Strong 5.3 magnitude quake shakes Athens, knocks out phones in capital

  A strong 5.3 magnitude earthquake jolted Athens on Friday, knocking out phone and cellphone service, with no immediate reports of damage or injuries. According to the Greek geodynamic institute, it was a 5.1-magnitude quake with an epicentre 23 kilometers (14 miles) northwest of Athens and was followed by aftershocks. The US Geological Survey, however, recorded it at 5.3 magnitude with the epicenter located some three kilometers north northwest of Magoula, Greece.¬† It was depth […]

Russia bars opposition candidates from Moscow city ballot

  MOSCOW, Russia (AFP) — Russian officials on Tuesday refused to register nearly 30 candidates for elections to Moscow’s local parliament, including prominent critics of President Vladimir Putin despite protests over the move. Opposition politicians have been fighting to get on the ballot for September’s elections to the Moscow city legislature as they seek to capitalize on growing public discontent over falling living standards and unchecked corruption. But many observers say authorities have used spurious […]

Small-aircraft crash kills nine in Sweden

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AFP) — Nine people died Sunday when a small aircraft being used for tourism crashed in northwest Sweden, the regional authority said. “The nine people on board are dead,” Gabriella Bandling, spokeswoman for the Vaesterbotten region, told AFP. She did not say who they were. According to Swedish media reports, the plane was carrying people for a parachute jump but crashed a little after 2:00 pm (1200 GMT). The plane, a GippsAero GA8 […]

Paris clashes tarnish Macron’s military parade

by Daphn√© BENOIT and Stuart WILLIAMS PARIS, France (AFP) — French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday showcased European military cooperation in a Bastille Day parade but the aftermath of the glittering event was tarnished by violent clashes between police and protesters. Key EU leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, joined Macron in Paris to watch the annual parade that included representatives of nine other European armies in a show […]

Fierce storm kills seven in Greek tourist peninsula

by Vassilis KYRIAKOULIS THESSALONIKI, Greece (AFP) — Seven people died and at least 23 were injured as a fierce storm ripped through beachfronts in one of Greece’s top tourist areas, terrifying thousands of holidaymakers caught in the open, authorities said Thursday. Six tourists including two children were killed — two each from the Czech Republic, Russia and Romania — in the northern peninsula of Halkidiki, near Greece’s second city Thessaloniki, in the storm late Wednesday. […]

Iran tried to seize British oil tanker: report

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Armed Iranian boats attempted to seize a British tanker in strategic Gulf waters on Wednesday but were driven off by a Royal Navy frigate, CNN reported. The Iranians ordered the British Heritage oil tanker, which was crossing into the Strait of Hormuz area, to change course and stop in Tehran’s nearby waters, CNN said, citing two American officials. A US aircraft shot video of the incident, which ended when the […]

Five tourists killed in violent Greek hail storms: police

THESSALONIKI, Greece (AFP) –Violent hail storms killed at least five tourists in northern Greece late Wednesday, police said. A Czech couple died when strong winds blew their caravan away while a Russian man and his son were killed by a falling tree, they added. Debris from a building killed a woman from Romania. ERT television said the region of Halkidiki, near the city of Thessaloniki, was declared a state of emergency and that the minister […]

Britain’s US ambassador resigns after Trump spat

  LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Britain’s ambassador to Washington Kim Darroch said Wednesday he was resigning after drawing Donald Trump’s ire for calling the US president “inept” in leaked confidential cables to London. Darroch said in a resignation letter to the Foreign Office that the scandal made it “impossible” for him to continue representing British interests in the United States. Trump has said his administration would no longer “deal” with Darroch. “Since the leak […]

Trump congratulates new Greek PM, pledges cooperation

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — US President Donald Trump on Tuesday congratulated Greece’s new conservative prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, pledging in a telephone call to keep pursuing the countries’ warming relations, the White House said. “The two leaders expressed their mutual interest in working together and continuing strong cooperation between the United States and Greece,” the White House said. A State Department spokeswoman separately called Greece “one of our closest allies.” The United States hopes […]

Kremlin condemns ‘absurdity’ as Britain bars RT, Sputnik from conference

  MOSCOW, Russia (AFP) — The Kremlin on Tuesday said it regretted that Russia’s RT and Sputnik news organisations were barred from taking part in a global conference on media freedom in London, calling the decision absurd. Britain on Monday said it refused to accredit the Russian state media outlets “because of their active role in spreading disinformation.” Some 60 ministers and 1,000 journalists and members of civil society are expected to attend the meeting […]

PM-elect Mitsotakis vows to make Greece ‘proud’ after vote triumph

by John HADOULIS ATHENS, Greece (AFP) — Greece’s conservative prime minister-elect Kyriakos Mitsotakis vowed that the country would “proudly” enter a post-bailout period of “jobs, security and growth” after winning a landslide victory in Sunday’s general election. Official results showed Mitsotakis on track to crush leftist premier Alexis Tsipras, who oversaw austerity meausures after Greece’s dramatic rescue by international creditors in the European debt crisis. “A painful cycle has closed,” Mitsotakis said in a televised […]

Prince Harry and Meghan’s son Archie christened in private service

LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Prince Harry and Meghan’s baby son Archie was on Saturday christened in the chapel at Windsor Castle in a private ceremony following his birth in early May. The couple’s first child — who is seventh in line to the British throne — wore a handmade replica of the royal christening robe, which was made in 1841 for the christening of Queen Victoria. The replica has been worn by royal infants […]