Europe

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 […]

Queen agrees ‘period of transition’ for Harry and Meghan

  SANDRINGHAM, United Kingdom (AFP) — Queen Elizabeth II on Monday said Prince Harry and his wife Meghan would be allowed to split their time between Britain and Canada while their future is finalised. The couple said last week they wanted to step back from the royal frontline, catching the family off guard and forcing the monarch to convene crisis talks about the pair’s future roles. The 93-year-old queen, her son and heir Prince Charles, […]

Queen gathers royals for crisis meeting with Prince Harry

LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Queen Elizabeth II and other senior British royals were gathering for a meeting Monday with Prince Harry in an attempt to solve the crisis triggered by his bombshell announcement that he and wife Meghan were stepping back from the royal frontline. Harry’s father Prince Charles and brother Prince William, with whom he has strained relations, will join the monarch at her private Sandringham estate in eastern England, according to British […]

Libyan rivals to sign ceasefire deal in Moscow Monday: official

TRIPOLI, Libya (AFP) – The head of Libya’s UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) Fayez al-Sarraj and his rival, strongman Khalifa Haftar, are expected to sign a ceasefire agreement in Moscow on Monday, a senior Libyan official said. The oil-rich North African country has been wracked by bloody turmoil since a 2011 NATO-backed uprising killed long-time dictator Moamer Kadhafi, with multiple foreign powers now involved. The signing of the agreement will pave the way for […]

French transport strike drags on despite govt compromise on pensions

by Marie-Pierre FEREY PARIS, France (AFP) — A crippling French transport strike dragged into its 39th day on Sunday despite the government’s offer to withdraw the most contested measure of the pension reform plans that sparked the protest. Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said Saturday he would drop plans to increase the official age for a full pension to 64 from 62 in an effort to end a strike which has paralyzed Paris and its suburbs, […]

Harry and Meghan: Sussex shock leaves royals reeling

by Robin MILLARD Agence France Presse Prince Harry and his wife Meghan’s unilateral decision to walk away from front-line royal duties has rocked the British monarchy, just as it was preparing a younger generation to take on more of the burden of representing the centuries-old institution. At 35 and 38 respectively, Harry and Meghan were set to become an increasingly important cornerstone of the monarchy in the decades to come. But their shock decision to […]

British lawmakers finally approve historic Brexit deal

  by Alice RITCHIE and Dmitry ZAKS Agence France Presse LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Britain’s parliament finally approved Brexit on Thursday, allowing it to become the first country to leave the European Union later this month, ending years of arguments that toppled two governments and splintered society. The House of Commons erupted in cheers after MPs ratified Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s divorce deal with Brussels by 330 votes to 231, turning the page on […]

UK PM says information suggests Ukraine jet hit by Iran missile

  LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Thursday that there was now “a body of information” that the Ukrainian Boeing 747 that crashed in Iran, killing all 176 people aboard, was brought down by an Iranian missile. His comments follow a similar message by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. ‚ÄúThere is now a body of information that the flight was shot down by an Iranian Surface to Air Missile. This […]