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European Union lawmakers have voted to include natural gas and nuclear in the bloc’s list of sustainable activities. The European Commission earlier this year made the controversial proposal as part of its plans for building a climate-friendly future, dividing member countries and drawing outcry from environmentalists over what they criticize as “greenwashing.” EU legislators rejected an objection to the proposal in a 328-278 vote on Wednesday. The green labeling system from the European Commission defines what qualifies as an investment in sustainable energy. Read more

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A convicted Italian mobster, one of Italy's most sought-after fugitives, has been extradited from Brazil. Italian police said that Rocco Morabito, who was No. 2 on the list of Italy's most wanted mobsters, arrived on Wednesday morning on a flight from Brazil. Morabito, convicted of drug trafficking as part of the ‘ndrangheta organized crime syndicate, must serve a 30-year prison sentence. He was arrested in May 2021 by Brazilian police in a joint operation with Italian and U.S. investigators. Italian police describe him as one of the world's top drug brokers. The 'ndrangheta, based in southern Italy, is a global player in the cocaine trade. Read more

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The suspected ringleader of a network that smuggled as many as 10,000 people on small boats across the English Channel to Britain has been arrested along with 38 others. The arrests were part of a vast police operation across multiple European countries. Authorities said Wednesday that police found boats held in German houses and Dutch warehouses, more than 1,000 life jackets, outboard engines, paddles and cash used for the smuggling. UK officials calld it “the largest operation of its type against this threat.” More than 28,000 migrants reached Britain by way of the Channel last year, up from 8,500 in 2020. Dozens have died while attempting the crossing. Read more

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Italian singer Raffaella Carrà has had a square in Spain’s capital named in her honor a year after she died. Madrid’s town hall held a ceremony on Wednesday to inaugurate the square with a plaque for the musical artist who died last July at age 78. She became a staple of Italian television while also conquering fans in Spain and Latin American in the mid-1970s. She won over legions of gay fans both in Italy and the Spanish-speaking world. Her new square coincides with the celebration of Madrid Pride week. Read more

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Ukrainian officials say Russian shelling has killed at least seven people over the past 24 hours and wounded 25 more. Pro-Russia separatists said attacks by Ukrainian forces killed four civilians. The Ukrainian presidential office said Russian forces targeted cities and villages in the country’s southeast, with most civilian casualties occurring in Donetsk province. The governor urged the province’s more than 350,000 remaining residents to flee Tuesday night to save lives and allow the Ukrainian army to mount a defense. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday declared the complete seizure of the Donbas region’s other province. But the governor of Luhansk denies the Russians captured the entire province and says fighting continues in some villages. Read more

Police say the man charged with killing seven people when he unleashed a hail of bullets on an Independence Day parade from a rooftop in suburban Chicago legally bought the high-powered rifle used in the shooting and four other weapons, despite threatening violence. Robert E. Crimo III was charged with seven counts of murder Tuesday in the shooting that sent hundreds of marchers, parents and children fleeing in fear and set off an hourslong manhunt in and around Highland Park. Investigators have yet to identify a motive. Prosecutors have promised to seek dozens more charges, and Crimo is expected to make his first court appearance on Wednesday. His attorney said he intends to enter a not guilty plea to all charges. Read more

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he plans to stay in power despite the resignations of two top Cabinet ministers and a slew of more junior officials. Johnson told lawmakers Wednesday that “the job of a prime minister in difficult circumstances when you’ve been handed a colossal mandate is to keep going.” Johnson’s hold on power has been shaken by the resignations of Treasury chief Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid. They quit saying they could no longer support Johnson because of his handling of ethics scandals including the case of a senior official accused of sexual misconduct. Read more

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Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa says that he had a telephone call with Russian leader Vladimir Putin to request credit support to import fuel for the island nation that's facing its worst economic crisis in memory. Western nations largely have cut off energy imports from Russia in line with sanctions over its war on Ukraine. Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said earlier that the government would look for other sources first but it has not been successful. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February, global oil prices have skyrocketed, prompting a number of countries to seek out Russian crude, offered at steep discounts. The government said earlier that no entity is willing to supply oil to Sri Lanka even for cash. Read more

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Israel’s caretaker Prime Minister Yair Lapid on Tuesday used his first trip abroad since taking office to urge world powers to step up pressure on Iran over its nuclear activities. He called the Islamic republic a threat to regional stability. Lapid met in Paris on Tuesday with French President Emmanuel Macron, who called on Lapid to revive talks toward peace with the Palestinians. Macron said Israelis are “lucky” to have him in charge. Lapid focused on Israel’s concerns about Iran’s nuclear ambitions and the stalled global deal aimed at curbing them. France helped negotiate that deal. Israel and other powers accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons – a charge Iran denies. Read more

A Nigerian official says that at least 600 inmates escaped in a jailbreak in Abuja, the capital. Shuaib Belgore, permanent secretary of Nigeria’s Ministry of Interior, blamed the attack on Boko Haram, Nigeria's Islamic extremist rebels who have waged an insurgency in the country’s northeast for over a decade. He said authorities have recaptured about 300 of those who escaped. Nigeria’s jihadi rebels have carried out several jailbreaks in the country’s northeast in recent years, but this is the first in the capital city. Nigeria’s extremist insurgency by Boko Haram and an offshoot known as the Islamic State Central African Province is blamed for the deaths of more than 35,000 people and the displacement of more than 2 million. Read more

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For years, there’s been a cardinal rule for flying civilian drones: Keep them within your line of sight. But that's starting to change as aviation authorities prepare to cautiously relax some of the safeguards they imposed to regulate a boom in off-the-shelf consumer drones. Drones can now soar out of their pilots’ sight to inspect power lines across the forested Great Dismal Swamp in Virginia. They’re tracking endangered sea turtles off Florida’s coast and monitoring seaports and railroads in the U.S. and Europe. Businesses want smoother rules that could open your neighborhood’s skies to new commercial uses, but privacy advocates and some private pilots have concerns. Read more

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The war in Ukraine is fueling fears of a natural gas emergency in Europe. Russia has throttled back supplies to more countries, this time to major economies and big users such as Germany and Italy. And there are worries about a complete shutoff. Supplies are enough to generate electricity and power industry for today’s needs. But Europe needs to fill its underground gas storage this summer. If it can't, the 27-member European Union could face emergency gas rationing by governments and economic disaster this winter. Meanwhile, higher gas prices and the threat of a cutoff are raising pressure on Europe to find substitutes and reduce how much gas it uses — and fast. Read more

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Police in North Macedonia say a protest over a proposal aiming to break a deadlock on the country’s efforts to join the European Union has left 47 police officers injured. The injuries occurred after a group of mostly young people broke off from the main protest, throwing stones, metal bars, eggs and Molotov cocktails at the parliament building late Tuesday. Thousands of people have protested nightly in Skopje since the weekend over a French proposal for a compromise aimed at lifting objections by neighboring Bulgaria to North Macedonia joining the European Union. Interior Minister Oliver Spasovski said police had “operational information” that attacks with Molotov cocktails on state buildings were also being planned for another protest scheduled for Wednesday night. Read more

China has launched a scathing attack on the U.S. and NATO, days before a meeting between U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian's comments underscore the increasingly fractious relationship. At last week's NATO summit in Spain, Blinken accused China of “seeking to undermine the rules-based international order.” In his comments Wednesday, Zhao said the “so-called rules-based international order is actually a family rule made by a handful of countries to serve the U.S. self-interest." He said that Washington picks and chooses which international rules to observe, adding that NATO “must renounce its blind faith in military might." Read more

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WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — The Latest from Wimbledon (all times local): Read more

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European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen says the 27-nation Europe Union needs to make emergency plans to prepare for a complete cut-off of Russian gas in the wake of the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine. The EU has already imposed sanctions on Russia, including on some energy supplies, and is steering away from Kremlin-controlled deliveries, but von der Leyen said the bloc needed to be ready for shock disruptions coming from Moscow "and even a complete cut-off of Russian gas supply.” She was speaking to the EU legislature in Strasbourg, France. Read more

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Global shares are trading mixed as European benchmarks rise in early trading despite looming worries about a global recession that have pushed the euro to a 20-year low against the U.S. dollar. Asian stocks finished mostly lower, while oil prices recouped some lost ground. Analysts said markets are focused on a variety of risks, including inflation, oil prices, moves by the U.S. Federal Reserve and other central banks on interest rates, political developments in Britain and worries about COVID-19. European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen warned Wednesday that the 27-nation Europe Union needs to make emergency plans to prepare for a complete cut-off of Russian gas in the wake of the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine. Read more

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Foreign ministers from the world’s largest nations are looking to address Russia's war in Ukraine and its impact on global energy and food security when they meet in Indonesia this week. Yet instead of providing unity, the talks may well exacerbate splits over the Russia-Ukraine conflict. That could drag the Group of 20 nations into even deeper divisions. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi are set to attend the meeting in the Indonesian resort of Bali. It will mark the first time Blinken and Lavrov have been in the same room since January. Read more

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Residents of parts of Shanghai and Beijing have been ordered to undergo further rounds of COVID-19 testing following the discovery of new cases in the two cities. Restaurants have also been restricted to takeout only in the northern city of Xi'an, which endured one of China's most sweeping lockdowns under the hardline zero-COVID policy. The gambling hub of Macao has also shut down one of its most famous hotel casinos after cases were discovered there. The strict measures have been retained despite relatively low numbers of cases, with mainland China reporting 353 cases of domestic transmission on Wednesday, 241 of them asymptomatic. Read more

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Parts of Australia’s largest city have been inundated by four major floods since March last year, leaving weary residents questioning how many times they can rebuild. The latest disaster follows Sydney’s wettest-ever start to a year with dams overflowing and a sodden landscape incapable of absorbing more rain that must instead run into swollen waterways. There are climate, geographic and demographic factors behind Sydney’s latest flooding emergency. Read more

Muslim pilgrims are converging on Saudi Arabia’s holy city of Mecca for the largest hajj since the coronavirus pandemic severely curtailed access to one of Islam’s five pillars. Saudi Arabia’s decision to allow 1 million foreign and domestic Muslims to make the annual pilgrimage, which begins Thursday, marks a major step toward normalcy after two years of a drastically scaled-down hajj. That’s still far less than the 2.5 million pilgrims who traveled in 2019 for the pilgrimage. After the coronavirus struck in 2020, Saudi authorities allowed just 1,000 pilgrims already residing in the kingdom to attend. The unprecedented curbs sent shock waves throughout the Muslim world. Read more

More than a thousand grieving family and community members are attending the funeral in South Africa’s East London for 21 teenagers who died in a mysterious tragedy at a nightclub nearly two weeks ago. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is to give the eulogy for the young who died. Mournful hymns were sung by a large choir as 19 coffins were carried into a large tent where the service is being held in East London's Scenery Park township. Two families held private burials and the service organizers said the caskets on display were empty, in respect of the wishes of some families. They said the children are to be buried later Wednesday and in the coming days. Read more

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Floodwaters have inundated or are threatening the homes of 85,000 people around Sydney. Rivers are starting to recede, but several remained at major flood levels Wednesday. Emergency responders knocked on doors overnight to order evacuations in two towns in the Hunter Valley north of Sydney. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says funding will be available to flood victims this week after a disaster was declared in 23 areas. Albanese also says the fourth major flood and devastating wildfires in the Sydney region since late 2019 proves the need for climate action. His government will propose spending on mitigation measures such as building higher river levees. Meanwhile, the weather pattern that brought heavy rain to Sydney since Friday moved north. Read more

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Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani takes a scoreless streak of 21 2/3 innings to the mound when he starts at Miami on Wednesday night. Ohtani is 7-4 with a 2.63 ERA. He has won four consecutive starts, allowing just one run in that span. He’s struck out 101 in 74 innings this year. The reigning AL MVP will pitch a day after his 28th birthday. This will be his first career pitching appearance against the Marlins, who have won six in a row. Los Angeles has dropped four straight. Read more

The man accused of opening fire at an Independence Day parade in suburban Chicago legally bought five weapons, including two high-powered rifles. Authorities said Tuesday that the purchases were allowed even though police were called to his home twice in 2019 for threats of violence and suicide. The suspect was charged with seven counts of murder. Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart promised that dozens more charges would be sought and that the man could receive a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole. The assailant sprayed more than 70 rounds from a rooftop into a crowd in Highland Park, an affluent community of about 30,000 on the Lake Michigan shore. Read more

Asian shares are mostly lower after tepid trading on Wall Street amid worries about a global recession. Major benchmarks fell across Asia in early trading. Oil prices recouped some lost ground after plunging on Monday. Analysts said markets are focused on a variety of risks, including inflation, oil prices, moves by the U.S. Federal Reserve and other central banks on interest rates, political developments in Britain and worries about COVID-19. But the basic mood appeared to be wait-and-see. Japan has parliamentary elections this weekend, but the expected outcome is for more stability, with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida headed to victory. Indexes ended with meager gains on Wall Street. Read more

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Sri Lanka is desperate for help to weather its worst crisis in recent memory, but it’s not the only economy that’s in serious trouble as prices of food, fuel and other staples soar, partly due to the war in Ukraine. Alarm bells are ringing for many economies, from Laos and Pakistan to Venezuela and Afghanistan. The exact causes for their woes vary, but all are suffering as food and fuel grow more costly. Most are struggling to repay debts that have piled up over many years of economic mismanagement, corruption and in some cases, war or civil strife.  Here's a look at some of the economies most at risk. Read more

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Rookie outfielder Jack Suwinski hit his 14th home run and the Pittsburgh Pirates spoiled Jameson Taillon’s return to PNC Park with a 5-2 win over the New York Yankees. Taillon lost for the first time since April 11 after giving up a solo shot to Daniel Vogelbach in the first inning and a two-run homer just over the center-field wall by Suwinski in the fourth. Taillon, who spent more than a decade in the Pirates' organization before being traded to New York in 2021, was pulled with one out in the sixth after allowing five runs and six hits with five strikeouts. Read more

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Sandy Alcantara pitched eight dominant innings, and the Miami Marlins beat the Los Angeles Angels 2-1 for their sixth straight victory. Alcantara allowed two hits in his 11th consecutive outing of at least seven innings. The right-hander struck out 10 and lowered his ERA to 1.82. Tanner Scott earned his 10th save, surrendering Taylor Ward’s sacrifice fly before retiring Jared Walsh on a liner to center for the final out. Garrett Cooper and Bryan De La Cruz homered for Miami. Read more

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The Food and Drug Administration has issued an administrative stay on the order it issued last month for vaping company Juul to pull its electronic cigarettes from the market. The agency says the stay temporarily suspends the marketing denial order while it conducts further review, but does not rescind it. The FDA issued the initial order banning Juul sales on June 23. A day later, a federal appeals court temporarily blocked the government ban. The initial FDA action was part of a sweeping effort by the agency to bring scientific scrutiny to the multibillion-dollar vaping industry after years of regulatory delays. Read more