The Latest: Researchers urge Arizona shutdown, mask mandate
PHOENIX — University of Arizona researchers say the current surge in the coronavirus outbreak will present the state with a hospital crisis that could become a disaster unless the state takes steps such as ordering a three-week stay-home shutdown and implementing a statewide mask mandate.
Iran's supreme leader vows revenge over slain scientist
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's supreme leader on Saturday demanded the “definitive punishment” of those behind the killing of a scientist who led Tehran's disbanded military nuclear program, as the Islamic Republic blamed Israel for a slaying that has raised fears of reignited tensions across the Middle East.
Artists say Cuba government agrees to dialogue, tolerance
HAVANA (AP) — A group of Cuban artists and intellectuals say they won an unusual government vow of greater tolerance for independent art on Saturday after a demonstration in front of the Culture Ministry.
Ethiopia declares victory as military takes Tigray capital
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Ethiopia's military has gained “full control” of the capital of the defiant Tigray region, the army announced Saturday, and the prime minister said the taking of Mekele marked the “completion” of an offensive that started nearly four weeks ago.
Pope elevates 13 new cardinals then puts them in their place
ROME (AP) — Pope Francis raised 13 new cardinals to the highest rank in the Catholic hierarchy Saturday and immediately warned them not to use their titles for corrupt, personal gain, presiding over a ceremony marked from beginning to end by the coronavirus pandemic.
Police block Warsaw march against abortion ruling, force use
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Police blocked protesters from marching in Poland's capital as demonstrations took place across the country against an attempt to restrict abortion rights and recent police violence.
French protesters decry bill outlawing use of police images
PARIS (AP) — Tens of thousands of critics of a proposed security law that would restrict the filming of police officers protested across France on Saturday, and officers in Paris who were advised to behave responsibly during the demonstrations repeatedly fired tear gas to disperse rowdy protesters who set fire to France's central bank and threw paving stones.
India farmers press on with protest despite offer to talk
NEW DELHI (AP) — Thousands of farmers in and around the Indian capital on Saturday pressed on with their protest against agricultural legislation they said could devastate crop prices, while the government sought talks with their leaders.
Europe's Christmas dilemma: risk empty chairs next year?
BRUSSELS (AP) — Please leave a chair empty at this year's family Christmas dinner as a precaution, or face the possibility of having that chair empty forever.
Iran scientist linked to military nuclear program killed
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — An Iranian scientist named by the West as the leader of the Islamic Republic's disbanded military nuclear program was killed Friday in an ambush on the outskirts of Tehran, authorities said.
The Latest: Illinois surpasses 12,000 deaths from COVID-19
MIAMI (AP) — SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois has risen above 12,000 deaths from COVID-19, while also surpassing the 700,000 mark for confirmed coronavirus infections.
Indian police agree to allow protesting farmers into capital
NEW DELHI (AP) — Thousands of angry Indian farmers protesting new agricultural laws were allowed to enter the capital late Friday after they clashed with police who had blocked them at the outskirts of New Delhi.
New rule could allow gas, firing squads for US executions
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is quietly amending its execution protocols, no longer requiring federal death sentences to be carried out by lethal injection and clearing the way to use other methods like firing squads and poison gas.
Temporary US Pentagon chief makes rare visit to Somalia
The Pentagon's acting defense secretary has made a rare visit to Somalia, a conflict-plagued nation in the Horn of Africa where American forces have been assisting in the fight against al-Qaida affiliate al-Shabab.
Ethiopian PM rejects Tigray conflict talks in AU meeting
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed again ruled out dialogue with the leaders of the defiant Tigray region Friday but said he was willing to speak to representatives "operating legally” there during a meeting with three African Union special envoys trying to end the deadly conflict between federal troops and the region's forces.
New cardinals quarantine in pope's hotel ahead of ceremony
ROME (AP) — The Vatican’s Santa Marta hotel was built to sequester cardinals during papal elections. It's now sequestering soon-to-be cardinals in town for this weekend’s ceremony to get their red hats: A handful are in protective coronavirus quarantine, confined to their rooms on Vatican orders and getting meals delivered to their doors.
S. Korea agency says N. Korea executed people, shut capital
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has ordered at least two people executed, banned fishing at sea and locked down the capital, Pyongyang, as part of frantic efforts to guard against the coronavirus and its economic damage, South Korea’s spy agency told lawmakers Friday.
British bike maker pedals on, with Brexit deal up in the air
LONDON (AP) — The team at Brompton Bicycle Ltd. thought they were prepared for Brexit. Bosses at the British firm, which exports hand-made folding bikes to 47 countries, looked at the uncertainty swirling around the U.K.’s decision to leave the European Union and started stockpiling parts.
Lawmakers throw pig guts, punches on Taiwan parliament floor
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Lawmakers in Taiwan got into a fist fight and threw pig guts at each other Friday over a soon-to-be enacted policy that would allow imports of U.S.
Students in Burkina Faso fear extremists more than COVID-19
DORI, Burkina Faso (AP) — Balkissa Barro’s been waiting for months to go back to school, but now that she has, the 10-year-old fears classes might once again stop.
In Santa's mailbag, a peek into children's pandemic worries
LIBOURNE, France (AP) — Jim, from Taiwan, slipped a face mask inside the greeting card he sent to Santa and marked “I (heart) u." Alina, 5, asked in her Santa letter written with an adult's help that he please use the front door when he drops in, because the back door is reserved for Grandma and Grandpa to minimize their risk of contamination.
Books by bike: Sri Lankan man runs mobile library for kids
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — During his leisure time, Mahinda Dasanayaka packs his motorbike with books and rides his mobile library — across mostly muddy roads running through tea-growing mountain areas — to underprivileged children in backward rural parts of Sri Lanka.
Venezuela judge convicts 6 American oil execs, orders prison
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Six American oil executives held for three years in Venezuela were found guilty of corruption charges by a judge Thursday and immediately sentenced to prison, dashing hopes of a quick release that would send them home to their families in the United States.
AP Interview: Mahuta hits refresh on New Zealand diplomacy
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Diplomats like to remain neutral but Nanaia Mahuta let the veil slip a little when a winner was declared in the U.S.
UK asks regulator to assess AZ-Oxford vaccine amid questions
LONDON (AP) — The British government said Friday it has formally asked the country’s medicines regulator to assess whether a coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University should be authorized for use.