Painstaking organ repair starts at Paris’ Notre-Dame cathedral

PARIS (AFP) - Workers began a painstaking four-year process Monday (Aug 3) to restore the great organ of the Paris Notre-Dame cathedral, ravaged by fire in April last year. The fabled instrument was not badly damaged in the devastating blaze, but there was limited relief for admirers as it was covered in lead dust and … Continue reading Painstaking organ repair starts at Paris’ Notre-Dame cathedral

Record heat sets off a cascade of suffering in Baghdad

BAGHDAD (BLOOMBERG) - The Middle East is enduring one of its hottest summers ever, but Iraqis have had it especially tough. In Baghdad last week, the temperature reached 52 degree Celsius, the highest figure ever measured for the capital. Basra, a southern oil hub, reached 53°C, just one degree shy of the overall heat record … Continue reading Record heat sets off a cascade of suffering in Baghdad

Spain’s ex-king Juan Carlos heads for exile under corruption cloud

Madrid (AFP) Spain's former king Juan Carlos, who is facing investigation at home and abroad for corruption, announced Monday that he plans to go into exile. The 82-year-old revealed he would leave the country in a letter to his son, the current King Felipe VI who accepted his decision, the royal palace said in a … Continue reading Spain’s ex-king Juan Carlos heads for exile under corruption cloud

Espanyol want La Liga relegation cancelled amid Segunda chaos

Madrid (AFP) Espanyol called on La Liga to cancel their relegation on Monday as the end to the season in Spain continues to prove problematic following a spike in cases of coronavirus. Despite finishing bottom of the table, Espanyol said in a statement the run-in had been "undoubtedly unfair in a sporting sense given the … Continue reading Espanyol want La Liga relegation cancelled amid Segunda chaos

Former king Juan Carlos to leave Spain amid probe over financial scandal

Spain's former king Juan Carlos has told his son, King Felipe, that he has decided to leave the country, the Royal House said on Monday, after corruption allegations about him surfaced in recent weeks. In June, the Spanish Supreme Court opened an investigation into Juan Carlos' involvement in a high-speed rail contract in Saudi Arabia, after Switzerland's La … Continue reading Former king Juan Carlos to leave Spain amid probe over financial scandal

Ecuador’s creditors accept debt restructure plan

Quito (AFP) Ecuador's creditors have voted in favor of a restructuring plan for $17.4 billion of debt that will see the South American country's capital and interest payments reduced, the government of President Lenin Moreno said on Monday. The deal means the debt will be reduced by more than £1.5 billion with the interest rate … Continue reading Ecuador’s creditors accept debt restructure plan

‘Legitimate’ concerns about Saudi arms sales, ex-US official says

Washington (AFP) State Department officials voiced concern over risks to civilians before Secretary of State Mike Pompeo rammed through $8.1 billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia and other Arab allies, a former aide was quoted Monday as telling lawmakers. Democrats in Congress issued subpoenas to compel appearances by four aides to Pompeo as lawmakers … Continue reading ‘Legitimate’ concerns about Saudi arms sales, ex-US official says

Karim Benzema from strike ace to…strike ace? Real Madrid star fancies a crack at MMA

Real Madrid star Karim Benzema had a simple answer when asked if he fancies a crack at mixed martial arts after his football career comes to an end: "No problem for me, I'm up for it!" Benzema, 32, enjoyed a brilliant campaign for Madrid, scoring 21 goals and providing eight assists as Los Blancos beat … Continue reading Karim Benzema from strike ace to…strike ace? Real Madrid star fancies a crack at MMA

Rose not giving up on Spurs return

Danny Rose would love the opportunity to play in front of Tottenham's fans one more time and would happily see out the remainder of his contract in north London. England left-back Rose spent the second half of the 2019-20 Premier League season on loan at Newcastle United after falling out of favour when Jose Mourinho … Continue reading Rose not giving up on Spurs return

France halts ratification of extradition treaty with Hong Kong

PARIS (AFP) - France on Monday (Aug 3) said it was halting ratification of an extradition treaty with Hong Kong, after Beijing introduced a controversial national security law in the former British colony. "In light of the latest developments, France will not proceed as it stands with the ratification of the extradition agreement signed on … Continue reading France halts ratification of extradition treaty with Hong Kong

Britain says TikTok locating headquarters in London would be a commercial decision

LONDON (REUTERS) - Britain said the location of TikTok's headquarters was a commercial decision after a newspaper report said the government had given the green light for its Chinese parent company to set up a head office in London for the popular short-video app. The report in the Sun said the founders of China's ByteDance … Continue reading Britain says TikTok locating headquarters in London would be a commercial decision

Portugal reports no coronavirus deaths for first time since March

LISBON (REUTERS) - Portugal reported no coronavirus-related deaths on Monday (Aug 3) from a day earlier for the first time since mid-March, when a lockdown was put in place, and the lowest number of new infections in almost three months. "It has been very difficult in recent times - we are very happy this happened," … Continue reading Portugal reports no coronavirus deaths for first time since March