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Gilgamesh tablet stolen 30 years ago returns to Iraq

A small clay tablet dating back 3,500 years and bearing a portion of the Epic of Gilgamesh that was looted from an Iraqi museum 30 years ago and recently recovered from the United States formally returned to Iraq on Tuesday.

Thousands of Afghans a day cross borders, 'even if it means our death'

Every day, multiple buses rumble out of Afghanistan's western city of Herat, carrying hundreds of people to the border. There they disembark, connect with their smugglers and trek for days, sometimes crammed into pickup trucks bumping through wastelands, sometimes on foot through treacherous mountains in the darkness, eluding guards and thieves.

Mass starvation looms in Afghanistan as half the country faces hunger under Taliban rule

More than half of the population of Afghanistan are facing extreme hunger, an issue that will only intensify as winter gets set to grip the war-torn country now under Taliban control.

Next pandemic may be more lethal, scientist behind AstraZeneca vaccine warns

One of the scientists behind the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is warning that the next pandemic may be more contagious and more lethal unless more money is devoted to research and preparations to fight emerging viral threats.

Putin sets world on edge amassing Russian troops along Ukraine border

Vladimir Putin has the world anticipating his next move as he prepares to hold a video conference with President Biden on Tuesday after amassing thousands of troops along the Russia-Ukraine border.

Nigeria blasts UK's travel ban as 'discriminatory'

A Nigerian official on Monday criticized a travel ban imposed on the West African nation by the British government amid fears about the new omicron coronavirus variant as "punitive, indefensible and discriminatory."

China threatens 'firm countermeasures' if US proceeds with diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics

China on Monday threatened to take "firm countermeasures" if the U.S. proceeds with a diplomatic boycott of February's Beijing Winter Olympic Games.

Italy makes life uncomfortable for unvaccinated people

Italy is making life more uncomfortable for unvaccinated people this holiday season, excluding them from indoor restaurants, theaters and museums starting Monday to reduce the spread of coronavirus and encourage vaccine skeptics to get their shots.

Pope Francis warns young people not to be tempted by consumerist sirens

Pope Francis ended his visit to Greece Monday by encouraging its young people to follow their dreams and not be tempted by the consumerist "sirens" of today that promise easy pleasures.

Burma: Aung San Suu Kyi gets 4 years in prison for incitement, violating COVID-19 restrictions

Aung San Suu Kyi, the 76-year-old former leader of Burma who was ousted earlier this year during a military coup, was sentenced Monday to four years in prison on charges of incitement and violating COVID-19 restrictions, reports said.

Pope chides Europe, comforts migrants on return to Lesbos

Pope Francis returned Sunday to the Greek island of Lesbos to offer comfort to migrants at a refugee camp and blast what he said was Europe's indifference and self-interest "that condemns to death those on the fringes."

Greek Orthodox priest heckles Pope Francis, calls him 'a heretic'

A Greek Orthodox priest decried Pope Francis as "a heretic" during a visit to Athens on Saturday.

Explosion heard near Iranian nuclear site Natanz

An explosion shook the area near Iran's main nuclear-enrichment plant late on Saturday, prompting conflicting explanations from Iranian officials as Tehran engages in talks with world powers over its nuclear program.

Indonesia's volcano spews ash, gas; 1 dead, dozens hurt

The highest volcano on Indonesia's most densely populated island of Java spewed thick columns of ash, searing gas and lava down its slopes in a sudden eruption triggered by heavy rains on Saturday.

Blinken doubles down on China warning over Taiwan: 'Terrible consequences' if Beijing strikes

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken fired a warning shot at China, saying any move to invade Taiwan would bring "terrible consequences."

US sees signs Russia plans Ukraine invasion in early 2022

U.S. officials believe Russia is planning a multi-front invasion of Ukraine, involving as many as 175,000 troops, as soon as early 2022, Fox News has confirmed.

Italian man tried to use fake arm to avoid COVID vaccination: report

An Italian man has been reported to police for fraud after allegedly trying to pass off a silicon mold as his arm so he could get a vaccination card without actually getting a shot, according to reports.

Belgian zoo says its 2 hippos have COVID-19

A Belgian zoo said Friday that a pair of hippopotamuses in its care are in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19

Omicron-stricken South Africa may be a glimpse into the future of COVID-19

New COVID-19 cases in South Africa have burgeoned from about 200 a day in mid-November to more than 16,000 on Friday.

New Zealand to try new COVID-19 system with Auckland reopening

Bars, restaurants and gyms reopened in Auckland on Friday as the last major parts of a lockdown that lasted more than 100 days ended.

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