The 20-time grand slam champion is set to retire this weekend, bringing an end to an iconic 24-year career
The 20-time grand slam champion is set to retire this weekend, bringing an end to an iconic 24-year career
Dining in underground restaurants, drinking in secretive bars spread by word-of-mouth, and hiding their Covid symptoms -- some Beijing residents are defying strict curbs as the government tentatively relaxes pandemic control measures.
The lower house of Switzerland's parliament voted Monday to dramatically broaden the country's limited definition of rape to include all sex without consent, but a law-change is still a long way off.
Ukraine was targeted on Monday by a new wave of fatal Russian missiles, the latest attack to disrupt power across the country and pile pressure on its embattled critical infrastructure as temperatures plunge. The attacks came just after Moscow shrugged off a Western-imposed price cap on its oil exports, warning that the move would not disrupt its military campaign in Ukraine. Russian state-run media at the same time released footage of President Vladimir Putin driving a Mercedes car across the Crimea bridge that connects the annexed peninsula to the Russian mainland and was damaged in blast last month. The head of the central Zaporizhzhia region, Oleksandr Starukh, said that Russian missiles had left two people dead. Officials in regions in the east and south announced disruptions to water, electrical and heating services. "There are already strikes on energy infrastructure facilities and subsequently emergency power outages," the national electricity provider Ukrenergo said in a statement. Officials in the eastern region of Sumy and the southern regions of Odessa and Mykolaiv said residents were being subjected to disruptions in water, power or heating supplies as a result of the strikes. Nearly half the country's energy system has been damaged after months of systemic strikes on power infrastructure. Ukrainians have frequently been left in the cold and dark for hours at a time when the outdoor temperature has dropped below zero. "Charge power banks. Prepare reserves of water. And heads of enterprises of all forms of ownership: let people go home," said the head of Kryvyi Rig military administration, Oleksandr Vilkul. - Moscow vows to keep fighting - The $60-per-barrel price cap agreed by the European Union, G7 and Australia aims to restrict Russia's revenue while making sure Moscow keeps supplying the global market. "Russia's economy has all the necessary potential to fully meet the needs and requirements of the special military operation," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, using Moscow's term for the Ukraine offensive. "These measures will not affect this," he said. Russia "will not recognise" the measures, which amounted to "a step towards destabilising the global energy markets" and would "change" oil prices, he added. The cap is the latest in a number of measures spearheaded by Western countries and introduced against Russia -- the world's second-largest crude oil exporter -- after Moscow sent troops into Ukraine over nine months ago. The measure comes on top of an EU embargo on seaborne deliveries of Russian crude oil that came into force on Monday. The embargo will prevent maritime shipments of Russian crude to the European Union, which account for two thirds of the bloc's oil imports from Russia, potentially depriving Moscow of billions of euros. The oil price cap aims to ensure that when Russia sells its crude to non-EU countries, who are not bound by the embargo, it is not sold at a price higher than $60 a barrel. The market price of a barrel of Russian Urals crude is currently around $65 dollars, just slightly higher than the $60 cap agreed, suggesting the measure may have only a limited impact in the short term. Kyiv, after initially welcoming the price ceiling, later said it would not do enough damage to Russia's economy. - 'Impossible to prepare' - Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky this weekend described the move as "weak". He added that Russia had already caused "huge losses" by "deliberately destabilising" the global energy market. The G7 nations -- Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States -- along with Australia have already said they are prepared to adjust the price ceiling if necessary. In recent months, gas prices have skyrocketed since Moscow halted deliveries to the EU in suspected retaliation for Western sanctions and the bloc struggled to find alternative energy suppliers. In the Ukrainian town of Borodianka outside the capital, Kyiv, where snow has already coated the ground, locals recently gathered around old wood-fired stoves inside tents to keep warm and cook food during the blackouts. "We are totally dependent on electricity... One day we had no electricity for 16 hours," Irina, who had come to the tent with her child, told AFP. Volunteer Oleg said it was hard to say how Ukraine would manage in the coming winter months. "It is impossible to prepare for this winter because no-one has lived in these conditions before," he said. bur/gil
Restoring islands devastated by invasive species and helping coastal "connectors" like seabirds boosts nature on land and at sea -- and may be a new way to increase resilience to climate change, researchers said Monday.
Philippine lawmakers have proposed a $4.9 billion sovereign wealth fund to be chaired by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr to boost growth, but critics warn it will be prone to graft and risk Filipino pensions.
Australia on Monday started building a vast network of antennas in the Outback, its section of what planners say will eventually become one of the most powerful radio telescopes in the world.
The UK government Monday stressed the British Museum is legally forbidden from breaking up its vast collection, after a report said it could possibly hand the Parthenon Marbles back to Greece.
‘The verdict will have a strong deterrence effect and is a better punishment than death,’ says special public prosecutor
Chilly weather and common respiratory infections often go hand in hand.
A foreign member of the Islamic State (IS) group has been arrested in connection with an attack last week on Pakistan's embassy in the Afghan capital, the Taliban's chief spokesman said Monday.
From roasting temperatures to rocketing energy prices and millions of refugees fleeing Ukraine, 2022 was a year of extremes.
Businesses reopened and testing requirements were relaxed in Beijing and other Chinese cities on Monday as the country tentatively eases out of a strict zero-Covid policy that sparked nationwide protests.
Turkey's inflation slowed in November for the first time since May 2021, official data showed on Monday, delivering a boost to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ahead of next year's election.
Teenagers sentenced in public and immediately shot dead in North Korea’s Hyesan
New Zealand authorities on Tuesday launched a battle for custody of an infant whose parents are blocking life-saving surgery because blood donors may have been vaccinated against Covid-19.
From the Russian invasion of Ukraine to the overturning of abortion laws in the United States, here is a roundup of the biggest events to mark 2022.
Nigeria on Monday resumed a train service linking the capital with a northern city, eight months after it was suspended following one of the country's most high-profile attacks.
Senegal is asking some tough questions about the state of its democracy, reputedly one of the strongest in Africa, after opposition lawmakers physically attacked a woman MP in parliament.
After fierce criticism of the Qatar World Cup, the head of the UN labour agency on Sunday pressed FIFA's president for a greater role scrutinizing future World Cup hosts.
European Union leaders vowed on Tuesday to strengthen ties with the Western Balkans, a drive reinvigorated by Russia's war on Ukraine. The war has underscored the importance for the EU of bringing the Balkans into its orbit, to stabilise the region and counter the influence there of both Russia and China. "The future of our children will be safe and more prosperous with the Western Balkans within the EU, and we are working very hard in order to make progress," EU Council president Charles Michel told reporters as he arrived at a meeting in Tirana of EU and Balkan leaders. The summit was called to discuss requests by six states -- Albania, Bosnia, Montenegro, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Serbia -- to join the 27-nation EU and examine areas where they can cooperate. The Balkan bids to join the EU "have gained momentum again", said Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the EU's executive arm, the European Commission. She urged the Balkan nations to choose camps. "Russia is trying to exert influence (in the Western Balkans). China tries to influence", von der Leyen said. "We (the EU) are the largest investor. We are the closest partner and that is why the discussion is also about you having to decide which side you are on, the side of democracy," von der Leyen stressed. Balkan countries have been stuck in the EU waiting room for years. They have regularly expressed frustration at the long and demanding membership process, especially since the EU moved so rapidly this year to accept Ukraine and Moldova as official candidates to join the bloc. The EU was expected on Tuesday to confirm its "commitment to the European Union membership (prospects) of the Western Balkans" and call for negotiations to be speeded up. - 'Stick together' - Expanding the EU has again become a priority, European Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi noted on Friday. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte echoed that, saying EU and Balkan nations needed "to stick together and work together" in the face of Russia's war on Ukraine. In July Brussels finally began membership talks with North Macedonia and Albania, which applied in 2005 and 2014 respectively. Negotiations have been underway for several years with Montenegro and Serbia, while in October Brussels recommended making Bosnia an official candidate. Kosovo, the sixth would-be member, faces challenges on its path to joining the EU. It split from Serbia in 2008 but Belgrade has not recognised its declaration of independence. Neither, crucially, do five EU member countries -- Cyprus, Greece, Romania, Slovakia and Spain. - Solidarity and migration - Pro-European sentiment in the Balkans could do with a boost, noted Lukas Macek of the Jacques Delors Institute in Paris. "The pro-European camp is getting a little desperate," he said. A show of support from Brussels could help sway public opinion. "There is a window of opportunity to reverse the trend but it will not necessarily last very long and it must be fleshed out with something tangible," he said. The EU is expected in Tirana to confirm a package of subsidies worth around one billion euros (dollars) to help the Balkans weather the energy crisis triggered by the Ukraine war. The subsidies should help attract public and private investments and raise at least 2.5 billion euros in total. The EU is also due to sign a deal with the region's telecom operators to reduce roaming charges between the bloc and the Balkan states in 2023 and phase them out by 2027. And it will also examine ways of cooperating on security issues, particularly on preventing the kind of cyber attacks that have plagued the Balkans. Illegal migration remains a key concern. The dangerous "Balkans route" is one of the main conduits used by millions of would-be asylum seekers, many from conflict zones, to try and reach Western Europe. The numbers arriving by this route rose by almost 170 percent in the first 10 months of 2022 compared to last year. That spike prompted the Commission on Monday to propose sending the EU border force Frontex to help police the Balkan borders. The EU, for its part, wants Balkan countries to align their visa policies with its own. Serbia has been accused of contributing to an increase in the number of migrants from Cuba, Burundi, India and Tunisia entering the EU. These nationals can arrive at Belgrade airport without a visa and then continue their journey to the bloc by land. Under EU pressure, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has announced an end to visa exemptions for Tunisians and Burundians. alm/jca/mbs/ljv/gil