Current war is ‘blasphemous betrayal’ of God: Pope

ROME – Pope Francis on Wednesday blasted the “armed aggression” of Ukraine as blasphemy and betrayal of God.The leader of the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics did not explicitly name Russia or Ukraine, but his remarks clearly referenced the ongoing conflict between Kiev and... Read More

108 Russian attacks on Ukraine's health facilities so far: UN

GENEVA – The World Health Organization said Tuesday it has verified 108 Russian attacks on health care facilities and staff in Ukraine since the start of the war.These include attacks on health facilities, personnel, transport, supplies, and warehouses.Bhanu Bhatnagar from WHO Europe spoke... Read More

Turkmenistan gets ready to seal off ‘Gateway to Hell’

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan – Authorities in Turkmenistan are preparing to seal off the Darvaza natural gas crater, often addressed as the “Gateway to Hell” by locals, which has been burning for over five decades.Bayrammyrat Pirniyazov, the head of Turkmenistan's Natural Gas Institute,... Read More

Pakistani PM Imran Khan ousted in parliament no-confidence vote

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Pakistan’s parliament voted out Prime Minister Imran Khan in a no-confidence motion late Saturday, capping a month-long political turmoil that gripped the nation of 220 million.As many as 174 lawmakers voted in favor of the no-trust motion, two more than the... Read More

Saudi Arabia increases Hajj quota to 1M in 2022

ISTANBUL –Saudi Arabia raised the number of Hajj pilgrims from inside and outside the kingdom to 1 million in 2022, authorities announced Saturday after two years of restrictions because of the coronavirus pandemic.The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah of Saudi Arabia released a statement that said... Read More

UK's Johnson meets Zelensky in surprise visit to Kyiv

LONDON, UK – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday made an unannounced visit to Ukraine where he held talks with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.According to a government statement, Johnson pledged further military and humanitarian support to Ukraine in its fight against Russia's... Read More

Biden celebrates appointment of 1st Black woman to Supreme Court

HOUSTON, Texas–US President Joe Biden on Friday celebrated the appointment of Ketanji Brown Jackson as the first African-American woman to the Supreme Court.“America is a nation that can be defined in a single word,” said Biden in a speech at the White House. “In one word:... Read More

Oscars bans Will Smith for 10 years after slapping incident

WASHINGTON – Hollywood actor Will Smith has been banned from attending the next 10 Oscars after he slapped comedian Chris Rock onstage during the 94th Academy Awards, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences announced on Friday.The decision to ban Smith comes after the Academy's... Read More

US Senate confirms 1st African American woman for Supreme Court

WASHINGTON – The US Senate confirmed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson for the Supreme Court in a 53-47 vote on Thursday.Only three Republicans joined Democrats and independents in supporting Jackson to be the first African American woman on the highest court.At age 51, Jackson has sat on the US... Read More

Pope decries ‘horrendous cruelties’ in Ukraine amid war

ROME – Pope Francis on Wednesday condemned the “horrendous cruelties” in war-torn Ukraine.“Ever more horrendous cruelties [are occurring], even against civilians, women, and helpless children. They are victims whose innocent blood cries out to heaven and implores,”... Read More

Ukraine war may delay net-zero emission targets in EU: expert

ANKARA – Aside from costing thousands of lives, the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has also raised concerns on the energy crisis and of net-zero targets becoming increasingly distant worldwide.One result of these risks is that countries dependent on coal may fall behind on their... Read More

Billions worldwide still breathe unhealthy air: WHO data

GENEVA – Most people globally, some 99 percent of the world's population, breathe air that exceeds World Health Organization (WHO) air quality limits, new data shows, the UN agency said on Monday, urging a world less dependent on fossil fuels.The WHO said its 2022 updates on its air quality... Read More

Journalists in Ukraine pay high price for reporting Russia's war

ANKARA – Local journalists and press members who have flooded into Ukraine from around the world are risking their lives at every turn to report the latest developments on the ground in the war-torn country.On March 26, Ukraine's Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova said 12 journalists died... Read More

6 dead, at least 9 wounded in Sacramento shooting

SAN FRANCISCO – Six people were killed and at least nine others were wounded in a shooting in downtown Sacramento, the capital city of the US state of California, local police said Sunday."Officers located at least 15 shooting victims, including six who are deceased," a spokesperson for the... Read More

NATO enters 73rd year at a critical time for Europe's security

BRUSSELS – In the 73rd year of its establishment, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) plays a more critical role in the security of the continent with the effect of the Russia-Ukraine war, which is described as "the biggest threat Europe has faced since the Cold War" and "the... Read More

Ukraine bans Russian military symbols Z, V

KYIV - The Ukrainian parliament passed a law banning the use of Russian military symbols Z and V.Russia was recognized as a "terrorist country" under the law passed by parliament's deputies on April 1, according to Ukraine's Servant of the People party.Nikita Poturayev, one of the deputies who... Read More

Russia registers world’s 1st nasal spray coronavirus vax

MOSCOW - The world’s first nasal spray coronavirus vaccine has been registered in Russia, the Health Ministry said in a statement on Friday."The Russian Health Ministry has registered the nasal spray form of the Gam-COVID-Vac (Sputnik V) coronavirus vaccine developed by the Health... Read More

Will Smith resigns from film academy after slapping Chris Rock

HOUSTON, Texas–Will Smith resigned Friday from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences after he slapped Chris Rock at the Oscar awards last weekend.“I will fully accept any and all consequences for my conduct,” Smith said in a statement. “My actions at the 94th... Read More

Red Cross team fails to reach besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol

GENEVA - A Red Cross team on its way to Mariupol, Ukraine to facilitate the safe passage of some 100,000 civilians had to backtrack after arrangements and conditions made it impossible to proceed, said the humanitarian group on Friday."The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) team, which... Read More

Ukraine urges France to enforce planned evacuation corridors

PARIS–Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday urged France to continue diplomatic efforts with Russia to enforce its planned humanitarian corridors after Moscow's evacuation plan failed to let civilians out of the besieged city of Mariupol.“The initiative of France on... Read More