World News

UK lawmakers to renew govt's contentious COVID-19 powers

LONDON (AP) — British lawmakers were set Wednesday to renew the government’s sweeping powers to impose emergency restrictions to curb the coronavirus pandemic, though many slammed the way Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative administration has used them.

'It belongs to us!": Tense French trial over colonial art

PARIS (AP) — Is dislodging African artwork from a European museum a political statement, or a criminal act? That's the question a French court weighed Wednesday in an emotionally charged trial centered around a Congolese activist campaigning to take back art he says was plundered by colonizers.

Kaczynski joins new Polish Cabinet as deputy prime minister

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki presented a reshuffled Cabinet on Wednesday that formally brings the conservative ruling party's leader into a government position, together with a new education minister who has said LGBT people are “not equal” to others.

Japan court orders gov't, TEPCO to pay in Fukushima disaster

TOKYO (AP) — A Japanese court on Wednesday found the government and the operator of the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant negligent for failing to take measures to prevent the 2011 nuclear disaster, ordering them to pay some 1 billion yen ($9.5 million) in damages to thousands of residents for their lost livelihoods.

EU Commission democracy report critical of Poland, Hungary

BRUSSELS (AP) — Democratic standards are facing “important challenges” in some European Union countries, particularly in Hungary and Poland, where the judicial systems are under threat, the EU's executive commission said Wednesday in its first report on adherence to the rule of law.

Study: 1st Berlin fest chief had significant Nazi-era role

BERLIN (AP) — A study has concluded that the founding director of the Berlin International Film Festival made a “not insignificant” contribution to the German film system under Nazi rule and later covered up his role, festival organizers said Wednesday.

Merkel applauds 'impressive' women protesters in Belarus

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised women in Belarus for staging peaceful protests in the wake of the country's disputed presidential election and said Wednesday that she plans to meet soon with the main opposition candidate.

Armenia, Azerbaijan fight for 4th day over separatist region

YEREVAN, Armenia (AP) — Heavy fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces over the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh continued for a fourth straight day on Wednesday, in the biggest escalation of a decades-old conflict in years that has killed dozens and left scores of others wounded.

Former Audi chief on trial in VW diesel emissions scandal

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The former head of Volkswagen's Audi luxury car division and three others went on trial Wednesday on charges related to the company's cheating on diesel car emissions tests. The proceedings represent the first criminal trial in Germany over the scandal that erupted five years ago and has cost the Volkswagen Group more than 32 billion euros ($35 billion) in fines and settlements.

Shell plans to cut up to 9,000 jobs as oil demand slumps

LONDON (AP) — Energy producer Royal Dutch Shell said Wednesday it's planning to cut between 7,000 and 9,000 jobs worldwide by the end of 2022 following a collapse in demand for oil and a subsequent slide in prices during the coronavirus pandemic.

Sharp virus spread in Madrid leads to new anti-outbreak plan

MADRID (AP) — Madrid and its suburbs, the region in Europe where a second coronavirus wave is expanding by far the fastest, are edging toward stricter curbs on personal movement and social gatherings after a political dispute that has angered many Spaniards.

7 parties agree on Belgian government led by Liberal De Croo

BRUSSELS (AP) — Almost 500 days after Belgian parliamentary elections, seven parties from both sides of the linguistic aisle agreed early Wednesday on forming a fully functioning majority government under new Prime Minister Alexander De Croo that will center on dealing with the pandemic and its devastating economic impact.

German jobless rate falls in September, fewer on furlough

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's unemployment rate declined in September despite the coronavirus pandemic, official data showed Wednesday. Jobless figures have been kept lower by extensive use of a short-term salary support program, but estimates show that the number of people receiving that support is also falling.