Hot, gusty weather could mean explosive fire growth in West

GREENVILLE, Calif. — Thousands of firefighters have prepared for a tougher fight against California’s largest wildfire as extremely dangerous weather returns, threatening to stoke flames into explosive growth. Firefighters were able to save homes and hold large stretches of the blaze, but a red flag warning was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon through Thursday because of […]

Belarus Olympic sprinter arrives in Vienna amid safety fears

VIENNA, Austria — A plane carrying a Belarusian Olympic sprinter seeking refuge landed in Austria on Wednesday after she resisted an attempt by her Olympic team’s officials to send her home, where she feared reprisals from the authoritarian government. Krystsina Tsimanouskaya boarded a plane at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport that left for Vienna, but she […]

British navy group: Hijackers have left vessel off UAE coast

FUJAIRAH, United Arab Emirates — The hijackers who seized a vessel off the coast of the United Arab Emirates in the Gulf of Oman left the targeted ship on Wednesday, the British navy reported, without elaborating. The British military’s United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations reported that the incident, which it had described as a “potential […]

Iranians fear new bill will restrict internet even further

TEHRAN, Iran — For Ali Hedieloo, a 40-year-old making wooden furniture in Iran’s capital, Instagram is more than just a surfeit of glossy images. Like an estimated 1 million other Iranians, it’s how he finds customers, as the app has exploded into a massive e-commerce service in the sanctions-hit country. But now, the social media […]

UN chief: Threat to global peace from Islamic State rising

UNITED NATIONS — Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says in a new report that the threat to international peace and security from the Islamic State extremist group is rising, pointing to an “alarming” expansion of its affiliates in Africa and its focus on a comeback in its former self-declared “caliphate” in Syria and Iraq. The report to […]

Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates finalize their divorce

SEATTLE — The divorce of Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates has been finalized. The Microsoft co-founder and his wife announced in May they were ending their 27-year marriage and on Monday a King County Superior Court judge signed the dissolution decree. The New York Times reports the court documents didn’t detail how they would […]

Sundance Film Festival sets vaccination requirement for 2022

Anyone looking to go to the Sundance Film Festival in Utah next year is going to need more than a badge. All participants must be fully vaccinated too, festival director Tabitha Jackson said Tuesday. The 2022 Festival is requiring people attending the festival or Sundance-affiliated events to have received the COVID-19 vaccine. That means everyone […]

Belarusian activist found hanged in Ukraine

KYIV, Ukraine — A Belarusian activist who ran a group in Ukraine helping Belarusians fleeing persecution was found dead in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, local police said Tuesday. Vitaly Shishov, leader of the Kyiv-based Belarusian House in Ukraine, was found hanged in one of the city’s parks not far from his home, police said in […]

German court sets trial date for former Nazi guard, aged 100

BERLIN — A German court has set a trial date for a 100-year-old man who is charged with 3,518 counts of accessory to murder on allegations he served as a Nazi SS guard at a concentration camp on the outskirts of Berlin during World War II. A spokeswoman for the Neuruppin state court said Monday […]

American star Simone Biles to return for balance beam finals

TOKYO — Simone Biles is back. The 2016 Olympic gymnastics champion will return to competition in the balance beam final on Tuesday, a little over a week after stepping away from the meet to focus on her mental health. “We are so excited to confirm that you will see two U.S. athletes in the balance […]