• Gabon's old guard hopes to unseat Bongo dynasty scion

    The increasingly disgruntled people of Gabon go to the polls Saturday in a presidential election in which a last-minute opposition pact has robbed incumbent Ali Bongo of a clear run at a second term.

    AFPTV
  • Malaysia's AirAsia values leasing arm at $1 bln -investor presentation

    AirAsia Bhd, Asia's biggest low-cost airline, values its wholly owned leasing arm at 4.1 billion ringgit ($1 billion), and aims to attract an equity investor to the unit by end-2016, it said in a presentation to analysts. The Malaysian airline aims for its Asia Aviation Capital (AAC) to expand its

    Reuters
  • Colombia announces historic peace deal after four years of talks

    Colombia's government and the FARC rebels have reached a historic peace agreement to end their half-century civil war that cost hundreds of thousands of lives. After nearly four years of negotiations in Cuba, the two sides announced a final deal Wednesday, which President Juan Manuel Santos said

    AFP News
  • Italy quake death toll nears 250 as questions mount

    The death toll from a powerful earthquake in central Italy rose to 247 on Thursday amid fears many more corpses remain buried in the rubble of devastated mountain villages. As rescuers sifted through collapsed masonry in the search for survivors, questions mounted as to why there had been so many deaths

    AFP News
  • 'Queen of Knitwear' Sonia Rykiel dies aged 86

    Sonia Rykiel, the French fashion designer known as the Queen of Knitwear, died on Thursday at the age of 86 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease, her daughter told AFP. "My mother died at 5:00 this morning at her home in Paris from the effects of Parkinson's," Nathalie Rykiel

    AFP News
  • Asia's ageing population to cost $20 trillion: study

    Asia's population is ageing faster than anywhere in the world, a study said Thursday, warning the swelling ranks of the elderly will cost the region $20 trillion in healthcare by 2030. Health systems, businesses and families across Asia-Pacific will come under huge pressure as some 200 million people

    AFP News
  • Contentious burkini ban before France's highest court

    France's highest administrative court will on Thursday examine a request to scrap a ban on the Islamic burkini swimsuit which has sparked a furore in the country. The Human Rights League (LDH) is appealing a decision by a lower court in the Riviera city of Nice which upheld a ban on the outfit by

    AFP News
  • European equities slide in choppy trade

    European stocks slid Thursday in choppy trade as investors eyed poor German data and recent oil price falls, on the eve of a speech by Federal Reserve boss Janet Yellen. In late morning deals, Frankfurt sank 1.0 percent, London lost 0.3 percent and Paris shed 0.8 percent in value. "It's been

    AFP News
  • Turkey sends more tanks to Syria, warns Kurdish militia

    Turkey on Tuesday sent more tanks into Syria and sternly warned a Kurdish militia to withdraw from frontline positions, a day after pro-Ankara Syrian opposition fighters captured a key border town from jihadists. The tanks joined those which crossed the frontier on Wednesday in the so-called Operation

    AFP News
  • Japan's ANA cancels Dreamliner flights over engine trouble

    Japan's All Nippon Airways said Thursday it is cancelling some Boeing Dreamliner flights owing to a problem with the plane's engine, and warned of more groundings. The carrier, the biggest worldwide Dreamliner operator with a fleet of 50 jets, said nine domestic flights scheduled for Friday

    AFP News
  • Indian IVF doctors slam move to ban commercial surrogacy

    Leading Indian fertility doctors and surrogate mothers Thursday criticised a move to ban commercial surrogacy, saying it will severely limit options for childless couples and women who carry others' babies as a way out of poverty. India's cabinet on Wednesday cleared a bill to restrict surrogacy

    AFP News
  • South Korea offers Tokyo-funded money to 'comfort women'

    South Korea said Thursday it will offer each surviving victim of Japan's wartime sexual enslavement 100 million won (US$89,581) using funds provided by Tokyo, an offer quickly rejected by some of the women. The plight of the so-called "comfort women" is a hugely emotional issue that has

    AFP News
  • VEGOILS-Palm in line for weekly decline, tracking weaker oils

    * Palm charts first decline in three sessions * Sharpest fall since Aug. 18Market weaker on lower-performing competing oils - trader * Palm seen supported at 2,522 rgt/T (Updates latest prices) By Emily ...

    Reuters
  • Malaysia's AirAsia values leasing unit at $1 bln -analyst presentation

    AirAsia Bhd, Asia's biggest low-cost airline, values its wholly owned leasing arm at 4.1 billion ringgit ($1 billion), and aims to attract an equity investor to the unit by end-2016, it said in a presentation to analysts. The Malaysian airline aims for its Asia Aviation Capital (AAC) to expand its

    Reuters
  • Trump finds anti-establishment ally in Brexit's Farage

    Nigel Farage, the divisive politician at the heart of Britain's vote to leave the European Union, throws his support behind Donald Trump's bid to become US president, with a rabble-rousing speech.

    AFPTV
  • London mayor criticises burkini ban before Paris visit

    London Mayor Sadiq Khan spoke out against the banning of the Islamic burkini swimsuit in France as he headed to Paris Thursday for talks with his French counterpart. It's as simple as that," he told the London Evening Standard newspaper. Khan is due to hold talks with Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo

    AFP News
  • Russia frees Japanese man held on disputed Kunashir island

    Russia has released a Japanese citizen detained on a disputed island claimed by both countries, Tokyo's foreign ministry said Thursday, ahead of diplomatic talks on the long-running territorial dispute. Tokyo and Moscow are working to resolve decades of tensions over four islands occupied by the

    AFP News
  • German firms see Brexit clouds approaching

    Germany is waking up to the threat of Brexit and could see weaker growth in 2017, analysts said on Thursday, after a key business confidence survey showed a sharp decline. "The German economy has fallen into a summer slump," Ifo president Clemens Fuest said in a statement, noting that all

    AFP News
  • UN rights chief demands international probe of Yemen violations

    The United Nations called on Thursday for the creation of an independent international body to investigate an array of serious violations in war-torn Yemen. In a new report, the UN laid out a long line of allegations of grave human rights abuses by all sides in Yemen's bloody conflict, which has

    AFP News
  • Thai junta suspends Bangkok governor over graft probe

    Thailand's junta leader used emergency powers Thursday to suspend Bangkok's governor while he is probed for corruption, a major blow to the influential city politician who has faced growing censure. Sukhumbhand Paribatra, a distant relative of Thailand's respected royal family, is under

    AFP News
  • Russia launches large snap military drills

    Russia on Thursday launched large-scale snap military drills, putting its troops on full combat readiness in districts bordering Ukraine and the Baltic states, the defence minister said. "In accordance with the decision of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces of the Russian Federation

    AFP News
  • Hours-long attack on Kabul American university kills 12

    At least 12 people were killed after militants stormed the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul, officials said Thursday, in a nearly 10-hour raid that prompted anguished pleas for help from trapped students. No group has so far claimed responsibility for the assault, but it occurred as Taliban

    AFP News
  • Singapore trials driverless taxis in world first

    The world's first driverless taxis went into operation on Thursday in Singapore in a limited public trial, beating giants like Uber in the race to roll out the revolutionary technology. Data from the experiment will feed into the roll-out of driverless taxis across the city-state in 2018, said nuTonomy

    AFP News
  • Malaysian rapper freed after being held for insulting Islam

    A Malaysian rapper, who was arrested for insulting Islam in a music video that was filmed inside a mosque and used the word "Allah," was freed on Thursday on health grounds. Wee Meng Chee, who goes by the stage name Namewee, was arrested on Sunday over the song, entitled "Oh my God,"

    AFP News
  • Germany 'mulling pullout from Turkish airbase'

    Germany's military is preparing to pull out from a Turkish airbase as a row between the two NATO partners escalates, Der Spiegel magazine reported Thursday. Germany in December agreed to send Tornado surveillance jets and tanker aircraft to the Incirlik base in southern Turkey to aid the multinational

    AFP News