A downloadable app that has been voiced by “Star Wars” actor Mark Hamill is triggered when air raid alarms sound in Ukraine. He urges people with his grave but also calming baritone to take cover. He also tells them when the danger has passed by signing off with “May the Force be with you.” The actor told The Associated Press that he’s admiring Ukraine's resilience from afar in California. Ukraine's fight against the Russian invasion is now in its second year and it reminds him of the Star Wars saga. Hamill is also fundraising to buy reconnaissance drones for Ukrainian forces.
Russia's Defense Ministry says Moscow has test-fired anti-ship missiles in the Sea of Japan. The ministry said Tuesday that two boats launched a simulated missile attack on a mock enemy warship about 60 miles away. The ministry said the target was successfully hit by two Moskit cruise missiles. The Moskit is a supersonic anti-ship cruise missile that has conventional and nuclear warhead capacity. It says the exercise took place in the Peter the Great Gulf in the Sea of Japan. A Japanese Foreign Ministry official in charge of Russia says Japan does not plan to lodge a protest to Russia over the missile exercise, noting the location is considered Russian coast.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has called for his nuclear scientists to increase production of weapons-grade material to make bombs to put on his increasing range of weapons. The report in state media Tuesday followed a series of missile launches — seven in this month alone — and rising threats to use the weapons against his enemies. North Korea's weapons tests and U.S.-South Korea military exercises have intensified in a tit-for-tat cycle, underscoring heightened tensions in the region. State media said Kim met with officials and scientists at a nuclear weapons institute and stressed the need to ramp up bomb fuel production to meet his goals to expand his nuclear arsenal.
Uncertainty over the timing and location of the Under-20 World Cup continues two days after Indonesian authorities postponed the official draw for the May 20-June 11 tournament because of protests over Israel’s participation. The draw was delayed indefinitely on the weekend by Indonesia’s soccer federation amid backlash from conservative Islamic groups. FIFA, the sport’s world governing body, has not commented on Indonesia’s status as host or a reported offer from Argentina to stage the event. Pressure on Indonesia’s soccer association chairman Erick Thohir is mounting because if the hosting issues can't be resolved, the country risks being suspended by FIFA.
A huge landslide swept over an Andean community in central Ecuador, burying dozens of homes, killing at least seven people and sending rescuers on a frantic search for survivors. Authorities earlier Monday reported 16 known dead, but late in the day President Guillermo Lasso put the confirmed toll at seven. Ecuador’s Risk Management Secretariat says more than 30 people were rescued after Sunday’s landslide in Alausí, about 137 miles south of the capital, Quito. The agency also says 23 people were injured when the mountainside collapsed around 10 p.m. Officials estimate 500 people and 163 homes were affected by the disaster, which also destroyed a portion of the Pan-American Highway.
JERUSALEM (AP) — Bending to a wave of mass protests, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delayed his contentious judicial overhaul plan Monday and said he wanted "to avoid civil war” by …
JERUSALEM (AP) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s proposed judicial overhaul unleashed the most intense social unrest in Israel in decades before he announced Monday that he would delay the plan.
The U.N.’s atomic energy chief has warned Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that the perilous situation at Europe’s largest nuclear plant “isn’t getting any better." The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant has lost several of its power transmission cables during the war with Russia, and on multiple occasions has had to switch to emergency diesel generators to power its essential cooling systems to prevent a meltdown. International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Rafael Grossi met with Zelenskyy on Monday as relentless fighting in the area puts the Russian-held plant at risk of a disaster. Grossi said the situation at the plant remains tense because of the heavy military presence around it and a recent blackout that recently hit the facility.
German weekly Der Spiegel is reporting that Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II asked her hosts for a gift of two horses during her state visit to Germany in 1978. The expensive presents raised eyebrows among German bureaucrats at the time, who noted that they cost more than any other offering made to a visiting head of state since the end of World War II. Nevertheless, Germany’s then-President Walter Scheel approved the gift in the interests of good bilateral relations, Der Spiegel reported citing previously confidential archive papers. They also noted the late monarch’s aperitif preferences, dislike of helicopters and British embassy concerns about her 1992 visit to Dresden. The report comes days before Elizabeth’s son, King Charles III, makes his first state visit to Germany.
Scotland’s governing Scottish National Party has elected Humza Yousaf as its new leader. The 37-year-old son of South Asian immigrants is set to become the first person of color and the first Muslim to serve as Scotland’s first minister. Yousaf beat two other Scottish lawmakers on Monday in a contest to replace First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. She unexpectedly stepped down last month. He faces the challenge of uniting the SNP and reenergizing its campaign for Scottish independence from the United Kingdom. Yousaf is due to be confirmed as first minister by lawmakers on Tuesday. He said his victory sends a message "that your color of skin, your faith, is not a barrier to leading the country we all call home.”
The Louvre Museum in Paris has been closed to the public because its workers took part in the wave of French protest strikes against the government’s unpopular pension reform plans. Dozens of Louvre employees blocked the entrance on Monday so the museum announced it would be temporarily closed. The demonstrators toted banners and flags in front of the Louvre’s famed pyramid where President Emmanuel Macron had celebrated his presidential victory in 2017. They demanded the repeal of the new pension law that raises the retirement age from 62 to 64. The action comes on the eve of another nationwide protest planned for Tuesday against the bill.
A lawyer for a group of British tabloids is asking a judge in London to toss out lawsuits by Prince Harry, Elton John and several other celebrities who allege phone tapping and other invasions of privacy. The Duke of Sussex and Elton John showed up for the hearing Monday that is expected to last four days. It’s one of several lawsuits he has brought against the media. The case alleges Associated Newspapers Ltd. hired private investigators to illegally bug homes and cars and record private phone conversations. The publisher says the claims are too old and barred because they rely on information they turned over in confidentiality for a 2012 probe into media law breaking.
TAOYUAN, Taiwan (AP) — Former Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou departed for a tour of China on Monday, in what he called an attempt to reduce tensions a day after Taiwan lost one of its few remai…
ISLAMABAD (AP) — Afghans on Monday celebrated their national cricket team's landmark victory over Pakistan, although fan festivities were more muted back home because of the ruling Taliban res…
GENEVA (AP) — Russian athletes who have actively served in the military invasion of Ukraine should be allowed to return to international sports if they did not take part in war crimes, accordi…
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — The race to buy Manchester United is taking shape.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Fighter jets roared off the USS Nimitz as the nuclear-powered U.S. aircraft carrier and its battle group began exercises with South Korean warships on Monday, hours a…
BERLIN (AP) — Trains, planes and public transit systems stood still across much of Germany on Monday as labor unions called a major one-day strike over salaries in an effort to win inflation-b…
Protesting is a rite of passage in France and again the rage. The country that taught the world about people power with its revolution of 1789 is seething. French President Emmanuel Macron has ignited a firestorm of anger with unpopular pension reforms that he rammed through parliament. Young people are joining protests against him. Some of them are first-time demonstrators. Violence is also picking up. Freshly spray-painted slogans in Paris streets reference the 1789 French Revolution. Regular strikes and demonstrations are threatening to make Macron’s second and final term as president even more difficult than his first. Macron's predecessor says anger and resentment are at levels he's rarely seen.
The damage to Ukraine’s metal industry has crippled a lucrative sector and key employer needed to support an economy cratered by war. Efforts to restore production and get goods moving again to customers worldwide will be crucial to helping the country rebuild. That is true at a steel plant near the southwestern front line in Zaporizhzhia that is running below full capacity and a third of its 10,000 workers are idle. Workers brave not only the intense heat from blast furnaces forging steel but the threat of shelling. Prices are higher for products that the Zaporizhstal plant makes, and they're harder to get to customers that used to span the globe.
A Florence museum and the city's mayor are inviting parents and students from a Florida charter school to visit and see Michelangelo’s sculpture of David. The invitation comes after the school principal was forced to resign following parental complaints that an image of the nude Renaissance masterpiece was shown to a sixth-grade art class. The Italian response has been incredulous and highlights how the U.S. culture wars are often perceived in Europe. Even amid a rise in right-wing sentiment and governance on the continent, the Renaissance and its masterpieces are generally above the fray. Former Principal Hope Carrasquilla said she is honored by the mayor's invitation and she might take him up on it.
Tens of thousands of Israelis have poured into the streets across the country in a spontaneous outburst of anger after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu abruptly fired his defense minister for challenging the Israeli leader’s judicial overhaul plan. Protesters in Tel Aviv blocked a main highway and lit large bonfires Sunday, while police scuffled with protesters outside Netanyahu’s private home in Jerusalem. The unrest deepened a monthslong crisis over Netanyahu’s plan to overhaul the judiciary. Mass protests and unrest in the military prompted Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Saturday to speak out against the changes. In a brief statement Sunday, Netanyahu’s office said the prime minister had dismissed Gallant.
The Lebanese government’s last-minute decision to delay the start of daylight saving time by a month until the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan resulted in mass confusion. With some institutions implementing the change on Sunday while others refused, many Lebanese have found themselves in the position of juggling work and school schedules in different time zones — in the same tiny country. In some cases, the debate took on a sectarian nature, with many Christian politicians and institutions, including the small nation’s largest church, the Maronite Church, rejecting the move.
A new report from England's children's commissioner has found that Black children in England and Wales were six times more likely to be strip searched by police. The report being released Monday found nearly 3,000 children were strip-searched between 2018 and mid-2022. More than half the searches were conducted without an appropriate adult present. The investigation was launched after a 15-year-old menstruating girl, identified as “Child Q,” was strip-searched by female officers at school in 2020 without another adult present. The search for suspected marijuana found none. A previous report said racism was a likely factor for the search.
In drought-stricken Spain, around 250 villagers brought back the faded practice of a special Mass and procession to pray for rain. It's been years since they reached out to Our Lady of the Torrents, a local virgin associated with rainfall in L'Espunyola. Some farmers in this mountain village north of Barcelona say they can’t remember a time of such widespread drought. One farmer fears that if there's no rain in the next two weeks, the harvest might be ruined. Very low rainfall and high temperatures over the past three years have officially put Spain into long-term drought.