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KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine is nervously bracing for what President Volodymr Zelenskyy warns could be especially brutal Russian attacks as the country observes its Independence Day and marks the war’s six-month point. Conditions are considered too dangerous to allow any major public celebrations in the capital. Residents of Kyiv woke up to air raid sirens Wednesday, but there were no immediate attacks.

KHAN YOUNIS, Gaza Strip (AP) — Dozens of Palestinians have taken up bird trapping in recent years, capturing parakeets along the heavily guarded frontier with Israel and selling them to pet shops. It’s a rare if meager source of income in Gaza, which has been under a crippling Israeli-Egyptian blockade since the militant Hamas group seized power 15 years ago. The ring-necked parakeet is an invasive species of tropical bird that has proliferated in Israel and the Palestinian territories in recent years.

BEIJING (AP) — Tropical Storm Ma-on is headed for Hong Kong and other parts of southeastern China after displacing thousands in the Philippines. The Hong Kong Observatory on Wednesday warned of flooding in low-lying areas and advised people to stay away from the shoreline. The storm is expected to make landfall around noon Thursday in Guangdong province, about 120 miles west of Hong Kong, before moving inland toward the Guangxi region and northern Vietnam.

BEIJING (AP) — Twin giant pandas have been born at a breeding center in southwestern China, a sign of progress for the country’s unofficial national mascot as it struggles for survival amid climate change and loss of habitat. The male and female cubs are the second pair of twins born to their mother, Qin Qin.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden says he is sending $2.98 billion in new military aid to Ukraine that will enable forces there to fight for years to come. Biden's announcement Wednesday comes six months after Russia invaded Ukraine and as Ukraine is celebrating its 1991 declaration of independence from the Soviet Union. The new U.S. aid will train and equip Ukrainian forces for a longer-term fight.

CAIRO (AP) — A Sudanese official says the death toll from flash floods across the country since the start of the rainy season has climbed to at least 83. The downpours continue to inundate villages across the east African nation. The spokesman for Sudan’s National Council for Civil Defense said on Tuesday that at least 36 people have been injured since May.

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — On the eve of Ukraine’s independence day, warnings that Moscow might attack significant government and civilian targets are causing unease in the war-weary country. The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv urged U.S. citizens in Ukraine to depart the country immediately. The Kyiv regional government banned mass events until Thursday due to fears of Russian missile attacks.

BEIJING (AP) — With China’s biggest freshwater lake reduced to just 25% of its usual size by drought, work crews are digging trenches to keep water flowing to irrigate crops. The dramatic decline of water coverage in Poyang Lake in southeastern China otherwise had cut off irrigation channels in one of China’s key rice-growing regions. But state media report the crews are working only after dark due to the extreme daytime heat.

CHARLEROI, Belgium (AP) — A Belgian-British teenage pilot is set to become the youngest person to fly around the world solo in a small plane. Mack Rutherford landed Tuesday in southern Belgium ahead of the penultimate leg of his global odyssey. Weather permitting, the 17-year-old aviator is due to land in the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, on Wednesday, some five months after setting out. That would break the record set by 18-year-old Travis Ludlow in 2021.

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — The two top officials of Hungary’s meteorological service have been fired after an inaccurate rain forecast prompted the postponement of a fireworks display on the country’s most important national holiday. The firings of the head and deputy head of the National Meteorological Service on Monday are prompting accusations of political interference from Hungary’s nationalist government.

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A tropical storm lashed the northern Philippines with strong winds and rain, injuring at least two people and prompting the president to close schools and government offices in the capital and outlying provinces. The closures come just one day after schools across the Philippines held their first face-to-face classes in two years. Storm Ma-on weakened slightly as it barreled through mountainous northern provinces after slamming into Maconacon town in Isabela province Tuesday morning.

The two top officials of Hungary’s meteorological service have been fired after an inaccurate rain forecast prompted the postponement of a fireworks display on the country’s most important …

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s top counterintelligence agency has blamed Ukrainian spy agencies have organized the killing of the daughter of a Russian nationalist. Russia’s Federal Security Service said Monday that the killing of Darya Dugina has been “prepared and perpetrated by the Ukrainian special services.” Dugina was the daughter of Alexander Dugin, who is described by some in the West as “Putin’s brain.”

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The United States and South Korea are holding their biggest combined military training in years as they heighten their defense posture against the growing North Korean nuclear threat. The drills could draw an angry response from North Korea, which has pushed its weapons testing activity to a record pace this year.

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Indiana’s governor has begun a visit to Taiwan, following two recent high-profile visits by U.S. politicians that drew Beijing's ire and Chinese military drills. Gov. Eric Holcomb will focus on economic exchanges, particularly semiconductors, and is meeting with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. His visit comes at a particularly tense time for Taiwan, China and the U.S.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — An advocacy group says Qatar arrested at least 60 foreign workers who protested going months without their pay and deported some of them. The move comes as Qatar faces intense international scrutiny over its labor practices ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Qatar, like other Gulf Arab nations, heavily relies on foreign labor.

NIKOPOL, Ukraine (AP) — A Ukrainian mayor says Russian shelling just across the river from Ukraine’s main atomic plant has wounded four people. Monday's shelling came only hours after the latest international pleas to spare the area from attacks to prevent a nuclear disaster. Nikopol came under fire three times overnight from rockets and mortar shells. The blasts hit houses, a kindergarten, the bus station and stores.

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistani police have filed terrorism charges against former Prime Minister Imran Khan, escalating political tensions in the country as the ex-premier holds mass rallies seeking to return to office. The terrorism charges come over a speech Khan gave in Islamabad over the weekend in which he vowed to sue police officers and a female judge and alleged that a close aide had been tortured after his arrest.

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — As Russia’s war against Ukraine reaches the sixth-month mark, many refugees are coming to the bitter realization that they will not be returning home soon. With shelling around a nuclear power plant and missiles threatening even western regions of Ukraine, many refugees don’t feel safe at home, even if those areas are under Ukrainian control.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The United States and South Korea began their biggest combined military training in years Monday as they heighten their defense posture against the growing North Korean nuclear threat.

At least 40 people have died and others are missing in flash floods triggered by intense monsoon rains in northern India over the past three days. An official government release Sunday said …

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Islamic militants have stormed a hotel in Somalia’s capital, engaging in an hours-long exchange of fire with the security forces that left at least 20 people dead. That's according to police and witnesses, who said, in addition, at least 40 people were wounded in the late Friday night attack. They said Saturday that security forces rescued many others, including children, from the scene at Mogadishu’s popular Hayat Hotel.

PARIS (AP) — Violent thunderstorms and hurricane-force winds in France and Italy have left at least eight people dead. The winds uprooted trees and ripped away a restaurant roof on Thursday. The French weather service says the storm produced gusts of more than 135 mph in some areas.

MADRID (AP) — Authorities say a large wildfire burning out of control in Spain's eastern Valencia area has become one of the country's biggest wildfires of the year. The blaze has already scorched 47,000 acres along an 85-mile perimeter. As the blaze raged for a fifth day Friday, 35 aircraft were deployed to fight the flames from the air.

BANGKOK (AP) — China’s response to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan was anything but subtle — dispatching warships and military aircraft to all sides of the self-governing island democracy, and firing ballistic missiles into the waters nearby. The dust has still not settled, with Taiwan now conducting drills of its own and Beijing announcing it has more maneuvers planned, but experts say a lot can already be gleaned from what China has done, and has not done, so far.

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