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After final word from attorneys, Rittenhouse jury takes over

KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) — Attorneys are set to make closing arguments at Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial in the shootings of three men during street unrest in Wisconsin. The arguments Monday will be the last word of some two weeks of courtroom drama before a jury begins deliberating in a case that underscored Americans’ bitter divisions on issues of guns, protests and policing. Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time, faces charges ranging from an intentional homicide charge that could mean life in prison to an underage weapons charge that could mean just a few months in jail. Experts say prosecutors struggled to poke holes in Rittenhouse’s claims of self-defense. They asked a judge to allow the jury to consider several lesser charges in addition to those originally brought.


9-year-old Dallas boy dies after Astroworld festival crush

HOUSTON (AP) — A 9-year-old Dallas has become the youngest person to die from injuries sustained during a crowd surge at the Astroworld music festival in Houston. Ezra Blount of Dallas died Sunday at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, family attorney Ben Crump said. He was placed in a medically induced coma after he suffered serious injuries in the Nov. 5 crush of fans during a performance by rapper Travis Scott. He is the 10th festival attendee to die. A lawsuit filed by his family says the child incurred severe damage to his brain, kidney, and liver after being “kicked, stepped on, and trampled, and nearly crushed to death.”


UK police: Blast outside hospital was terrorist incident

LONDON (AP) — British police say an explosion in a taxi outside a hospital that killed a man is being treated as a terrorist incident, but the motive remains unclear. Russ Jackson, the head of Counterterrorism Policing in northwest England, said the blast on Sunday at Liverpool Women’s Hospital involved an improvised explosive device. He said “enquiries will now continue to seek to understand how the device was built, the motivation for the incident and to understand if anyone else was involved in it.” The male passenger in the taxi died in the explosion, and the taxi driver was injured. Four men in their 20s have been detained under the Terrorism Act.


US journalist freed from Myanmar jail with ex-diplomat’s aid

BANGKOK (AP) — Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Bill Richardson says American journalist Danny Fenster has been released from prison in Myanmar. Richardson said in a statement Monday that Fenster had been handed over to him in Myanmar and would be soon on his way home via Qatar. Fenster, the managing editor of the online magazine Frontier Myanmar, was convicted Friday of spreading false or inflammatory information, contacting illegal organizations and violating visa regulations and sentenced to 11 years hard labor. Richardson says he negotiated Fenster’s release during a recent visit to Myanmar when he held face-to-face meetings with the military leader who ousted the elected government of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi in February.


Italy: Police move against violent anti-vaccine activists

ROME (AP) — Police in Italy are conducting searches against 17 anti-vaccine activists who were purportedly affiliated with a Telegram chat that espoused violence against government, medical and media figures for their perceived support of COVID-19 restrictions. Police in Turin said the chat group had tens of thousands of members and was a prime forum for organizing protests against Italy’s health pass. Like many European countries, Italy requires the so-called Green Pass to dine indoors, visit museums and cinemas and for long-distance public transport. The health pass shows proof of vaccination, a recent negative test or having been cured of COVID-19. Protests have grown more acute after Italy last month became the first Western country to also require the pass to access workplaces.


Austrian unvaccinated lockdown starts amid COVID resurgence

BERLIN (AP) — Austria has taken what its leader called the “dramatic” step of implementing a nationwide lockdown for unvaccinated people who haven’t recently had COVID-19. It’s perhaps the most drastic of a string of measures being taken by European governments to get a massive regional resurgence of the coronavirus under control. The move, which took effect at midnight, prohibits people 12 and older who haven’t been vaccinated or recently recovered from leaving their homes except for basic activities such as working, grocery shopping, going for a walk — or getting vaccinated. The lockdown is initially being imposed until Nov. 24 in the Alpine country of 8.9 million.


World shares higher ahead of talks between Biden, China’s Xi

Shares have advanced in Europe and Asia ahead of virtual talks between President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping. The talks were to take place late Monday U.S. time. Benchmarks rose in Paris, Tokyo and Frankfurt but fell in Shanghai. Plans for stimulus in Japan overshadowed news that its economy contracted in the last quarter. China reported a mixed bag of data, with stronger retail sales and factory output but weaker housing prices and investments in fixed assets. On Friday, stocks closed higher on Wall Street but the market still ended the week lower.  


EU moves to add airlines, others to Belarus sanctions list

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union is expanding sanctions against Belarus to include airlines, travel agents and individuals accused of helping to lure migrants to Europe as part of a “hybrid attack” against the bloc by President Alexander Lukashenko. The EU has already slapped a series of sanctions on Lukashenko and senior Belarus officials over what it says were fraudulent elections last year and a security crackdown that followed. EU foreign ministers agreed Monday to adjust the sanction criteria to include companies and people accused of involvement in the migrant standoff at Belarus’s borders with Poland, Latvia and Lithuania. Lukashenko has brushed aside the move.


China stock exchange for entrepreneurs launches in Beijing

BEIJING (AP) — A stock exchange set up in the Chinese capital to serve entrepreneurs has opened trading with 81 companies amid a crackdown on tech giants that has wiped more than $1 trillion off their market value abroad. The Beijing Stock Exchange joins other mainland Chinese exchanges in Shanghai and the southern city of Shenzhen. They are mostly off-limits to foreign investors. The ruling Communist Party has promised more support for entrepreneurs who generate wealth and jobs. But it is tightening control over tech companies and pressing them to invest their own money in Beijing’s industry plans.


India opens to vaccinated foreign tourists after 18 months

NEW DELHI (AP) — India has began allowing fully vaccinated foreign tourists to enter the country on regular flights, in the latest easing of coronavirus restrictions as infections fall and vaccinations rise. This is the first time India has allowed foreign tourists on commercial flights to enter the country since March 2020, when it imposed one of the toughest lockdowns in the world in an attempt to contain the pandemic. To encourage travelers to visit India, the government plans to issue 500,000 free visas through next March. The moves are expected to boost the tourism and hospitality sector, which was battered by the pandemic. 

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