SAN ANDRES, Colombia (AP) — The roots of First Baptist Church on Colombia's San Andres Island run deep. The church is so crucial to the island's history that a detailed record of births and deaths are kept here in dusty, crumbling books that date back nearly two centuries. From its founding until 1913, the church and its pastors held great authority over the community in shaping islanders’ values.

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistani engineers have cut into an embankment for one of the country’s largest lakes to release rising waters. They hope to save a nearby city and town from flooding as officials predict more monsoon rain was on the way for the country’s already devastated south. While officials hope the cut in the sides of Lake Manchar will protect about half a million people who live in the city of Sehwan and the town of Bhan Saeedabad, villages that are home to 150,000 people are in the path of the diverted waters.

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military says Palestinian gunmen opened fire on a bus in the occupied West Bank, wounding five soldiers, one of them seriously, and the civilian driver of the bus. The Israeli military said the attackers were traveling in a pickup truck when they threw an explosive and then opened fire at the bus. The suspects fled the scene in their vehicle, which burst into flames shortly after the shooting.

HERAT, Afghanistan (AP) — Taliban officials and a local medic say an explosion tore through a crowded mosque in western Afghanistan, killing 18 people, including a prominent cleric close to the ruling Taliban. They say at least 21 people were hurt. The blast went off in the Guzargah Mosque in the western city of Herat during Friday noon prayers, the highlight of the Muslim religious week when places of worship are particularly crowded.

ZAPORIZHZHIA, Ukraine (AP) — Heavy fighting and shelling continued near Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, in a Russian-controlled area of eastern Ukraine. Friday's fighting comes a day after experts from the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog agency voiced concerns about structural damage to the sprawling Zaporizhzhia plant. The inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency braved gunfire and artillery blasts along their route to reach the Zaporizhzhia plant on Thursday in a mission to help safeguard the plant against catastrophe.

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — As Argentina’s Vice President Cristina Fernández stepped from her car outside her apartment building and began shaking hands with a throng of well-wishers, a man came forward with a gun, put it just inches from her face and pulled the trigger with a distinct click. The weapon apparently jammed.

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese authorities have locked down Chengdu, a southwestern city of 21 million people, following a spike in COVID-19 cases. Residents have been ordered to stay home, and about 70% of the flights have been suspended to and from the city, which is a major transit hub in Sichuan province and a governmental and economic center.

BEIJING (AP) — The U.N. has accused China of serious human rights violations that may amount to “crimes against humanity” in a long-delayed report examining a crackdown on Uyghurs and other mostly Muslim ethnic groups. Beijing on Thursday denounced the assessment as a fabrication cooked up by Western nations. For several years, human rights groups have accused China of sweeping a million or more people from the minority groups into detention camps.

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin paid tribute to former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev but will not attend the weekend funeral, a decision reflecting the Kremlin’s ambivalence about Gorbachev’s legacy. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Putin's working schedule wouldn't allow him to attend Saturday's funeral, adding that the Russian leader on Thursday visited a Moscow hospital where Mikhail Gorbachev’s body is kept to lay flowers at his coffin.

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine’s nuclear energy operator says a team from the U.N. nuclear agency has arrived at the site of Europe’s largest nuclear plant to inspect security conditions that forced the shutdown of one reactor. Enerhoatom said the team from the International Atomic Energy Agency arrived Thursday at the Zaporizhzhia plant that has been in the thick of recent fighting between Ukrainian and Russian forces more than six months after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to invade Ukraine.

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Officials in Pakistan are raising concerns about the spread of waterborne diseases among thousands of flood victims as waters from powerful monsoon rains began to recede in many parts of the country. Massive flooding from the rains since mid-June has killed at least 1,162 people, a phenomenon experts blame on climate change. Some doctors said Wednesday that initially they were seeing mostly patients traumatized by the flooding. But now they're treating people suffering from diarrhea, skin infections and other waterborne ailments in the country’s flood-hit areas.

KIBBUTZ REVADIM, Israel (AP) — Israeli archaeologists recently unearthed the titanic tusk of an extinct pachyderm near a kibbutz in southern Israel. The Israel Antiquities Authority announced Wednesday that the 2.5-yard long fossil belonging to the long-extinct straight-tusked elephant was found during a joint excavation with researchers from Tel Aviv University and Ben-Gurion University.

BUNOL, Spain (AP) — People from around the world pasted each other with tomatoes as Spain’s famous “Tomatina” street tomato fight took place once again following a two-year suspension owing to the coronavirus pandemic. Workers on trucks unloaded 130 tons of over-ripe tomatoes along the main street of the eastern town of Bunol on Wednesday for participants to throw, leaving the area drenched in red pulp. Up to 20,000 people were to take part in the festival, paying $12 a ticket for the privilege.

CHARSADDA, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistani flood survivors recount how the surging waters were like nothing they had ever seen before, striking their homes swiftly and brutally. Rubina Bibi, a 53-year-old, says when the floods hit her village last week, they swept away her 5-month-old granddaughter, sleeping in her house's yard, so quickly her stunned family couldn't rescue her.

BERLIN (AP) — Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, is for many the man who restored democracy to many European countries under communist rule. He is being saluted as a rare leader who changed the world and for a time brought hope for peace among the superpowers.

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — United Nations inspectors are making their way toward Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Theirs is a long-anticipated mission to help secure the Russian-held facility in the middle of a war zone and avoid catastrophe. Underscoring the danger, Kyiv and Moscow again accused each other on Wednesday of attacking the area around Europe’s biggest nuclear plant.

MOSCOW (AP) — Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, has died at 91. He waged a losing battle to salvage a crumbling empire but produced extraordinary reforms that led to the end of the Cold War. The Central Clinical Hospital in Moscow said in a statement that Gorbachev died after a long illness. No other details were given.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The U.S. Navy’s Mideast-based 5th Fleet says Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard seized and later let go of a U.S. sea drone in the Persian Gulf. Cmdr. Timothy Hawkins, a 5th Fleet spokesman, said Tuesday the incident saw a Revolutionary Guard ship try to seize a Saildrone Explorer. Hawkins said the Guard vessel was towing the drone behind it as a U.S. Navy ship and helicopter approached it. Hawkins told The Associated Press the Navy called repeatedly to the Iranians, who ultimately let the drone go.

PRAHOVO, Serbia (AP) — The worst drought in Europe in decades has not only scorched farmland and hampered river traffic, but it has also exposed a part of World War II history that had almost been forgotten. The hulks of dozens of German warships have emerged from the mighty Danube River as its water levels dropped.

BAGHDAD (AP) — Armed supporters of a powerful Iraqi cleric who clashed with security forces in the capital have begun to withdraw from the streets. That restored a measure of calm following a serious escalation of the political crisis gripping the nation. Following two days of deadly unrest that sparked fears instability might spread throughout the country and even the region, cleric Muqtada al-Sadr told his supporters Tuesday to leave the government quarter.

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The first ship carrying grain from Ukraine for people in the hungriest parts of the world has docked at the Horn of Africa port of Djibouti as areas of East Africa are badly affected by deadly drought and conflict. Food security experts call it a drop in the bucket for the vast needs in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia, the nation where this first shipment is going.

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. humanitarian chief is warning that Afghanistan faces deepening poverty with 6 million people at risk of famine. Martin Griffiths urged donors to restore funding for economic development and immediately provide $770 million to help Afghans get through the winter. He spoke at the U.N. Security Council Monday where the United States argued with Russia and China over who should pay.

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Andriy scrambled back to Ukraine at the start of Russia's war after moving to Western Europe to work as an engineer. He underwent a conversion within weeks from civilian life to a sniper being trained by Ukraine's special forces. He spoke to The Associated Press while practicing alone at an informal firing range near Kyiv.

NABLUS, West Bank (AP) — The Israeli military says several Israelis were wounded overnight after they entered the Palestinian West Bank city of Nablus and came under fire. The Israelis appeared to be headed to a flashpoint shrine in the city, where visits are usually coordinated by the military under tight security precautions. After they came under fire, the military said Tuesday troops entered the city, which is under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority, to evacuate the Israelis.

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — A surge in fighting on the southern front line and Ukrainian claims of new attacks on Russian positions is feeding speculation that a counteroffensive has started to try to turn the tide of the war. The British defense ministry said Tuesday that as of early Monday “several brigades of the Ukrainian Armed Forces increased the weight of artillery fires in front line sectors across southern Ukraine.”

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