Europe lashed by extreme weather as climate crisis grows

  by Marlowe HOOD Agence France Presse PARIS, France (AFP) — Europe endured record extreme weather in 2021, from the hottest day and the warmest summer to deadly wildfires and flooding, the European Union’s climate monitoring service reported Friday. While Earth’s surface was nearly 1.2 degrees Celsius warmer than pre-industrial levels last year, Europe saw an average increase of more than two degrees, a threshold beyond which dangerous extreme weather events become more likely and […]

Johnny Depp says abuse allegations have cost him ‘everything’

  by Chris Lefkow Agence France Presse WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — “Pirates of the Caribbean” star Johnny Depp said Wednesday that domestic abuse allegations made against him by his ex-wife Amber Heard had cost him “nothing less than everything” and claimed that she was the one who was frequently violent. Depp, taking the witness stand for a second day of testimony in his defamation case against Heard, said she would regularly insult him and […]

WHO ‘strongly recommends’ Pfizer’s Covid pill

by Christophe Vogt © Agence France-Presse   GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP) — The World Health Organization said Friday it “strongly recommended” Pfizer’s Covid-19 antiviral pill Paxlovid for patients with milder forms of the disease who were still at a high risk of hospitalization. However the UN agency warned it was “extremely concerned” that the inequality in access seen with Covid vaccines would again leave low- and middle-income countries “pushed to the end of the queue”. US […]

End of an era as Netflix faces stagnation challenges

  by Thomas URBAIN Agence France Presse NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — Having lost subscribers for the first time in more than a decade, Netflix faces the new challenge of stagnation from a position of strength. A drop of just 200,000 users — less than 0.1 percent of its total customer base — was enough to send Wall Street panicking, with shares plunging more than 30 percent on Wednesday. The loss of subscribers and […]

After failed tests, NASA’s Moon rocket heads back to workshop

  WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — NASA’s Space Launch System rocket is heading back to its assembly building for repairs next week, pushing the earliest possible launch date for its uncrewed test flight to the Moon to later this summer, officials said Monday. Since April 1 the space agency has been unsuccessfully attempting a key “wet dress rehearsal” test, so dubbed because it involves loading liquid propellant. The procedure is meant as a run-through of […]

China’s ‘space dream’: A Long March to the Moon and beyond

  BEIJING, China (AFP) — The return to Earth of three astronauts on Saturday after six months at China’s new space station marks a landmark step in the country’s space ambitions, ending its longest crewed mission ever. The world’s second-largest economy has put billions into its military-run space programme, with hopes of eventually sending humans to the Moon. China has come a long way in catching up with the United States and Russia, whose astronauts […]

Three Chinese astronauts return to Earth after six months in space

  by Laurie CHEN Agence France Presse Three Chinese astronauts returned to Earth on Saturday after 183 days in space, ending China’s longest crewed mission as it continues its quest to become a major space power. The Shenzhou-13 spacecraft was the latest mission in Beijing’s drive to rival the United States, after landing a rover on Mars and sending probes to the Moon. Live footage from state broadcaster CCTV showed the capsule landing in a […]

N.Korea-tied hackers executed $620 mn crypto heist that targeted Axie Infinity players, says FBI

  WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — North Korean-tied hackers were responsible for a $620-million cryptocurrency heist last month targeting players of the popular Axie Infinity game, US authorities said Thursday. The hack was one of the biggest to hit the crypto world, raising huge questions about security in an industry that only recently burst into the mainstream thanks to celebrity promotions and promises of untold wealth. Last month’s theft from the makers of Axie Infinity, […]

Israel to top up shrinking Sea of Galilee with desalinated water

by Daniella Cheslow © Agence France-Presse RAVID, Israel (AFP) — Israel, a leader in making seawater drinkable, plans to pump excess output from its desalination plants into the Sea of Galilee, depleted by overuse and threatened by climate change. Irregular rainfall, rising temperatures and intensive pumping have overtaxed the world’s lowest freshwater lake, which for decades has served as the Jewish state’s main sweetwater reservoir. Israel now plans to tackle the challenge by reversing the […]

Elon Musk launches hostile takeover bid for Twitter

  by Julie Jammot with Glenn Chapman in San Francisco © Agence France-Presse SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) — Tesla chief Elon Musk launched a hostile takeover effort for Twitter on Thursday, insisting the platform needs to be transformed but acknowledging his $43 billion bid may fail. The proposal faces uncertainty on multiple fronts, including possible rejection and the challenge of assembling the cash, but could have wide-reaching impacts on the social media service if […]

Damascus art installation turns ceramic doves into war symbol

by Maher Al Mounes © Agence France-Presse DAMASCUS, Syria (AFP) — Hundreds of ceramic doves are suspended over the streets of the Old City of Damascus, part of an art installation that had been set to debut before the start of Syria’s war. The lifelike figurines crafted by Buthaina al-Ali, a professor at Damascus University’s faculty of arts, had been gathering dust in a basement since the outbreak of Syria’s conflict in 2011. Eleven years […]

Thai… caviar? Farm produces delicacy in tropical climate

  by Pathom Sangwongwanich © Agence France-Presse BANGKOK, Thailand (AFP) — At his upmarket Bangkok restaurant, Michelin-starred chef Thitid “Ton” Tassanakajohn spoons black caviar onto a plate, adding the newly affordable Thailand-made delicacy to his reinterpreted traditional family recipes. The luxury food, better associated with chilly northern nations, is breaking into the Southeast Asian country’s fine-dining scene, with the 37-year-old celebrity cook able to economically serve the roe thanks to an innovative farm outside the […]