UK looks to offshore wind for green energy transition

LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) – BenoĆ®t PELEGRIN Britain, a global leader in offshore wind energy, plans to make the sector one of the pillars of its transition to carbon neutrality in the coming decades. The country aims to quadruple its offshore electricity production capacity by 2030 by utilizing the windswept North Sea and a favorable policy environment. “It’s more conducive to build offshore in the UK than anywhere else in Europe,” said James Brabben, of […]

Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan to give up royal titles

  by Dmitry ZAKS Agence France Presse LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife Meghan will give up their royal titles and public funding as part of a settlement with the Queen to start a new life away from the British monarchy. The historic announcement from Buckingham Palace on Saturday follows more than a week of intense private talks aimed at managing the fallout of the globetrotting couple’s shock resignation from […]

Global decision-makers gather in Davos

PARIS, France (AFP) – Stuart WILLIAMS Global decision-makers gather in Davos starting Tuesday for their annual meeting, with challenges facing the planet — from climate change to conflict in the Middle East — as imposing as the Alps that surround the Swiss resort. Observers fear the annual World Economic Forum will serve only to again expose the differences between East and West, the US and the EU, and business and activists in combating the most […]

Heating woes fuel Balkan smog crisis

SARAJEVO, BOSNIA AND HERZGOVINA (AFP) – Rusmir SMAJILHODZIC and Emmy VARLEY in Belgrade As winter grips the Balkans, the poor are caught in a cruel bind, being forced to light fires at home for heating while fuelling a pollution crisis smothering the region.   In recent weeks, Balkan capitals from Belgrade Sarajevo to Skopje and Pristina have been ranked among the world’s top 10 most polluted major cities, according to the monitoring application AirVisual. While […]

Russia’s President Putin picks little-known tax chief for prime minister

  MOSCOW, Russia (AFP) — President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday proposed the little-known head of Russia’s tax service Mikhail Mishustin for the post of prime minister, the Kremlin said. The proposal to appoint 53-year-old Mishustin, a relatively obscure figure who has run the service since 2010, came after the surprise resignation of Putin ally Dmitry Medvedev following the president’s unveiling of a package of constitutional reforms. The two met in the Kremlin where Putin “suggested […]

New UK deep coal mine ‘unnecessary’: Green Alliance

LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) – Plans for new deep coal mining projects in Britain are “unnecessary” and incompatible with the country’s 2050 carbon-neutral target, a report by environmental think-tank Green Alliance said Wednesday. The report focused on Woodhouse Colliery in the county of Cumbria, in northwest England, which is the first deep coal mine project to be launched in Britain in 40 years. The mine was “unnecessary” for the local steel industry and would instead […]

Fire forces closure of Spanish airport in tourism hotspot

ALICANTE, Spain (AFP) — A fire broke out Wednesday on the roof of the airport in Alicante, a city on the eastern Mediterranean coast which is a tourism hotspot, forcing its closure to air traffic. “The fire is under control but it has not been extinguished. Firefighters are continuing to work,” a spokesman for Spanish airport operator Aena told AFP, adding the airport will remain closed to air traffic until noon on Thursday. Ten flights […]

Prime Minister Medvedev announces resignation of Russian Cabinet

  MOSCOW, January 15 (Sputnik) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told President Vladimir Putin after his address to the parliament on Wednesday that the government was resigning. “Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich, dear colleagues, you all witnessed the message of the President of the Russian Federation. The president outlined not only the priorities for work in our country for the coming year, but also outlined a number of fundamental changes to the Constitution of the Russian […]

Russian govt in shock resignation after Putin calls for reforms

  by Michael MAINVILLE Agence France Presse MOSCOW, Russia (AFP) — Russia’s government resigned on Wednesday after President Vladimir Putin proposed a shake-up of the constitution, in a shock announcement that fuelled speculation about Putin’s future plans. The resignation of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev — a longtime Putin ally — came after the president used his annual state of the nation address to propose a package of constitutional reforms that would strengthen parliament’s role. Speculation […]

One dead, one missing in blast at Spanish chemical plant

MADRID, Spain (AFP) — One person was killed, six others injured and one reported missing following an explosion and fire at a chemical plant in northeast Spain on Tuesday, regional authorities said. The cause of the blast at the IQOXE facility — which specializes in the production of ethylene oxide, glycol, and propylene oxide — was not immediately known. Spain’s civil protection authority insisted that no toxic substances had been detected in the surrounding area. […]

Ousted Ghosn seeks retirement benefit from Renault

PARIS, France (AFP) — The former chief executive of Renault Carlos Ghosn, who fled Japan while awaiting trial on financial misconduct charges, is seeking the payment of a retirement payment by the French carmaker that he says was unfairly withheld. Ghosn has filed a complaint with a French employment tribunal in Boulogne-Billancourt outside Paris, when Renault is headquartered, a source close to Ghosn told AFP, confirming a report in Le Figaro daily. A Renault spokesman […]

France, Sahel nations vow to step up anti-jihadist fight

  PAU, France (AFP) – Laurence Benhamou and Marie Wolfrom France and its five partner nations in the Sahel region of West Africa pledged Monday to bolster their efforts against jihadists waging an increasingly deadly insurgency, while urging the United States to keep its troops engaged in the region’s anti-terror fight. President Emmanuel Macron and the leaders of Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Mauritania and Chad lauded Washington’s “crucial support”, after a top US general confirmed […]