RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — A raid of Rio de Janeiro’s largest complex of favelas that left at least 18 people dead has sparked renewed complaints of excessive police violence and ignited debate over how to handle crime ahead of state and presidential elections. Rio authorities said 16 suspected criminals were killed in confrontations with police in Complexo do Alemao favela, or low-income community, along with a police officer and a woman.

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish officials say a deal on a U.N. plan to unblock the shipment of Ukrainian grain and allow Russia to export grain and fertilizers will be signed in Istanbul on Friday. The Turkish president’s office said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, and officials from Russia and Ukraine will oversee the signing ceremony.

KHARKIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian officials say Russian shelling pounded a densely populated area in the country's second-largest city. Local authorities in Kharkiv said at least two people were killed and at least 21 injured during a barrage that struck a mosque, a medical facility, a bus stop, a shopping area, and other civilian sites.

MADRID (AP) — Europe’s spate of fierce wildfires is abating somewhat amid cooler temperatures but a fire in Slovenia on the border with Italy has kicked up strongly, forcing the evacuation of three villages. French firefighters were starting to get the upper hand Thursday over two major blazes while Spain tamed a fire that killed two people last weekend.

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Veteran politician Ranil Wickremesinghe has been sworn in as Sri Lanka’s new president to take charge of a nation bitterly angry he was chosen amid an unprecedented economic crisis. Wickremesinghe took his oath at a ceremony Thursday in Parliament. The six-time prime minister was chosen by a secret ballot of lawmakers Wednesday to finish the term of the former president who was toppled by protests and fled the country.

ROME (AP) — Italian Premier Mario Draghi has resigned after his ruling coalition fell apart. That deals a destabilizing blow to the country and Europe at a time of severe economic uncertainty brought on by the coronavirus pandemic and Russia’s war in Ukraine. Draghi tendered his resignation to President Sergio Mattarella during a morning meeting on Thursday.

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s Conservative Party has chosen Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss as the two finalists in an election to replace Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The pair came first and second in a vote of Conservative lawmakers on Wednesday.

JERUSALEM (AP) — A project that aims to increase access for disabled people to Jerusalem's Western Wall has turned into an extensive archaeological excavation into the city's history. Archaeologists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem say that among the finds is an ornate first-century villa with its own attached ritual bath footsteps from where the biblical Temple stood, Ottoman pipes built into a 2,000-year-old aqueduct that supplied the city with water; early Islamic oil lamps; and bricks stamped with the name of a late Roman legion.

NARVA, Estonia (AP) — Nearly 2 million Ukrainians refugees have ended up in Russia. Their journey starts not with a gun to the head, but with a poisoned choice: Die in Ukraine or live in Russia. Those who choose to live in Russia are then taken through a series of what are known as filtration points, where treatment ranges from interrogation and strip searches to being yanked aside and never seen again. Ukraine portrays these transfers as forced deportations, which is considered a war crime. Russia calls them humanitarian evacuations.

LONDON (AP) — Firefighters remain on alert due to Britain’s record-breaking heat wave even as cloudy skies and showers have brought relief from the scorching temperatures of recent days.

PALINI, Greece (AP) — Nearly 500 firefighters are struggling to contain a large wildfire that threatens hillside suburbs outside Athens for a second day after hundreds of residents were evacuated overnight. Greek officials said winds of up to 80 kilometers per hour (50 mph) are making air support difficult for fire crews.

ROME (AP) — Italian Premier Mario Draghi is weighing whether to rescind his resignation offer following spontaneous displays of support for his government that he says are “unprecedented and impossible to ignore.” Draghi challenged the partner parties in his governing coalition to come back together after a key party withheld its support. He suggested on Wednesday he would continue to lead if the coalition members recommitted to their pact of unity from a year ago.

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lankan lawmakers have elected the country's unpopular prime minister as their new president. Wednesday's choice risks reigniting turmoil in the South Asian nation reeling from economic collapse. The crisis has already forced one Sri Lankan leader out, and a few hundred protesters quickly gathered after the vote to express their outrage that Ranil Wickremesinghe would stay in power.

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union’s head is proposed that member states cut their gas use by 15% over the coming months to make sure that any Russian cutoff of natural gas supplies to the bloc will not fundamentally disrupt industries and send an additional chill through homes next winter.

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian forces have struck and seriously damaged a bridge that is key for supplying Russian troops in southern Ukraine. A regional official in the Russia-controlled southern Kherson region said the Ukrainian military struck the bridge across the Dnieper River with missiles Wednesday, scoring 11 hits. He said the bridge sustained serious damage but wasn’t closed for traffic.

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin won staunch support from Iran for his country’s military campaign in Ukraine, with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei saying the West opposes an “independent and strong” Russia. Khamenei said that if Russia hadn’t sent troops into Ukraine, it would have faced an attack from NATO later, a statement that echoed Putin’s own rhetoric and reflected increasingly close ties between Moscow and Tehran as they both face crippling Western sanctions.

LONDON (AP) — The World Health Organization says coronavirus cases have tripled across Europe in the past six weeks, accounting for nearly half of all infections globally. Hospitalization rates have also doubled, although intensive care admissions have remained low.

BEIJING (AP) — Authorities in southern China have apologized for breaking into the homes of people who had been taken to a quarantine hotel. It's the latest example of heavy-handed virus-prevention measures that have sparked a rare public backlash. State media said that 84 homes in an apartment complex in Guangzhou city had been opened in an effort to find any “close contacts” hiding inside and to disinfect the premises.

LA TESTE-DE-BUCH, France (AP) — French investigators probing the suspected deliberate lighting of what has become a raging wildfire in the country’s southwest have detained a man for questioning. Two huge fires feeding on tinder-dry pine forests in the Gironde region have forced tens of thousands of people to flee homes and summer vacation spots since they broke out July 12.

LONDON (AP) — Britain shattered its record for the highest temperature ever registered amid a heat wave that has seized swaths of Europe. The national weather forecaster predicted it would get hotter still Tuesday in a country ill-prepared for such extremes.

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Iran starting Tuesday is intended to deepen ties with regional heavyweights as part of Moscow’s challenge to the United States and Europe during its grinding campaign in Ukraine. It is only his second trip abroad since Russian tanks rolled into its neighboring country in February.

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian cruise missiles hit villages around the southern Ukraine port city of Odesa overnight, in the latest attack that local authorities say aims to strike fear into the civilian population. An official said Tuesday that in the eastern Donetsk region, infrastructure is being “methodically destroyed” by Russian forces.

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — U.N. agencies are again warning of rising violence around Haiti’s capital, saying 99 people have been reported killed in recent gang fighting in the Cite Soleil district alone. Saturday's warning came hours after the Security Council approved a resolution renewing the mandate of a U.N. office in the troubled Caribbean nation. U.N. humanitarian agencies say they're ready to help once it's safe to do so.

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka’s acting president has declared a state of emergency giving him broad authority amid growing protests demanding his resignation two days before the country’s lawmakers are set to elect a new president. Ranil Wickremesinghe became acting president on Friday after his predecessor, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, fled abroad and resigned after monthslong mass protests over the country’s economic collapse.

JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — An explosion of violence in South Sudan is raising fears that the country’s fragile peace agreement could unravel before the transitional government wraps up early next year. The wave of near-daily killings across the East African country is often blamed on marauding militias whose sporadic attacks have created a climate of danger at odds with the aspirations of a 2018 truce between President Salva Kiir and his deputy Riek Machar.

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