Shun Netanyahu, ex-Israel premier urges
TEL AVIV, Israel -- Israel's former prime minister on Thursday urged world leaders to shun Israel's current prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, as he presses ahead with a plan to overhaul the country's justice system. The United States and Germany, two of Israel's closest allies, called on Netanyahu to slow down.
The rare calls for restraint and international intervention came as thousands of Israelis once again took to the streets to protest Netanyahu's plan.
Ehud Olmert, who served as prime minister from 2006-2009, told The Associated Press that global leaders should refuse to meet with Netanyahu. He appealed specifically to British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who is expected to host Netanyahu in the coming weeks.
"I urge the leaders of the friendly countries to the state of Israel to refrain from meeting with the Israeli prime minister," Olmert said.
He added that he was aware his call, as a former Israeli prime minister, "is quite extraordinary" but that the situation calls for it. "I think that the present government of Israel is simply anti-Israeli," Olmert said.
He took aim at Netanyahu's far-right coalition, an alliance of ultra-Orthodox and ultranationalist parties that oppose Palestinian independence and support increased settlement construction in occupied territories claimed by the Palestinians.
Pakistan keeps Khan's warrant active
LAHORE, Pakistan -- A Pakistani court on Thursday rejected a petition from former Prime Minister Imran Khan's lawyers to suspend a warrant for him to appear in court in a graft case linked to his term in office -- a development that increases the likelihood of another police attempt to arrest the ousted premier.
Khan has been holed up in his home in the eastern city of Lahore, where clashes broke out earlier this week when police tried to detain him after he failed to show up at an earlier court hearing in the case.
Khan, who was ousted from office last April, is facing charges in several legal cases, including the graft case, and also terrorism, over verbally threatening a female judge last year. He is now due to appear in court in the capital, Islamabad, on Saturday to answer the indictment that he had illegally sold state gifts as prime minister and concealed assets.
Judge Zafar Iqbal ruled against suspending the warrant after hearing arguments from Khan's lawyer Khawaja Haris and the prosecution. The judge explained his decision by saying Khan had forfeited some of his rights with "his defiance of the court process."
Vienna police narrow terror warning
VIENNA -- Austrian police issued a terror threat warning Thursday for Vienna, saying there was an "abstract" danger for Syrian institutions in the city.
The alert came a day after police in Austria's capital warned of " a possible "Islamist-motivated attack" on churches and other houses of worship, citing undisclosed information received by the country's intelligence service.
In an update, the Police Department said "a recent threat assessment" by the intelligence service indicated the warning was "particularly related to the anniversary of the civil war in Syria -- it primarily concerns Syrian facilities."
"The potential threat is still on an increased level," the department tweeted Thursday. "The preventive security measures ordered remain in place. We are in contact with representatives of the corresponding facilities."
Despite Wednesday's initial warning, churches and houses of worship in Vienna remained open to visitors and worshipers. Police patrols were increased across the city, but no unusual incidents were reported.
Police said Thursday that "as soon as the respective assessments indicate an easing of the situation, we will be able to reduce our safeguarding measures."
Gunman, 2 lawmen die in Canada gunfire
EDMONTON, Alberta -- Two police officers in western Canada were shot and killed Thursday while responding to a domestic dispute, and the suspected shooter died of self-inflicted wounds, police said. A woman at the scene was taken to hospital.
The officers were shot in the city of Edmonton when they arrived at an apartment building at around 12:47 a.m., and there was no indication the officers were able to get any shots off, Edmonton Police Chief Dale McFee said.
McFee said the woman who called police was taken to hospital where she was in serious but stable condition. He said she is related to the suspect.
McFee identified the deceased officers as Travis Jordan, 35, an 8½-year veteran of the Edmonton police and Brett Ryan, 30, a 5½- year veteran of the force.
"I can't tell you how devastated we are with their loss," McFee said.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted his condolences and support to the officers' loved ones and colleagues.
"Every day, police officers put themselves in harm's way to keep people safe. The news that two Edmonton police officers have been killed in the line of duty reminds us of that reality," Trudeau wrote.