Beyou wins Arctic warm-up for Vendee Globe

Les Sables-d'Olonne (France) (AFP) Jeremie Beyou, at the helm of Charal, one of a new generation of 'flying' monohulls, on Tuesday won the Vendee-Arctic, a chilly warm-up race for the legendary Vendee Globe. Beyou completed a 2,807 nautical mile (5,198 km) North Atlantic loop that started and ended in Les Sables d'Olonne, in 10 days, … Continue reading Beyou wins Arctic warm-up for Vendee Globe

Trump administration reverses course on order barring some foreign students

The Trump administration on Tuesday abandoned its attempt to force foreign students to leave the United States if all of their classes are to be taught online this autumn, in a dramatic reversal from a policy announced just last week. U.S. District Judge Allison Burroughs in Massachusetts said the U.S. government and Harvard University and Massachusetts … Continue reading Trump administration reverses course on order barring some foreign students

Justice ‘undermined’ in Venezuela: UN rights chief

Geneva (AFP) The independence of Venezuela's justice system has been "considerably undermined", fuelling impunity and human rights violations, the UN rights chief charged Tuesday in a report. The 15-page document by Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, was commissioned in September by the UN Human Rights Council and is to be presented … Continue reading Justice ‘undermined’ in Venezuela: UN rights chief

Thousands protest in Jerusalem against Netanyahu

Jerusalem (AFP) Thousands of Israelis protested Tuesday in front of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's residence in Jerusalem, demanding his resignation as the government comes under fire over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Some placards carried by demonstrators read "Netanyahu's corruption makes us sick" and "Netanyahu, resign". Israelis protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu … Continue reading Thousands protest in Jerusalem against Netanyahu

Erdogan, Trump agree to work ‘more closely’ on Libya: presidency

Istanbul (AFP) US President Donald Trump and Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed to work "more closely" for a solution to the Libya conflict during a phone call on Tuesday, the Turkish presidency said. Erdogan and the US president "agreed to cooperate more closely, as allies, ... to promote lasting stability in Libya," it said. … Continue reading Erdogan, Trump agree to work ‘more closely’ on Libya: presidency

Saudi permanently revokes licence of Qatar’s beIN

Riyadh (AFP) Saudi Arabia said Tuesday it has permanently revoked the licence of Qatari broadcaster beIN Sports and slapped it with a fine of $2.7 million over alleged "monopolistic" practices. Subscribing to beIN, the Arab world's leading sports channel which has exclusive rights to several key tournaments, has been difficult for Saudi fans since the … Continue reading Saudi permanently revokes licence of Qatar’s beIN

Hagia Sophia to open ‘outside prayer times’: Turkey

Istanbul (AFP) Turkey's Hagia Sophia will open to visitors outside prayer times and its Christian icons will remain, religious officials said Tuesday, after a court ruling paved the way for it to become a mosque. The sixth-century Istanbul landmark's museum status -- in place for nearly a century -- was revoked on Friday, with control … Continue reading Hagia Sophia to open ‘outside prayer times’: Turkey

Tunisia woman gets 6 months in jail for COVID-Koran post

Tunis (AFP) A young Tunisian woman was sentenced to six months in jail by a Tunis court on Tuesday over a parody posted on Facebook linking the Koran and COVID-19. Emna Charki, 27, was found guilty of offending religion and "incitement to hatred" in a May 4 satirical post entitled "the Corona Surah", mimicking the … Continue reading Tunisia woman gets 6 months in jail for COVID-Koran post

Pompeo urges ‘free and fair’ Hong Kong vote after China warning

Washington (AFP) US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday urged free elections in Hong Kong after China said pro-democracy parties' primaries may have breached a tough new security law. "Congratulations to Hong Kong's pan-democrats for a successful primary. The Legislative Council election in September should be equally free and fair," Pompeo wrote on Twitter. … Continue reading Pompeo urges ‘free and fair’ Hong Kong vote after China warning

Protestors pile pressure on Bulgaria’s veteran premier

Sofia (AFP) A wave of street protests against corruption have swept Bulgaria in recent days, with demonstrators piling pressure on veteran premier Boyko Borisov to resign over his perceived links with oligarchs. Thousands of Bulgarians gathered for a sixth consecutive evening to chant "Resign!" outside the government headquarters in Sofia on Tuesday, the latest in … Continue reading Protestors pile pressure on Bulgaria’s veteran premier

No vaccine, no carnival, Rio’s samba schools warn

Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Some of Rio's biggest samba schools say they will not participate in next year's Carnival unless a coronavirus vaccine is widely available, Brazilian media reported Tuesday. Five of the 12 top samba schools, including Mangueira and Beija Flor, told Brazil's O Globo newspaper they would vote to postpone the parades at … Continue reading No vaccine, no carnival, Rio’s samba schools warn

Tunisian court sentences blogger to six months in prison for reposting joke written in Koranic style

A Tunisian court has sentenced blogger Emna Chargui to six months in prison and a $700 fine for reposting a Facebook joke about the coronavirus written as if it was a Koranic verse. "This is unfair and unjust ... this proves that there is no freedom here," Chargui, 27, told Reuters from home where she … Continue reading Tunisian court sentences blogger to six months in prison for reposting joke written in Koranic style