From comic to commander-in-chief: Ukraine comedian with no political experience wins presidency in landslide

  by Oleksandr SAVOCHENKO Agence France Presse KIEV, Ukraine (AFP) — Ukraine’s election has catapulted Volodymyr Zelensky, a 41-year-old standup comedian and television star with no political experience, into the nation’s top job. As leader of a country dependent on international aid and battling separatists, Zelensky will have to deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin, deep economic problems and possibly rebellious elites. Here is a look at the main challenges facing Ukraine’s sixth president: – War […]

New name, old worries: North Macedonia holds presidential vote

by Saska CVETKOVSKA and Nicolas GAUDICHET Agence France-Presse SKOPJE, Republic of North Macedonia (AFP) – North Macedonia holds the first round of its presidential election on Sunday, the country’s first vote under a new name as it struggles with enduring economic problems, cronyism and corruption. The vote for the largely ceremonial post comes less than three months after a deal with Athens on Skopje’s name change came into force, ending a decades-long identity dispute between the […]

29 German tourists killed in Madeira bus crash

  CANICO, Portugal (AFP) — Twenty-nine German tourists were killed when their bus spun off the road and tumbled down a slope before crashing into a house on the Portuguese island of Madeira. Drone footage of the aftermath of the accident showed the badly mangled wreckage of the bus resting precariously on its side against a building on a hillside, the vehicle’s roof partially crushed and front window smashed. Rescue workers attended to injured passengers […]

Guerrero, a “knockout” with UK audiences

by Vee Manuel-Sison, London-UK EBC Europe Bureau LONDON, UK (Eagle News) — After its successful release across Asia, Middle East, US, Canada and Europe, the independently produced Filipino movie “Guerrero” by EBC films premiered at London, Kensington Academy on April 6 and 7, with five sold out screenings in London. This film directed by Carlos Ortega Cuevas, already won multiple awards in the Philippines and overseas, including “Best Editing of a Foreign Language Film” at […]

Nearly 300 arrested at London climate protests

LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Nearly 300 people have been arrested in ongoing climate change protests in London that brought parts of the British capital to a standstill, police said Tuesday. Demonstrators began blocking off a bridge and major central road junctions on Monday at the start of a civil disobedience campaign that also saw action in other parts of Europe. The protests were organised by the campaign group Extinction Rebellion, which was established last […]

‘Like a bombing’: Daylight reveals extent of Notre-Dame damage

  by Camille Bouissou and Michel Moutot Agence France Presse PARIS, France (AFP) — Shards of stained glass from priceless medieval windows. A gaping hole above the choir area where the spire crashed down. Charred debris from the collapsed roof scattered on the ground. After firefighters put out the last remnants of the fire that ravaged Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, daylight revealed the extent of the damage caused by the blaze Monday evening. Tourists […]

Vatican expresses sadness, incredulity over Notre Dame cathedral fire

  The Vatican on Monday expressed its “incredulity” and “sadness” over a major fire that engulfed the Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris, which it called “a symbol of Christianity in France and across the world”. “We express our closeness with French Catholics and with the Parisian population. We pray for the firefighters and for all those who are trying their best to tackle this dramatic situation,” a Vatican spokesman said in a statement. International leaders also […]

After 35 years Jean-Marie Le Pen bids farewell to Europe

by Anne RENAUT and Clare BYRNE PARIS, France (AFP) — Jean-Marie Le Pen, the father of France’s far-right, will bid farewell to the European Parliament on Tuesday after 35 years of using it as a platform to bash European integration and immigration. The 90-year-old, who co-founded and led the far-right National Front for 40 years before handing the reins to his daughter Marine in 2011, is one of the longest-serving members of the assembly, which […]

Notre-Dame fire ‘under control, partially extinguished’: firefighters

PARIS, France (AFP) — A huge fire that devastated Notre-Dame Cathedral is “under control”, the Paris fire brigade said early Tuesday after firefighters spent hours battling the flames. “The fire is completely under control. It is partially extinguished, there are residual fires to put out,” said spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Gabriel Plus. © Agence France-Presse

In photos: Notre Dame cathedral on fire

        by Anne Chaon Agence France Presse PARIS, France (AFP) — Paris was struck in its very heart on Monday as flames devoured the roof of Notre-Dame, the medieval cathedral made famous by Victor Hugo, its two massive towers flanked with gargoyles instantly recognisable even by people who have never visited the city. Thousands of Parisians poured into the streets to watch as the fire spread, overwhelmed by the catastrophic damage to […]

US, Japan open trade talks seeking quick deal

by Heather SCOTT with Kyoko HASEGAWA in Tokyo WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — US and Japanese negotiators opened the first round of trade talks on Monday in the latest front in President Donald Trump’s aggressive, multi-pronged strategy to address “chronic US trade imbalances.” US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer welcomed the team from Tokyo led by Japan’s Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi at the start of two days of talks looking for a rapid deal. After launching […]

Notre-Dame’s main structure ‘saved and preserved’: Paris fire official

PARIS, France (AFP) — The main structure of Notre-Dame cathedral in central Paris has been saved after hours of fire-fighting to put out a devastating blaze, the city’s top fire official said late Monday. “We can consider that the main structure of Notre-Dame has been saved and preserved,” Paris fire brigade chief Jean-Claude Gallet told reporters outside the cathedral, adding it appeared that the two main towers of the building had now been saved. He […]