Gibraltar traffic jams as Brexit row heats up

5 Apr

Gibraltar on Wednesday accused Spain of causing long traffic jams with tightened border controls, saying it was “clearly a response” to rising political tensions over the British territory.As Gibraltar emerges as a sore point in Britain’s exit negotiat…

At 73, Barry Manilow comes out of closet

5 Apr

Chart-topping singer Barry Manilow came out of the closet Wednesday at age 73, saying he kept silent on his nearly four-decade relationship with a man to avoid disappointing fans.Manilow, best known for his love ballad “Mandy” and Latin-tinged pop numb…

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Global smoking deaths up by 5% since 1990: study

5 Apr

The percentage of men and women who use tobacco every day has dropped in most nations since 1990, but the total number of smokers and tobacco-related deaths has increased, a consortium of researchers reported Thursday.Mortality could rise even further …

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Poverty in Russia rises to decade-high of 20 million

5 Apr

The number of Russians living in poverty reached nearly 20 million last year — a decade high — after sanctions over Ukraine and an oil crisis battered the economy, official figures showed Wednesday.Some 19.8 million people — more than 13 percent of …

News agencies join forces for EU data journalism site

5 Apr

AFP is joining forces with Italy’s ANSA news agency and Germany’s DPA to launch a new website offering data journalism on the European Union.The European Data News Hub will launch in June and offer text reporting, still and interactive graphics, photos…

Number of foreign jihadists in Iraq and Syria unknown: US

5 Apr

US intelligence agencies don’t know the true number of foreign jihadists still fighting in Iraq and Syria, or the extent of the threat they pose to their home countries, a senior US military officer said Wednesday.Some 40,000 foreign jihadists have joi…

NFL passes streaming to Amazon, after Twitter

5 Apr

Amazon announced Wednesday it is making a foray into streaming live sports with a deal to add pro US football games to its Prime subscription video service.Rights to stream 19 Thursday night matches of the National Football League during the 2017 seas…

UN council postpones vote on Syria resolution

5 Apr

Britain, France and the United States on Wednesday held off calling a vote at the UN Security Council on a resolution demanding an investigation of the suspected chemical attack in Syria to allow time for negotiations with Russia.However, a vote on the…

Hazard fires Chelsea title charge, Spurs still in hunt

5 Apr

Eden Hazard fired Premier League leaders Chelsea to a crucial 2-1 win over Manchester City, but Tottenham are hot on their heels after a sensational fightback in their 3-1 victory at Swansea on Wednesday.Chelsea remain seven points clear of second plac…

Hazard tames Man City as Chelsea tighten grip

5 Apr

Eden Hazard scored twice as leaders Chelsea beat Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City 2-1 on Wednesday to reassert their control of the Premier League title race.Chelsea had given the chasing pack hope after crashing to a shock 2-1 loss at home to Crystal P…

Venezuela opposition targets judges over ‘coup’

5 Apr

Venezuelan opposition lawmakers launched efforts Wednesday to fire judges whom they accuse of mounting a judicial “coup” to keep socialist President Nicolas Maduro in power.It was the latest maneuver in a political crisis that is raising concerns for d…

US hardens tone on Syria at emergency UN meeting

5 Apr

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley warned Wednesday that the Trump administration will take action against chemical attacks in Syria that bear “all the hallmarks” of President Bashar Assad’s government if the U.N. Security Council fails to act.

China dissident sees threat in new Interpol chief

5 Apr

The election of a Chinese security official as head of Interpol could pose risks to opponents of China’s government who have fled the country, a prominent exiled dissident warned Wednesday.Wei Jingsheng, often considered the father of China’s democracy…

Qatar World Cup labourers working 18-hour days: report

5 Apr

Migrant World Cup stadium labourers in Qatar can work 18-hour days — more than twice the maximum amount permitted by law — an external report into working conditions has found.And half of the 10 contracting companies surveyed in the compliance report…

Colombia launches truth commission under peace deal

5 Apr

Colombia created a “truth commission” on Monday to help it heal after decades of war under a recent peace deal with the leftist FARC rebels.President Juan Manuel Santos also signed into law a decree establishing a special unit to search for people stil…

Messi double, Suarez stunner take Barca top

5 Apr

Lionel Messi scored twice on his return from suspension as Barcelona piled the pressure on Real Madrid on Wednesday by moving top of La Liga with a 3-0 win over Sevilla.Messi was banned for his last two outings for club and country but looked rested ra…

Facebook ramps up fight against ‘revenge porn’

5 Apr

Facebook on Wednesday unleashed a new weapon in the war against “revenge porn” at the leading social network as well as the messaging services Messenger and Instagram.When intimate images shared on Facebook without permission are reported, confirmed an…

Fiji winger Raisuqe handed 10-week stamping ban

5 Apr

Stade Francais winger Josaia Raisuqe was handed a season-ending 10-week ban on Wednesday for stamping during his team’s European Challenge Cup quarter-final win over Ospreys.The 22-year-old Fiji star was yellow-carded for the incident which happened af…

Great apes know when people are wrong: study

5 Apr

Orangutans, chimpanzees and bonobos are the nearest relatives of humans in the primate world, and like us, they can tell when a person is wrong in their beliefs, researchers said Wednesday.Great apes were also willing to help a person who was mistaken …

Paraguay opposition boycotts talks on re-election row

5 Apr

Paraguay’s main leftist opposition party boycotted talks launched by President Horacio Cartes on Wednesday aiming to settle a row over his bid for re-election which sparked deadly riots last week.Cartes called for talks with various political leaders t…

As streaming booms, songs getting faster: study

5 Apr

Streaming is making it quicker not only to play music. A new study finds that pop songs themselves are getting faster as listeners’ attention spans diminish.Instrumental openings to songs have shrunk dramatically over the past three decades and, to a l…

Trump: Syria attack ‘crossed a lot of lines’

5 Apr

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday denounced the Syrian regime’s latest alleged chemical weapons attack as an “affront to humanity” and warned it would not be tolerated.Speaking alongside Jordan’s King Abdullah at a White House news conference, Tru…

US may widen ban of carry-on computers on planes

5 Apr

The United States may soon expand its ban on air passengers carrying computers on board on US-bound flights, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said Wednesday.The threat of a terror group trying to blow up an aircraft mid-flight is constant, he tol…

Dutchman, British wife arrested in tax fraud probe

5 Apr

Dutch and British tax authorities have arrested a Dutch man and his British wife, recovering millions of euros in an ongoing tax evasion probe apparently involving Swiss bank accounts, officials said Wednesday.The news came after at least four European…

Donors pledge billions at Syria aid conference

5 Apr

International donors on Wednesday pledged $6.0 billion in aid for Syria this year at a conference overshadowed by a suspected deadly chemical attack blamed by the West on Damascus.The Brussels meeting, co-chaired by the European Union and United Nation…

Five-time Olympic synchro champion Ishchenko retires

5 Apr

Russia’s five-time Olympic synchrohized swimming champion Natalia Ishchenko announced her retirement from the sport on Wednesday, diving into the murky waters of politics instead, the R-Sport agency reported.”I will not return to sports as an athlete,”…

Paris predicts economic boom from 2024 Games

5 Apr

Paris only wants the 2024 Olympics and not the 2028 edition, the city mayor told AFP on Wednesday, saying the showpiece would generate 10 billion euros and up to a quarter of a million jobs.The French capital is locked in a battle with Los Angeles for …

Triple champion Taymazov stripped of 2008 gold for doping

5 Apr

A highly decorated wrestling champion from Uzbekistan and two Olympic silver medallists in wrestling and weightlifting were stripped of their medals on Wednesday for taking banned substances, the IOC said.The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is re…

Ex-All Black Ali Williams fined for buying cocaine

5 Apr

A French court on Wednesday fined former New Zealand international ace Ali Williams 1,500 euros ($1,600) for buying cocaine outside a Paris nightclub.The 35-year-old former lock was arrested alongside Australian international James O’Connor in February…

Gene sleuths open line of attack on coral-killing starfish

5 Apr

The beast goes by the Latin monicker of Acanthaster planci, but it is known to us as the crown-of-thorns — a venomous starfish that is ravaging our precious coral reefs.One of many threats to coral, the large, spine-studded species — named after the …

Israel approves controversial law on house demolitions

5 Apr

Israel’s parliament on Wednesday voted in favour of a controversial law against illegal constructions that detractors say will mostly target Arab homes built without required, but hard-to-get, permits.The law, which has the backing of Prime Minister’s …

Germany clears extradition of Tunisia jihadist suspect

5 Apr

A German court Wednesday ruled that a Tunisian suspect in the 2015 jihadist attack on a Tunis museum can be extradited, provided he won’t face the death penalty or ill-treatment.The man — identified only as Haykel S., 36, by local media — has been na…

Senator ends 15-hour speech opposing Trump’s court pick

5 Apr

Democratic US Senator Jeff Merkley delivered one of the longer speeches in Senate history by holding the floor for more than 15 hours into Wednesday to oppose President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.Senate Republican leaders have scheduled a cru…

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