Once a ‘nobody’, Jokowi’s son set to become Indonesia’s VP

By Jack MOORE JAKARTA, Feb 26, 2024 (AFP) – By his own admission, Gibran Rakabuming Raka was a “nobody” a few months before Indonesia’s elections. Now, the eldest son of President Joko Widodo looks set to become the country’s youngest-ever vice president. Gibran’s meteoric rise to running mate of president-in-waiting Prabowo Subianto, who declared victory last week, was fuelled by his father’s wild popularity. “Three months ago I was a nobody. I thank Sir Prabowo […]

Traffic accident in Mexico claims 10 lives

MEXICO CITY, Feb 24, 2024 (AFP) – At least 10 people died Saturday when a van and truck collided in Mexico’s north-central state of San Luis Potosi, local authorities said. The early-morning accident in the town of Rioverde claimed the lives of five women, four minors and a man, the local prosecutor’s office said in a statement, adding that an unspecified number of people were injured. The cause of the accident is being investigated, the […]

Israeli delegation headed to Qatar for more Hamas hostage talks

JERUSALEM, Feb 25, 2024 (AFP) – Israel’s war cabinet approved on Saturday sending negotiators to Qatar to continue talks aimed at securing a ceasefire in the war against Hamas and the return of hostages being held in Gaza, officials and local media said. The talks began in Paris, where the head of Israel’s overseas intelligence service Mossad and his counterpart at the domestic Shin Bet security service met with mediators from the United States, Egypt […]

Hello Kitty-themed Tokyo theme park shut after threat

TOKYO, Feb 24, 2024 (AFP) – A popular Hello Kitty-themed amusement park in Japan closed for the day on Saturday after receiving an “email threatening terrorism”, its operator said. Sanrio Puroland in the capital Tokyo is known for its rides, shows and cutesy cartoon mascots including the beloved feline-like heroine. “We decided to temporarily close for the day because the safety of visitors, performers and staff cannot be guaranteed at the moment,” the indoor theme […]

US, UK launch new wave of strikes against Yemen’s Huthis

WASHINGTON, Feb 24, 2024 (AFP) – American and British forces carried out a fresh wave of strikes Saturday against 18 Huthi targets in Yemen, a joint statement said, following weeks of unrelenting attacks on Red Sea shipping by the Iran-backed rebels. The strikes “specifically targeted 18 Huthi targets across eight locations in Yemen associated with Houthi underground weapons storage facilities, missile storage facilities, one-way attack unmanned aerial systems, air defense systems, radars, and a helicopter,” […]

Trump notches easy win over Haley in march to Republican nomination

By Ines Bel Aiba with Frankie Taggart in Washington CHARLESTON, United States, Feb 25, 2024 (AFP) – Donald Trump cruised to a decisive victory Saturday in the South Carolina Republican primary, blitzing rival Nikki Haley in her home state and continuing his march to the nomination and a White House rematch with Joe Biden. Trump completed a sweep of the first four major nominating contests, converting a year of blockbuster polls into a likely insurmountable […]

Yulia Navalnaya says Putin blocking body handover

WARSAW, Feb 24, 2024 (AFP) – Yulia Navalnaya, the widow of late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, accused President Vladimir Putin of “satanism” on Saturday for not allowing the body to be returned to his family. Navalny’s mother Lyudmila has said authorities are threatening to bury him on the grounds of the Arctic prison colony where he died earlier this month if she did not agree to a “secret” funeral. “You tortured him alive, now […]

Biden slaps sanctions on 500 targets in Russia ‘war machine’

By Beiyi SEOW, Shaun TANDON WASHINGTON, Feb 23, 2024 (AFP) – US President Joe Biden announced sanctions against Russia Friday, on over 500 targets, to mark the second anniversary of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine while vowing sustained pressure to stop President Vladimir Putin’s “war machine.” The sanctions, described as the largest single tranche since the start of the war, also seek to impose a cost for the death last week in a Siberian prison of […]

Five women killed in Vienna in a day, three in brothel

VIENNA, Feb 24, 2024 (AFP) – Austrian authorities were on Saturday investigating the killings of five women in the capital Vienna within a single day, including three found brutally stabbed to death in a brothel. The bodies of three young women were found with fatal knife wounds in a brothel in Vienna’s underprivileged Brigittenau district on Friday night after a witness alerted police. A 27-year-old man still carrying a knife that was believed to be […]

Dior postpones Hong Kong fashion show: govt

HONG KONG, Feb 24, 2024 (AFP) – Dior has postponed a fashion show set to be held in Hong Kong next month, a city official confirmed Saturday, dealing a blow to the financial hub’s ambitions to boost its economy through major events. Hong Kong is courting top international celebrities and brands in the hope of rebooting its reputation, which had been battered by years of social unrest and strict pandemic curbs. The Dior fashion show […]

Fears over Russia’s ‘ghost fleet’ bypassing oil sanctions

By Emeline BURCKEL LONDON, Feb 24, 2024 (AFP) – Two years after Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, prompting multiple rounds of Western sanctions, Moscow increasingly relies on a shadow fleet of ships to circumvent curbs on its oil exports. Experts say the so-called ghost fleet of tankers with opaque ownership or without proper insurance has allowed the Kremlin to keep exporting despite a Western-imposed embargo and oil price cap on its global sales. […]

Valencia falls silent to recall housing block inferno victims

VALENCIA, Spain, Feb 24, 2024 (AFP) – Hundreds of people observed five minutes of silence in the Mediterranean port city of Valencia on Saturday to honour the 10 victims of a huge fire that ripped through a residential high-rise two days earlier. As the clock struck midday, the large crowd gathered outside city hall fell silent, some wearing dark glasses to mask red eyes, while others wiped away tears as they recalled the victims of […]