World

TOKYO (AP) — As Japan's space agency prepares for its first moon landing early Saturday, it's aiming to hit a very small target. The Smart Lander for Investigating Moon, a lightweight spacecraft about the size of a passenger vehicle, is using “pinpoint landing” technology that promises far greater control than any previous moon landing.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea said Friday it has tested a nuclear-capable underwater attack drone in response to a combined naval exercise by South Korea, the United States and Japan this week, as it continues to blame its rivals for raising tensions in the region.

BRUSSELS (AP) — NATO will launch its biggest military exercises in decades next week with around 90,000 personnel set to take part in months of drills aimed at showing the alliance can defend all of its territory up to its border with Russia, top officers said Thursday. The exercises come as Russia’s war on Ukraine bogs down. NATO as an organization is not directly involved in the conflict, except to supply Kyiv with non-lethal support, although many member countries send weapons and ammunition individually or in groups, and provide military training.

JERUSALEM (AP) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday rejected U.S. calls to scale back Israel’s military offensive in the Gaza Strip or take steps toward the establishment of a Palestinian state after the war, drawing an immediate scolding from the White House.

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — Normalizing ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia is a key element of ending the war with Hamas and a gamechanger for the entire Middle East, Israeli President Isaac Herzog said Thursday at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in the Swiss town of Davos.

LONDON (AP) — Prince William visited his wife Kate Thursday in a London hospital, where she is recovering after abdominal surgery. British media reported that the 42-year-old Princess of Wales was “doing well” after the operation, details of which have not been disclosed.

A Russian city near the Ukrainian border canceled its traditional Orthodox Epiphany festivities on Friday due to the threat of attacks as Kyiv’s forces pursue a new strategy with the war approaching its two-year milestone. The city of Belgorod has scrapped events in which the faithful plunge into ponds and pools through holes in the ice on the feast of Epiphany every Jan. 19, the state news agency Tass reported, citing the regional emergencies ministry. The annual celebrations are widespread in Russia.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. military fired another wave of ship- and submarine-launch missile strikes against Houthi-controlled sites Wednesday, U.S. Central Command said, marking the fourth time in days it has directly targeted the group in Yemen as violence that ignited in the wake of the Israel-Hamas war continues to spill over in the Middle East.

LUSAKA, Zambia (AP) — Zambia is reeling from a major cholera outbreak that has killed more than 400 people and infected more than 10,000, leading authorities to order schools across the country to remain shut after the end-of-year holidays. A large soccer stadium in the capital city has been converted into a treatment facility.

RAFAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — A shipment of medicine for dozens of hostages held by Hamas was en route to Gaza on Wednesday after France and Qatar mediated the first agreement between Israel and the militant group since a weeklong cease-fire in November. The medicines arrived in Egypt and were on the way to the border.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States on Wednesday put Yemen's Houthis rebels back on its list of specially designated global terrorists, piling financial sanctions on top of American military strikes in the Biden administration's latest attempt to stop the militants' attacks on global shipping. Officials said they would design the financial penalties to minimize harm to Yemen's 32 million people, who are among the world's poorest and hungriest after years of war between the Iran-backed Houthis and a Saudi-led coalition.

LONDON (AP) — King Charles III and the Princess of Wales are both dealing with medical issues that will force them to delay previously planned public engagements over the coming weeks. Charles will undergo a “corrective procedure” for an enlarged prostate next week, Buckingham Palace said on Wednesday. The palace said the king’s condition is benign.

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Guinness World Records says it has suspended the title of oldest dog ever that was held by a Portuguese dog that died last year. The publication said it was reviewing the title after some veterinarians questioned his age. Bobi, a reportedly 31-year-old guard dog, lived on a farm in the village of Conqueiros in Portugal with its owner, Leonel Costa.

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated the need for a “pathway to a Palestinian state” during a talk Wednesday at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in the Swiss ski resort of Davos, saying Israel would not “get genuine security absent that.”

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan recalled its ambassador to Tehran on Wednesday, a day after Iran launched airstrikes on Pakistan that it claimed targeted bases for a militant Sunni separatist group. Islamabad angrily denounced the attack as a “blatant violation” of its airspace and said it killed two children.

BANGKOK (AP) — An explosion at a fireworks factory in central Thailand killed at least 23 people on Wednesday, according to provincial officials. The death toll was announced by authorities with Suphan Buri province, where the blast occurred in mid-afternoon. The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation said officials were working to secure the site and help affected people.

KIBBUTZ NIR OZ, Israel (AP) — Standing in the ruins of her home in the Nir Oz farming village on the Gaza border, Sharon Alony Cunio gazed at the skyline of Khan Younis, the Palestinian city where Hamas militants dragged her more than three months ago. Her husband, David, remains captive in Gaza.

JERUSALEM (AP) — U.S. Navy SEALs seized Iranian-made missile parts and other weaponry from a ship bound for Yemen's Houthi rebels in a raid last week that saw two of its commandos go missing, the U.S. military said Tuesday. Meanwhile, a new ship came under suspected fire from the Houthis in the Red Sea and sustained some damage, though no one was wounded, officials said.

IRBIL, Iraq (AP) — Iraq recalled its ambassador from Tehran for consultations and summoned Iran’s chargé d’affaires in Baghdad on Tuesday in protest over Iranian strikes on northern Iraq that killed several civilians overnight, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry said. The Iranian attack was “a blatant violation" of Iraq's sovereignty and "strongly contradicts the principles of good neighborliness and international law, and threatens the security of the region,” it said in a statement.

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy huddled with corporate executives and world leaders in a frenzied first full day of the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in the Swiss ski resort of Davos, where top officials from the United States, European Union, China, the Middle East and beyond spoke Tuesday about tackling conflict and embracing technology like artificial intelligence.

JERUSALEM (AP) — Houthi rebels fired a missile, striking a U.S.-owned ship Monday just off the coast of Yemen in the Gulf of Aden, less than a day after they launched an anti-ship cruise missile toward an American destroyer in the Red Sea. The attack on the Gibraltar Eagle, later claimed by the Houthis, further escalates tensions gripping the Red Sea after American-led strikes on the rebels.

IRBIL, Iraq (AP) — Iran said late Monday it had launched strikes against a “spy headquarters and gathering of anti-Iranian terrorist groups” shortly after missiles hit an upscale area near the U.S. consulate in Irbil, the seat of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region. The security council of the Kurdish regional government said in a statement that four civilians were killed and six injured in the strikes.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said his country would no longer pursue reconciliation with South Korea and called for rewriting the North’s constitution to eliminate the idea of shared statehood between the war-divided countries, state media said Tuesday. The historic step to discard a decades-long pursuit of unification, which was based on a sense of national homogeneity shared by both Koreas, comes amid heightened tensions where the pace of both Kim’s weapons development and the South’s military exercises with the United States have intensified in a tit-for-tat.

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish authorities on Monday charged Israeli soccer player Sagiv Jehezkel with inciting hatred after he expressed solidarity with people held hostage by the Hamas militant organization during a top-flight league game. The Antalyaspor player, who was released from custody pending trial, was due to return to Israel later on Monday aboard a private jet, said Alkan Evren, the team's spokesman.

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — The Ukrainian air force shot down a Russian early warning and control plane that can spot targets up to 400 miles away and a key command center aircraft that relays information to troops on the ground in a significant blow for the Kremlin’s forces, Ukraine’s military chief said Monday.

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