Tag: AP Top News

A growing challenge for Iraq: Iran-aligned Shiite militias
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A growing challenge for Iraq: Iran-aligned Shiite militias

BAGHDAD (AP) — It was a stark message: A convoy of masked Shiite militiamen, armed with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades, drove openly through central Baghdad denouncing the U.S. presence in Iraq and threatening to cut off the prime minister’s ear.The ominous display underscored the growing threat that rogue militias loyal to Tehran pose for Iraq. It came at a time when Baghdad seeks to bolster relations with its Arab neighbors and is gearing up for early elections, scheduled for October, amid a worsening economic crisis and a global pandemic.Last week’s procession also sought to undermine Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s credibility, with Iran-aligned militias driving down a major highway and passing near ministries as Iraqi security forces looked on. Ahead of a new round of ...
German cities suspend AstraZeneca vaccine use for under-60s
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German cities suspend AstraZeneca vaccine use for under-60s

BERLIN (AP) — German health officials agreed Tuesday to restrict the use of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine in people under 60, amid fresh concern over unusual blood clots reported in a tiny number of those who received the shots.Health Minister Jens Spahn and state officials agreed unanimously to only give the vaccine to people aged 60 or older, unless they belong to a high-risk category for serious illness from COVID-19 and have agreed to take the vaccine despite the small risk of a serious side-effect. The same option will be available to anyone who gets the shot at their GP, which will start to become possible later this month.“In sum it’s about weighing the risk of a side effect that is statistically small, but needs to be taken seriously, and the risk of falling ill with corona,” S...
The Latest: Leaders call for pandemic preparedness treaty
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The Latest: Leaders call for pandemic preparedness treaty

BERLIN— German pharmaceutical company BioNTech says that after ramping up its manufacturing and supply systems, it expects to manufacture this year up to 2.5 billion doses of the coronavirus vaccine it developed with U.S. partner Pfizer.The two companies had previously spoken of being able to make 2 billion doses in 2021. Mainz-based BioNTech said Tuesday that it had delivered 200 million doses of the vaccine globally as of March 23 and signed orders for 1.4 billion doses for delivery in 2021. Discussions on further orders were ongoing, it said.The company attributed the increased capacity to optimized production processes and the start of production at a new plant in Marburg, Germany; the expansion of its manufacturing and and supply network; and regulatory approval for six doses to be dr...
World leaders call for international pandemic treaty
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World leaders call for international pandemic treaty

LONDON (AP) — More than 20 heads of government and global agencies on Tuesday called for an international treaty for pandemic preparedness that they say will protect future generations. But there are few details to explain how such an agreement might actually force countries to act more cooperatively.World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and leaders, including Boris Johnson of Britain, Mario Draghi of Italy and Paul Kagame of Rwanda, called for “a renewed collective commitment” to reinforce the world’s pandemic preparedness and response systems, that would be rooted in the U.N. health agency’s constitution.“We are convinced that it is our responsibility, as leaders of nations and international institutions, to ensure that the world learns the lessons of the ...
Thailand denies sending fleeing villagers back to Myanmar
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Thailand denies sending fleeing villagers back to Myanmar

MAE SAM LAEP, Thailand (AP) — Thailand’s prime minister denied Tuesday that his country’s security forces have sent villagers back to Myanmar who fled from military airstrikes and said his government is ready to shelter anyone who is escaping fighting.His comments came a day after humanitarian groups said the Thai military had begun sending back some of the thousands of people who have fled a series of airstrikes by Myanmar’s military.“There is no influx of refugees yet. We asked those who crossed to Thailand if they have any problem in their area. When they say no problem, we just asked them to return to their land first. We asked, we did not use any force,” Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha told reporters.“We won’t push them back,” he said. ’If they are having fighting, how can we do so? ...
Myanmar junta deepens violence with new air attacks
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Myanmar junta deepens violence with new air attacks

MAE SAM LAEP, Thailand (AP) — Violence in eastern Myanmar, including air raids that drove thousands of members of the Karen ethnic minority to seek shelter across the border in Thailand, deepened Tuesday with new air attacks by the military that seized power from an elected government last month.Thailand’s prime minister denied that his country’s security forces had forced villagers back to Myanmar who had fled from military airstrikes over the weekend, saying they returned home on their own accord.But the situation in eastern Myanmar appeared to be getting more, not less, dangerous.Saw Taw Nee, head of the foreign affairs department of the Karen National Union, the main political body representing the Karen minority there, confirmed that new raids Tuesday left six civilians dead and 11 wo...
Spanish resorts languish while Madrid hosts Europe's parties
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Spanish resorts languish while Madrid hosts Europe's parties

MADRID (AP) — In Madrid, the real party starts at 11 p.m. after the bars close — and curfew kicks in.That’s when young, polyglot groups of revelers from Italy, the Netherlands, Germany and, most noticeably, France, join their Spanish contemporaries in Old Madrid’s narrow streets to seek illicit fun. Most are in their early 20s, eager to party in the Spanish capital like they haven’t been able to do for months at home under strict lockdowns.With its policy of open bars and restaurants — indoors and outdoors — and by keeping museums and theaters running even when outbreaks have strained hospitals, Madrid has built a reputation as an oasis of fun in Europe’s desert of restrictions.Other Spanish regions have a stricter approach to entertainment. Even sunny coastal resorts offer a limited range...
Video shows Asian American woman assaulted on NYC street
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Video shows Asian American woman assaulted on NYC street

NEW YORK (AP) — A vicious attack on an Asian American woman near New York City’s Times Square is drawing widespread condemnation and raising alarms about the failure of bystanders to intervene amid a rash of anti-Asian violence across the U.S.A lone assailant was seen on surveillance video Monday kicking the 65-year-old woman in the stomach, knocking her to the ground and stomping on her face, all as police say he shouted anti-Asian slurs at her.The attack happened outside an apartment building two blocks from Times Square, a bustling, heavily policed section of midtown Manhattan known as the “Crossroads of the World.”Two workers inside the building who appeared to be security guards were seen on the surveillance video witnessing the attack but failing to come to the woman’s aid. Their uni...
Probe underway, day after cargo ship freed in Suez Canal
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Probe underway, day after cargo ship freed in Suez Canal

SUEZ, Egypt (AP) — Experts on Tuesday boarded a colossal container ship that had been stuck sideways for nearly a week in the Suez Canal before it was dislodged as questions swirled about the grounding that had shaken the global shipping industry and clogged one of the world’s most vital waterways. The Ever Given was safely anchored Tuesday in the Great Bitter Lake, a wide stretch of water halfway between the north and south ends of the canal, after salvage teams succeeded in finally freeing the skyscraper-size vessel on Monday afternoon. The grounding of the ship had halted billions of dollars a day in maritime commerce.A senior canal pilot, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to journalists, told The Associated Press that experts were looking for sign...
China sharply reduces elected seats in Hong Kong legislature
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China sharply reduces elected seats in Hong Kong legislature

HONG KONG (AP) — China has sharply reduced the number of directly elected seats in Hong Kong’s legislature in a setback for the territory’s already beleaguered democracy movement. The changes were announced Tuesday after a two-day meeting of China’s top legislature. The legislature will be expanded to 90 seats, and only 20 will be elected by the public. Currently, half of the 70-seat legislature — 35 seats — is directly elected.The move is part of a two-phase effort to rein in political protest and opposition in Hong Kong, which is part of China but has had a more liberal political system as a former British colony. China imposed a national security law on Hong Kong last year and is following up this year with a revamp of the electoral process.The crackdown comes in the wake of months of p...