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    Czech police have fired warning shots in the air before detaining a driver of a van carrying 15 migrants after the Czech Republic and Austria renewed checks at their borders with Slovakia amid a renewed wave of migration. Czech police reported traffic delays, especially for trucks, after the measure became effective on Thursday at 27 border crossings, while the Austrian authorities enforced it at 11 crossings. Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia all belong to the European Union’s visa-free Schengen zone, where residents of member nations typically can cross borders without presenting passports or visas.

      European Union nations are continuing to import and export nuclear fuel that is not under EU sanctions on Russia. The Ukrainian government and environmental activists want the ongoing trade to end. A ship carrying uranium that departed from France was heading toward the Russian port of Ust-Luga on Thursday. It was the third time in just over a month that the Panama-flagged Mikhail Dudin ship docked in Dunkirk to transport uranium. Environmental group Greenpeace France says the ongoing shipments are “financing the war in Ukraine, extending (Europe’s) energy dependence and delaying the transition to renewable energy.” The EU’s executive arm didn't propose targeting Russia’s nuclear sector in a sanctions package presented Wednesday.

        Google says it plans to expand its cloud services infrastructure to Greece, promising to create nearly 20,000 jobs through direct investment and partnerships by the end of the decade. The move announced Thursday follows two-year-old plans by Microsoft to invest $1 billion to create data centers near Athens, as well as pledges by other tech giants including Cisco and Amazon to set up facilities in Greece. The country has bet heavily on boosting its once-sluggish tech sector since exiting successive international bailout programs four years ago, hoping to diversify an economy heavily reliant on tourism.

          Germany plans to spend up to 200 billion euros helping consumers and businesses cope with the surge in energy prices. Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Thursday that the government is reactivating an economic stabilizing fund previously used during the global financial crisis and the coronavirus pandemic. Scholz said Russia’s decision to cut back natural gas to Europe and the recent leaks on two pipelines showed further Russian energy supplies couldn’t be expected in the near future. Finance Minister Christian Lindner insisted that the fund would not entail further regular borrowing, saying Germany is “expressly not following Great Britain’s path.”

            In a show of defiance, North Korea has fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea hours after U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris flew home from a visit to South Korea during which she emphasized the “ironclad” U.S. commitment to the security of its Asian allies. It was the third round of missile launches by North Korea this week, extending a record pace in weapons testing as it accelerates a push to expand its arsenal and pressure Washington to accept it as a nuclear power. Harris earlier capped her four-day trip to Asia with a stop at the Demilitarized Zone dividing the Korean Peninsula, where she addressed the threat posed by the increasingly hostile North.

              States are spending billions of dollars of federal pandemic relief funds on infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges and public buildings. The American Rescue Plan law signed by President Joe Biden last year provided $350 billion to states and local governments to respond to the coronavirus and shore up their economies. An Associated Press review of reports submitted by states shows they are spending more on infrastructure projects than on public health purposes. States are taking advantage of U.S. Treasury Department rules that grant broad flexibility to spend money on almost any government services as an offset to reduced revenue growth.

                The Spanish government says a planned meeting of the nine leaders of Europe’s Mediterranean countries will be postponed because Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez continues to test positive for COVID-19. The energy crisis triggered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine was to have topped the agenda of the informal summit Sánchez had expected to host on Friday. The leaders of France, Italy, Greece, Portugal and other countries planned to attend the meeting in Spain’s eastern coastal city of Alicante along with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and EU Council President Charles Michel. Sánchez said Sunday he had the coronavirus but still planned to attend the summit.

                Police in Norway say several people in a violent crowd attempted to enter the Iranian Embassy in Oslo. Scuffles broke out and rocks were thrown at officers, and police said 90 people were detained. A crowd on Thursday had gathered outside the diplomatic mission in Oslo to protest the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in custody in Iran. She died Sept. 16 after being detained by Iran's police. Police in the Norwegian capital said “many people were behaving violently" at Thursday's demonstration.

                India’s Supreme Court has ruled that all women, regardless of marital status, can obtain abortions up to 24 weeks into their pregnancies. Previously, under Indian law, married women could have abortions up to 24 weeks into their pregnancies, but single women were limited to 20 weeks. On Thursday, the court extended the 24-week period to all women. It said denying single women the same access to abortion violated the right to equality before the law under India’s Constitution. The judgment was cheered by reproductive rights activists, who said the court has ensured that the law does not discriminate and expands the right to safe and legal abortions to single women.

                Voters in Kuwait are returning to the polls for the second parliamentary elections in less than two years, hoping to move the wealthy Gulf Arab nation out of a prolonged period of political gridlock. Kuwait has the freest and most active assembly in the Persian Gulf, but political power is still largely concentrated in the hands of the ruling Al Sabah family, which appoints the prime minister and Cabinet, and can dissolve the assembly at any time. Voters will choose among 367 candidates, including 27 women, to elect 50 legislators to the National Assembly.

                The White House says President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and their spouses will attend the ceremonial investiture for Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. The newest member of the high court is also its first Black female justice. The appearance of Biden and Harris at the invitation-only ceremony on Friday underscores the importance of Jackson’s confirmation to the Democratic president's legacy. Biden had pledged during his campaign that he would nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court. Jackson was confirmed in April on a 53-47 vote in the Senate, with three Republican senators joining all Democrats to support her. The Supreme Court’s new term begins Monday.

                South Korea’s opposition-controlled National Assembly has passed a motion calling for the dismissal of the foreign minister over a series of alleged diplomatic missteps, including controversial remarks by President Yoon Suk Yeol caught on a hot mic in the United States. The motion isn’t legally binding and doesn’t suspend Foreign Minister Park Jin. But the attempt to oust a key Cabinet minister and close confidante of Yoon further aggravates political strife between the conservative president and his liberal rivals. The 299-member National Assembly approved Park’s no-confidence motion by a 168-1 vote. One lawmaker cast a blank ballot, while outnumbered governing party lawmakers and others opposed to Park’s dismissal boycotted the vote.

                Bulgarians will go to the polls for the fourth time in less than two years in a general election overshadowed this time by the war in Ukraine, rising energy costs and galloping inflation. Pollsters expect that voters’ fatigue and disillusionment with the political system will result in low turnout and a fragmented parliament where populist and pro-Russia groups could increase their representation. The early election comes after a coalition led by pro-Western Prime Minister Kiril Petkov lost a no-confidence vote in June. He claimed that Moscow used “hybrid war” tactics to bring down his government after it refused to pay gas bills in rubles and ordered the expulsion of 70 Russian diplomatic staff from Bulgaria. The election will be held on Sunday.

                Keith Ellison gave up a safe seat in Congress to run for Minnesota attorney general, saying it was his best chance to push back against the policies of Donald Trump. Now Ellison is locked in a tough reelection fight after four tumultuous years that put Minnesota in the world spotlight over the police killings of George Floyd and other Black men. His Republican opponent, hedge fund lawyer Jim Schultz, says Ellison deserves much of the blame for the surge in violent crime that followed. Ellison is using the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision rolling back abortion rights to rally Democrats and suburban swing voters.

                Japan and China are marking the 50th anniversary of normalizing their ties Thursday. On Sept. 29, 1972, the two countries signed a communique, pledging peace and friendship. Their leaders Fumio Kishida and Xi Jinping are stressing the importance of their ties that have significantly developed over the past 50 years. But they still face difficulties. Kishida called for “constructive and stable” ties despite strains on regional and global peace and stability. Xi said he placed “great importance” on China-Japan ties and expressed willingness to work with Kishida to build a relationship that fits the requirement of the new era.


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                British Prime Minister Liz Truss has defended her economic plan that roiled financial markets, saying she’s willing to make “difficult decisions” to get the economy growing. Truss gave her first public comments Thursday since her government last week announced billions in unfunded tax cuts that drove the pound to record lows. She says Britain is facing a “very, very difficult” economic situation. But she says the problems are global and spurred by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Bank of England took emergency action Wednesday to stabilize U.K. financial markets and head off a crisis in the broader economy after the government's tax cuts spooked investors.

                Former Hong Kong lawmaker and pro-democracy activist Ted Hui has been sentenced to 3 1/2 years in jail for criminal contempt after he skipped bail and fled overseas, missing trial for cases against him. Hui had faced charges for his role in an anti-government protest in 2019. He left Hong Kong in December 2020, providing invitation letters and an itinerary for an official trip to Denmark as part of his application to lift travel restrictions. Hui was granted approval to leave, though the documents have since been deemed false. He did not return to Hong Kong and eventually settled in Australia. Hui’s sentencing comes amid a crackdown on dissent in Hong Kong after months of protests in 2019.

                Police say they have arrested a convicted bombmaker who escaped from a Nevada prison where he was serving a life sentence for a deadly 2007 explosion outside a Las Vegas Strip. Las Vegas police say they received information Wednesday night that a person matching the description of Porfirio Duarte-Herrera was in the area. The department says officers took the man into custody, confirmed he was Duarte-Herrera and arrested him. Gov. Steve Sisolak had earlier ordered an investigation into the escape after he said late Tuesday his office learned the escapee had been missing from the medium-security prison since early in the weekend. Officials didn’t realize until Tuesday morning that Duarte-Herrera was missing during a head count at Southern Desert Correctional Center near Las Vegas.

                Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus says Australia could have tough new data protection laws in place this year in an urgent response to a cyberattack that stole from a telecommunications company the personal data of 9.8 million customers. Dreyfus said Thursday the government will make “urgent reforms” to the Privacy Act following the unprecedented hack last week on Optus, Australia’s second-largest wireless carrier. Dreyfus says "it’s possible” for the law to be changed in the four remaining weeks that Parliament is scheduled to sit this year. Dreyfus says penalties for failing to protect data have to be increased and companies should have to justify the “absolutely huge amounts” of customer data they hold.

                Doreen Bogdan-Martin of the United States has been elected to head the U.N.’s telecommunications agency. She won a U.S.-Russia face-off for the leadership of a key global agency that sets guideposts for radio, internet and television communications. The result on Thursday ended a race that has been overshadowed by geopolitics in the wake of Russia’s war in Ukraine. Envoys from the 193 member states of the Geneva-based International Telecommunications Union selected Bogdan-Martin over lone rival Rashid Ismailov of Russia at the latest meeting in the Romanian capital of its policy-making body. She will take over as the ITU secretary-general for a four-year term on Jan. 1.

                A court in military-ruled Myanmar has convicted former leader Aung San Suu Kyi in another criminal case along with Australian economist Sean Turnell. They were accused of breaking Myanmar’s colonial-era official secrets law. A legal official said Suu Kyi received a sentence of three years in prison Thursday, in addition to the sentences she’s already serving. Turnell had served as an adviser to Suu Kyi and was arrested a few days after the army ousted her elected government last year. The legal official said Turnell was given a sentence of three years. Both denied the allegations when they testified. Australia has repeatedly demanded Turnell’s release.

                Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has picked two new judges to serve on district criminal courts. The Republican announced Wednesday that he has appointed Amanda B. Dunn to the 11th Judicial District Criminal Court in Hamilton County and Hector Sanchez to the 6th Judicial District Criminal Court in Knox County. Dunn serves as an attorney at Houston & Alexander, PLLC. Sanchez currently serves as an assistant district attorney in the 6th Judicial District. The seats opened after Judge Tom Greenholtz in the 11th District and Kyle A. Hixson in the 6th District were both confirmed to the Court of Criminal Appeals.

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