France’s Catholic child abuse probe flooded with messages

  PARIS, France (AFP) — A commission set up by the French Catholic Church to investigate allegations of child sex abuse by clerics received about 2,000 messages in its first three months, chairman Jean-Marc Sauve said Friday. The independent body, looking into abuse claims dating back to the 1950s, was set up last year in response to a number of scandals that shook the Church in France and worldwide. Composed of 22 legal professionals, doctors, […]

Pilot saved from power line after Belgian F-16 crashes in France

by Benjamin MASSOT PLUVIGNER, France (AFP) — An F-16 fighter jet of the Belgian air force crashed Thursday in western France, with both pilots successfully ejecting — but one spent two hours hanging from a power line before being cut down, officials said. Parts from the stricken plane, which was not carrying weapons and was flying from Belgium to a French base on a training mission, crashed into houses in the Morbihan region around the […]

Spain flood toll rises to seven dead

MADRID, Spain (AFP) — The death toll from torrential rains and floods in southeastern Spain rose to seven on Tuesday after the discovery of the body of a missing 66-year-old Dutch national, local officials said. The alarm was raised on Sunday after a man was sucked into flood water in a canal at Dolores, a town 40 kilometers (25 miles) southeast of Alicante. The body, matching a description by the Dutchman’s family, was recovered in […]

Russia’s world-first floating nuclear plant arrives in port

  MOSCOW, Russia (AFP) — Russia’s world first floating nuclear power station on Saturday completed a 5,000-kilometre (3,100-mile) Arctic transfer to the country’s far east, the Rosatom nuclear agency said. “The Akademik Lomonosov floating nuclear plant arrived … at Pevek, in the autonomous district of Chukotka,” where it is to start operating by year end once connected to the local electricity grid, Rosatom said. What will be the world’s northernmost nuclear power plant left Murmansk […]

Death toll from Spain floods rises to three

MADRID, Spain (AFP) — The death toll from torrential rain and floods in southeastern Spain rose to three on Friday after a man drowned when his car became trapped in a tunnel, local authorities said. The latest tragedy occurred in the city of Almeria when the tunnel was “flooded by a huge amount of water in a few minutes,” Almeria city hall said in a tweet. A policeman managed to rescue two of the three […]

Biggest Alpine glacier could disappear by 2100: study

GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP) — The mighty Aletsch — the largest glacier in the Alps — could completely disappear by the end of this century if nothing is done to rein in climate change, a study showed Thursday. A team of researchers in Switzerland has used a cutting-edge simulation to show how the Aletsch Glacier will change as the planet continues to warm, the ETH technical university in Zurich said in a statement. The glacier, which […]

Two dead as torrential rains batter southeast Spain

MADRID, Spain (AFP) — Two people died when their car overturned as torrential rains and flooding hit southeastern Spain Thursday, sparking travel chaos and closing schools in a move affecting hundreds of thousands of children, officials said. A 61-year-old man and his 51-year-old sister died when their vehicle was swept away as fast-moving waters swamped a road in Caudete, a municipality around 100 kilometers (60 miles) southwest of the city of Valencia, the emergency services […]

250,000 pupils out of school as storm hits southeast Spain

MADRID, Spain (AFP) — Torrential rains hit southeastern Spain overnight, sparking major flooding in the Valencia region and closing schools in a move affecting a quarter of a million children, officials said Thursday. They caused chaos on the roads, cutting public transport and prompting the Clariano river to burst its banks, flooding homes and causing the evacuation of surrounding areas, the emergency services said. Footage shared by the local AVAMET weather service showed cars being […]

UK to let foreign students stay two years after graduation post-Brexit

LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Britain’s government on Wednesday announced new post-Brexit immigration plans that will allow international students to work in the country for two years after graduating. Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom said the change was aimed at attracting the “brightest and the best from around the world” and a sign of “the UK’s ambition once we have left the European Union”. “Instead of being open to free movement from just the (EU), the […]

UK PM insists he will not ask for Brexit delay despite new law

by Alice RITCHIE with Joe STENSON in Dublin LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday insisted he would not ask for a Brexit delay despite the approval of a new law that could force him to do so, as MPs prepared to vote against holding an early election next month. Johnson said that if MPs refused to support his call for an election then he would go to an EU […]

British Airways says almost all UK flights cancelled over strike

LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — British Airways said Monday it has been forced to cancel almost all its flights from UK airports on the first day of a strike by pilots. “After many months of trying to resolve the pay dispute, we are extremely sorry that it has come to this,” BA said in a statement. The airline said it remains willing to return to talks with the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA). “Unfortunately, with […]

British PM in limbo after MPs reject his Brexit plan, elections

by Alice RITCHIE with Dave CLARK in Brussels LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government was left in limbo on Wednesday after MPs voted to derail his Brexit plan and rejected his call for an early election to break the political deadlock. Just six weeks after taking office, Johnson lost his majority in the House of Commons as his own MPs joined opposition parties to stop him taking Britain out of […]