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International News

Iowa governor asks court to allow blocked 2018 abortion ban

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds asked the state courts on Thursday to allow her to implement a law banning most abortions that a judge permanently blocked in 2019. Reynolds previously said she would turn to the courts instead of calling a special session to hold a divisive ...

UN demands end to military activity at Ukraine nuke plant

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. nuclear chief warned Thursday that "very alarming" military activity at Europe's largest nuclear plant in southeastern Ukraine could lead to dangerous consequences for the region and called for an end to attacks at the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia ...

Brazilians rally for democracy, seek to rein in Bolsonaro

SAO PAULO (AP) — Thousands of Brazilians flocked to a law school Thursday in defense of the nation's democratic institutions, an event that carried echoes of a gathering nearly 45 years ago when citizens joined together at the same site to denounce a brutal military dictatorship. In 1977, ...

At 75, India’s democracy is under pressure like never before

NEW DELHI (AP) — The Aug. 5 demonstrations by India's main opposition Congress party against soaring food prices and unemployment began like any other recent protest — an electorally weak opposition taking to the New Delhi streets against Prime Minister Narendra Modi's massively popular ...

New Zealand house prices finally fall from dizzying heights

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand house prices fell year-on-year for the first time in more than a decade, a report showed Thursday, as rising interest rates finally halted a dizzying boom that had only gained momentum after the coronavirus pandemic first hit. The Real Estate ...

Russia struggles to replenish its troops in Ukraine

The prisoners at the penal colony in St. Petersburg were expecting a visit by officials, thinking it would be some sort of inspection. Instead, men in uniform arrived and offered them amnesty — if they agreed to fight alongside the Russian army in Ukraine. Over the following days, about a ...

Big Mac is coming back: McDonald’s to reopen in Ukraine

CHICAGO (AP) — McDonald's will start reopening some of its restaurants in Ukraine in the coming months, a symbol of the war-torn country's return to some sense of normalcy and a show of support after the American fast-food chain pulled out of Russia. The burger giant closed its Ukrainian ...

UK meets energy firms but no help yet for hard-hit consumers

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and senior ministers held inconclusive talks Thursday with energy companies amid mounting pressure to help residents cope with soaring gas and electricity prices. Johnson, who is in his final weeks as prime minister, joined Treasury chief ...

Scholz confident Germany can weather energy crisis in winter

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz pledged his government won't leave citizens freezing or unable to pay their energy bills but acknowledged Thursday that his country faces considerable challenges in the coming months. Rising fuel costs sparked by Russia's war against Ukraine have ...

Blinken rebukes Rwanda over rights, suppression concerns

KIGALI, Rwanda (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday rebuked Rwandan authorities over democracy and human rights concerns, saying the central African country may not reach its full potential without opening up political space and protecting freedoms. "We recognize ...

Dutchman convicted in farmers’ roadblock over emissions

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A man was convicted Thursday of dumping straw on a Dutch road last month and sentenced to 80 hours of unpaid community service work, one of the first cases stemming from widespread protests by Dutch farmers against government plans to slash nitrogen ...

EU says US electric vehicle tax credit could break WTO rules

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union expressed concern Thursday that a new U.S. tax credit plan aimed at encouraging Americans to buy electric vehicles would discriminate against European producers and break World Trade Organization rules. Under the Inflation Reduction Act nearing final ...

Wildfires spread, fish die off amid severe drought in Europe

PARIS (AP) — Firefighters from across Europe struggled Thursday to contain a huge wildfire in France that has swept through a large swath of pine forest, while Germans and Poles faced a mass fish die-off in a river flowing between their countries. Europe is suffering under a severe heat wave ...

Give and take: West gives Ukraine weapons, bans Russian coal

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — On a day of give and take, Western nations made more pledges to send arms to Ukraine while the European Union's full ban on Russian coal imports kicked in Thursday, adding to the sanctions against Moscow that intelligence claims are hurting its defense exports. Germany, ...

Mexico raises key interest rate to 8.5%, highest in 16 years

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico's central bank has raised its interbank interest rate by 0.75% to 8.5% Thursday — the highest level in the 16 years since comparable bank policies went into effect. The Bank of Mexico cited continuing inflationary pressures, and predicted inflation would peak at ...

New Zealand welcomes back first cruise ship since COVID hit

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand on Friday welcomed the first cruise ship to return since the coronavirus pandemic began, signaling a long-sought return to normalcy for the nation's tourism industry. New Zealand closed its borders in early 2020 as it sought at first to eliminate ...

Asian shares mixed after new signs of cooling inflation

BANGKOK (AP) — Shares were mixed Friday in Asia after a muddled day on Wall Street, where benchmarks meandered following another encouraging report about inflation. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 surged 2.5%, catching up on gains after being closed Thursday for a holiday. Hong Kong and Seoul also ...

South Korea to pardon Samsung’s Lee, other corporate giants

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea's president will formally pardon Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong, one year after he was released on parole from a prison sentence for bribing former President Park Geun-hye as part of the massive corruption scandal that toppled Park's government, the justice ...

Philippine leader threatens to fire officials in sugar mess

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine president has threatened to fire top agricultural officials if an investigation shows they improperly made and announced a decision to import sugar amid a shortage without his approval, his press secretary said Thursday. It's the stiffest punitive ...

Roller coaster crash at German amusement park injures 34

BERLIN (AP) — Two roller coaster trains crashed into each other Thursday at an amusement park in southern Germany, injuring at least 34 people, two of them severely, German media reported. One roller coaster train braked heavily and another train collided with it at the Legoland park in ...