UN cultural agency rejects plan to place Britain’s Stonehenge on list of heritage sites in danger

New Delhi — The United Nations’ cultural agency rejected recommendations Wednesday to place Stonehenge on the list of world heritage sites in danger over concerns that Britain’s plans to build a nearby highway tunnel threaten the landscape around the prehistoric monument. Stonehenge was built on the flat lands of Salisbury Plain in southern England in stages, …

EU’s tariffs on Chinese EVs could slow progress on bloc’s green goals

Berlin, Germany — Forced to choose between its ambitious climate goals and a major loss of electric vehicle market share to China, the European Union opted to protect its carmakers. But analysts say the long-term effect on efforts to reduce greenhouse gases remains to be seen. Provisional duties of up to 37.6% on Chinese-made EVs imposed …

France’s Macron will keep centrist caretaker government on through Olympics

Paris — French President Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday he will keep a centrist caretaker government on through the Olympics to avoid “disorder,” brushing aside an 11th-hour prime minister nomination by the country’s leftist coalition. Macron made his widely expected announcement in a TV interview late Tuesday. Just prior to that appearance, the leftist coalition that won …

Russia bans entry of top Japanese executives

TOKYO — Russia has banned the head of Toyota and 12 other senior Japanese business figures from entering the country, prompting a protest by Tokyo on Wednesday. The list published by Russia’s foreign ministry on Tuesday includes Toyota chairman Akio Toyoda, Rakuten chief Hiroshi Mikitani and Akihiko Tanaka, president of the government-backed Japan International Cooperation Agency. …

British royal family announces plan to reduce carbon emissions

LONDON — Britain’s royal family on Wednesday set out its latest plans to reduce its carbon footprint, including the installation of heat pumps at the centuries-old Windsor Castle near London. Other environmentally friendly initiatives include the electrification of the royal family’s luxury fleet of vehicles, including the Bentley State Limousines. King Charles III, a life-long environmentalist, …

US invites Sudan’s warring parties for talks in Switzerland in August

WASHINGTON — The United States has invited the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces for U.S.-mediated cease-fire talks starting on August 14 in Switzerland, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Tuesday.  The talks will include the African Union, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and the United Nations as observers, Blinken said in a …

Hungary’s foreign minister indifferent to shift of EU meeting away from Budapest

Budapest, Hungary — Hungary’s foreign minister voiced indifference on Tuesday over a decision by the European Union’s top diplomat to shift an EU ministers’ meeting from Budapest to Brussels in a sign of disapproval over Hungary’s initial use of the EU presidency. “It was all the same to me in the beginning, and it’s all the …

China, Russia push back over Washington’s Arctic warning 

Washington — Russia and China on Tuesday pushed back against a U.S. warning over their increasing military and economic cooperation in the Arctic, where climate change is opening up greater competition. Russia has in recent years beefed up its military presence in the Arctic by reopening and modernizing several bases and airfields abandoned since the end …

Violence against women and girls in UK a ‘national emergency,’ police say

London — Violence against women and girls in England and Wales is a “national emergency” with almost 3,000 offenses recorded daily, police warned in a new report published on Tuesday. The study, commissioned by two law enforcement bodies, estimates that at least one in every 12 women will be a victim every year, with the exact …

New US Arctic strategy focused on Russian, Chinese inroads

washington — The United States is looking to boost intelligence collection in the Arctic and enhance cooperation with allies in the region, to prevent Russia and China from exploiting the cold and icy northern region at America’s expense. The mandate, part of the Pentagon’s just-released 2024 Arctic Strategy, comes as U.S. defense officials warn climate change …

Belarus frees head of banned party as Lukashenko slowly releases some political prisoners

TALLINN, Estonia — The head of a banned Belarusian opposition party who had been behind bars for two years was released on Monday as the authoritarian country frees a trickle of political prisoners, according to the respected human rights group Viasna. Mikalai Kazlou, who led the United Civic Party, was serving a 2½-year sentence on allegations …

Ukraine’s top diplomat to visit China this week to talk peace, Kyiv says

KYIV/BEIJING — Ukraine’s top diplomat will visit China on Tuesday at the invitation of Beijing for talks that Kyiv said would focus on how to end Russia’s war in Ukraine and on a possible Chinese role in reaching a settlement. Nearly 29 months since Russia’s full-scale invasion, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba will discuss bilateral ties at …

Pakistan demands Germany prosecute consulate attackers  

Islamabad — Pakistan has condemned Germany’s “failure” to safeguard its consulate in Frankfurt from being stormed and vandalized Saturday by dozens of protesters reportedly carrying Afghanistan’s national flag. In a Sunday statement issued in Islamabad, the foreign ministry, without naming any specific nationality, described the assailants as “a gang of extremists” and decried the security breach …

Mayor: Barcelona will raise tourist tax for cruise passengers

Madrid — Barcelona will raise the tourist tax for cruise passengers visiting the city for less than 12 hours, the mayor said in an interview published on Sunday. Jaume Collboni said the current tourist tax for stopover cruise passengers was 7 euros ($7.61) per day. He did not say by how much the tax would be …

Pope hopes truce on wars can come from Paris Olympics 

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis said on Sunday he hoped the Paris Olympics would be an occasion for truces in the world’s conflicts, urging athletes to be messengers of peace and models for young people. The games start on July 26 with an opening ceremony on the River Seine that will feature about 10,500 athletes and …