Strasbourg gunman shot dead by French police

by Marc Antoine BAUDOUX and Adam PLOWRIGHT in Paris Agence France Presse STRASBOURG, France (AFP) — French police on Thursday shot dead a gunman who had been on the run since killing three people at Strasbourg’s popular market. More than 700 French security forces had been hunting for 29-year-old Cherif Chekatt since the bloodshed on Tuesday night. He was believed to have been injured after exchanging fire with soldiers during the attack, but managed to […]

Five foreigners arrested in Bali drug sweep

  DENPASAR, Indonesia (AFP) — Five foreigners have been arrested in Bali for drug trafficking, authorities said Thursday, with a German and Peruvian possibly facing execution if convicted under Indonesia’s strict drug laws. The accused smugglers — also including a Chinese, a Malaysian and a Briton — were arrested separately over the past two weeks, Bali police said. The arrests come less than a month after the first member of the Bali Nine heroin-trafficking gang […]

Wounded May seeks EU compromise to save Brexit deal

  by Dave Clark Agence France Presse BRUSSELS, Belgium (AFP) — Bloodied but not yet beaten, Prime Minister Theresa May comes to Brussels for the second time in three days on Thursday, battling to save her Brexit deal and her career. The British leader, who survived a confidence vote staged by her own party’s MPs late on Wednesday, now needs to turn a narrow victory on home turf into an unlikely away win. May’s 27 […]

Media reports on sex offense conviction of former Catholic Pope’s adviser Cardinal Pell despite gag order

  (Eagle News) — Cardinal George Pell of Australia who was a member of the Catholic Church’s Pope Francis’ circle of cardinal advisers until recently, had been found guilty of charges related to sexual abuse by an Australian court, according to various media reports that emerged despite a gag order. According to Washington Post and the Catholic News Agency, news about Pell’s conviction on Tuesday, December 11, for sexual offenses came out despite a news […]

Four dead, 43 injured in Ankara train crash: governor

ANKARA, Turkey (AFP) — Four people have died after a high-speed train in the Turkish capital crashed into a locomotive carrying out routine checks on the same track, the Ankara governor said on Thursday. Governor Vasip Sahin told reporters in televised remarks that “43 people were injured and unfortunately four of our citizens were found dead”, as the fast train was on its way to the central province of Konya. © Agence France-Presse

N. Korea food production down in 2018: UN body

SEOUL, South Korea (AFP) — Food production has fallen this year in isolated, nuclear-armed North Korea, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization. Rice and maize are the North’s main staples, but rice output was expected to be below average because of erratic rains and low irrigation supplies, the FAO said in its quarterly Crop Prospects and Food Situation report. Unfavorable weather conditions also diminished maize yields, it added. As a result, the country […]

US believes Chinese intelligence behind Marriott hack

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — The United States said Wednesday that China was behind the massive hack of data from hotel giant Marriott, part of an ongoing global campaign of cyber-theft run by Beijing. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed to Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” program that the government believes China masterminded the Marriott data theft. “They have committed cyber attacks across the world,” he told the show. “We consider them a strategic competitor. […]

Second Canadian being questioned by China: FM Freeland

OTTAWA, Canada (AFP) — Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said Wednesday a second Canadian was being questioned by China, after Beijing earlier this week notified Ottawa it had detained a former Canadian diplomat. “We are aware of a Canadian who got in touch with us because he was being asked questions by Chinese authorities,” Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland told a press conference. Freeland offered few details, but added her ministry had not been able to make […]

102-year-old great-granny becomes ‘oldest’ skydiver

SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — A 102-year-old great-grandmother is believed to have become the world’s oldest skydiver after plunging 14,000 feet (4,300 meters) through the South Australian sky. Centenarian adrenaline junkie Irene O’Shea said she “felt normal” after a 220 kilometer per hour (140 mph) dive that sent her cheeks flapping wildly. She completed her first skydive to mark her 100th birthday in 2016, but organizers claimed it was Sunday’s successful tandem dive at the age […]

Pompeo urges UN to get tough on Iran missiles

by Philippe RATER / with Shaun Tandon in Washington Agence France Presse UNITED NATIONS, United States (AFP) — US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday urged the United Nations to tighten restrictions on Iran’s missiles, which he warned could strike US allies, but other powers called instead for dialogue. Pompeo headed to New York for a Security Council meeting on Iran, which recently confirmed a medium-range ballistic missile test, arguing it is legal and […]

Strasbourg suspect: violent criminal on France terror watchlist

by Alex PIGMAN Agence France Presse STRASBOURG, France (AFP) — The 29-year-old man sought by police over a shooting in Strasbourg lived in a small apartment in a ramshackle housing bloc and has convictions in France and several European countries after a life of crime, officials say. The man, Cherif Chekatt, lived in the Poteries area of Strasbourg about a 20-minute tram ride west of the center of the French city and its market where the […]

Pound solidifies gains after British PM May wins confidence vote

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — The British currency sustained gains won late Wednesday after Prime Minister Theresa May survived a bid by her own MPs to unseat her through a no-confidence vote. The pound had gained nearly a full percentage point to $1.2597 around 2100 GMT, just after the vote maintaining the steady upward march after it became clear May was likely to win. © Agence France-Presse