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Germany expands center for space junk to deal with new threats

UEDEM, Germany — Outer space is getting more and more crowded. Thousands of satellites, parts of satellites and random pieces of space junk are hurtling around the earth, and that may include rogue satellites that could be used to damage other spacecraft.

Rowling returns to Harry Potterwith new ebooks

LONDON — British author J.K. Rowling is delving back into the world of “Harry Potter” for a series of short ebooks with new stories about some of her characters from the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Earth likely to get respite from heat in 2017

OSLO — The Earth is likely to get relief in 2017 from record scorching temperatures that bolstered governments’ resolve last year in reaching a deal to combat climate change, scientists said on Wednesday.

Police seek taxi driver after U.S. swimmer Lochte robbed in Rio

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazilian police searched on Monday for the driver of a taxi in which U.S. gold medalist swimmer Ryan Lochte and three team mates were robbed at gunpoint, as authorities stepped up security in Rio de Janeiro after a spate of incidents.

Russia announces war games after accusing Ukraine of terrorist plot

MOSCOW — Vladimir Putin summoned his security council and the Russian Navy announced war games in the Black Sea a day after the Russian president accused Ukraine of trying to provoke a conflict over Crimea, which Moscow seized and annexed in 2014.

Turkey warns EU it is making ‘serious mistakes’ over failed coup

ANKARA/ISTANBUL — Turkey said on Wednesday the European Union was fueled by anti-Turkish sentiment and hostility to President Tayyip Erdogan and was making grave mistakes in its response to a failed coup which was costing it the trust of ordinary Turks.

Fires kill 4 people in Portugal; 1,000 evacuated on Madeira

LISBON — Wildfires raging in Portugal killed at least four people and more than 1,000 people were evacuated on the tourist destination island of Madeira, where flames spread to its regional capital, Funchal, authorities said on Wednesday.

Magic spells unearthed with skeletons in Serbia

KOSTOLAC, Serbia — Archaeologists are trying to decipher magic spells etched onto tiny rolls of gold and silver that they found alongside skeletons of humans buried almost 2,000 years ago.

Olympic housing built on slave burial ground angers descendants

RIO DE JANEIRO — Looking out at the new concrete buildings housing international journalists covering the 2016 Olympics, Adilson Almeida cannot hide his anger: he says they were built on a burial ground of his ancestors — Brazil's former slaves.

U.S. air strikes show limits on Libya intervention

TUNIS — While U.S. jets and drones are pounding Islamic State in the Libyan city of Sirte, Western powers are unlikely to expand their military involvement rapidly, anxious to avoid exacerbating factional divisions as the government they support struggles to establish itself.

Greek police arrest 24 in crackdown on tax-dodging cashless gadgets

ATHENS — Greek authorities said on Monday they had arrested 24 people in a crackdown on about 1,000 small businesses suspected of dodging capital controls and value-added tax by using cashless card-processing terminals linked to banks in Bulgaria.

Suicide bomber kills at least 70 at Pakistan hospital

QUETTA, Pakistan — A suicide bomber in Pakistan killed at least 70 people and wounded more than a hundred on Monday in an attack on mourners gathered at a hospital in Quetta, according to officials in the southwestern province of Baluchistan.

Brazilian priest cited in ‘Spotlight’ hangs himself

BRASILIA — A Brazilian priest mentioned in the Catholic clergy sex abuse film "Spotlight" was found dead in a prison cell after he was arrested again for suspected pedophilia, authorities said on Monday.

Iran denies U.S. cash payment was related to nuclear deal

DUBAI — Iran said on Monday that $1.7 billion that the United States sent it in January was cash owned since before the 1979 revolution, confirming the White House's assertion that it was not related to nuclear talks or a prisoner release.

Report: Man charged in grenade case may have followed al Qaeda

MICHIGAN — U.S. authorities have found an apparent link between a Michigan man charged with illegally purchasing an arsenal of explosives and the radical U.S.-born al Qaeda recruiter Anwar al-Awlaki, the Detroit News reported on Saturday.

Woman killed in London knife attack

LONDON — A U.S. woman was killed and five other people injured by a man with suspected mental health issues who went on a rampage with a knife in central London.