Israeli parliament takes step toward new national elections
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel took a major step toward plunging into its fourth national election in under two years on Wednesday as lawmakers — supported by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s main coalition partner — passed a preliminary proposal to dissolve parliament.
Who, when and how? A look at the UK's vaccination rollout
LONDON (AP) — British regulators have become the first to authorize the COVID-19 vaccine developed by American drugmaker Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech for emergency use.
The Latest: Red Cross seeks equitable access to vaccines
UNITED NATIONS — The International Committee of the Red Cross is urging “equitable access” to vaccines for people affected by conflict and violence.
Britain OKs Pfizer vaccine and will begin shots within days
LONDON (AP) — Britain became the first country in the world to authorize a rigorously tested COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday and could be dispensing shots within days — a historic step toward eventually ending the scourge that has killed more than 1.4 million people around the globe.
UN agency removes cannabis from strictest drug category
BERLIN (AP) — The U.N. Commission on Narcotic Drugs voted Wednesday to remove cannabis and cannabis resin from a category of the world's most dangerous drugs, which could impact the global medical marijuana industry.
Putin orders 'large-scale' COVID-19 vaccination in Russia
MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered the start of a “large-scale” COVID-19 vaccination by late next week, with doctors and teachers to be the first in line to receive the Sputnik V shots, which have yet to complete advanced studies needed to ensure its effectiveness and safety in line with established scientific protocols.
Rage and hope fuel women's revolt over abortion in Poland
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Karolina Micula had used her bare chest in political protest once before. When Poland’s right-wing government first tried to restrict abortion rights, the actress and singer delivered an intense performance onstage in Wroclaw in 2017 that included her spreading paint in the national colors — white and red — onto her breasts and face, ending with a fist raised high.
US lawmakers unveil anti-slavery constitutional amendment
NEW YORK (AP) — National lawmakers are expected on Wednesday to introduce a joint resolution aimed at striking language from the U.S.
Hong Kong activists Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow, Ivan Lam jailed
HONG KONG (AP) — Three prominent Hong Kong pro-democracy activists were sentenced to jail Wednesday for a protest outside police headquarters as authorities stepped up a crackdown on opposition to tighten control by Beijing over the territory.
UN, Ethiopia sign deal for aid access to embattled Tigray
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — In a breakthrough a month after deadly conflict cut off Ethiopia’s Tigray region from the world, the United Nations on Wednesday said it and the Ethiopian government have signed a deal to allow “unimpeded” humanitarian access, at least for areas under federal government control after the prime minister’s declaration of victory over the weekend.
Austria to allow Christmas skiing but many restrictions stay
VIENNA (AP) — Austria will allow skiing to start on Dec. 24, but will limit the capacity of ski lifts and keep restaurants, bars and hotels largely closed until early January, officials said Wednesday.
UN calls on humanity to end 'war on nature,' go carbon-free
As an extreme year for hurricanes, wildfires and heat waves comes to an end, the head of the United Nations challenged world leaders to make 2021 the year that humanity ends its “war on nature” and commits to a future free of planet-warming carbon pollution.
China's space ambitions: Robot on Mars, a human on the moon
BEIJING (AP) — China’s landing of its third probe on the moon is part of an increasingly ambitious space program that has a robot rover en route to Mars, is developing a reusable space plane and is planning to put humans back on the lunar surface.
Report: Climate change damaging more World Heritage sites
GENEVA (AP) — Climate change is increasingly damaging the U.N.’s most cherished heritage sites, a leading conservation agency warned Wednesday, reporting that Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and dozens of other natural wonders are facing severe threats.
32 migrants rescued, 1 dead off Greek island of Lesbos
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — A search and rescue operation was underway in the eastern Aegean Sea on Wednesday after a dinghy carrying migrants either sank or overturned off the Greek island of Lesbos, the Greek coast guard said.
Israel transfers $1B to cash-strapped Palestinian Authority
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel transferred over $1 billion in taxes and customs duties it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority on Wednesday after a six-month hiatus in which the Palestinians had severed ties with Israel over its plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.
Kosovo ethnic divide eases as Muslim cares for elderly Serb
VAGANESH, Kosovo (AP) — Blagica Dicic, 92 and in failing health, is the only resident of a remote ethnic Serb minority village in the mountains of eastern Kosovo that's been abandoned by all its other inhabitants — including her own children.
China denies weakening sanctions enforcement on North Korea
BEIJING (AP) — China on Wednesday rejected U.S. accusations it is weakening its enforcement of U.N. sanctions against North Korea, but said more efforts are needed toward reaching a political settlement and greater attention should be paid to the impact of the sanctions on ordinary North Koreans.
China spacecraft collects moon samples to take back to Earth
BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese spacecraft took samples of the moon's surface Wednesday as part of a mission to bring lunar rocks back to Earth for the first time since the 1970s, the government said, adding to a string of successes for Beijing's increasingly ambitious space program.
Thai leader faces court ruling that could cost him his job
BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand’s highest court is set to rule Wednesday on whether Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has breached ethics clauses in the country’s constitution and should be ousted from his position.
China spacecraft lands on moon to bring rocks back to Earth
BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese spacecraft sent to return lunar rocks to Earth collected its first samples Wednesday after landing on the moon, the government announced, adding to a string of successes for Beijing's increasingly ambitious space program.
UK leader touts local virus rules but pubs are in distress
LONDON (AP) — British lawmakers voted Tuesday to approve new coronavirus restrictions in England to take effect within hours, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced substantial opposition from within his Conservative Party over the measures' economic impact.
EU eyes Dec 29 approval for 1st virus vaccine, later than US
BERLIN (AP) — The European Union drug agency said Tuesday it may need four more weeks to approve its first coronavirus vaccine, even as authorities in the United States and Britain continue to aim for a green light before Christmas.
Pope book backs George Floyd protests, blasts virus skeptic
ROME (AP) — Pope Francis is supporting demands for racial justice in the wake of the U.S. police killing of George Floyd and is blasting COVID-19 skeptics and media organizations that spread their conspiracies in a new book penned during the Vatican’s coronavirus lockdown.
Dozens of bandits seize Brazilian city, loot bank
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Dozens of gunmen armed with assault rifles invaded a city in southern Brazil overnight Tuesday and took control of the streets as they assaulted a local bank.