World News

Virus spikes have officials looking to shore up hospitals

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Hospitals across the United States are starting to buckle from a resurgence of COVID-19 cases, with several states setting records for the number of people hospitalized and leaders scrambling to find extra beds and staff. New highs in cases have been reported in states big and small — from Idaho to Ohio — in recent days.

Police: 43 bank hostages freed in ex-Soviet republic Georgia

TBILISI, Georgia (AP) — Police in the ex-Soviet nation of Georgia said 43 people were freed after an armed assailant took them hostage in a bank Wednesday, an announcement that came shortly after local media reported the gunman escaped and remained at large still holding three hostages.

UK festival curator accuses UAE minister of sex assault

LONDON (AP) — The chair of Britain’s Hay literary festival said Sunday the event will not return to Abu Dhabi after one of the festival’s curators alleged that she was sexually assaulted by the tolerance minister of the United Arab Emirates while working with him. Lawyers for the minister later denied her account.

Francis becomes 1st pope to endorse same-sex civil unions

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis became the first pontiff to endorse same-sex civil unions in comments for a documentary that premiered Wednesday, sparking cheers from gay Catholics and demands for clarification from conservatives, given the Vatican’s official teaching on the issue.

Nonprofit app aims to help unblock global air travel

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — A nonprofit foundation is testing a smartphone app that could make it easier for international airline passengers to securely show they've complied with COVID-19 testing requirements. It's an attempt to help get people back to flying after the pandemic sent global air travel down by 92%.

Tensions mount in Guinea as nation awaits election results

CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) — Gunfire rang out across Guinea's capital on Wednesday and authorities reported at least nine deaths across the West African country as tensions mounted in anticipation of official results being released from a weekend presidential election.

Armenian PM sees no way to settle conflict through diplomacy

YEREVAN, Armenia (AP) — Armenia's prime minister said Wednesday that Azerbaijan's aggressive stance in the 25-day fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh leaves no room for diplomacy, and urged citizens to sign up as military volunteers to protect their country.

UK-EU trade talks back on after bloc offers olive branch

BRUSSELS (AP) — Britain and the European Union will resume their stalled trade negotiations at an “intensified” pace, the British government said Wednesday, in hope of striking a deal within weeks to avoid a messy economic breakup at the end of he year.

Greece sells 15-year bond to bolster reserves amid pandemic

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece has raised 2 billion euros in a 15-year bond issue, the country’s finance minister said Wednesday, taking advantage of low interest rates to bolster cash reserves amid the coronavirus pandemic and continuing tension with neighboring Turkey.

Cyprus, Greece, Egypt to Turkey: drop the rancor, join us

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — The leaders of Cyprus, Egypt and Greece on Wednesday renewed an invitation to Turkey to become a partner in reaping the potential benefits of offshore gas deposits, while urging Ankara to end its “aggressive” actions in the eastern Mediterranean.

Pandemic widens learning gap in education-obsessed S. Korea

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — When South Korea began its delayed school year with remote learning in April, that spelled trouble for low-income students who rely on public education, get easily distracted and cannot afford cram schools or tutors used by many in this education-obsessed country.

Swiss fear rise in COVID-19 cases could overburden hospitals

GENEVA (AP) — The Swiss health minister said coronavirus case counts and hospitalizations were doubling every week, warning of the prospect of overburdened hospitals as Switzerland has gone from one of the least-affected countries in Europe to one of the worst-hit in just three weeks.

UK government borrowing hits record due to pandemic

LONDON (AP) — The COVID-19 pandemic is battering Britain’s public finances, pushing government borrowing to a record last month as tax revenue fell and authorities spent billions of pounds to prop up the economy.

Coronavirus spreads in Nagorno-Karabakh amid heavy fighting

STEPANAKERT, Nagorno-Karabakh (AP) — People who are sick with the coronavirus pack into chilly basements alongside the healthy to hide from artillery fire. The local health minister who tested positive keeps working, despite a fever and pneumonia. Doctors with the virus perform surgery on the wounded.

Asia Today: Philippines allows foreign travel to resume

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines on Wednesday lifted a ban on non-essential foreign trips by Filipinos, but the immigration bureau said the move did not immediately spark large numbers of departures for tourism and leisure.

UN judge orders Rwandan genocide suspect sent to The Hague

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — An 87-year-old Rwandan genocide suspect being held in France will be sent temporarily to a United Nations court in the Netherlands for a medical assessment amid concerns about his health and the coronavirus pandemic, a judge ruled Wednesday.

UN judge orders Rwandan genocide suspect sent to The Hague

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — An 87-year-old Rwandan genocide suspect being held in France will be sent temporarily to a United Nations court in the Netherlands for a medical assessment amid concerns about his health and the coronavirus pandemic, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Another chunk of England faces tight virus restrictions

LONDON (AP) — The British government on Wednesday put another 1.4 million people into England’s tightest coronavirus restrictions, but faced growing criticism that its piecemeal approach to curbing the outbreak is sowing division and confusion.