff, as saying that ...

Champagne losing its fizz as global pandemic clobbers sales

REIMS, France (AP) — Champagne is losing its fizz. For months, lockdown put the cork on weddings, dining out, parties and international travel — all key sales components for the French luxury wine marketed for decades as a sparkling must at any celebration. Producers in France's eastern ...

German defense minister: Planned US withdrawal ‘regrettable’

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's defense minister on Friday described the planned withdrawal of some 12,000 U.S. troops from her country as "regrettable," while suggesting it underlines the need for Europe to do more for its own security. American defense leaders said Wednesday that the U.S. will ...

Japan funds save Lithuania museum on diplomat who saved Jews

VILNIUS, Lithuania (AP) — A museum in Lithuania dedicated to a Japanese diplomat who helped thousands of Jews flee Europe in the early years of World War II has been extended an economic lifeline by people in Japan, officials said Friday. The memorial museum in Lithuania's former capital ...

Scores of Zimbabwe protesters arrested, military in streets

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Scores of people were arrested Friday in Zimbabwe as hundreds of military troops as well as police attempted to thwart an anti-government protest, with streets empty and many people hiding indoors. Organizers said demonstrators originally planned to protest alleged ...

UK’s Johnson names brother and Brexiteers to House of Lords

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson named 36 new members to Parliament's unelected House of Lords on Friday, including his brother, several prominent Brexit supporters and a Russian-born newspaper owner whose father was a KGB agent. The list of new peers also includes ...

Asia Today: SKorea arrests leader of church with big cluster

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean prosecutors arrested the elderly leader of a secretive religious sect Saturday as part of an investigation into allegations that the church hampered the government's anti-virus response after thousands of worshippers were infected in February and ...