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Lord Frost appears to blame Brussels for trade barriers despite negotiating the deal to take the UK out of the single market.
CirTran Corporation (OTC BB: CIRX) has completed the filing of Form 10-K for fiscal 2020 with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Democrat Joe Biden has promised to undo many of Donald Trump's immigration policies.
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Reducing emission will not protect us from fire, storms and floods of tomorrow. The climate is changing, and we will have to face it.
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VANCOUVER — A civil lawsuit has been filed alleging that Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen sexually assaulted a young woman. A statement of claim filed in Kelowna, B.C. last week alleges Virtanen took the woman to a hotel in West Vancouver in September 2017 and assaulted her as the woman repeatedly said no and pleaded with him to stop. The allegations have not been tested in court and a statement of defence has not been filed in the case. The statement of claim says the woman, identified only by her initials, suffered physical and emotional damages, including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, and repeated and ongoing nightmares. Virtanen's agent did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The Canucks placed Virtanen on leave on May 1, saying in a statement that the team "does not accept sexual misconduct of any kind and the claims as reported are being treated very seriously.'' This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 14, 2021. The Canadian Press
LISBON, Portugal (AP) — British vacationers began arriving in large numbers in southern Portugal on Monday for the first time in more than a year, after governments in the two countries eased their COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions. A plane from Manchester, England, disembarked the first of more than 5,000 tourists expected to arrive on 17 U.K. flights in Portugal’s southern Algarve region on the first day nonessential travel was allowed. As local temperatures climbed toward a forecast high of 32 C (90 F), the tourists were met at Faro airport by workers handing out COVID-19 welcome kits containing masks and disinfectant, and by the head of the Algarve tourist authority. The arrivals brightened the outlook for Portugal’s crucial tourism sector, especially the sun and surf resorts along the Algarve coast which relies heavily on the U.K. market and where hotels shut down for most of the past year. Arriving tourists needed to show a negative PCR test for COVID-19 taken within the previous 72 hours. Both Portugal and the United Kingdom have reduced their seven-day rolling average of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people to between three and four. Authorities said that rate was low enough to relax restrictions. The Portuguese government on Saturday announced that people from European countries with COVID-19 incidence rates below 500 cases per 100,000 people over 14 days can now also make nonessential trips to Portugal. That means most Europeans can travel to Portugal, as long as they can show a negative test. The U.K. government has put Portugal and 11 other countries on a so-called green list of low-risk territories. British people returning home from those areas don't need to go into quarantine. ___ Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at: https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak The Associated Press
Residents described the noise of the blast as ‘like a bomb going off’.
Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], May 17 (ANI): Mucormycosis, also known as black fungus, is now a noticed disease and hospitals should report it to the government, said Karnataka Health and Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar on Monday, adding that it is illegal to hide it.
A top union official has said she's 'seriously concerned' about the potential spread of coronavirus in airport queues when tourists start returning from their holidays.
Max Meyer and Jake Eder provided the Miami Marlins’ pitching highlights during the first week of the minor-league season.
BERLIN — Germany’s health minister says the country will open up coronavirus vaccinations to everyone starting on June 7. Health Minister Jens Spahn told reporters on Monday that the current system of prioritization in which the most vulnerable groups are to be vaccinated first will no longer be valid then. The minister said, “this does not mean that everyone will get an appointment within days, but ... everyone who wants to get vaccinated will get an offer.” Spahn said that the vaccination campaign has picked up speed in recent weeks and that by the end of May about 40 percent of all people in Germany will have received at least one shot. He said 70 percent of those above the age of 60 have received one shot, about one-quarter of them are fully vaccinated. All in all, 40 million doses of coronavirus vaccines have been given and around nine million people are fully vaccinated, in this country of 83 million. After months of lockdown, the infection rate has been dropping in Germany and some states are slowly starting to open up outdoor dining and various shopping possibilities. ___ THE VIRUS OUTBREAK: — A dip in cases is bringing a glimmer of hope in India, but shortage of beds, oxygen show virus crisis isn't over yet — Joy in UK as pubs, restaurants and museums reopen but new variant sparks worry — Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline’s vaccine candidate triggered strong immune responses; production to begin soon — Eurovision song contest gears up in Rotterdam for 1st time since the pandemic began, hopes virus bubbles will ensure safety — Follow more of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine ___ HERE'S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING: NEW YORK — Vaccinated people no longer have to wear masks or social distance in New York starting Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday. The governor said the state is adopting the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released last week. “Let’s get back to life,” Cuomo said. “If you are vaccinated, you are safe, no masks, no social distancing.” Cuomo urged people who are unvaccinated and immunocompromised to continue to wear a mask and social distance. ___ BISMARCK, N.D. — The North Dakota Department of Health on Monday issued new guidance on coronavirus masks. State health officer Nizar Wehbi says the department is aligning with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that fully vaccinated individuals can resume activities without wearing a mask indoors and outdoors. The risk of being infected or spreading COVID-19 once fully vaccinated is very low, and therefore wearing a mask if you are fully vaccinated is no longer a recommendation, the health department said in a statement. Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or two weeks after a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. A recommendation remains that everyone wears masks when they are in a health care setting, when they are traveling on public transportation, including airplanes, and when they are in a business or employer that requires masks, health officials said. ___ BRATTLEBORO, Vt. — Vermont is preparing to hold its first jury trials since the coronavirus pandemic hit last year. Jury draws were planned Monday for a number of cases in Windham County criminal court. Among them are cases involving drug crimes. According to court documents, social distancing and masking will be part of the proceedings. Vermont Chief Superior Judge Brian Grearson told the Brattleboro Reformer that the judiciary picked cases that were not very complicated, meaning they did not involve a large number of witnesses and could be tried within a couple of days because of the virus-related protocols. An upgrade to the building’s heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system for proper airflow could lead to fluctuating temperatures, according to a court flyer sent to jurors. The trial arrangements were planned in consultation with an infectious disease expert to comply with virus guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Vermont Health Department, the newspaper reported. ___ GENEVA — The head of the World Health Organization is calling on some of the world’s top COVID-19 vaccine makers to do more to get doses to needy people around the world, especially in the developing world -- and more quickly. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus appealed in particular to U.S.-based Moderna to accelerate its planned timetable for doses of its vaccine to be available to the U.N.-backed COVAX program, which aims to get vaccines to low- and middle-income countries. “Moderna has signed a deal for 500 million doses with COVAX, but the majority has been promised only for 2021,” Tedros said Monday. “We need Moderna to bring hundreds of millions of this forward into 2021 due to the acute moment of this pandemic.” The WHO chief also said COVAX was working toward a deal with U.S.-based Johnson & Johnson that could get doses to the program by the second half of this year, “but this has not been finalized and we do not know when they will arrive.” Tedros said “we appreciate the work of AstraZeneca” — the British-Swedish manufacturer that has been the main pillar so far of COVAX and the source of the vast majority of doses in the program that has now deployed some 65 million doses. U.S.-based Pfizer, along with German partner BioNTech, has committed to 40 million doses this year to COVAX, “but the majority of this would be in the second half of 2021,” he said. Tedros cited figures from UNICEF, which is helping the deployment, that COVAX is facing a “huge shortfall” of 190 million doses in its planned rollout because of tight supplies and a surge in cases. ___ TORONTO — All adults in Canada’s most populous province will be eligible to book a COVID-19 vaccine starting Tuesday. The Ontario government says those turning 18 this year will be allowed to book shots. The provincial government had initially said it would lower the vaccine eligibility age to 30 this week. The province will also now send shots to regions on a per-capita basis, after two weeks of sending half the vaccine supply to COVID-19 hot spots. Canada expects to get 3.5 million Pfizer and Moderna vaccines this week. More than 55% of the population in Ontario aged 18 and over have received at least one dose. ___ AMSTERDAM — The European medicines regulator says it is safe to store thawed Pfizer vaccines in a regular fridge for up to 31 days, a ruling that will make handling the vaccine easier around the European Union. The European Medicines Agency said Monday that its human medicines committee has recommended changing the storage guidelines for unopened, thawed vials of the Pfizer vaccine from five days to a month at normal fridge temperatures after they have been taken out of deep freeze. The change came after Pfizer and BioNTech submitted “additional stability study data” to the Amsterdam-based agency. The European Union agreed a massive contract extension for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine this month for a potential 1.8 billion doses through 2023. ___ ROME — The number of calls placed to Italy’s national domestic violence hotline increased nearly 80% last year in a sign that coronavirus-induced lockdowns created a “detonator” effect in already violent homes. Italy’s national statistics agency issued a comprehensive report Monday on the requests for help last year to the hotline and shelters. The report said the number of calls to the toll-free 1522 number and related texting option hit a peak in April and May, during the first wave of COVID-19, which hit Italy first in Europe. Another peak came around Nov. 25. ISTAT said the data confirmed it was accurate to speak of a “double pandemic” — one that was epidemiological and one fueled by domestic violence. ___ NEW YORK — Target and CVS are the latest retailers to no longer require vaccinated shoppers to wear a mask in its stores. Target’s said vaccinated workers can also stop wearing masks, but at CVS, the company said workers will be required to wear them even if they’ve been inoculated. The announcements come after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people last week, allowing them to stop wearing masks outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings. On Friday, Walmart, Costco and several other large retailers said that those who have been vaccinated don’t need to wear masks. Target and CVS said Monday that they will still recommend those who aren’t vaccinated to wear masks in its stores. Target said it is offering paid time off to workers to get a COVID-19 vaccine. ___ ROME — The first European visitors have started arriving in Italy after the government lifted a coronavirus quarantine requirement for travelers from the European Union, Britain and Israel. People arriving on a flight Monday from Greece had to test negative before boarding. Among the passengers was Greek tourist Aris Mandatakis, who said the no-quarantine rule was great. He said it was just like being “a normal person.” Italy announced last week it was relaxing its COVID-19 quarantine requirement for visitors from the EU, Israel and Britain in a bid to jumpstart its pandemic-devastated tourist industry. Italy had imposed the five-day quarantine on EU travelers to deter visitors over the Easter holiday and to discourage Italians from taking advantage of a loophole that had made it easier to travel abroad than from Rome to Milan. Italy, where the coronavirus outbreak first erupted in Europe, has seen its confirmed caseload fall to fewer than 10,000 a day after a winter of lockdowns and an accelerating vaccination campaign. The country though is still seeing around 200 deaths a day, and has the second-highest confirmed COVID-19 toll in Europe after Britain. ___ HONG KONG — Hong Kong authorities said Monday that quarantine restrictions for arrivals from countries like Singapore, Japan and Malaysia would be tightened beginning Friday amid a surge in coronavirus infections From Friday, unvaccinated travelers from “high-risk” countries including Argentina, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Singapore will have to serve 21 days in a designated hotel in Hong Kong and undergo four coronavirus tests. Vaccinated travelers from these countries will undergo quarantine for 14 days in a designated hotel and have to take three coronavirus tests. They are also required to self-monitor and take further coronavirus tests on their 16th and 19th days of arrival. All travelers from these countries must also present a negative coronavirus test within 72 hours of their scheduled flight to Hong Kong. Hong Kong so far has had a slower-than-expected vaccination rate of about 16% of its population. ___ KENAI, Alaska — Alaska public health officials say nearly half of the state’s residents 16 and older have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The Peninsula Clarion reports about 47% of people 16 and older had received both doses as of Friday, while about 53% had received at least one dose. The milestones came days after Alaska opened up vaccination appointments for children 12 and up following the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention approval of Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for use in the age group. ___ THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The Dutch government will further relax the nationwide coronavirus lockdown on Wednesday, allowing zoos and theme parks to reopen. The government said Monday that falls in hospital admission numbers of COVID-19 patients allowed the easing to go ahead. Bars and cafes can also extend the opening hours of their outdoor terraces under strict conditions. Libraries will reopen on Thursday, though visitors will have to make a reservation and complete a health check. The 7-day rolling average of daily new cases in the Netherlands has declined over the past two weeks from 40 to 32 cases per 100,000 people. ___ TOKYO — Dozens of protestors on Monday took one of Tokyo’s busiest streets and called for the cancellation of the Summer Olympics, which Japan is determined to host despite a resurgence of coronavirus infections. With the number of hospitalized patients close to record-high levels, along with a slow vaccine rollout, more people in Japan are feeling uneasy about the prospect of carrying out the world’s biggest sports event in just 10 weeks. The rally was originally planned as a protest to International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach’s cancelled May 17-18 visit to Japan. “Medical workers in Japan are all exhausted, and there is no guarantee that the Olympics could be held safely,” Keiko Nakamori, a 65-year-old protester, said outside Shimbashi station. A survey published Monday by the Asahi newspaper showed more than 80% of 1,527 respondents said the Olympic Games should be canceled or further postponed. ___ COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Sri Lankan authorities on Monday allowed shops and public transport to reopen, easing a three-day travel restriction imposed across the country. Sri Lankans were prohibited from leaving their homes since Thursday night to try to contain the spread of COVID-19. But authorities said those restrictions will now be imposed for five hours overnight for the next two weeks. In addition, for the next two weeks, only one person from each household is permitted to leave the house. Authorities have banned all public gatherings, weddings, cinemas, parties, bars, musical shows and closed schools and universities. ___ MADRID — Spain is sending a plane to Nepal to pick up and bring home some 40 Spanish mountaineers, aid workers and others who have been affected by the travel bans imposed amid high coronavirus infection rates there. Foreign Minister Arancha González Laya said Monday that the plane will also take ventilators and other medical supplies to Nepal to treat patients with COVID-19. The mountaineers had called on authorities to repatriate them, a move met with criticism from those who said a pandemic is not a time to travel abroad to climb Mount Everest or other major Himalayan peaks. Nepal is experiencing a coronavirus surge with record numbers of new infections and deaths. Authorities imposed a lockdown across most of the country last month and have extended it until the end of May. China has also cancelled attempts to climb Mount Everest from its side because of fears of importing COVID-19 cases from Nepal. ___ LONDON — Pubs and restaurants across much of the U.K. opened for indoor service for the first time since early January on Monday, even as the prime minister urged people to be cautious amid the spread of a more contagious COVID-19 variant. The latest step in the gradual easing of nationwide restrictions imposed on Jan. 4 also includes the reopening of theaters, sports venues and museums, raising hopes that the economy may soon start to recover from the devastating effects of the pandemic. The government is also relaxing guidance on close personal contact, such as hugging, and permitting international travel, though only 12 countries and territories are on the list of “safe” destinations. But the rapid spread of a variant first discovered in India is tempering the optimism amid memories of how another variant swept across the country in December, triggering England’s third national lockdown. Public health officials and the government are urging people to continue to observe social distancing, even though they say the situation is different now because almost 70% of the adult population has received at least one dose of vaccine. “Please, be cautious about the risks to your loved ones,’’ Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a video posted on Twitter. “Remember that close contact such as hugging is a direct way of transmitting this disease.'' Britain has Europe's highest coronavirus death toll, at some 128,000 people. ___ This story has been updated to correct that CVS will still require employees to wear masks. ___ The Associated Press
Stock indexes were lower globally on Monday with technology shares on Wall Street falling, while U.S. Treasury yields traded little changed even after a report showing the highest prices ever paid in a May manufacturing survey for New York state. Concerns over inflationary pressure helped to lift gold prices to their highest in more than three months, however. The Empire State Manufacturing Survey, produced by the New York Fed, showed the prices paid index rose to a record 83.5, the highest since the data series began in 2001, said Tom Simons, money market economist at Jefferies & Co.
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia, May 17, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Dominion Lending Centres Inc. (TSXV:DLCG) (“DLCG” or the “Corporation”) is pleased to report that its subsidiary Newton Connectivity Systems Inc. (“Newton”) has successfully added Desjardins Bank for submission from Velocity. As Desjardins is one of the leading lenders in Quebec, adding them as a submission lender will enhance the adoption of Velocity with our Quebec based customers. Further, the Corporation and Newton continue to work with HSBC Canada on a mortgage program exclusive to DLC Group mortgage professionals and accessible only through Newton’s Velocity connectivity platform. Gary Mauris, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation, commented: “Mortgage professionals now have even more reasons to use Canada's fastest growing mortgage submission platform with Newton's Velocity. Along with Velocity's award-winning features and client service, we continue to add more lender options to ensure Velocity is the system of choice for top mortgage professionals.” Geoff Willis, President of Newton, noted: “Adding Desjardins, together with the HSBC program, provides Velocity mortgage professionals with greater lender access across Canada and the ability to access exclusive preferred rates.” About Dominion Lending Centres Inc. The DLC Group is Canada’s leading network of mortgage professionals. The DLC Group operates through Dominion Lending Centres and its three main subsidiaries, MCC Mortgage Centre Canada Inc., MA Mortgage Architects Inc. and Newton Connectivity Systems Inc., and has operations across Canada. The DLC Group’s extensive network includes ~6,500 agents and 515 locations. Headquartered in British Columbia, the DLC Group was founded in 2006 by Gary Mauris and Chris Kayat. Contact information for the Corporation is as follows: James BellCo-President403email@example.comRobin BurpeeCo-Chief Financial Officer403firstname.lastname@example.orgAmar LeekhaSr. Vice-President, Capital Markets403email@example.com NEITHER THE TSX VENTURE EXCHANGE NOR ITS REGULATION SERVICES PROVIDER (AS THAT TERM IS DEFINED IN THE POLICIES OF THE TSX VENTURE EXCHANGE) ACCEPTS RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ADEQUACY OR ACCURACY OF THIS RELEASE.
SANAA, Yemen — Thousands of Yemenis took to the streets in the rebel-held capital, Sanaa on Monday to denounce Israeli attacks on Gaza. Protesters carried Palestinian flags and banners calling for the boycott of Israeli and American goods. They also chanted: “Death to America!” and “Death to Israel!” Many protesters were seen carrying AK-47 assault rifles. The protests are called by Houthi rebels, who are allied with Hamas. Both groups have close ties with Iran, the archenemy of Israel. ___ GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Palestinian witnesses say at least two people were killed in an Israeli airstrike at the upper floor of an apartment building in Gaza City. The witnesses say the bodies of man and a girl were brought to the Shifa hospital in the city. There was no immediate comment from the Health Ministry. The latest airstrike occurred Monday in the same neighborhood at Wahda street where a series of conservative air raids had flattened three buildings and killed as many as 42 Palestinians early Sunday. Meanwhile, a fresh airstrike has flattened a five-story commercial building housing the headquarters of the Hamas-run religious affairs ministry. The armed wing of Hamas said Israel has resumed hitting houses Monday afternoon and said it would fire rockets toward Israel’s heartland in retaliation. ___ GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Hamas’ Interior Ministry has ordered journalists and media production companies in Gaza to refrain from offering their services to two Saudi-owned satellite channels. In a message sent to journalists’ mobiles, a ministry official stressed offering any service to the Dubai-based Al-Arabiya TV and its news branch Al-Hadath are prohibited “by liability.” Hamas has closed the Gaza offices of the channel during the 2014 war after accusing it of broadcasting “false news” meant to distort the Islamic militant group. ___ ATHENS, Greece — Greece says its foreign minister will head to Israel and the Palestinian territories on Tuesday for talks with his Israeli and Palestinian counterparts. Nikos Dendias is to meet with Gabi Ashkenazi and Riad al-Maliki before heading later the same day to Jordan for talks with Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, the foreign ministry announced Monday. The minister will travel to Egypt on Thursday for a meeting with his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukri. In the past Greece, which has long had good relations with both Israel and the Palestinians, has attempted to play a mediating role in their conflicts. ___ BERLIN — German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the current escalation in the Mideast conflict and emphasized Germany’s solidarity with Israel and the country’s right to self-defense. She condemned the continued rocket attacks from Gaza into Israeli and voiced her hope for a swift end to the fighting in light of the loss of civilian life on both sides. Merkel’s office said she also stressed that the government will “continue to act decisively against protests in Germany at which hatred and antisemitism is spread.” One of the leading contenders to succeed Merkel in Germany’s national election this fall, Annalena Baerbock of the center-left Greens, likewise condemned the Hamas rocket attacks and backed Israel’s right to self-defense. She called for Germany and the European Union to support efforts by U.S. President Joe Biden to mediate between the warring parties. Asked about Israel’s destruction of a high-rise building in Gaza used by international media, including AP, Baerbock said the principles of international humanitarian law, which bans attacks on civilians — apply in the conflict. Israel said the airstrike targeted Hamas, which it claimed was present in the building, but didn’t offer proof. ___ JERUSALEM — An Israeli man hurt in violent unrest by Arab citizens in central Israel last week has died of his injuries, his family says. Police confirmed that Yigal Yehoshua, 56, was attacked and seriously injured by rioters in Lod on Monday, has died. An investigation into the incident is ongoing. Lod saw some of the worst Jewish and Arab violent unrest that wracked Israeli cities last week. Police said that a total of 190 people were injured in the violence, 10 of them seriously. Yehoshua was the second confirmed death. Musa Hassuna was shot and killed May 11 during the first night of unrest in Lod. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said “operations are continuing across the county to prevent and respond to incidents” with additional reinforcements in Lod. — This item has been corrected to show that Yigal Yehoshua was the second confirmed death in the violence, not the first. ___ PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi stressed the “absolute need” to cease hostilities between Israel and the Palestinians, the French presidency said. During a working meeting in Paris on Monday, both leaders shared “strong concerns” about the escalation of violence in the Middle East and deplored the numerous civilian victims, the statement said. Macron reaffirmed France’s support to Egypt’s mediation in the conflict. Both leaders agreed to continue to coordinate their actions in favor of a “rapid cease-fire” and prevent a spreading of the conflict in the region, according to the French presidency. ___ BRUSSELS — The European Union will redouble its efforts to end the upsurge in violence between the Israeli military and Palestinian militants, and seek progress during a special meeting of its foreign ministers Tuesday, the bloc said. The EU also called the weekend destruction of a building housing major international media “extremely worrying” and said safe working conditions for journalists were essential. The EU has never had the impact Washington can wield in the region and no immediate breakthrough was expected from Tuesday’s meeting. Ever since the outbreak of violence last week, the EU has been calling for restraint and condemned attacks that hit civilian populations. ___ LONDON — The British government says Israel must ensure that its military activities against Hamas are “proportionate,” and it is deeply concerned by the destruction of media offices and other civilian targets in Gaza. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman, Max Blain, said Britain is “in contact with our U.S and U.N. counterparts and urgently seeking more information from the Israeli government” on Saturday’s attack, which destroyed a high-rise building housing the offices of The Associated Press and other media organizations. “We are deeply concerned by U.N. reports that 23 schools and 500 homes, as well as medical facilities and media offices, have been destroyed or damaged in Gaza,” Blain said. He added that “Israel must make every effort to avoid civilian casualties and military activity must be proportionate.” Blain also said the U.K. was concerned about Hamas using civilian areas as cover. Israel says the media building was also being used by Hamas, though it has not offered evidence. ___ CAIRO — Egypt’s chief diplomat has warned against expanding the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, urging all parties to strike a cease-fire. Foreign Minister Sameh Shukry said in televised comments that Egypt is working with international partners to reach a truce and embark on political negations aiming at achieving a “permanent, comprehensive and just” solution to the Palestinian cause. He said Egypt hopes the U.S. administration will engage in such an effort to relaunch the political process in order to avert war and destruction in the region. He called for Israel’s government to reduce tensions in Jerusalem and stop efforts by extremist settlers to change the nature of the city. ___ BERLIN — German officials have condemned the ongoing rocket fire by Hamas on Israel and demanded that the militant group immediately end those attacks. “This is terror, which is intended to kill people indiscriminately,” German government spokesman Steffen Seibert told reportes in Berlin. “The German government stands by Israel and its right to protect its population and defend itself.” Seibert added that it was “tragic that so many human lives need to be lamented on both sides” but accused Hamas of “holding the Palestinian population in Gaza hostage” by launching its rockets from densely populated civilian areas. Asked about the destruction of a Gaza building housing several media outlets, including AP, by Israel over the weekend, Seibert said it was important that journalists should be able to report from war zones, but again cited Israel’s right to self-defense. Israel has claimed the building was also used by Hamas, though it has not offered evidence. ___ DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The ambassador of the Czech Republic to Kuwait is apologizing over an image posted online of him draped in the Israeli flag, amid anger in the small, oil-rich nation over the death of Palestinians. Martin Dvorak wrote an open letter posted on the embassy’s Twitter account on Monday after Kuwaitis posted angry messages to his Instagram account. Dvorak wrote that his post inspired “understandable outrage and indignation among many people with regards to the current, deeply dramatic situation in the Gaza Strip.” He added: “It was absolutely not my intention to express any manner of disrespect towards the innocent Palestinian victims and casualties whose loss we are currently witnessing.” The Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry summoned Dvorak on Monday over the post to express “its categorical rejection and strong disapproval.” While some Gulf Arab nations now recognize Israel, Kuwait has not done so in a decades-long support of the Palestinians’ efforts to have an independent state. ___ MOSCOW — Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says Russia is “extremely concerned” about Israel's destruction of a building in Gaza City that housed the AP’s longtime Gaza bureau and offices of other media organizations. “We are extremely concerned about the growing number of human casualties,” Peskov added during a conference call with reporters. Peskov said that Russian President Vladimir Putin hasn’t had any contacts with “neither the Israeli, nor the Palestinian side” in recent days, but such contacts “can be organized, if necessary. The Kremlin spokesman added that “very energetic efforts are now being made both through the Quartet (of Middle East mediators, which comprises the U.N., the U.S., the European Union and Russia), and various countries are now in constant contact through bilateral channels with both the Israelis and the Palestinians in order to stop the exchange of strikes.” ___ ROME — The Vatican has confirmed that Pope Francis met with the Iranian foreign minister and spoke by telephone with the Turkish president amid the spiral of violence between Israel and the Palestinians. The Vatican said Francis spoke by phone around 9 a.m. Monday with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Later, he met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who was in Rome on a previously announced visit. The Vatican provided no comment on the content of the talks. On Sunday, Francis appealed for calm and international help to open a path of dialogue. Speaking during his Sunday blessing, Francis said the deaths of children in the latest surge of violence was a “sign that they don’t want to build the future but want to destroy it.” ___ ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has asked Pope Francis to support sanctions against Israel, saying Palestinians will continue to be “massacred” as long as the international community does not punish Israel. During a telephone telephone call Monday with the pope, Erdogan also said that “continued messages and reactions” from Francis in support of Palestinians would be of great importance for the “mobilization of the Christian world and of the international community,” according to a statement from the Turkish presidential communications directorate. During their conversation, Erdogan also renewed a call for the international community to take concrete steps to show Israel the “dissuasive reaction and lesson it deserves,” according to the statement. The Turkish leader has been engaged in a telephone diplomacy bid to end Israel’s use of force. ___ GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Gaza’s mayor says Israeli airstrikes Monday on the Gaza Strip have caused extensive damage to roads and other infrastructure, while the Israeli military says they destroyed 15 kilometers (nine miles) of militant tunnels and the homes of nine alleged Hamas commanders. “If the aggression continues we expect conditions to become worse,” mayor Yahya Sarraj told Al-Jazeera TV. The U.N. has warned that the territory’s sole power station is at risk of running out of fuel, and Sarraj said Gaza was also low on spare parts. Gaza already experiences daily power outages for between eight and 12 hours and tap water is undrinkable. Mohammed Thabet, a spokesman for the the territory’s electricity distribution company, said it has fuel to supply Gaza with electricity for two or three days. Airstrikes have damaged supply lines and the company’s staff cannot reach areas that were hit because of continued Israeli shelling, he added. The war broke out last Monday, when the Hamas militant group fired long-range rockets at Jerusalem after weeks of clashes in the holy city between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police. The protests were focused on the heavy-handed policing of a flashpoint sacred site during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and the threatened eviction of dozens of Palestinian families by Jewish settlers. Since then, the Israeli military has launched hundreds of airstrikes that it says are targeting Hamas’ militant infrastructure. Palestinian militants in Gaza have fired more than 3,100 rockets into Israel. At least 188 Palestinians have been killed in the strikes and 1,230 people wounded. Eight people in Israel have been killed in rocket attacks from Gaza. ___ JERUSALEM — The Israeli military says its airstrikes on the Gaza Strip have destroyed 15 kilometers (nine miles) of militant tunnels and the homes of nine alleged Hamas commanders. Residents of Gaza awakened early Monday by the overnight barrage described it as the heaviest since the war began a week ago, and even more powerful than a wave of airstrikes in Gaza City the day before that left 42 dead and flattened three buildings. There was no immediate word Monday on the casualties from the latest strikes. A three-story building in Gaza City was heavily damaged, but residents said the military warned them 10 minutes before the strike and everyone cleared out. They said many of the airstrikes hit nearby farmland. The Associated Press
Kate Hudson shared the sweet moment on Instagram while doing some spring cleaning at home
A novel written by a Jewish author in 1938 after he escaped Nazi Germany is climbing the book charts.