Putin denounces Crimean Bridge explosion as terrorist act

       

Photo taken on Sept 30, 2022 shows screens displaying Russian President Vladimir Putin delivering a speech in Moscow, Russia. (CAO YANG / XINHUA) MOSCOW – The explosion on the Crimean Bridge was no doubt a terrorist act aimed at destroying Russia's critical civilian infrastructure, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Sunday. Ukraine's special services were the initiators, performers and masterminds. Vladimir Putin, Russian president "Ukraine's special services …

Tropical Storm Julia emerges over Pacific after Nicaragua

       

A man stands next to a tree broken by the winds of Hurricane Julia in Bluefields, Nicaragua on Oct 8, 2022. (INTI OCON / AP) MEXICO CITY – Tropical storm Julia emerged over the Eastern Pacific on Sunday evening after pummeling Nicaragua with rain and winds that damaged hundreds of homes but left no reported casualties, according to government officials. About one million residents of …

German voters give mixed verdict on Scholz coalition in regional poll

       

(From left to right) The co-leader of the Greens Party Omid Nouripour, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Finance Minister and Free Democrats Party (FDP) leader Christian Lindner and Germany's Social Democratic SPD party co-leader Saskia Esken address a press conference on the government coalition's relief plan to cope with soaring energy costs, on Sept 4, 2022 at the Chancellery in Berlin. (TOBIAS SCHWARZ / AFP) BERLIN …

Austrian president secures re-election with clear win

       

Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen (center) celebrates with supporters after hearing first results of the Austrian Presidential election in Vienna, Austria, Oct 9, 2022. (MARKUS SCHREIBER / AP) VIENNA – Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen secured a second six-year term in office on Sunday by winning a clear majority of votes in an election to avoid a runoff, according to projections based on …

Sturgeon: Scotland independence vote could come in 2023

       

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is seen as Britain's King Charles III and Camilla, the Queen Consort, arrive at Edinburgh Airport on Sept 12, 2022. (ROBERT PERRY / POOL PHOTO VIA AP) LONDON – Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is confident a second referendum on Scottish independence could take place in October next year, she said on Sunday. Britain's top court on Tuesday begins hearing …

Ireland ‘numb’ as 10 die in gas station explosion

       

Emergency services attend the scene following an explosion in Creeslough, in the north west of Ireland on Oct 8, 2022. (PAUL FAITH/AFP) CREESLOUGH, Ireland – Ten people, including two teenagers and a younger girl, were killed in an explosion at a petrol station in the Irish county of Donegal, police said on Saturday, adding that the incident appeared to be "a tragic accident". The police …

German state vote tests support for Berlin’s crisis management

       

Lower Saxony's State Premier Stephan Weil gives a press conference following a meeting with the State Premiers of the country's federal states, in Berlin, on Oct 4, 2022. (MICHELE TANTUSSI / AFP) BERLIN – A vote in the German state of Lower Saxony on Sunday will provide a test of support for the crisis management skills of Chancellor Olaf Scholz's ruling coalition, as it seeks …

Hurricane Julia hits Nicaragua with high winds

       

This handout satellite image provided by CIRA/CSU & NOAA on Oct 8, 2022 and captured at 14:30 UTC on Oct 7 shows Tropical Storm Julia off the Guajira Peninsula in Colombia. (CIRA/CSU / NOAA / AFP) MEXICO CITY – Hurricane Julia slammed into Nicaragua on Sunday carrying top winds of up to 85 miles per hour (140 kph) and a storm surge, the US National Hurricane …

Putin orders measures to protect Crimea-related facilities

       

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with leaders of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) member states at the Konstantin Palace presidential residence in Strelna, outside Saint Petersburg, on Oct 7, 2022. (ALEXEY DANICHEV / SPUTNIK / AFP) MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Saturday to strengthen measures for protecting transport crossing through the Kerch Strait, the power grid connecting Crimea and …

US: COVID-19 booster program runs well, should pick up

       

Patients wait to receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot at a mobile vaccination station on 59th Street below Central Park on Dec 2, 2021, in New York. (JOHN MINCHILLO / AP) WASHINGTON / MOSCOW – The White House expects the rate of vaccination in its fall booster campaign to pick up over the coming weeks, and its COVID response coordinator Ashish Jha on Friday characterized …

US govt: COVID-19 booster work runs well, should pick up

       

Patients wait to receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot at a mobile vaccination station on 59th Street below Central Park on Dec 2, 2021, in New York. (JOHN MINCHILLO / AP) WASHINGTON / MOSCOW – The White House expects the rate of vaccination in its fall booster campaign to pick up over the coming weeks, and its COVID response coordinator Ashish Jha on Friday characterized …

Hurricane Julia advances toward eastern coast of Central America

       

This handout satellite image provided by CIRA/CSU & NOAA on Oct 8, 2022 and captured at 14:30 UTC on Oct 7 shows Tropical Storm Julia off the Guajira Peninsula in Colombia. (CIRA/CSU / NOAA / AFP) MEXICO CITY – Tropical storm Julia turned into a hurricane on Saturday evening as it passed the Colombian island San Andres and headed toward the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua …

Putin orders intensified measures to protect Crimea-related facilities

       

MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Saturday to strengthen measures for protecting transport crossing through the Kerch Strait, the power grid connecting Crimea and the main gas pipeline to the peninsula. Putin authorized the Russian Federal Security Service to organize and coordinate measures to effectively protect these facilities, according to the decree published by the Kremlin. Putin authorized the Russian Federal …

Report: Bird flu detected in French duck farm

       

This picture taken on Feb 22, 2017 in Bourriot-Bergonce, western France, shows ducks confined at a farm located some 10 kilometers away from the flu-hit southwestern area. (GEORGES GOBET / AFP) PARIS – The highly pathogenic avian influenza has been detected in a duck farm in France's southwestern department of Gironde, French daily newspaper Le Figaro reported on Saturday. According to Le Figaro, the owner …

Biden signs order to implement EU-US data privacy framework

       

US President Joe Biden waves as he steps off Air Force One upon arrival at Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia on Oct 7, 2022. (MANDEL NGAN / AFP) WASHINGTON/BRUSSELS – US President Joe Biden on Friday signed an executive order to implement a European Union-United States data transfer framework announced in March that adopts new American intelligence gathering privacy safeguards. The deal seeks to end …

Canada authorizes Pfizer’s Omicron retooled booster

       

A vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) booster vaccine targeting BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron sub-variants is pictured at Skippack Pharmacy in Schwenksville, Pennsylvania, US, Sept 8, 2022. (HANNAH BEIER / REUTERS) OTTAWA / MOSCOW / WASHINGTON – Canada on Friday authorized updated COVID-19 booster shots from Pfizer Inc and its partner BioNTech SE that target the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants, according to the …

Gray whale numbers along N. America’s west coast down nearly 40%

       

A grey whale (Eschrichtius robustus) emerges from the waters of the Ojo de Liebre Lagoon, Baja California Sur state, Mexico on March 3, 2015. (OMAR TORRES / AFP) LOS ANGELES – The number of gray whales migrating along the Pacific Coast of North America has steadily declined by nearly 40 percent from a 2016 peak, and the population produced its fewest calves on record this …

UN Security Council voices concern over coup in Burkina Faso

       

In this file video grab taken from a video broadcasted on October 2, 2022 by the national television of Burkina Faso shows Captain Kiswendsida Farouk Azaria Sorgho (center), member of the junta reading a statement next to coup leader Ibrahim Traoré (left) and surrounded by members of the military who are claiming to take power on September 30, 2022 in Ouagadougou. (RADIODIFFUSION TELEVISION DU BURKINA …

EU leaders pledge to further coordinate energy policies

       

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala attends a press conference after an informal summit of the European Union in Prague, the Czech Republic, on Oct. 7, 2022. (LIAN YI / XINHUA) PRAGUE – European Union leaders said on Friday at an informal summit here that they are still working on coordinated energy policies for the bloc's member states to address the energy crisis plaguing families and …