PRAGUE (AP) — Slovakia’s government on Friday approved a plan to give Ukraine its fleet of 13 Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets, becoming the second NATO member country to heed the Ukrainian government's pleas for warplanes to help defend against Russia's invasion. Prime Minister Eduard Heger said during a news conference announcing the decision that his government was “on the right side of history.” Earlier, Heger tweeted that military aid was key to ensuring Ukraine can defend itself and all of Europe against Russia.
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Chinese President Xi Jinping plans to visit Russia from Monday to Wednesday, an apparent show of support for Russian President Vladimir Putin amid sharpening East-West tensions over the war in Ukraine and the latest sign of Beijing’s emboldened diplomatic ambitions. Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine is expected to dominate Putin and Xi's discussions. China has refused to condemn Moscow’s aggression and sought to project itself as neutral in the conflict even while Beijing declared last year that it had a “no-limits” friendship with Russia.
LONDON (AP) — Unions representing more than a million health care workers in England, including nurses and paramedics — but not doctors — reached a deal Thursday to resolve months of disruptive strikes for higher wages. The announcement came as early-career physicians spent a third day on picket lines and the day after U.K. Treasury chief Jeremy Hunt announced a budget that included no additional money for labor groups that have staged crippling strikes amid a punishing cost-of-living crisis and double-digit inflation.
GENEVA (AP) — Russian attacks against civilians in Ukraine, including systematic torture and killing in occupied regions, amount to war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity, according to a report from a U.N.-backed inquiry released Thursday. The sweeping human rights report, released a year to the day after a Russian airstrike on a theater in Mariupol killed hundreds sheltering inside, marked a highly unusual condemnation of a member of the U.N. Security Council.
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s president said Thursday that his country plans to give Ukraine around a dozen MiG-29 fighter jets, which would make it the first NATO member to fulfill the Ukrainian government's increasingly urgent requests for warplanes. President Andrzej Duda said Poland would hand over four of the Soviet-made warplanes “within the next few days” and that the rest needed servicing and would be supplied later. The Polish word he used to describe their number can mean between 11 and 19.
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — The Pentagon on Thursday released footage of what it said was a Russian aircraft pouring fuel on a U.S. Air Force surveillance drone and clipping the drone's propeller in international airspace over the Black Sea. The 42-second video shows a Russian Su-27 approaching the back of the MQ-9 drone and beginning to release fuel as it passes, the Pentagon said. Dumping the fuel appeared to be aimed at blinding its optical instruments and driving it out of the area.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea test-launched an intercontinental ballistic missile Thursday just hours before the leaders of South Korea and Japan were to meet at a Tokyo summit expected to be overshadowed by North Korean nuclear threats. The North’s first ICBM test in a month and third weapons test this week also comes as South Korean and U.S. troops continue joint military exercises that Pyongyang considers a rehearsal to invade.
WASHINGTON (AP) — In a matter of days, Saudi Arabia carried out blockbuster agreements with the world’s two leading powers — China and the United States. Riyadh signed a Chinese-facilitated deal aimed at restoring diplomatic ties with its arch-nemesis Iran and then announced a massive contract to buy commercial planes from U.S. manufacturer Boeing.
LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — A Pakistani court on Thursday extended a pause in the effort to arrest former premier Imran Khan in a graft case, a sign of easing tension in the country's cultural capital after clashes erupted this week when police tried to detain him. The decision is a reprieve for Khan, who was due to be arrested a few hours earlier. The Lahore High Court ordered police to suspend the plan to arrest the 70-year-old opposition leader until Friday. It also asked Khan's legal team for talks to resolve the issue.
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Honduras' decision to cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan in favor of China is yet another sign of growing Chinese influence in Latin America. For decades the Asian superpower funneled billions of dollars into investment and infrastructure projects across the region. Now, as geopolitical tensions simmer between China and the Biden administration, that spending has paid off.