Over 160 dead in Zimbabwe, Mozambique as cyclone destroys city

  by Adrien BARBIER with Zinyange AUNTONY in Chimanimani Agence France Presse BEIRA, Mozambique (AFP) — A cyclone that ripped across Mozambique and Zimbabwe has killed at least 162 people with scores more missing and caused “massive and horrifying” destruction in the Mozambican city of Beira, authorities and the Red Cross said Monday. Cyclone Idai tore into the centre of Mozambique on Thursday night before barreling on to neighbouring Zimbabwe, bringing flash floods and ferocious […]

Just in: One dead in possible terror attack on Dutch tram

  by Danny KEMP Agence France Presse THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AFP) — A gunman opened fire on a tram in the Dutch city of Utrecht on Monday, killing at least one person and wounding several in what officials said was a possible terrorist incident. A body covered in a sheet was reportedly seen on the tracks as armed police and emergency services swarmed around the scene in one of the largest cities in the Netherlands. […]

Singaporean couple jailed for ‘worst of its kind’ maid abuse

Singapore (AFP) — A Singaporean couple was on Monday jailed for abusing a Myanmar maid after the pair force-fed her with a funnel, made her eat her own vomit and threatened to kill her family if she reported the maltreatment. In a case described by Singapore prosecutors as “arguably one of the worst of its kind” in the city-state, the married couple — who were sentenced two years ago over the abuse of another maid […]

Convicted French cardinal Barbarin to tender resignation to pope

  by Catherine MARCIANO Agence France Presse VATICAN CITY (AFP) — French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, who received a six-month suspended jail sentence for failing to report sex abuse by a priest under his authority, is to meet the Catholic Church’s Pope Francis at the Vatican to tender his resignation on Monday. The private meeting is expected to take place around 0900 GMT, according to his diocese, with the pontiff to decide within weeks whether to […]

Indonesia flood death toll hits 77

  SENTANI, Indonesia (AFP) –Flash floods in Indonesia’s eastern Papua province have killed at least 77 people, the disaster agency said Monday as it raised the death toll from 58. More than three dozen people remain missing, while scores have been injured in the disaster, triggered by torrential rain and landslides. “The death toll could still go up with 43 people unaccounted for,” said national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho. Rescuers battled mud, rocks […]

Dealer who sold arms to mosque killer rejects responsibility

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AFP) — The New Zealand arms dealer who sold weapons to the suspected mosque attacker said Monday he felt no responsibility for the deaths of 50 worshippers who were gunned down. David Tipple, the managing director of Gun City, confirmed he sold alleged gunman Brenton Tarrant four firearms and ammunition. “We detected nothing extraordinary about this licence holder,” Tipple told a press conference in Christchurch. Tipple refused to answer direct questions about […]

Alleged NZ mosque gunman drops lawyer, will represent himself

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AFP) — The Australian gunman charged with murder for allegedly killing 50 people in mass shootings at two New Zealand mosques plans to represent himself, his court-appointed duty lawyer said Monday. Brenton Tarrant was charged with one count of murder and appeared at Christchurch District Court on Saturday after the rampage during Friday prayers. Duty lawyer Richard Peters, who represented him during the preliminary court hearing, told AFP the 28-year-old “indicated he […]

China’s Xi to visit Italy, France as Rome joins ‘New Silk Road’

BEIJING, China (AFP) — Chinese President Xi Jinping will travel to Italy, Monaco and France this week, the foreign ministry said Monday, with Rome expected to join his global trade infrastructure programme despite reservations in other European countries. Xi will pay state visits from March 21 to March 26, foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said in a statement, without providing more details about his itinerary. An Italian official said last week that Rome would sign […]

Christchurch teenager charged with distributing mosque rampage livestream

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AFP) — An 18-year-old has appeared in a New Zealand court charged with distributing the livestream video of a deadly mass shooting at Christchurch’s Al Noor mosque. The teenager, whose name was suppressed by the judge, was also charged with publishing a photograph of the mosque with the message “target acquired”. He faces a maximum of 14 years in prison for each charge, prosecutors said. © Agence France-Presse

Farage leads march on London against Brexit ‘betrayal’

by Clara Wright SUNDERLAND, United Kingdom (AFP) — Arch eurosceptic Nigel Farage led a hundred anxious Brexit backers Saturday through the mud of England’s industrial northeast towards London, demanding certainty that Britain leaves the EU this month. The 270-mile (435-kilometre) march from Sunderland to the capital’s parliament will conclude on March 29 — the date Britain was scheduled to pull out of the European Union after nearly half a century. But lawmakers’ refusal to back […]

New Zealand mosque attack suspect visited Greece: ministry

ATHENS, Greece (AFP) — Greek officials said Sunday that the man suspected of carrying out the deadly shooting spree in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, visited Greece briefly in 2016. The news came after neighbouring Bulgaria and Turkey each announced investigations into visits that Brenton Tarrant had reportedly made to the Balkan region. Tarrant visited the Greek island of Crete, and Santorini — a nearby island in the southern Aegean — in March 2016, […]

Black boxes show ‘clear similarities’ with Indonesia crash, Ethiopia says

by Chris Stein ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AFP) — Black box data recovered from an Ethiopian Airlines plane that crashed last week show “clear similarities” with a recent crash in Indonesia of the same type of aircraft, Ethiopia’s transport minister said on Sunday. While declining to give details, Dagmawit Moges told journalists the parallels would be the “subject of further study during the investigation,” with a preliminary report issued in “30 days”. The announcement came a […]