• Call to bolster UN force in DRCongo, amid unrest fears

    Leaders of the Great Lakes region called Thursday for the UN peacekeeping force in strife-torn DR Congo to be bolstered, as fears rise of an upsurge in violence linked to delayed presidential polls. At the end of two-day talks, they called for more contributions to the UN mission MONUSCO from members

    AFP News
  • Kia, Hyundai reach $41.2 mn settlement with US states

    South Korean automakers Kia and Hyundai reached a $41.2 million settlement with US states over inflated fuel economy claims for their cars, officials said Thursday. The settlement with 33 states and the District of Columbia was the latest fallout after the automakers were caught in 2012 artificially

    AFP News
  • Colombia's ELN rebels releasing hostage: government

    Colombia's ELN rebels have begun the process of releasing a hostage at the center of a dispute threatening planned peace talks with the government, a top official said Thursday. "We have been informed by the Red Cross that the operation to free (hostage ex-lawmaker Odin Sanchez) has begun,&

    AFP News
  • Venezuela's Maduro pledges to crush looming strike

    Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro sought Thursday to outflank his opponents in their bid to drive him from power, vowing to crush a threatened general strike. At the same time, he moved to placate hard-up citizens by promising to raise the minimum wage by 40 percent. - Protests - Maduro was

    AFP News
  • Portugal's ruling party calls German minister a 'pyromaniac'

    The head of Portugal's ruling Socialists called German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble a "pyromaniac" Thursday after he criticised Lisbon for reversing course on austerity. Carlos Cesar's jibe came after Schaeuble said Portugal had been "very successful" until the Socialists

    AFP News
  • EU eyes Canada trade deal breakthrough, Ottawa cautious

    Belgium announced a breakthrough Thursday to save a landmark EU-Canada free trade deal, winning over domestic holdouts who threatened to torpedo the agreement and further damage Europe's international credibility. Additional steps remain before signing," she said in Ottawa, adding: "Canada

    AFP News
  • IS trickling out of Mosul as losses mount: US general

    Islamic State group fighters are trickling out of Iraq's Mosul as the jihadists suffer heavy casualties, the general overseeing American military operations in the region told AFP on Thursday. Army General Joseph Votel, head of the US military's Central Command, said groups of half a dozen or

    AFP News
  • Italy in 'miraculous' earthquake escape

    Italy on Thursday vowed to rebuild every home destroyed after two powerful earthquakes that forced thousands to flee in terror but "miraculously" did not cause any fatalities. Two months after tremors in the same area left nearly 300 dead, the twin quakes ripped through a mountainous, sparsely-populated

    AFP News
  • Colombia postpones ELN talks over hostage dispute

    Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos postponed peace talks with the ELN rebels Thursday just hours before they were due to open, insisting they first release an ex-lawmaker being held hostage. Santos said he remained committed to making peace but would not budge from his demand for the ELN to first

    AFP News
  • Turkmenistan marks 25 years post-USSR with pomp

    The isolated Central Asian country of Turkmenistan on Thursday marked 25 years of independence from the Soviet Union with celebrations across the country and a grandiose military parade in the capital Ashgabat.

    AFP News
  • Russia denies role in bloody strike on Syria school

    Moscow on Thursday denied any involvement in bloody air strikes on a Syrian school as its relations with the West took another hit and the EU slapped more sanctions on its ally Damascus. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon demanded an immediate probe into Wednesday's attack on the school in rebel-held

    AFP News
  • Up to 900 jihadists killed in Mosul battle, US says

    The United States said Thursday up to 900 Islamic State group jihadists have been killed in the offensive to retake Iraq's Mosul, as camps around the city filled with fleeing civilians. The offensive, launched on October 17, is seeing tens of thousands of Iraqi fighters advancing on Mosul from the

    AFP News
  • Migrants arrive in wary French villages

    As the bulldozers clear the remaining shacks at the "Jungle" camp, the thousands of migrants moved out to shelters around France are facing an uncertain welcome from their new hosts. The government is looking to distribute the 6,000 residents of the squalid, lawless shantytown in Calais in

    AFP News
  • 'Jungle' migrants given last chance to board bus out

    Migrants left behind after the Calais "Jungle" was cleared were given a final ultimatum Thursday to evacuate, as operations to raze the huge French camp went into high gear. With the camp almost deserted, demolition crews made faster work of tearing down the makeshift dwellings that had housed

    AFP News
  • Turkey pushes US to arrest coup suspect Gulen

    Turkey's Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag insisted on Thursday that he had provided US authorities with enough evidence for them to arrest alleged coup mastermind Fethullah Gulen. Bozdag met US Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Wednesday to press the case, but left without being given any guarantees

    AFP News
  • Iceland's 'Pirate' Jonsdottir: an accidental politician

    The public face of the Icelandic Pirate Party, Birgitta Jonsdottir is a hacker, cyberspace anarchist, poet -- and a rather reluctant politician. The daughter of folk singer mother and a father she never knew, Jonsdottir has worked in a variety of fields, including as a graphic designer, journalist and

    AFP News
  • Slovenia starts burial of WWII mass killing victims

    Slovenia on Thursday started burying the remains of some 800 alleged Nazi collaborators killed by communist forces in the aftermath of World War II, and discovered in a giant mine in 2009. "It is our human and state duty to bury in a civilised way the victims of war and post-war killings,"

    AFP News
  • India, Pakistan expel diplomats over 'suspicious activities'

    New Delhi announced Thursday it was expelling a Pakistani visa official for suspected spying, with Islamabad responding by saying it would send back an Indian diplomat in an apparent tit-for-tat move. The expulsions come as tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours are running high over their disputed

    AFP News
  • German court restricts contact between father and 'eBay baby'

    A German court ruled Thursday that a man who put his one-month-old baby up for sale on the online auction platform eBay should only be allowed contact with the child under supervision. The advertisement, which appeared online on October 11 for about 30 minutes before eBay took it down, sparked outrage

    AFP News
  • Putin slams claims Russia meddling in US polls as 'hysteria'

    President Vladimir Putin slammed as "hysteria" Thursday claims that Russia has tried to interfere in the upcoming US presidential elections by hacking US political institutions including the Democrats behind frontrunner Hillary Clinton. Russia has been accused of favouring Republican candidate

    AFP News
  • Spain Socialists refuse to go easy on Rajoy once in power

    Spain's Socialists may have reluctantly decided to let Mariano Rajoy govern again but they will not go easy on the acting conservative premier once he re-takes power, they warned Thursday. "You don't have our trust, nor do you have our support," Antonio Hernando, the Socialists'

    AFP News
  • Ivanka Trump faces boycott calls over dad's campaign

    Ivanka Trump has long been one of her father's most poised and popular surrogates, but her support for the Republican nominee is sparking calls for a boycott of her fashion label. A twitter campaign, dubbed Grab Your Wallet, is gaining traction with fashion giant Nordstrom among retail giants under

    AFP News
  • NATO, EU are partners, not rivals in defence: top officials

    NATO and the European Union are partners in defence, not rivals, top officials said Thursday, downplaying any suggestion EU military ambitions might undermine the US-led alliance which has protected Europe for decades. "I strongly believe it is absolutely possible to strengthen European defence

    AFP News
  • Pirate Party set to rattle Iceland in snap election

    Iceland's anti-establishment Pirate Party is set to shake up the political landscape in Saturday's parliament election, with voters on course to punish a government tainted by the Panama Papers. Iceland called the snap vote in August after the global tax evasion scandal ensnared several senior

    AFP News
  • Putin dismisses 'hysteria' claims of Russia meddling in US polls

    President Vladimir Putin dismisses as "hysteria" claims that Russia has attempted to interfere in the upcoming US presidential elections by hacking American political institutions.



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