Johnny Depp grabbed Amber Heard by hair, hit her repeatedly: sister

Washington, UNITED STATES (AFP) — Johnny Depp grabbed his then-wife Amber Heard by the hair and repeatedly struck her in the face during a heated argument about a month after their marriage, her sister said Wednesday. Heard also punched Depp during the March 2015 fight at their Los Angeles penthouse, Whitney Henriquez testified at the high-profile defamation case between the celebrity couple. Henriquez, Heard’s 34-year-old younger sister, said the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star sought […]

Musk says Twitter purchase will not go ahead without clarity on spam accounts

New York, UNITED STATES (AFP) — Billionaire Elon Musk said Tuesday that his purchase of Twitter would not go ahead unless he was assured that fewer than five percent of accounts on the platform were fake. “Yesterday, Twitter’s CEO publicly refused to show proof of <5%,” tweeted Musk, who has almost 94 million followers on the social network. “This deal cannot move forward until he does.” The chief of SpaceX as well as Tesla, Musk […]

Wheat prices hit record high after Indian export ban

  by Sofia BOUDERBALA Agence France Presse Wheat prices surged to a new record high in European trading on Monday after India decided to ban exports of the commodity as a heatwave hit production. The price jumped to 435 euros ($453) per tonne as the Euronext market opened, up from the previous record of 422 euros reached on Friday. Global wheat prices have soared on supply fears since Russia’s February invasion of agricultural powerhouse Ukraine, […]

Seeing Milky Way’s new black hole is ‘only the beginning’: US researcher

  by Lucie AUBOURG Agence France Presse WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — At just 33 years old, Caltech assistant professor Katie Bouman is already a veteran of two major scientific discoveries. The expert in computational imaging — developing algorithms to observe distant phenomena — helped create the program that led to the release of the first image of a black hole in a distant galaxy in 2019. She quickly became something of a global science […]

Astronomers reveal first image of black hole at Milky Way’s centre

by Pierre CELERIER Agence France Presse An international team of astronomers on Thursday unveiled the first image of a supermassive black hole at the centre of our own Milky Way galaxy — a cosmic body known as Sagittarius A*. The image — produced by a global team of scientists known as the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Collaboration — is the first, direct visual confirmation of the presence of this invisible object, and comes three years […]

228 probable unexplained cases of child hepatitis: WHO

  GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP) — At least 228 probable cases of hepatitis of unknown origin in children have now been reported to the World Health Organization from 20 countries, the UN health agency said Tuesday, May 3. “As of May 1, at least 228 probable cases were reported to WHO from 20 countries, with over 50 additional cases under investigation,” WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told reporters in Geneva. Most of the cases are from Europe […]

US probes five child deaths, 109 cases linked to mystery liver disease

  by Issam AHMED Agence France Presse The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating 109 childhood cases of a mysterious form of hepatitis, including five reported deaths, the agency said Friday. It is part of an unexplained global phenomenon involving hundreds of cases, with Indonesia this week also reporting three deaths. Britain on Friday announced its case count had increased to 163, the majority aged under five, with no deaths. “Investigators both […]

Brazil deforestation shatters April record

  RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AFP) — Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon last month shattered the record for April, destroying more than 1,000 square kilometers of the world’s biggest rainforest, nearly double the previous high, according to official figures published Friday. The record — the third in four months — is the latest damning statistic on the accelerating loss of the Amazon under President Jair Bolsonaro. Satellite images show a total area of destroyed forest […]

40 million more faced acute hunger in 2021: UN

  The number of people facing hunger rose to 193 million last year as conflict, climate change and economic crises ravaged people’s livelihoods, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization said Wednesday. While experts have warned that Russia’s war in Ukraine could cause famine, the FAO said in an annual report that nearly 40 million more people were pushed into “acute food insecurity” in 2021. Among 53 countries facing the problem, the most affected include the […]

New Zealand sea level rising more quickly than forecast: data

  WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AFP) — The sea level is rising twice as fast as previously forecast around parts of New Zealand, according to research published Monday, putting the country’s two largest cities at risk decades earlier than expected. Government-backed data amassed from around the country’s coastline found some areas are already sinking three to four millimetres per year, speeding up a long-expected threat. The projections, labelled “a bit terrifying” by one expert, are the […]

Spectacular glass-bottomed bridge opens in Vietnam

  Mộc Châu, Vietnam (AFP) — Don’t look down! Vietnam launched a new attraction for tourists with a head for heights on Friday, with the opening of a glass-bottomed bridge suspended 150 metres (490 feet) above a lush jungle. The Bach Long pedestrian bridge — whose name translates to “white dragon” — in northwest Son La province snakes around dizzying cliff faces before spanning a dramatic valley between two peaks, hitting a total length of […]

Psychologist testifies that Amber Heard has personality disorders

    by Brendan Smialowski with Chris Lefkow in Washington Agence France Presse FAIRFAX, United States (AFP) — A psychologist hired by lawyers for “Pirates of the Caribbean” star Johnny Depp testified on Tuesday at his defamation case against his former wife Amber Heard that she suffers from twin personality disorders. Shannon Curry, a clinical and forensic psychologist, said she had examined Heard’s mental health records and personally evaluated her for 12 hours over two […]