Russia and China eye NATO’s ‘Arctic Achilles heel’

by Pierre-Henry Deshayes  Agence France-Presse BARENTSBURG, Norway (AFP) — Russian flags flap in the stiff polar breeze, a bust of Lenin looms out of the snow and a vast slogan declares, “Communism is our goal!” No, this is not some time warp Soviet settlement lost in the Arctic wastes, but a corner of Norway where Moscow can — theoretically at least — mine, build, drill and fish what it likes. Welcome to Spitsbergen, the largest island […]

At least 52 inmates die in Colombia prison riot and fire

  BOGOTA, Colombia (AFP) — At least 52 inmates were killed and 26 more injured early Tuesday after a fire broke out during a prison riot in southwestern Colombia, the national prisons agency said. The tragedy occurred when rioting inmates set a fire at around 2:00 am, attempting to prevent police from entering their enclosure at the prison in the city of Tulua, said Tito Castellanos, director of the National Penitentiary and Prison Institute (INPEC). […]

US opens probe after 51 migrants die in sweltering trailer

  by Gerard Martinez Agence France-Presse SAN ANTONIO, United States (AFP) — The death toll of undocumented migrants who were abandoned in a scorching-hot trailer in Texas rose to 51 Tuesday, as President Joe Biden blamed “criminal” professional smugglers for the tragedy. Rebeca Clay-Flores, a Bexar County official, reported the new tally of “39 men and 12 women” dead, following the Monday discovery of the tractor-trailer on an isolated road in her district. She did […]

Russia demands Ukraine surrender as NATO readies for Finland, Sweden membership

by Max Delany with Benoit Finck in Kremenchuk Agence France-Presse MADRID, Spain (AFP) — Western allies vowed on Tuesday to boost NATO’s defenses and to back Ukraine to the end as Moscow demanded Kyiv’s surrender. As NATO leaders gathered in Madrid for a summit, alliance chief Jens Stoltenberg said Finland and Sweden would be formally invited to join NATO after Turkey lifted its block on their bids. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had stubbornly refused […]

Russia demands Ukraine surrender as G7 vows to make Moscow pay

KREMENCHUK, Ukraine, June 28, 2022 (AFP)    by Benoit FINCK / with Deborah COLE in Elmau Castle Russia vowed on Tuesday its assault on Ukraine would continue until Kyiv surrenders, as world leaders warned that Moscow would pay for its aggression. The G7 group of the world’s most powerful democracies met in Germany to send a message that they remain united behind Ukraine’s embattled government. And, ahead of a key meeting of the NATO allies, US […]

US implements G7 sanctions targeting Russian military, gold

WASHINGTON, June 28, 2022 (AFP) – Washington announced steps Tuesday to implement the new sanctions on Russia as agreed by G7 leaders, targeting Moscow’s defense industry, raising tariffs and banning gold imports from the country. The latest moves “strike at the heart of Russia’s ability to develop and deploy weapons and technology used for Vladimir Putin’s brutal war of aggression against Ukraine,” the US Treasury Department said in a statement. The sanctions target Rostec, Russia’s […]

19 dead in India after building collapses in monsoon

MUMBAI, June 28, 2022 (AFP)  At least 19 people were killed when monsoon rains caused a four-storey building to collapse in the Indian megacity of Mumbai, authorities said Tuesday. The structure — located next to a slum in a central city district — collapsed just before midnight on Monday, according to local officials. Fourteen people had been rescued by Tuesday evening but emergency workers retrieved 19 bodies from the rubble. “Search and rescue operations are […]

G7 urges countries, companies to release food stockpiles

  ELMAU CASTLE, Germany (AFP) — G7 industrialised nations on Tuesday urged countries and companies with large food stockpiles to help ease a hunger crisis sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “We call on those partners with large food stockpiles, as well as on the private sector, to make food available without distorting the market,” the Group of Seven leaders said in a statement after a summit in Germany. They called “on all countries to […]

Former Nazi camp guard, 101, gets five-year jail sentence

  by David COURBET Agence France Presse A German court on Tuesday handed a five-year jail sentence to a 101-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard, the oldest person so far to go on trial for complicity in war crimes during the Holocaust. Josef Schuetz was found guilty of being an accessory to murder while working as a prison guard at the Sachsenhausen camp in Oranienburg, north of Berlin, between 1942 and 1945, presiding judge Udo […]

China halves quarantine time for overseas travellers

  BEIJING, China (AFP) — China on Tuesday (June 28) reduced the length of mandatory quarantine for inbound travellers, in the biggest relaxation of entry restrictions after sticking to a rigid zero Covid policy throughout the pandemic. The new guideline cuts the length of mandatory quarantine for overseas travellers to seven days plus three more of home monitoring — a drastic drop from about 21 days of quarantine and home monitoring combined. China closed off […]

46 migrants found dead in tractor-trailer in Texas

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — At least 46 migrants were found dead Monday in and around a tractor-trailer that was abandoned on the side of a road in San Antonio, in central Texas, authorities said. The grim discovery was one of the worst disasters involving migrants in the United States in recent years — and came five years after a similar deadly incident in the same city, a few hours from the Mexican border. “At […]

Senegal court sentences opposition MP over banned protest

DAKAR, Senegal (AFP) — A Senegal court Tuesday handed an opposition MP a six-month suspended prison sentence for defying a ban on protests in the tense run-up to legislative elections and released another lawmaker and 82 other defendants tried in the same case. MPs Dethie Fall and Mame Diarra Fame were tried along with the 82 other defendants at the court in the capital Dakar. They were arrested on June 17 during a rally called […]