The Associated Press

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The Netherlands confirmed 13 cases of the new omicron variant of the coronavirus on Sunday and Australia found two as the countries half a world apart became the latest to detect it in travelers arriving from southern Africa.

A raft of curbs being imposed by nations around the world as they scramble to slow the variant's spread also grew, with Israel deciding Sunday to bar entry to foreign nationals in the toughest move so far.

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian authorities on Friday released the names of 51 people presumed dead after a devastating methane explosion in a coal mine in Siberia, believed to be the deadliest since 2010.

MOSCOW — A devastating fire swept through a Siberian coal mine Thursday, killing 52 miners and rescuers about 250 meters (820 feet) underground, Russian news reports said.

Hours after a methane gas explosion and fire filled the mine with toxic fumes, rescuers found 14 bodies but then were forced to halt the search for 38 others because of a buildup of methane and a high concentration of carbon monoxide fumes from the fire.

The state Tass and RIA-Novosti news agencies cited emergency officials as saying that there was no chance of finding any survivors.

ROME — National Geographic magazine's famed green-eyed "Afghan Girl" has arrived in Italy as part of the West's evacuation of Afghans following the Taliban takeover of the country, the Italian government said Thursday.

The office of Premier Mario Draghi said Italy organized the evacuation of Sharbat Gula after she asked to be helped to leave the country. The Italian government will now help to get her integrated into life in Italy, the statement said.

Crimped by the coronavirus pandemic last year, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade returned Thursday in full, albeit with precautions.

Members of Native American tribes from around New England are gathering in the seaside town where the Pilgrims settled — not to give thanks, but to mourn Indigenous people worldwide who've suffered centuries of racism and mistreatment.

Thursday's solemn National Day of Mourning observance in downtown Plymouth, Massachusetts, will recall the disease and oppression that European settlers brought to North America.

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Police opened fire on protesters in rioting that erupted in downtown Rotterdam around a demonstration against COVID-19 restrictions late Friday night. The Dutch city's mayor called it "an orgy of violence."

Police said that two rioters were hospitalized after being hit by bullets and investigations were underway to establish if they were shot by police. The condition of the injured rioters was not disclosed.

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Fallen Silicon Valley star Elizabeth Holmes, accused of bamboozling investors and patients into believing that her startup Theranos had developed a blood-testing device that would reshape health care, took the witness stand Friday in her trial for criminal fraud.

The surprise decision to have Holmes testify so early came as a bombshell and carries considerable risk. Federal prosecutors, who rested their months-long case earlier on Friday, have made it clear that they're eager to grill Holmes under oath.

FREEDOM, Maine — A wayward roadrunner is on the mend in Maine after traveling across the country in a moving van.

The greater roadrunner, a species native to Southwestern states, hitched a ride in the storage area of a moving van from Las Vegas to Westbrook, Maine. Volunteers took the bird to Avian Haven, a bird rehabilitation facility in Maine.

Family members of some victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting have won a court battle by default against right-wing media personality and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his Infowars website.

A Monday ruling from a Connecticut court — which found Jones and the other defendants liable for defamation — brought swift reaction from an attorney representing the families Sandy Hook victims, high-profile politicians and those defending Jones in the suit.

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