Russia said eyeing eastern Ukraine push; Kyiv targets graft

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia is mustering its military might in the Luhansk region of Ukraine, officials said Wednesday, in what Kyiv suspects is preparation for an offensive as the first anniversary of Moscow’s invasion approaches. Also Wednesday, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s government continued its crackdown on alleged corruption with the dismissal of several high-ranking officials, … Read more

Palestinians face removal as far-right Israel vows expansion

KHAN AL-AHMAR, West Bank (AP) — Protesters streaming up the windswept hills east of Jerusalem interrupted Maha Ali’s breakfast. Palestinian chants of support for her West Bank Bedouin community of Khan al-Ahmar, at risk of demolition by the Israeli army since it lost its legal protection over four years ago, drowned out the singing birds … Read more

Pope consoles Congolese victims: ‘Your pain is my pain’

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Pope Francis on Wednesday urged Congo’s people to forgive those who committed “inhuman violence” against them, celebrating a Mass for 1 million people and then hearing first hand of the atrocities some of them have endured: a teen- age girl “raped like an animal” for months; a young man who watched … Read more

Taiwan activates defenses in response to China’s incursions

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan scrambled fighter jets, put its navy on alert and activated missile systems in response to nearby operations by 34 Chinese military aircraft and nine warships that are part Beijing’s strategy to unsettle and intimidate the self-governing island democracy. The large-scale Chinese deployment came as Beijing increases preparations for a potential … Read more

War’s longest battle exacts high price in ‘heart of Ukraine’

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — It used to be that visitors would browse through Bakhmut’s late 19th century buildings, enjoy their walks in its rose-lined lakeside park and revel in the sparkling wines produced in historic underground caves. This city of salt and gypsum mines located around 100 kilometers (60 miles) from Russia’s border was once … Read more

10 years after EU’s ‘never again’ tragedy, little has changed

BRUSSELS (AP) — A decade ago this year, the head of the European Union’s executive branch stood, visibly shaken, before rows of coffins holding the corpses of migrants drowned off the Italian island of Lampedusa. Some of them, small and bone-white, contained the bodies of infants and children. “That image of hundreds of coffins will … Read more

Pope’s Africa trip spotlights conflict, and the church’s future

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Pope Francis began a six-day visit to Congo and South Sudan on Tuesday, aiming to bring a message of peace to two countries riven by poverty, conflict and what Francis has called a lingering “colonialist mentality” that still considers Africa ripe for exploitation. Francis landed at Kinshasa’s airport and was greeted … Read more

Talk of fighter jets for Kyiv puts strains on Western unity

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine’s push for fighter jets to help beat back Russia’s invasion force risks straining the unity of Ukraine’s Western allies, amid fears that the move could escalate the nearly year-long conflict and draw them deeper into the war. Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov was due in Paris Tuesday where discussions about … Read more

Pakistan blames ‘security lapse’ for mosque blast; 100 dead

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — A suicide bombing that struck inside a mosque at a police and government compound in northwest Pakistan reflects “security lapses,” current and former officials said as the death toll from the devastating blast climbed to 100 on Tuesday. The blast, which ripped through a Sunni mosque inside a major police facility … Read more

5 Ukrainian civilians killed as warring sides mull next move

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Fighting remained largely deadlocked Monday in eastern Ukraine where Russian shelling killed five civilians over the past day, according to Ukrainian officials, as the warring sides sized up their needs for renewed military pushes expected in coming weeks. The casualties included a woman who was killed and three others who were … Read more