Bomb alert at Brussels shopping centre sparks anti-terror operation

Bomb alert at Brussels shopping centre sparks anti-terror operation

Belgian authorities on Tuesday closed off a major shopping centre in the centre of Brussels following a bomb scare. Police detained a potential suspect around the City 2 shopping centre, but later said the man had been wearing a fake suicide vest. “No bomb has so far been found. The suicide vest found on a […]

Worrying ‘climate of xenophobia’ in Europe, says UN chief

Worrying ‘climate of xenophobia’ in Europe, says UN chief

The UN’s refugee chief says a worrying “climate of xenophobia” has taken hold in Europe as the continent struggles with the biggest influx of migrants since World War II. The number of refugees and displaced people rose to a record 65.3 milion at the end of 2015, compared with 59.5 million in 2014. According to […]

Rome set to elect first female mayor

Rome set to elect first female mayor

Voters in the Italian capital go to the polls Sunday with all signs indicating that they will elect Virginia Raggi as the first female mayor of the Eternal City. Raggi, a 37-year-old lawyer and local councillor, has leapt from anonymity to become one of the best-known faces in Italian politics in the space of only […]

England rails against UEFA for security risks at upcoming England-Wales match

England rails against UEFA for security risks at upcoming England-Wales match

English FA chief Greg Dyke on Monday raised the alarm over security for England’s next Euro 2016 game after the pitched battles with Russian fans in their first match. Dyke also slammed stadium security at Saturday’s game against Russia in Marseille as “unacceptable” in a letter to Europe’s governing body UEFA. The letter was sent […]

NATO to deploy four battalions in bid to reassure Poland, Baltic allies

NATO to deploy four battalions in bid to reassure Poland, Baltic allies

NATO’s chief on Monday said the alliance will agree this week to send four multinational battalions to the Baltic states and Poland as part of its response to Russian meddling in Ukraine and a series of alleged provocations by Russian military. Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the troop surge in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland […]

French soapmakers in a lather over traditional Marseille recipe

French soapmakers in a lather over traditional Marseille recipe

It is as French as baguette, and as emblematic of the country’s southern Provence region as lavender fields and cicadas. But a dispute over the “official” recipe for the region’s famed traditional soap, “savon de Marseille”, has producers in a froth. With cheap Chinese and Turkish soaps flooding the market, manufacturers want Marseille soap to […]

Striking garbage collectors leave Paris streets in a stink

Striking garbage collectors leave Paris streets in a stink

Garbage continues to pile high on the streets of Paris three days into the start of strike action by waste collectors as CGT union representatives vowed to continue striking until the government withdraws its contentious labour bill. “Come tomorrow, you’ll see, it will be infested with rats!” said Lawrence, a manager of a clothing store […]

France’s Hollande warns striking unions: Don’t ‘spoil’ Euro 2016

France’s Hollande warns striking unions: Don’t ‘spoil’ Euro 2016

  As the stench of uncleared garbage wafts through parts of Paris and pilots prepare to strike, French President Francois Hollande said he would do what was needed to ensure protests do not spoil the Euro 2016 soccer tournament starting on Friday. “France was chosen to host this big event and will live up to […]

Austrian far-right party launches challenge of presidential poll result

Austrian far-right party launches challenge of presidential poll result

Austria’s right-wing Freedom Party (FPO) is formally challenging the result of last month’s presidential election, which its candidate lost by a narrow margin, legal officials said Wednesday. The FPO is claiming numerous irregularities in the May 22 election, particularly for the absentee vote count, said Constitutional Court spokesman Christian Neuwirth. “(The) challenge by Heinz-Christian Strache […]

Deadly bomb attack strikes police van in central Istanbul

Deadly bomb attack strikes police van in central Istanbul

At least 11 people have been killed in a bomb attack targeting Turkish police in a central Istanbul district on Tuesday, Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin told reporters near the scene. The remote-controlled bomb exploded as a service shuttle bus carrying officers from Istanbul’s anti-riot police was passing in the central Beyazit district close to many […]

Italy’s anti-establishment candidate leads Rome mayoral election

Italy’s anti-establishment candidate leads Rome mayoral election

  The anti-establishment 5-Star Movement looked set to take charge of Rome following municipal elections on Sunday that saw it make gains in other Italian cities and pile pressure on Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. Some 13 million people, or a quarter of the adult population, were eligible to vote for mayors in around 1,300 towns […]

Italian vote on big-city mayors will be test for establishment parties

Italian vote on big-city mayors will be test for establishment parties

Italians vote on Sunday to choose mayors of the largest cities in elections that will test the popularity of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and could produce a big breakthrough for the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement. Only in Turin is the candidate of Renzi’s Democratic Party (PD) a clear favourite. He insists the elections will have no […]

Blatter and other top officials awarded themselves $80 million, says FIFA

Blatter and other top officials awarded themselves $80 million, says FIFA

Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter and two other leading officials were involved in a “coordinated attempt” to enrich themselves through annual salary increases and World Cup bonuses, world soccer’s governing body said on Friday. FIFA said an internal investigation revealed that the three officials had received 79 million Swiss francs ($80 million) in compensation over […]

World’s longest tunnel opens in Switzerland

World’s longest tunnel opens in Switzerland

French President François Hollande joined other European leaders for the inauguration of the world’s longest tunnel, which officially opened in Switzerland on Wednesday. The 57 km-long Gotthard Base Tunnel, which cuts through the Swiss Alps, is set to slash journey times when it goes fully operational at the end of this year, with around 300 […]

Hollande and Merkel remember WWI dead 100 years after Verdun Battle

Hollande and Merkel remember WWI dead 100 years after Verdun Battle

French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will stand shoulder to shoulder Sunday on the battlefield of Verdun to remember those killed 100 years ago in one of the bloodiest episodes of World War I. To mark the centenary, Hollande and Merkel will lay wreaths at cemeteries holding the dead of both sides […]

WHO rejects call for Olympics to be moved due to Zika

WHO rejects call for Olympics to be moved due to Zika

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Saturday rejected a call for the Rio Olympic Games to be moved or postponed due to the threat posed by a large outbreak of the Zika virus in Brazil. Responding to a call from more than 100 leading scientists, who said it would be unethical for the Games to […]

Neanderthals believed to have built mysterious stone rings found in French cave

Neanderthals believed to have built mysterious stone rings found in French cave

Two mysterious stone rings found deep inside a French cave were probably built by Neanderthals about 176,500 years ago, proving that the ancient cousins of humans were capable of more complex behavior than previously thought, scientists say. The structures were made from hundreds of pillar-shaped mineral deposits, called stalagmites, which were chopped to a similar […]

France’s Valls stands firm on labour reforms despite fuel blockade

France’s Valls stands firm on labour reforms despite fuel blockade

  The stand-off between France’s government and a hardline union over labour reforms stiffened on Wednesday as the country mobilised strategic oil stocks for the first time in 6 years and employers warned the protests were starting to hurt the economy. Police broke up a fuel depot blockade with water cannons while the CGT union […]

Spanish combatants detained for ‘joining Ukraine rebels’

Spanish combatants detained for ‘joining Ukraine rebels’

Police on Friday arrested eight Spaniards who they said had returned from fighting alongside pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine, sources close to the investigation said. Officers detained the eight suspects in six regions across Spain, the interior ministry said in a statement. A source described them as “pro-Russian” and far-left in ideology. “Eight Spanish combatants […]

Germans balk at new ‘Soviet snitch’ Barbie

Germans balk at new ‘Soviet snitch’ Barbie

Toy maker Mattel has unveiled a new Barbie that talks and remembers kids’ unique preferences. “Hello Barbie” is being marketed as a cutting-edge toy that builds relationships, but one German magazine says she is more like a Soviet-era informant. The latest incarnation of Mattel’s flagship doll was curtly re-baptised “Barbie IM” by German weekly Stern. […]

French peas flourish in Russia despite vegetable embargo

French peas flourish in Russia despite vegetable embargo

Moscow retaliated to a string of Western sanctions last year by imposing a ban on European agricultural products, but one of France’s best-known canned vegetable firms has since seen its profit margins soar in Russia. Europe’s agriculture sector reacted with alarm in August 2014, when Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed a law banning imports […]

Moscow and Kiev in talks to extend Ukraine truce

Moscow and Kiev in talks to extend Ukraine truce

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine on Monday agreed to work on establishing a bilateral ceasefire between Kiev and pro-Moscow separatists, just hours before a repeatedly violated unilateral truce is set to expire. The telephone call between President Petro Poroshenko and Russia’s Vladimir Putin also included Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel and France’s François Hollande. Poroshenko […]

Djokovic beats Canada’s Raonic to reach French Open semis

Djokovic beats Canada’s Raonic to reach French Open semis

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic stayed firmly on course to win his first French Open title on Tuesday after he defeated big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic 7-5, 7-6 (7/4), 6-4 to reach the semi-finals. The world number two is only missing the Roland Garros trophy to complete his Grand Slam career set. “It was very complicated against his […]

Spanish young cool to monarchy as Felipe VI arrives

Spanish young cool to monarchy as Felipe VI arrives

Juan Carlos, 76, announced Monday that he will hand over the crown to his son Felipe, 46. MADRID (AFP) – Spain s future King Felipe VI will ascend the throne hoping to revive the scandal-hit monarchy but many young Spaniards would prefer to scrap it altogether. Born after the death of dictator General Francisco Franco […]

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