‘Civil War’ continues box-office campaign at No. 1  

New York — “Civil War,” Alex Garland’s ominous American dystopia, remained the top film in theaters in its second week of release, according to studio estimates Sunday. The A24 election-year gamble, the indie studio’s biggest budgeted film yet, took in $11.1 million in ticket sales at 3,929 theaters over the weekend. The $50 million film, set …

Residents of 4 Serb-majority municipalities vote on Albanian mayors’ fates 

PRISTINA, Kosovo — Residents of four Serb-majority municipalities are casting their votes Sunday on removing their ethnic Albanian mayors from office following last year’s mayoral elections, overwhelmingly boycotted by the Serb minority.  The referendum — supported by the West — is an attempt to diffuse tensions between Kosovo and its neighboring Serbia as both countries vie …

Polish voters choose mayors in hundreds of cities in runoff election  

WARSAW — Polish voters are casting ballots Sunday to choose mayors in hundreds of cities and towns where no candidate won outright in the first round of local election voting two weeks ago.  Mayors will be chosen in 748 places, including Krakow, Poznan, Rzeszow and Wroclaw. Those are places where no single candidate won at least …

Mutiso Munyao gives Kenya another London Marathon win after tribute to Kiptum

London — Alexander Mutiso Munyao delivered another win for Kenya on a day the London Marathon remembered last year’s champion Kelvin Kiptum. A race that started with a period of applause for Kiptum, who was killed in a car crash in Kenya in February, ended with his countryman and friend running alone down the final straight …

US House speaker, who strongly opposed Ukraine aid, ushers it through

Washington — Republican Mike Johnson came out of nowhere six months ago to become speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, before emerging as an ardent defender of military aid to Ukraine, which the chamber approved Saturday.   The evolution of this 52-year-old Southerner with carefully coiffed hair has been stunning.   An arch-conservative Christian from …

Once foreign aid bill signed, this is how US can rush weapons to Ukraine

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon could get weapons moving to Ukraine within days once Congress passes a long-delayed aid bill. That’s because it has a network of storage sites in the U.S. and Europe that hold the ammunition and air defense components that Kyiv desperately needs. Moving fast is critical, CIA Director Bill Burns said this past …

EU politicians embrace TikTok despite data security concerns

Sundsvall,  Sweden — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s short videos of his three-day trip to China this week proved popular in posts on Chinese-owned social media platform TikTok, which the European Union, Canada, Taiwan and the United States banned on official devices more than a year ago, citing security concerns. By Friday, one video showing highlights of …

US House passes $95 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan

Washington — The U.S. House of Representatives on Saturday passed with bipartisan support a four-part, $95 billion foreign aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, putting the long-beleaguered legislation on track for enactment following a long, difficult path through Congress.  The legislation includes $60 billion for Kyiv’s ongoing war against Moscow’s invasion, as well as $26 …

China’s imports of Russian oil near record high in March

BEIJING — Russia remained China’s top oil supplier in March, data showed Saturday, as refiners snapped up stranded Sokol crude shipments.   China’s imports from Russia, including supplies via pipelines and sea-borne shipments, jumped 12.5% on the year to 10.81 million metric tons, or 2.55 million barrels per day (bpd) last month, according to data from …

Israelis grapple with how to celebrate Passover while many remain captive

JERUSALEM — Every year, Alon Gat’s mother led the family’s Passover celebration of the liberation of the ancient Israelites from Egypt thousands of years ago. But this year, Gat is struggling with how to reconcile a holiday commemorating freedom after his mother was slain and other family members abducted when Hamas attacked Israel. Gat’s sister, Carmel, …

US beach aims to disrupt Black students’ spring bash after ’23 chaos

TYBEE ISLAND, Georgia — Thousands of Black college students expected this weekend for an annual spring bash at the largest public beach in the U.S. state of Georgia will be greeted by dozens of extra police officers and barricades closing off neighborhood streets. While the beach will remain open, officials are blocking access to nearby parking. …

French police detain intruder at Iranian consulate in Paris

Paris, France — French authorities Friday detained a man suspected of entering the Iranian consulate in Paris and falsely claiming to be armed with an explosive vest, police and prosecutors said.  No explosives or arms were found on the man or the premises after he surrendered to police following the incident.  The man, born in 1963 …

Europe falters on boosting weapons supplies to Ukraine, as US military aid held up

london — European nations are struggling to agree on providing urgently needed weapons to Ukraine as Kyiv’s forces struggle to hold ground against invading Russian forces. Ukrainian cities and critical infrastructure faced waves of drone and missile attacks from Russia again on Friday, with at least eight people killed, including two children, in an attack in …