NEW YORK — Japan will spend around $25 billion on policies meant to bolster its sliding birthrate, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Thursday, without fully explaining how he will fund the plans.

KOSOVO — The worst violence in a decade in Kosovo exposed the political intransigence of a region still in limbo 15 years after the nation declared independence from Serbia, and a tinderbox that takes little to ignite.

NEW YORK — COVID-19 no longer constitutes a global health emergency, the World Health Organization said, lowering its alert level three years after the novel coronavirus began killing millions as it swept across the world.

UMAN, Ukraine — Ukraine said on Friday it was nearly ready to launch a huge ground assault to retake occupied land, after Russia hurled missiles at cities as people slept overnight, killing at least 25 civilians in its first large-scale air strikes in nearly two months.

MOSCOW — Russian Federal Security Service investigators have formally charged Evan Gershkovich with espionage, but the Wall Street Journal reporter denied the charges and said he was working as a journalist, Russian news agencies reported on Friday.

OTTAWA — Two people died and more than a million were without power on Thursday after an ice storm hit Canada's two most-populated provinces ahead of a holiday weekend, bringing freezing rain and strong winds that toppled trees and weighed down power lines.

HELSINKI/BRUSSELS — Finland formally joined the NATO military alliance on Tuesday in a historic policy shift brought on by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, drawing a threat from Moscow of “counter-measures”.

ANKARA — Turkey’s parliament voted to approve Finland’s membership in NATO, removing the final obstacle to the accession of Russia’s Nordic neighbor into the defense alliance as its 31st member.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The World Health Organization recently changed its recommendations for COVID-19 vaccines, suggesting that high-risk populations should receive an additional dose 12 months after their last booster.

KYIV/ZAPORIZHZHIA, Ukraine — Russia blasted an apartment block in Ukraine with missiles on Wednesday and swarmed cities with drone attacks overnight, in a display of force as President Vladimir Putin bid farewell to his visiting “dear friend” and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

AMSTERDAM — The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant on Friday against Russian President Vladimir Putin, accusing him of being responsible for the war crime of illegal deportation of children from Ukraine.

CANBERRA — Australia’s nuclear-powered submarine program with the United States and Britain will cost up to A$368 billion ($245 billion) over the next three decades, a defense official said on Tuesday, the country’s biggest single defense project in history.

CHASIV YAR, Ukraine — Russian troops and mercenaries rained artillery on the last access routes to the besieged Ukrainian city of Bakhmut on Friday, bringing Moscow closer to its first major victory in half a year after the bloodiest fighting of the war.

LARISSA, Greece — A Greek passenger train collided head-on with a cargo train late on Tuesday, throwing entire carriages off the tracks and killing at least 36 people in the country's deadliest rail crash in living memory.

OSLO — Environmental campaigner Greta Thunberg was twice detained during a demonstration in support of Indigenous rights in Oslo on Wednesday, with police removing her and other activists from the finance ministry and later the environment ministry.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United States marked the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Friday with $2 billion in weaponry for Kyiv and new sanctions against Russia aimed at undermining Moscow’s ability to wage war.

KYIV/NEAR BAKHMUT — Ukraine said its forces had repelled Russian assaults along the length of the front line on Thursday on the eve of the war’s anniversary, as President Vladimir Putin, empty-handed after a bloody winter offensive, talked up Russia’s nuclear arsenal.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Alphabet Inc’s Google is rolling out tests that block access to news content for some Canadian users, the company confirmed on Wednesday, in what it says is a test run of a potential response to the government’s online news bill.

MOSCOW/WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United States is concerned by greater alignment between China and Russia, the U.S. State Department said on Wednesday after Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed "new frontiers" in ties with Beijing and signalled China's Xi Jinping would visit his country.

WARSAW/MOSCOW — China pledged to deepen cooperation with Russia on Wednesday as President Joe Biden prepared to meet leaders of NATO’s eastern flank — highlighting geopolitical tensions ahead of the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

ANTAKYA, Turkey — Another earthquake struck the border region of Turkey and Syria on Monday, just two weeks after the area was devastated by a larger quake that killed more than 47,000 people and damaged or destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes.

KYIV — President Joe Biden walked around central Kyiv on an unannounced visit on Monday, promising to stand with Ukraine as long as it takes, on a trip timed to upstage the Kremlin ahead of the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion.

BORODIANKA, Ukraine — Eleven-year-old Veronika Krasevych crouched down in the rubble near the ruins of her home in northern Ukraine, holding out a sachet of food to two ragged cats at her feet.

BERLIN — A 24-hour strike at seven German airports, including Frankfurt and Munich, was set to affect nearly 300,000 passengers on Friday, as unionised workers pressed for higher wages and threatened a summer of “chaos” if their demands were not met.

HOUSTON — Russia’s decision to cut crude oil production by 500,000 barrels per day reflects its inability to sell all of its oil, Ben Harris, a U.S. Treasury Department Assistant Secretary, said on Thursday.

TAIPEI — Taiwan’s military said on Thursday it had found the remains of a probable crashed weather balloon likely from China on a remote and strategically located island near the Chinese coast, amid a dispute between China and the United States over spy balloons.

KAHRAMANMARAS/ANTAKYA, Turkey — A teenage girl was pulled alive from the rubble in Turkey on Thursday more than 10 days after a devastating earthquake hit the region, but such rescues have become increasingly rare, leaving sorrow and anger to mount as hope dies.