LeBron is just 177 points away from tying Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time NBA scoring record
LeBron is just 177 points away from tying Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time NBA scoring record
Everything you need to know ahead of the final
"A week before my mother died, her house was broken into and burned down," said Mathieu Okoma Agoa, from a village in Ivory Coast.Okoma Agoa's mother suffered from leprosy, a disease that made her a social outcast long before she died.
A gunman stormed Azerbaijan's embassy in Tehran on Friday, killing the mission's head of security in an attack Iran said was motivated by personal reasons but Baku labelled an act of "terrorism".Following the attack, Azerbaijan's foreign ministry said the diplomatic mission's head of security was killed and that two guards were wounded but in a "satisfactory" condition, adding that an investigation had been launched.
Ukrainian troops were locked in a "fierce" confrontation with Russian fighters Friday for control of the town of Vugledar southwest of Donetsk as the two sides battle along the southern front.Both sides claimed success in the small administrative center of apartment towers surround by flat fields, a short distance from the strategic prize of the village of Pavlivka."The encirclement and subsequent liberation of this city solves many problems," said Denis Pushilin, the Moscow-appointed leader of the Donetsk region."Soon, Vugledar may become a new, very important success for us," he was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies.But Kyiv said the town, which had a pre-invasion population of around 15,000 people, remained contested. "There is fierce combat there," Ukrainian military spokesman Sergiy Cherevaty told local media."For many months, the military of the Russian Federation... has been trying to achieve significant success there," he said.Moscow's push for Vugledar is part of its effort to seize control of the entire Donetsk region, which it has already declared a part of Russia.The town also lies along a southern front that some think could be the focus of a possible Ukraine offensive seeking to cut through Russian-occupied territory to the Azov Sea.Russian attacks in the Vugledar area could be "part of a series of spoiling attacks aimed at constraining possible future Ukrainian counteroffensive operations," said the US-based Institute for the Study of War.- Barbs on Holocaust Remembrance Day -Russian President Vladimir Putin used International Holocaust Remembrance Day Friday to lash out at Ukraine, calling those in the country "neo-Nazis" to justify the 11-month-old invasion."Forgetting the lessons of history leads to the repetition of terrible tragedies," Putin said."It is against that evil that our soldiers are bravely fighting," he said.But in Poland, where some three million Jews were slaughtered during World War II, officials pointed their fingers at Russia as perpetuating Nazi thinking. "On the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi German death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, let us remember that to the east Putin is building new camps," Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Facebook."Solidarity and consistent support for Ukraine are effective ways to ensure that history does not come full circle," he added.Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky marked Holocaust Remembrance Day by urging the world to unite against "indifference" and "hatred"."Today, as always, Ukraine honours the memory of millions of victims of the Holocaust. We know and remember that indifference kills along with hatred," he said.- More Polish tanks -Morawiecki meanwhile said Poland would deliver an additional 60 tanks to Kyiv to help it fend off Russia's aggression."Right now, we are ready to send 60 of our modernised tanks, 30 of them PT-91. And on top of those tanks, 14 tanks, Leopard 2 tanks, from our possession," he said.The tanks that have already been sent by Poland are mainly T-72 Soviet models, of which the PT-91 are a modernised version. Ukraine has also been promised battle tanks from Germany and the United States, announced earlier this week. And Belgium announced a new 93.8 million euro ($100 million) package of military aid for Ukraine that includes cash, missiles, machine guns and armoured vehicles.- Olympics controversy -Meanwhile controversy boiled over the International Olympic Committee's efforts to find a "pathway" for Russians to take part in the 2024 Paris Games despite the invasion of Ukraine.Russia and its ally Belarus have been sidelined from most Olympic sports since the invasion of Ukraine last February.But the IOC said "no athlete should be prevented from competing just because of their passport".Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said Thursday that she supported the concept of Russian athletes competing under a neutral banner at the 2024 Olympics.Zelensky on Friday invited IOC President Thomas Bach to visit the frontline city of Bakhmut, where some of the heaviest fighting has taken place in recent months."I am inviting Mr Bach to Bakhmut so that he can see for himself that neutrality does not exist," Zelensky said. "It is obvious that any neutral banner of Russian athletes is stained with blood."Ukraine's sports minister warned his country could boycott the games if Russian and Belarusian athletes take part.bur/pmh/bfm
In the DR Congo's boisterous capital Kinshasa, a road close to the city centre is lined with traders hawking unusual merchandise: church pulpits. But last year, a Congolese MP pushed to close 10,000 churches deemed to be corrupt.
Rwandan authorities on Saturday said they had arrested six people for allegedly hurling insults at a woman who made history as one of the first female referees chosen for the men's World Cup.The 34-year-old made history last year by becoming the first woman to referee at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Newly-elected Czech president Petr Pavel, a former NATO general, will promote close ties with the European Union and offer firm support for Ukraine in the face of the Russian invasion, analysts said.The 61-year-old war hero beat billionaire populist Andrej Babis to win Saturday's presidential election.A former chief of NATO's military committee, he will replace outspoken, divisive incumbent Milos Zeman who had fostered closer ties with Moscow and Beijing before making a U-turn when Russia invaded Ukraine last year.Analysts told AFP that Pavel's experience in military diplomacy would be a clear asset as he held a very different presidency than his predecessor."We know that his contacts at NATO, as well as with peers from NATO member states... are very strong, and foreign policy will be his domain," said Pavel Havlicek, a scientist at the Association for International Affairs in Prague."I think he will be a proficient president if we realise the war in Ukraine is one of the key problems Europe is facing," Havlicek told AFP.Pavel was a member of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia in the 1980s and began a rapid rise through army ranks until communism fell in 1989.After Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993, Pavel became an advocate of EU and NATO membership.During campaigning he argued there was still "no better alternative".He also called for more aid to Ukraine, which was invaded by Russia in February last year."He is very much in favour of Ukraine, he has repeatedly voiced his support, and he's very critical towards Russia," said Jiri Pehe, a political analyst at New York University Prague."His stance will entail strong support to Ukraine without any conditions," Pehe told AFP.- EU presidency -European leaders have welcomed Pavel's win, which follows the Czech Republic's 2022 EU presidency.German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Berlin would work "hand in hand for a stronger EU and NATO" with Pavel, while European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen praised his "strong commitment to our European values".Pavel is also in favour of adopting the euro as the currency of the Czech Republic.He is expected to work closely with his country's governing centre-right coalition led by Prime Minister Petr Fiala, which also provides military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine."Pavel will draw upon the government's policy in this sense, and I think there will be no fundamental disputes," said Palacky University analyst Pavel Saradin."There will be none of that ambivalence we had with Milos Zeman," said Pehe.Analysts also expect Pavel to turn a more critical eye towards his country's close ties with the so-called Visegrad-four group, which consists of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary.Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has been at odds with the EU over the rule of law in his country and his ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin.Pavel has criticised Orban on several occasions and met with opposition figures when he visited Hungary last December."He would rather redefine the regional cooperation to a broader format of more countries, meaning that Hungary's influence would be neutralised," said Pehe. Havlicek said he also expected Pavel to strengthen ties with the United States."(Pavel) has great and strong experience with meetings and negotiations and he will show it," said Havlicek."He will be in his element when it comes to foreign policy."frj/rox/ea
Revealed and launched at the Xbox Developer Direct showcase on 26 January, Hi-Fi Rush is an action-adventure game for the musically-inclined. Here's our review.
The Philippines said Friday it intended to appeal an International Criminal Court decision to reopen an inquiry into Manila's brutal anti-drug campaign, which left thousands dead.The ICC prosecutor later asked to reopen the inquiry in June 2022.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz travels to Chile on Sunday, part of a Latin America tour that also includes Argentina and Brazil, where Berlin and the EU are seeking a reset following the election of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.As Russia's war against Ukraine grinds on, Germany will seek to use the Latin American tour to drum up further international support against Moscow, the Berlin government source said.
Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih won the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party's (MDP) presidential primary election, the first time an incumbent has faced a primary challenge, according to preliminary results on Sunday. But his challenger, former President Mohamed Nasheed has not accepted the results reported by the party. Nasheed's supporters and representatives have alleged voter fraud and vote rigging in the contentious election in the archipelago off India and Sri Lanka.
With anti-France feelings running high in many of its former colonies in West Africa, Paris is being forced to retreat ever further from the increasingly unstable region and re-think its presence, experts say.After the ruling junta in Mali forced French troops out last year, the army officers running neighbouring Burkina Faso followed suit this week, asking Paris to empty its garrison in the next month.
First Valentyna's gas was cut when Russia's invasion came to Bakhmut in Ukraine's Donetsk region.They are just two among some 8,000 Bakhmut residents whose precarious existence in the city has been thrown into even greater uncertainty since water supplies were fully cut in October.
Opener Devon Conway and Daryl Mitchell hit quickfire fifties to set up a convincing 21-run victory for New Zealand in the first T20 international against India on Friday.Conway raised his fifty in 31 balls and found another attacking partner in Mitchell, who hit five sixes in his 30-ball blitz, as they added 36 for the fourth wicket.
India's rising tide of Hindu nationalism is an affront to the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi, his great-grandson says, ahead of the 75th anniversary of the revered independence hero's assassination.Today, Gandhi's assassin is revered by many Hindu nationalists who have pushed for a re-evaluation of his decision to murder a man synonymous with non-violence.
Driver Tharaa Ali takes her seat at the helm of a high-speed train ferrying pilgrims to Mecca, a beneficiary of conservative Saudi Arabia's bid to employ its booming female workforce.But last year she joined some 28,000 applicants vying for just 32 slots for women drivers on the Haramain High Speed Railway, which plies the 450-kilometre (280-mile) route between the holy cities of Mecca and Medina at speeds of up to 300 kilometres (186 miles) per hour.
Italian energy giant Eni signed an $8 billion gas deal with Libya's state-run National Oil Corporation Saturday as Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni visited Tripoli.Meloni also visited Algeria this week seeking supply deals from Africa's top gas exporter.
US trade flows are realigning on the back of pandemic shocks and tensions with China, but efforts to reduce interdependence between the superpowers have not brought a swift decoupling."The recent (Inflation Reduction Act) and Chips Act, and related sanctions are clear indicators of the Biden administration's efforts to decouple from China" in these areas, said Koopman.
India has asked Pakistan to change a decades-old water-sharing agreement by barring third parties from intervening in disputes, an Indian government source said, a suggestion likely to rile Islamabad. The nuclear-armed neighbours and foes have been arguing over hydroelectric projects on the shared Indus river and its tributaries for many years - a dispute exacerbated by their standoff over disputed Kashmir. Pakistan is concerned that India's planned hydropower dams will cut flows on the river, which feeds 80% of its irrigated agriculture.
Polling began in the second round of elections for Tunisia's toothless parliament on Sunday, but as the divided nation grapples with economic woes, all eyes will be on turnout.The latest polls, whose first round in December saw just 11.2 percent of registered voters take part, are seen as the final pillar of Saied's transformation of politics.