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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 ca…

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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.

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JERUSALEM (AP) — Retired general Yair Golan spent a significant part of his military career serving in the occupied West Bank, protecting Jewish settlements. Today, he is one of their most vocal critics.

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UNITED NATIONS (AP) — As he starts his second term as U.N. secretary-general, Antonio Guterres said Thursday the world is worse in many ways than it was five years ago because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis and geopolitical tensions that have sparked conflicts everywhere — but …

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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.

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GENEVA (AP) — U.S. President Joe Biden said Thursday that any Russian troop movements across Ukraine’s border would constitute an invasion and that Moscow would “pay a heavy price” for such an action.

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BERLIN (AP) — A long-awaited report on sexual abuse in Germany's Munich diocese on Thursday faulted retired Pope Benedict XVI's handling of four cases when he was archbishop in the 1970s and 1980s. The law firm that drew up the report said Benedict strongly denies any wrongdoing.

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The race to see who will serve Hopkins County as State Representative in the newly formed 4th District is heating up with a third candidate announcing this week that he will be making the trip to Frankfort to file for office.

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MADRID (AP) — When the coronavirus pandemic was first declared, Spaniards were ordered to stay home for more than three months. For weeks, they were not allowed outside even for exercise. Children were banned from playgrounds, and the economy virtually stopped.

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HAVANA (AP) — Cuban courts have wrapped up the hearing phase of six mass trials for people accused of involvement in the largest and most unruly protests on the island in decades, leaving more than 100 defendants awaiting potentially heavy sentences.

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VIENNA (AP) — Austria’s parliament voted Thursday to introduce a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for adults from Feb. 1, the first of its kind in Europe, with maximum potential fines of up to 3,600 euros ($4,000) for people who don't comply after a series of reminders.

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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.

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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.

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LONDON (AP) — Online companies would have to ramp up efforts to keep harmful content off their platforms and take other steps to protect users under rules that European Union lawmakers approved Thursday.

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NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The United Nations says food distribution in Ethiopia’s blockaded Tigray region has reached its “all-time lowest” while more than 50,000 children are thought to be severely malnourished, the latest sign of growing crisis amid efforts to end the country’s 14-month war.

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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Three Australian Federal Court judges on Thursday revealed their reasons for backing a government order to deport tennis star Novak Djokovic, explaining they did not consider the “merits or wisdom of the decision.”

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LONDON (AP) — Some Conservative lawmakers in Britain are talking about ousting their leader, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has been tarnished by allegations that he and his staff held lockdown-breaching parties during the coronavirus pandemic.

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BEIRUT (AP) — In the dark streets of a Beirut now often without electricity, sometimes the only light that shines is from headlamps worn by scavengers, searching through garbage for scrap to sell.

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand is among the few remaining countries to have avoided any outbreaks of the omicron variant — but Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Thursday an outbreak was inevitable and the nation would tighten restrictions as soon as one was detected.

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On Wednesday evening, Hopkins County Schools announced that it would be canceling classes for the remainder of the week, while Madisonville Community College called off all classes after 4 pm and informed students that they would be expected to work remotely on Thursday, Jan. 20.

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KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — President Joe Biden said he believes Vladimir Putin doesn’t want full blown war in Ukraine and would pay a “dear price” if he moves forward with a military incursion.

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LYON, France (AP) — French actor Gaspard Ulliel, known for appearing in Chanel perfume ads as well as film and television roles, died Wednesday after a skiing accident in the Alps, local authorities said. He was 37.

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SYDNEY (AP) — Three of Tonga's smaller islands suffered serious damage from tsunami waves, officials and the Red Cross said Wednesday, as a wider picture begins to emerge of the destruction caused by the eruption of an undersea volcano near the Pacific archipelago nation.

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PARIS (AP) — A spattering of Paris Fashion Week menswear shows began in earnest this week for the fall-winter season, with French virus restrictions forcing many to an online-only presence.

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LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson defied calls to resign in a feisty performance Wednesday in Parliament — but it may be too little to prevent a push by his Conservative Party's lawmakers to oust him over a series of lockdown-flouting government parties.

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MOSCOW (AP) — Russia maintained a tough posture Wednesday amid the tensions over its troop buildup near Ukraine, with a top diplomat warning that Moscow will accept nothing less but “watertight” U.S. guarantees precluding NATO's expansion to Ukraine.

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Major international airlines canceled flights heading to the U.S. or changed the planes they're using Wednesday, the latest complication in a dispute over concerns that new 5G mobile phone service could interfere with aircraft technology.

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AMSTERDAM (AP) — The Dutch talent show “The Voice of Holland” has been taken off the air in the Netherlands amid a sexual misconduct scandal that has cast a shadow over the future of the TV ratings juggernaut in the country where it was first conceived by a media mogul.

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TOKYO (AP) — Tokyo and a dozen other areas in Japan will face new COVID-19 restrictions effective Friday, with local leaders shortening hours for restaurants, as omicron cases hit a record high in the capital.

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BEIJING (AP) — With just over two weeks before the opening of the Beijing Winter Olympics, residents of the Chinese capital say they’re disappointed at not being able to attend events because of coronavirus restrictions that have seen parts of the city placed under lockdown.

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SRINAGAR, India (AP) — In a Himalayan village in the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir, young health worker Masrat Farid packed her bag with vaccines on a frigid morning in January as strong winds swept snow through the air.

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JERUSALEM (AP) — Albert Bourla, chairman and chief executive of global pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc., was awarded on Wednesday the prestigious Genesis Prize for his efforts in leading the development of a COVID-19 vaccine.

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — People around the world looked on in awe at the spectacular satellite images of an undersea volcano erupting in a giant mushroom cloud in the Pacific. Many wondered why the blast was so big, how the resulting tsunami traveled so far, and what will happen next. …

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LIMA, Peru (AP) — An oil spill on the Peruvian coast caused by the waves from an eruption of an undersea volcano in the South Pacific nation of Tonga prompted dozens of fishermen to protest Tuesday outside the South American country’s main oil refinery.

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — The blast from the volcano could be heard in Alaska, and the waves crossed the ocean to cause an oil spill and two drownings in Peru. The startling satellite images resembled a massive nuclear explosion.

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MOSCOW (AP) — Russia is a sending an unspecified number of troops from the country’s far east to Belarus for major war games, officials said Tuesday, a deployment that will further beef up Russian military presence near Ukraine amid Western fears of a planned invasion.

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