Convicted French cardinal Barbarin to tender resignation to pope

  by Catherine MARCIANO Agence France Presse VATICAN CITY (AFP) — French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, who received a six-month suspended jail sentence for failing to report sex abuse by a priest under his authority, is to meet the Catholic Church’s Pope Francis at the Vatican to tender his resignation on Monday. The private meeting is expected to take place around 0900 GMT, according to his diocese, with the pontiff to decide within weeks whether to […]

Indonesia flood death toll hits 77

  SENTANI, Indonesia (AFP) –Flash floods in Indonesia’s eastern Papua province have killed at least 77 people, the disaster agency said Monday as it raised the death toll from 58. More than three dozen people remain missing, while scores have been injured in the disaster, triggered by torrential rain and landslides. “The death toll could still go up with 43 people unaccounted for,” said national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho. Rescuers battled mud, rocks […]

Dealer who sold arms to mosque killer rejects responsibility

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AFP) — The New Zealand arms dealer who sold weapons to the suspected mosque attacker said Monday he felt no responsibility for the deaths of 50 worshippers who were gunned down. David Tipple, the managing director of Gun City, confirmed he sold alleged gunman Brenton Tarrant four firearms and ammunition. “We detected nothing extraordinary about this licence holder,” Tipple told a press conference in Christchurch. Tipple refused to answer direct questions about […]

Alleged NZ mosque gunman drops lawyer, will represent himself

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AFP) — The Australian gunman charged with murder for allegedly killing 50 people in mass shootings at two New Zealand mosques plans to represent himself, his court-appointed duty lawyer said Monday. Brenton Tarrant was charged with one count of murder and appeared at Christchurch District Court on Saturday after the rampage during Friday prayers. Duty lawyer Richard Peters, who represented him during the preliminary court hearing, told AFP the 28-year-old “indicated he […]

China’s Xi to visit Italy, France as Rome joins ‘New Silk Road’

BEIJING, China (AFP) — Chinese President Xi Jinping will travel to Italy, Monaco and France this week, the foreign ministry said Monday, with Rome expected to join his global trade infrastructure programme despite reservations in other European countries. Xi will pay state visits from March 21 to March 26, foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said in a statement, without providing more details about his itinerary. An Italian official said last week that Rome would sign […]

Christchurch teenager charged with distributing mosque rampage livestream

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AFP) — An 18-year-old has appeared in a New Zealand court charged with distributing the livestream video of a deadly mass shooting at Christchurch’s Al Noor mosque. The teenager, whose name was suppressed by the judge, was also charged with publishing a photograph of the mosque with the message “target acquired”. He faces a maximum of 14 years in prison for each charge, prosecutors said. © Agence France-Presse

Farage leads march on London against Brexit ‘betrayal’

by Clara Wright SUNDERLAND, United Kingdom (AFP) — Arch eurosceptic Nigel Farage led a hundred anxious Brexit backers Saturday through the mud of England’s industrial northeast towards London, demanding certainty that Britain leaves the EU this month. The 270-mile (435-kilometre) march from Sunderland to the capital’s parliament will conclude on March 29 — the date Britain was scheduled to pull out of the European Union after nearly half a century. But lawmakers’ refusal to back […]

New Zealand mosque attack suspect visited Greece: ministry

ATHENS, Greece (AFP) — Greek officials said Sunday that the man suspected of carrying out the deadly shooting spree in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, visited Greece briefly in 2016. The news came after neighbouring Bulgaria and Turkey each announced investigations into visits that Brenton Tarrant had reportedly made to the Balkan region. Tarrant visited the Greek island of Crete, and Santorini — a nearby island in the southern Aegean — in March 2016, […]

Black boxes show ‘clear similarities’ with Indonesia crash, Ethiopia says

by Chris Stein ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AFP) — Black box data recovered from an Ethiopian Airlines plane that crashed last week show “clear similarities” with a recent crash in Indonesia of the same type of aircraft, Ethiopia’s transport minister said on Sunday. While declining to give details, Dagmawit Moges told journalists the parallels would be the “subject of further study during the investigation,” with a preliminary report issued in “30 days”. The announcement came a […]

Boeing ‘finalizing’ anti-stall update after Ethiopia crash

CHICAGO, United States (AFP) — Boeing is finalizing a software update and pilot training linked to the MCAS anti-stalling feature, under scrutiny after two 737 Max 8 crashes, the company’s CEO said on Sunday. “Boeing is finalizing its development of a previously-announced software update and pilot training revision that will address the MCAS flight control law’s behavior in response to erroneous sensor inputs,” the US-based aircraft manufacturer’s president and CEO, Dennis Muilenburg, said in a […]

More than 120 dead after cyclone hits Mozambique, Zimbabwe

by Adrien BARBIER with Zinyange AUNTONY in Chimanimani BEIRA, Mozambique (AFP) — More than 120 people have died and many more are missing in Mozambique and neighbouring Zimbabwe on Sunday after tropical cyclone Idai barrelled across the southern African nations with flash floods and ferocious winds. Authorities in Mozambique said the toll there had risen to 62 in the centre of the country, while Zimbabwe said 65 people were killed in affected eastern areas, after […]

Death toll rises to 50 as New Zealand mourns victims

  by Jerome Taylor Agence France Presse New Zealanders flocked to memorial sites to lay flowers and mourn the victims of the twin mosque massacres Sunday, as testimony emerged of epic heroism and harrowing suffering in the gun attack that has claimed 50 lives. Police Commissioner Mike Bush said officers had finally been able to share a list of victims with families, something delayed by the need for careful police work and the sheer scale […]