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AP Top News at 5:02 p.m. EDT

Updated 31 minutes ago

Russians are flocking to Serbia for West-made COVID-19 vaccines

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) – When Russian regulators approved the country’s own coronavirus vaccine, it was a moment of national pride and the Pavlov family were among those rushing to take the injection. But the international health authorities have not yet approved the Sputnik V shot. When the Rostov-on-Don family wanted to visit the West, they looked for a vaccine that would allow them to travel freely – a search that took them to Serbia, where hundreds of Russian citizens have flocked to Western – approved COVID-19 recordings. Serbia, which is not a member of the European Union, is a convenient choice for Russians seeking vaccinations because they can enter the allied Balkan nation without a visa and because it offers a wide range of vaccinations made by the West.

The USA and the Taliban are holding their first talks since they left Afghanistan

ISLAMABAD (AP) – High-ranking Taliban officials and US officials are expected to hold talks on Saturday and Sunday about containing extremist groups in Afghanistan and facilitating the evacuation of foreign citizens and Afghans from the country, officials on both sides said. It is the first meeting of its kind since the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan in late August, the end of a 20-year military presence and the rise of the Taliban to power in the country. The talks are to take place in Doha, the capital of the Gulf State of Qatar. Doha-based Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen told The Associated Press on Saturday that talks will also revisit the peace deal that the Taliban signed with Washington in 2020.

Banisadr, Iran’s first president after the 1979 revolution, is dead

TEHERAN, Iran (AP) – Abolhassan Banisadr, Iran’s first president after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, who fled Tehran after being accused of challenging the growing power of the clergy when the nation became a theocracy, died on Saturday . He was 88 years old. Among a sea of ​​black-clad Shiite clergy, Banisadr stood out for his western-style suits and a background so French that he confided in the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre his belief that he would be the first president of Iran sometime 15 years before it happens is. These differences only isolated him when the nationalist tried to implement a socialist-style economy in Iran backed by a deep Shiite belief instilled into him by his spiritual father.

EXPLAINER: Why do the elections in Iraq matter to the world?

BAGHDAD (dpa) – The elections in Iraq on Sunday bring enormous challenges: The Iraqi economy is plagued by years of conflict, endemic corruption and, more recently, the coronavirus pandemic. State institutions are failing, the country’s infrastructure is crumbling. Powerful paramilitary groups are increasingly threatening the authority of the state, and hundreds of thousands of people are still displaced from the years of war against the Islamic State Group. While few Iraqis expect any significant change in their daily lives, the general election will determine the direction of Iraqi foreign policy at an important time in the Middle East, even as Iraq mediates between regional rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia.

French Envoy to Australia: Fraudulent subcontracting increases risk

PARIS (AP) – France’s ambassador to Australia says Australian officials lied to his face and increased the risk of a confrontation in Asia by negotiating a secret submarine deal with the United States and Great Britain that has confidence in democratic Undermined alliances. France is determined to protect its interests in the Indo-Pacific region and to support Europe’s geopolitical strategy against an increasingly self-confident China with “muscles”, said Ambassador Jean-Pierre Thebault on Friday. He spoke to The Associated Press in an interview before returning to his Canberra post. “The way you treat your allies resonates in the region,” Thebault said in a gilded chamber in the French Foreign Ministry on the banks of the Seine in Paris.

US appeals court has Texas lift the ban on most abortions

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – A federal appeals court on Friday night quickly allowed Texas to resume the ban on most abortions just a day after clinics began caring for patients for the first time since early September. A unilateral order from the U.S. 5th Court of Appeals reinstated the country’s strictest abortion law, which prohibits abortion once cardiac activity is detected, typically around six weeks. She makes no exceptions to rape or incest. “Patients are thrown back into a state of chaos and fear,” said Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which represents several Texas clinics that have temporarily resumed normal abortion services.

McConnell says he will no longer help Dems raise the debt ceiling

WASHINGTON (AP) – Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell said Friday he would not again help Democrats expand the government’s borrowing power, raising new doubts about how Congress will avert state bankruptcy if a temporary patch is applied expires in December. McConnell issued his warning in a letter to President Joe Biden the day after the Senate approved a $ 480 billion increase in the national debt limit, enough to last about two months. In an eleven-hour turn, the Kentucky Republican was among the eleven GOP Senators who vigorously supported a procedural step on Thursday that opened the door for the Senate to subsequently pass this measure with all-Democratic support.

Marathon bomber faces revived death penalty in court

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Biden administration will seek to convince the Supreme Court this week to reinstate the death penalty for convicted Boston marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, arguing that a jury did not have to examine evidence on the the government had abandoned itself at an earlier stage in the case. Zarnaev’s guilt for the deaths of three people in the shocking bomb attack near the finish line of the marathon in 2013 is not up for debate in the judges’ case on Wednesday – only whether he should be sentenced to life imprisonment or to death. The court is also unlikely to consider the government’s aggressive pursuit of a death penalty for Zarnayev, despite halting federal executions and calling for President Joe Biden to abolish the federal death penalty.

Biden will not be invoking the January 6 executive privilege on Trump documents

WASHINGTON (AP) – The White House said Friday that President Joe Biden will not block the surrender of documents requested by a House Committee that initiated the 6th Uprising Protect White House Records from Investigators. White House attorney Dana Remus’ letter to the United States Archivist marks the beginning of what may be a protracted legal battle over the investigation. Trump, who told his supporters to “fight like hell” on the morning of the riot and defended the rioters who beat the police and broke into the Capitol, is trying to prevent Congress from finding out more.

IS bomber kills 46 in Afghan mosque and challenges Taliban

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – A suicide bomber from the Islamic State struck a mosque with Shiite Muslim believers in northern Afghanistan on Friday, killing at least 46 people and injuring dozens in the latest security challenge for the Taliban as they move from the uprising to the government. The ISIS supporter in the region identified the attacker as a Uygh Muslim in his letter of confession and said the attack targeted both Shiites and the Taliban because they were allegedly willing to evict Uyghurs in order to comply with China’s demands. The statement was distributed by the ISIS-affiliated Aamaq news agency. The explosion ripped through an overcrowded mosque in Kunduz city during Friday afternoon prayers, the high point of Muslim religious week.

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