Category: Europe

FRANCE – Le Pen charged over funding scandal

PARIS – French far-right leader Marine Le Pen has been placed under formal investigation over an alleged European parliament funding scandal. The allegations were passed to French investigators who have opened a case. The parliament suspects some $5.4m went to assistants of Le Pen’s National Front (FN) who were not working for MEPs but were […]

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Germany legalizes same-sex marriage after Merkel u-turn

BERLIN – German lawmakers voted Friday to legalize same-sex marriage, a move widely supported across the country that brings Germany in line with many of its Western peers. Chancellor Angela Merkel voted against the measure, but paved the way for its passage by allowing members of her conservative party to vote according to their conscience. […]

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BELGIUM – Hefty fine for Google

BRUSSELS –– European Union regulators slapped Google with a record €2.4 billion (US$2.7 billion) antitrust fine on Tuesday, the latest broadside fired at big American tech companies doing business in the region. The European Commission found that the US tech giant denied “consumers a genuine choice” by using its search engine to unfairly steer them […]

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FRANCE – Car rams police van, armed suspect dead

PARIS – Tourists strolling along Paris’ famous Champs-Elysees boulevard watched in horror as a car rammed into a police van Monday afternoon — and some witnessed the car burst into flames as police grabbed the man inside and put him on the ground. The armed driver deliberately plowed into the police vehicle, authorities said, and […]

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FRANCE – Macron says EU door remains open to UK

PARIS –– French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday that the door to the European Union remains open to the United Kingdom as long as exit negotiations are not concluded, but it would be difficult to walk back once negotiations start. Asked at a joint news conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May in Paris whether […]

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Hundreds held in Russian protests

MOSCOW – Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was detained by authorities as thousands of protesters engaging in a day of nationwide anti-corruption demonstrations clashed with police on Monday. Navalny’s wife, Yulia, reported news of his detention at his home in Moscow on his official Twitter feed. She also posted a picture showing police officers at […]

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FRANCE – Police shoot attacker at Notre-Dame

PARIS – The man who attacked an officer Tuesday at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris said, “This is for Syria,” French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said. The man, believed to be an Algerian student, attacked the officer with a hammer but was also armed with knives, Collomb said. Collomb said the officer’s condition is not serious. […]

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Severe storms kill 11 in Moscow

MOSCOW –– At least 11 people died when a severe thunderstorm hit the Russian capital Moscow, health officials say. Hundreds of trees were toppled by the storm, and more than 50 people sought medical help. Reports say that electrical cables were damaged as Moscow was lashed with high winds, hail and torrential rain. The winds of […]

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ITALY – Trump and G7 heads clash over climate change

TAORMINA –– World leaders gathered here engaged in a heated argument over combating climate change, a major point of dispute between G7 heads of state and President Donald Trump, who is considering withdrawing from the landmark Paris climate accord. Trump, who ran for president vowing to rip up the agreement, listened carefully to his new […]

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BELGIUM – Trump condemns leaks about bombing to US media

BRUSSELS/LONDON – President Donald Trump said on Thursday that “deeply troubling” leaks to US media about the Manchester suicide bombing would be investigated, after irate British police stopped sharing information with US agencies. British Prime Minister Theresa May raised British concerns with Trump at a NATO summit in Brussels, telling him intelligence shared between their […]

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VATICAN – Trump meets Pope

VATICAN CITY –– US President Donald Trump has said he is “more determined than ever” to pursue peace in the world after meeting Pope Francis at the Vatican. He was granted a short private audience with the head of the Catholic Church on the latest leg of his overseas trip. The two men have in […]

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Greece battles locust plague

ATHENS – Villagers on a tiny Greek Aegean island, Agios Efstratios, are battling a plague of locusts and a state of emergency has been declared there. The island has about 200 residents who rely on agriculture and fishing. Locust infestation is a recurring problem. A member of the local administration, Stella Spanou, told the BBC […]

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Dutch king was secretly piloting passenger flights

AMSTERDAMN –– They don’t call KLM “Royal Dutch Airlines” for nothing. King Willem-Alexander, reigning monarch of the Netherlands, revealed in an interview with Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf that he’d regularly flown flights for a subsidiary of the Dutch flag carrier for over two decades. Calling the part-time role a “hobby,” the King says that he’d […]

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RUSSIA – Putin speaks up

SOCHI/MOSCOW –– Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that US President Donald Trump had not divulged any secrets during a meeting in Washington with Russian officials and offered to prove it by supplying Congress with a transcript. But a leading US Republican politician said he would have little faith in any notes Putin might supply. Two US […]

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Chechnya accused of ‘gay genocide’

GROZNY – Three French gay rights groups have accused the Russian republic of Chechnya of a policy of genocide towards gay people in a complaint filed at the International Criminal Court. They have blamed Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov and state officials for a “wave of persecution”. They cited the case of a teenaged male thrown […]

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ITALY – Costa Concordia captain’s sentence upheld

ROME –– Italy’s highest court has upheld the 16-year jail sentence given to the captain of the Costa Concordia, which capsized in 2012 killing 32 people. Francesco Schettino had handed himself in to the Rebibbia prison in Rome after the verdict, his lawyer said. Schettino was sentenced in 2015 after a court found him guilty […]

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RUSSIA – Man convicted for playing Pokemon Go in church

MOSCOW — A Russian blogger was convicted on Thursday of inciting religious hatred for playing Pokemon Go in a church, and given a suspended sentence. Ruslan Sokolovsky posted a video on his blog last year showing him playing the smartphone game in a church built on the supposed spot where the last Russian czar and […]

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