World News

EU warns of slim window to avoid repeat of prior virus peak

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union officials urged member nations Thursday to move quickly to slow the latest wave of COVID-19 infections to avoid a repeat of the broad lockdowns that paralyzed the continent’s economy in the spring.

Drug companies work jointly to boost vaccine confidence

LONDON (AP) — Two firms developing COVID-19 vaccines say pharmaceutical companies are trying to give the public as much information as possible about their testing regimes as drugmakers and public health officials seek to boost confidence that any approved vaccine will be safe.

Bach offers pep session for Tokyo Games and talks up vaccine

TOKYO (AP) — IOC President Thomas Bach delivered a pep talk to Japanese government officials and local organizers on Thursday that included suggestions that “hundreds of millions” of doses COVID-19 vaccines would be available before the postponed Olympics open in July.

Israel tightens second lockdown as virus cases soar

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel on Thursday moved to further tighten its second countrywide lockdown as coronavirus cases continued to soar, ordering all nonessential businesses to close and requiring people to stay within 1,000 meters (yards) of their homes.

German economy rebounding, faces risk from virus resurgence

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — A widely watched indicator of German business confidence has risen for a fifth month in a row as Europe's largest economy rebounds from the coronavirus shutdowns - but the index remains below its long term average and uncertainty is high with virus cases rising.

88 whales rescued from Australia's worst mass beaching

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Authorities have rescued 88 pilot whales and are attempting to free 20 others that survived Australia’s worst mass stranding, as crews prepare to remove 380 decomposing carcasses from the shallows of Tasmania state, officials said Thursday.

Hong Kong journalists protest new accreditation rules

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong’s professional journalism association on Thursday protested new rules restricting who can provide press coverage during demonstrations, saying the government has no right to determine who is or isn't a reporter.

Australian bank agrees to $919M fine for money laundering

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Westpac, Australia’s second-largest bank, agreed to pay a 1.3 billion Australian dollar ($919 million) fine for breaches of anti-money laundering and counterterrorism financing laws, the largest ever civil penalty in Australia, a financial crime regulator said on Thursday.

World leaders criticize haphazard response to pandemic

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — World leaders gathering remotely Wednesday criticized a haphazard global response to a microscopic virus that has unleashed economic havoc and taken nearly 1 million lives in its march across the globe. In the words of Kazakhstan’s president, it was “a critical collapse of global cooperation.”

New SUV is next step in VW's post-scandal electric offensive

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Volkswagen is unveiling a battery-powered sport-utility vehicle that is headed for global markets including the United States and China, as the company takes a major step forward in its campaign to make electric cars a mass-market choice.

Fendi kicks off hybrid Milan Fashion Week with optimism

MILAN (AP) — The Italian fashion industry is moving to inject optimism into luxury’s dismal year, staging 23 live runway shows and 37 presentations during a hybrid live-digital Milan Fashion Week that aims to excite consumers and connect with the buying network.

French defense chief misled nation on troops' virus safety

PARIS (AP) — France’s defense minister admitted to misleading the nation about virus protections for air force personnel who evacuated French citizens from the Chinese city of Wuhan last winter, and have been suspected of links to France’s first confirmed COVID-19 cluster.

Belarus president sworn in at unannounced inaugural ceremony

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus was sworn in Wednesday to his sixth term in office at an inaugural ceremony that was not announced in advance amid weeks of huge protests of the authoritarian leader's reelection, which the opposition says was rigged.

Madrid wants military help, more doctors to fight virus wave

MADRID (AP) — Authorities in Madrid want to hire more doctors and get urgent help from Spain’s military and police to fight a second wave of coronavirus infections that might force them into expanding restrictions on free movement that are already controversial.

UK defends its new virus strategy but experts are skeptical

LONDON (AP) — The British government on Wednesday defended its strategy for combating a second wave of COVID-19 cases amid criticism that its new slate of restrictions will not be enough to stop coronavirus from spreading exponentially.