SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — As drought- and wind-driven wildfires have become more dangerous across the American West in recent years, firefighters have tried to become smarter in how they prepare. They’re using new technology and better positioning of resources in a bid to keep small blazes from erupting into mega-fires like the ones that torched…

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to India and Kuwait next week for talks on China, the coronavirus and Afghanistan, the State Department said Friday. The trip comes as the Biden administration seeks to shore up U.S. leadership in vaccinating the world against COVID-19, tries to blunt increasing Chinese assertiveness, and…

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — A new study suggests that a Sinopharm vaccine offers poor protection from COVID-19 among the elderly, raising questions for dozens of countries that have given the Chinese company’s shots to their most vulnerable populations.

BERLIN (AP) — With just months to go before her 16-year leadership of Germany ends, Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday defended her efforts to promote gender equality and curb climate change but expressed regret that some decisions, in hindsight, were made too late.

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Africa became the region hardest hit by terrorism in the first half of 2021 as the Islamic State and al-Qaida extremist groups and their affiliates spread their influence, boasting gains in supporters and territory and inflicting the greatest casualties, U.N. experts said in a new report.

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s Senate on Friday approved with some amendments much-disputed changes to property restitution rules, moving them a step closer to adoption. The draft regulations have drawn strong criticism from Israel and from Jewish organizations who say the new administrative law would prevent Jewish claims for compensation or property seized during the…

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — President Joe Biden led the kind of campaign rally that was impossible last year because of the pandemic, speaking before nearly 3,000 people in support of a fellow moderate Democrat whose race for Virginia governor could serve as a test of Biden’s own strength and coattails.

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese leader Xi Jinping has made a rare visit to Tibet as authorities tighten controls over the Himalayan region’s traditional Buddhist culture, accompanied by an accelerated drive for economic development and modernized infrastructure.

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Flooding in Yemen killed at least 14 people this week after nonseasonal rainstorms hit parts of the country, security officials said. The provinces of al-Mahrah, Hadramawt, Shabwa, Abeen and Jouf in the south and east of Yemen have seen instances of flooding. In Shabwa, local officials said a father and daughter…

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The Danish military said Thursday it spotted an Iranian destroyer and a large support vessel sailing through the Baltic Sea, likely heading to Russia for a military parade in the coming days.