BEIJING (AP) — A cluster of COVID-19 cases in Beijing has prompted authorities to test millions and impose new measures two weeks ahead of the opening of the Winter Olympics, even as the city of Xi'an in north-central China lifted on Monday a monthlong lockdown that had isolated its 13 million residents.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea will expand rapid testing and shorten quarantines as it reshapes its pandemic response to deal with a faster-than-expected surge in coronavirus infections driven by the highly contagious omicron variant.
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has lost control of his account on the Chinese-owned social media platform WeChat and a lawmaker on Monday accused China's leaders of political interference.
TOKYO (AP) — Japan's government plans to put the majority of the country under pre-emergency status and extend COVID-19 restrictions as omicron cases have surged and threatened to disrupt basic services like hospitals and schools.
BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha will pay an official visit to Saudi Arabia this week, the first by a Thai head of government since relations between the two nations were soured more than three decades ago by a massive jewel theft and the killing of four Saudi diplomats.
OSLO, Norway (AP) — The Taliban and western diplomats have begun their first official talks in Europe since they took over control of Afghanistan in August.
The closed-door meetings were taking place at a hotel in the snow-capped mountains above the Norwegian capital.
PERTH, Australia (AP) — A man pleaded guilty Monday to abducting a 4-year-old girl from her family’s camping tent on Australia's west coast last year.
Police found Cleo Smith alone in a house in Carnarvon, a town of 5,000 people, 18 days after she went missing last October.
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — China flew 39 warplanes toward Taiwan in its largest such sortie of the new year, amid tensions over the self-ruled island's future and as the U.S. pushes to assert its presence in the region.
BEIJING (AP) — For decades, Beijing resident Zhou Yunjie kept mum about his teenage years behind the puck.
That all changed after Beijing won the right to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, sparking a government-backed boom in enthusiasm for winter sports across the country.
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Four Japanese aircraft left Australia on Monday to deliver more vital aid to Tonga as the Pacific nation deals with the aftermath of a volcanic eruption and tsunami.
The two Japanese Lockheed C-130 Hercules and two Kawasaki C-2 left the Royal Australian Air Force Base at Amberley in Queensland state to make the 3,300-kilometer (2,050-mile) journey east to the islands that were devastated by the Jan.
ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistani authorities on Monday launched a nationwide anti-polio campaign even as coronavirus infections surge.
About 150,000 health workers are taking part in the five-day, anti-polio drive to inoculate 22.4 million children under age 5, according to a statement issued by Shahzad Beg, the coordinator for polio program.
OSLO, Norway (AP) — A Taliban delegation led by acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi on Sunday started three days of talks in Oslo with Western officials and Afghan civil society representatives amid a deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.
BEIJING (AP) — People in a Beijing district with some 2 million residents were ordered Sunday to undergo mass coronavirus testing following a series of infections as China tightened anti-disease controls ahead of the Winter Olympics.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is postponing her wedding after announcing new COVID-19 restrictions Sunday following the discovery of nine cases of the omicron variant in a single family that flew to Auckland to attend a wedding.
KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — Three fishing boats sank off Pakistan's coast in stormy weather, drowning at least two fishermen and causing 10 others to go missing, as navy and maritime security vessels rescued 32 fishermen, a district official said Sunday.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Using Iranian bank funds freed from American sanctions, South Korea has paid Iran's $18 million in delinquent dues owed to the United Nations, Seoul said Sunday. The step was apparently approved by Washington to restore Tehran's suspended voting rights at the world body.
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Aid flights from Australia, Japan and New Zealand carrying food, water, medical supplies and telecommunications equipment landed in Tonga over the weekend, as the Pacific nation grapples with the aftermath of an underwater volcanic eruption and tsunami.
SRINAGAR, India (AP) — For five years, Sajad Gul wrote about conflict wracking his homeland, a disputed Himalayan territory where a violent armed rebellion and India's brutal counterinsurgency have raged for over three decades.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) — A bomb attached to a packed minivan exploded in Afghanistan's western Herat province on Saturday, killing at least seven civilians and wounding nine others, Taliban officials said.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — The prime minister of Samoa has placed the small Pacific nation into a 48-hour lockdown after 15 passengers on a flight from Australia tested positive for COVID-19.
The infected passengers were among 73 who arrived from Brisbane on Wednesday.
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — The sweeping “zero-tolerance” strategy that China has used to keep COVID-19 case numbers low and its economy functioning may, paradoxically, make it harder for the country to exit the pandemic.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad was hospitalized for the third time in just over a month but his condition is stable, his daughter said Saturday.
The 96-year-old two-time former premier, once the world’s oldest leader, was admitted to the National Heart Institute on Thursday and was responding well to treatment, Marina Mahathir said in a statement.
HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Thich Nhat Hanh, the revered Zen Buddhist monk who helped spread the practice of mindfulness in the West and socially engaged Buddhism in the East, has died. He was 95.
The death was confirmed by a monk at Tu Hieu Pagoda in Hue, Vietnam who said that Nhat Hanh, known as Thay to his followers, died at midnight on Saturday.
BEIJING (AP) — The first commercial airline flights in one month took off Saturday from Xi’an in western China as the government eased travel curbs imposed after a coronavirus outbreak ahead of next month’s Winter Olympics in Beijing.
NEW DELHI (AP) — A major fire in a 19-story residential building killed at least six people and injured 15 others on Saturday in Mumbai, India’s financial and entertainment capital, officials said.
BEIJING (AP) — The homeless, the sick, the elderly: For people who fell through the cracks of the official system, the then-unprecedented decision to isolate the central Chinese city of Wuhan and its 13 million people was a matter of life or death.
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) — In Costa Rica, officials are encouraging those infected with the coronavirus to skip voting in upcoming national elections. On the other side of the world, Beijing is locking down residential communities as the country anxiously awaits the start of the Winter Olympics on Feb.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Friday used their first formal meeting to discuss concerns about China's growing military assertiveness that's causing increasing disquiet in the Pacific.
BANGKOK (AP) — Two prominent political activists in military-ruled Myanmar have been sentenced to death for alleged involvement in terrorist activities, an army television station reported Friday.
Myawaddy TV said on its evening news broadcast that Kyaw Min Yu, better known as Ko Jimmy, and Phyo Zeyar Thaw, also known as Maung Kyaw, were convicted under the country's Counterterrorism Law.
PARIS (AP) — Total Energies and Chevron, two of the world's largest energy companies, said Friday they were exiting Myanmar, citing rampant human rights abuses and deteriorating rule of law since the country's military overthrew the elected government in February.
GENEVA (AP) — Government and business leaders have urged cooperation on the world's biggest issues — climate change, the coronavirus pandemic and the economic recovery — at the World Economic Forum's virtual gathering.
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran, Russia and China on Friday began a joint naval drill in the Indian Ocean aimed at boosting security at sea, Iranian state media reported.
State TV said 11 of the country's vessels were joined by three Russian ships, including a destroyer, and two Chinese vessels.
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A Taliban delegation plans to travel to Norway next week for talks with the Norwegian government and several allied countries, as well as meetings with civil society activists and human rights defenders from Afghanistan.
BEIJING (AP) — China on Friday criticized Washington for imposing sanctions on Chinese companies the U.S. says exported missile technology, and accused the United States of hypocrisy for selling nuclear-capable cruise missiles.
TOKYO (AP) — Restaurants and bars will close early in Tokyo and a dozen other areas across Japan beginning Friday as the country widens COVID-19 restrictions due to the omicron variant, which has caused cases to surge to new highs in metropolitan areas.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — The incredible story of a retired carpenter who survived overnight in the ocean after the Tonga tsunami swept him out to sea appeared to fit with events at the time, a New Zealand diplomat said Friday.
TOKYO (AP) — Several former residents of Futaba, the only remaining uninhabited town in Japan still recovering from effects of radiation from nuclear plant meltdowns in 2011, have returned to live for the first time since the massive earthquake and tsunami forced them out.
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia on Friday reported its deadliest day of the pandemic with 80 coronavirus fatalities, as an outbreak of the omicron variant continued to take a toll.
But Dominic Perrottet, premier of the most populous state, New South Wales, said a slight decrease in hospitalizations gave him some hope about the strain the outbreak is putting on the health system.
KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Nepal's capital shut schools, ordered citizens to carry vaccination cards in public, banned religious festivals and instructed hotel guests to be tested every three days as it battles its biggest COVID-19 outbreak.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — The tranquil resort in Tonga sat behind a lagoon and reef break that was perfect for snorkelers and surfers alike. Guests who had never met before would sit together to eat delicious communal meals cooked by owner Moana Paea and her staff, or relax in rustic cabins tucked in the trees.
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — A Florida man was charged Thursday with human smuggling after the bodies of four people, including a baby and a teen, were found in Canada near the U.S. border in what authorities believe was a failed crossing attempt during a freezing blizzard.
LIMA, Peru (AP) — Peru declared an environmental emergency on Thursday after announcing that 21 beaches on the Pacific coast were contaminated by an oil spill at a refinery run by Spain-based Repsol, following surging waves caused by the eruption of an underwater volcano near Tonga.
PARIS (AP) — French energy conglomerate TotalEnergies has asked the American and French governments to support targeted sanctions against Myanmar's oil and gas funds, the largest single source of income for the country's military leaders.
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Russia and China blocked the U.N. Security Council on Thursday from imposing sanctions on five North Korean officials in response to Pyongyang’s recent ballistic missile tests, a decision criticized by the United States which sought to impose penalties over their roles in the country’s missile program.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department dropped charges Thursday against a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor accused of concealing ties to the Chinese government, a further setback to a federal initiative that was set up to prevent economic espionage and theft by Beijing of trade secrets and academic research.
BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Trying to defuse large protests by environmentalists, Serbia’s populist government said Thursday that it was canceling all licenses for mining giant Rio Tinto to open a lithium mine in the Balkan country.
LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — A powerful bombing struck a crowded bazar Thursday in Pakistan's second largest city, Lahore, killing at least three people and wounding 28, police and rescue officials said.
BANGKOK (AP) — As the massive undersea Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai volcano erupted on Saturday, Tongans from around the world gazed on as their relatives livestreamed images of billowing clouds of ash, gas and steam emerging from beneath the depths.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — The first flights carrying fresh water and other aid to Tonga finally arrived Thursday after the Pacific nation’s main airport runway was cleared of ash left by a huge volcanic eruption.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Taliban stormed an apartment in Kabul, smashing the door in and arresting a woman rights activist and her three sisters, an eyewitness said Thursday. A Taliban statement appeared to blame the incident on a recent women's protest, saying insulting Afghan values will no longer be tolerated.