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Explosion strikes Israeli-owned ship in Mideast amid tension

- Associated Press

An explosion struck an Israeli-owned cargo ship sailing out of the Middle East on Friday, an unexplained blast renewing concerns about ship security amid escalating tensions between the U.S. and Iran.

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Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin speaks to the House and Governmental Affairs Committee about his proposed emergency plan for the fall Louisiana elections, on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020, in Baton Rouge, La. (AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte)

Analysis: La. voting machine search a political minefield

- Associated Press

If Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin needed another indication about the politically dicey nature of his work to replace Louisiana's voting machines, he received a bracing and loud reminder during his luncheon speech to a group of Republican women.

Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF Director of the Office of Emergency Programmes, center, visits internally-displaced people in Adigrat Town, in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. (Zerihun Sewunet/UNICEF via AP)

US is 'gravely concerned' by reports of abuses in Ethiopia

- Associated Press

The United States is “gravely concerned by reported atrocities and the overall deteriorating situation” in Ethiopia's Tigray region, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in the toughest statement yet from Washington on Ethiopia's ongoing conflict.

A Christian priest holds a Vatican flag as he walks by a poster of Pope Francis during preparations for the Pope's visit in Mar Youssif Church in Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. (AP/Photo/Hadi Mizban)

'Not a good idea:' Experts concerned about pope trip to Iraq

- Associated Press

Infectious disease experts are expressing concern about Pope Francis’ upcoming trip to Iraq, given a sharp rise in coronavirus infections there, a fragile health care system and the unavoidable likelihood that Iraqis will crowd to see him.

The Israeli-owned cargo ship, Helios Ray, sits docked in port after arriving earlier in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021. The ship has been damaged by an unexplained blast at the gulf of Oman on Thursday. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

Israeli-owned ship docked in Dubai after mysterious blast

- Associated Press

An Israeli-owned cargo ship that suffered a mysterious explosion in the Gulf of Oman came to Dubai's port for repairs Sunday, days after the blast that revived security concerns in Mideast waterways amid heightened tensions with Iran.

Protesters block a road during a protest against the military coup in Mandalay, Myanmar, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021. Police in Myanmar escalated their crackdown on demonstrators against this month's military takeover, deploying early and in force on Saturday as protesters sought to assemble in the country's two biggest cities and elsewhere. (AP Photo)

UN: At least 18 killed by Myanmar forces in several cities

Associated Press

Security forces in Myanmar opened fire and made mass arrests Sunday as they sought to break up protests against the military’s seizure of power, and a U.N. human rights official said it had “credible information” that at least 18 people were killed and 30 were wounded.

FILE - In this Aug. 5, 2012, file photo, Pakistani Taliban patrol in their stronghold of Shawal in Pakistani tribal region of South Waziristan. Militant attacks are on the rise in Pakistan amid a growing religiosity that has brought greater intolerance, prompting one expert to voice concern the country could be overwhelmed by religious extremism. (AP Photo/Ishtiaq Mahsud, File)

Pakistan expert: Religiosity aiding spike in militancy

- Associated Press

Militant attacks are on the rise in Pakistan amid a growing religiosity that has brought greater intolerance, prompting one expert to voice concern the country could be overwhelmed by religious extremism.

Police stand in formation blocking a main road in Mandalay, Myanmar, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. Myanmar security forces cracked down on anti-coup protesters in the country's second-largest city Mandalay on Friday, injuring at least three people, two of whom were shot in the chest by rubber bullets and another who suffered a wound on his leg. (AP Photo)

Myanmar police deploy early to crank up pressure on protests

Associated Press

Police in Myanmar escalated their crackdown on demonstrators against this month’s military takeover, deploying early and in force on Saturday as protesters sought to assemble in the country's two biggest cities and elsewhere.

A member of the International Organization for Migration takes a child's temperature before crossing the border into El Paso, Texas at the Leona Vicario shelter in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. After waiting months and sometimes years in Mexico, people seeking asylum in the United States are being allowed into the country as they wait for courts to decide on their cases, unwinding one of the Trump administration's signature immigration policies that President Joe Biden vowed to end. (AP Photo/Christian Chavez)

Processing of asylum seekers expands at US-Mexico border

- Associated Press

The processing of asylum seekers waiting to enter the United States expanded to a third border crossing Friday, even as nongovernmental organizations called for more effort to protect the thousands still in Mexican border cities.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, second from right, speaks during a virtual meeting at the State Department in Washington, Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, with Canadian Foreign Minister Marc Garneau who is in Ottawa, Canada. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, Pool)

Top US diplomat 'visits' Mexico, Canada on virtual trip

- Associated Press

Diplomats sat beside stacks of briefing papers, flanked by flags and emphasized their closeness. But they were geographically far apart Friday as Secretary of State Antony Blinken, because of the pandemic, started a new chapter in North American relations with virtual visits to Mexico and Canada in what was billed as his first official trip.