BEIJING (AP) — An agreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia to reestablish diplomatic relations has cast China in a leading role in Middle Eastern politics — a part previously reserved for longtime global heavyweights like the U.S. and Russia. It's another sign that China's diplomatic clout is growing to match its economic footprint.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran announced Monday that the country's supreme leader has pardoned more than 22,000 people arrested in the recent anti-government protests that swept the Islamic Republic. There was no immediate independent confirmation of the mass release. The statement by Iran's judiciary head Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejehi offered for the first time a glimpse of the full scope of the government's crackdown that followed the demonstrations over the September death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who had been detained by the country's morality police.
MOMBASA, Kenya (AP) — Surrounded by miles of dried land and what remains of his famished livestock, Daniel Lepaine is a worried man. Dozens of his goats in Ngong, a town in southern Kenya, have died after three years of harrowing drought in the east and Horn of Africa. The rest are on the verge of starvation as rain continues to fail.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran and Saudi Arabia on Friday agreed to reestablish diplomatic relations and reopen embassies after years of tensions between the two countries, including a devastating attack on the heart of the kingdom's oil production attributed to Tehran. The deal, struck in Beijing this week amid its ceremonial National People’s Congress, represents a major diplomatic victory for the Chinese as Gulf Arab states perceive the United States slowly withdrawing from the wider Middle East.
BERLIN (AP) — Shots were fired inside a building used by Jehovah's Witnesses in the northern German city of Hamburg on Thursday evening, with several people killed and wounded, police said. “We only know that several people died here; several people are wounded, they were taken to hospitals,” police spokesman Holger Vehren said of the shooting in the Gross Borstel district of Germany’s second-biggest city.
BEIJING (AP) — Chinese leader Xi Jinping was awarded a third five-year term as president Friday, putting him on track to stay in power for life. The endorsement of Xi's appointment by the ceremonial National People's Congress was a foregone conclusion for a leader who has sidelined potential rivals and filled the top ranks of the ruling Communist Party with his supporters since taking power in 2012.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un supervised a live-fire artillery drill simulating an attack on a South Korean airfield and called for his troops to be ready to respond to the enemies’ “frantic war preparation moves” — apparently referring to the recent series of military drills between the United States and South Korea.
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s president said Thursday that his country does not produce or consume fentanyl, despite enormous evidence to the contrary. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador appeared to depict the synthetic opioid epidemic largely as a U.S. problem, and said the United States should use family values to fight drug addiction.
CIUDAD VICTORIA, Mexico (AP) — A letter claiming to be from the Mexican drug cartel blamed for abducting four Americans and killing two of them condemned the violence and said the gang turned over to authorities its own members who were responsible. In a letter obtained by The Associated Press through a Tamaulipas state law enforcement official, the Scorpions faction of the Gulf cartel apologized to the residents of Matamoros where the Americans were kidnapped, the Mexican woman who died in the cartel shootout, and the four Americans and their families.
PENAJAM PASER UTARA, Indonesia (AP) — Orange-red ground has been broken in the jungle of East Borneo, where the Indonesian government has begun construction of its new capital city. Officials promise a “sustainable forest city” that puts the environment at the heart of development and aims to be carbon-neutral by 2045. But the project has been plagued by criticism from environmentalists and Indigenous communities, who say it degrades the environment, further shrinks the habitat of endangered animals such as orangutans and displaces Indigenous people that rely on the land for their livelihoods.