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'Humble' Macron responds to critics in state of the union address

Versailles - Seen by critics as arrogant and uncaring, French President Emmanuel Macron struck a humble note Monday while defending his pro-business approach in his annual address to both houses of parliament.

Macron to lay out next phase of reforms as criticism mounts

Paris - President Emmanuel Macron will gather both houses of parliament at the opulent Versailles Palace on Monday for what has become an annual address on his plans for overhauling wide swathes of French society and institutions.

UN seeks humanitarian access to southwest Syria

New York - Several members of the UN Security Council on Thursday were putting pressure on Russia to obtain humanitarian access to southwest Syria which is facing heavy bombardment by the Moscow-backed regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Macron to visit Nigerian music legend Fela Kuti's nightclub

Lagos - French leader Emmanuel Macron will on Tuesday visit a nightclub founded by Nigerian music legend Fela Kuti, becoming the first "real president" to enter a venue synonymous with marijuana smoke, sexy backup dancers and protest music.

Mali: UN extends mission, warns progress must be made on peace

New York - The 15 members of the UN Security Council on Thursday unanimously renewed its peacekeeping mission in Mali for a year, but warned the West African country must make rapid progress toward peace.

Austria calls on Germany to clarify spying allegations

Vienna - Austria called on Germany Saturday to clarify new allegations that its secret service systematically spied on politicians, international organisations and companies on Austrian territory, as reported by two national newspapers.

Canada rallies to Trudeau after Trump's insult

Ottawa - Canadian politicians of all stripes rallied round their prime minister on Monday after his cautious and polite defense of free trade rules drew an extraordinary personal rebuke from US President Donald Trump.

Macron, Trudeau support 'strong multilateralism' ahead of G7 summit

Ottawa - French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed support for "strong multilateralism" in Ottawa Wednesday before the G7 summit, where US President Donald Trump's aggressive trade policies are sure to raise hackles.

Top UN court hands mixed ruling in France vs E.Guinea row

Den Haag - The UN's top court on Wednesday partly threw out a case brought by Equatorial Guinea against France, amid a bitter row triggered after a French court convicted the African nation's vice president of embezzlement.

Protests as Syria takes chair of world disarmament body

Geneva - The United States led protests Monday as Syria took over the rotating presidency of the Conference on Disarmament (CD) at a time when Damascus is widely accused of using chemical weapons.

US natural gas poised for global rise

New York - The United States produces natural gas in abundance and is poised to become the world's third-largest exporter by 2020, a production ramp-up supported by President Donald Trump.

Nicaragua government and opposition call weekend truce

Managua - The Nicaraguan government of President Daniel Ortega and opposition groups who have been leading demonstrations demanding his ouster started a weekend truce on Saturday to allow an investigation into 63 protester deaths.

Global economy to grow faster than expected in 2018-19,at 3.2 percent: UN

New York - The global economy is set to expand faster than expected in 2018 and 2019, the United Nations said Thursday, predicting a new a growth rate of 3.2 percent.

UN extends African peace mission in Somalia

New York - A UN-backed peacekeeping mission in Somalia, which faces attacks by an Al-Qaeda affiliate, received unanimous Security Council backing Tuesday until July 31.

US pushes for UN resolution on Rohingya crisis

New York - US envoy Nikki Haley called Monday for the United Nations Security Council to take rapid action on the Rohingya crisis, which has seen over 700,000 people driven from their homes in Myanmar.

Canada's Trudeau to unveil gender equality plan at G7

Ottawa - Canada will unveil measures to educate women in crisis zones when it hosts leaders of the Group of Seven industrialized nations summit next month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in an exclusive interview with AFP.

France vows to seek stronger Iran deal, with or without US

Paris - Paris will continue to push for a broader deal aimed at ensuring Iran complies with a landmark 2015 deal curbing its nuclear programme, "whether the United States participates or not", France's defence chief said Tuesday.

'We should never go back', Macron, May say on chemical weapons

Paris - French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May on Sunday urged the world to keep up the fight against chemical weapons on the anniversary of an international convention banning their use.

Top US court rules for Arab Bank in Israel attack case

Washington - Victims of attacks in Israel cannot use an 18th century law to sue the Arab Bank, a multinational financial institution, the US Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday in a precedent-setting case for other foreign businesses.

Trumps host Macrons for a glitzy Mount Vernon evening

Mount Vernon - The French and American presidents walked in step as they approached George Washington's historic Mount Vernon mansion overlooking the Potomac River, their stiletto-clad wives following as a harpist serenaded the glamorous double date.

Macron clarifies Syria comments, says US and France united

Paris - President Emmanuel Macron sought to clarify his comments on French and US miliary operations in Syria on Monday, saying both countries were committed to finishing the battle against the Islamic State group and helping the peace process there.

Saudi crown prince round off US tour with ex-presidents meeting

Washington - Saudi Arabia's crown prince Mohammed bin Salman rounded off a weeks-long tour of the United States with a weekend in Texas, where he met Saturday with both former president Bushes.George H.W.

Macron expresses 'concern' over Turkish offensive in Afrin

Paris - French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday expressed "concern" over Turkey's military offensive in Afrin in Syria, telling Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan it was vital that humanitarian aid be allowed to reach the area.

Trump prepares for visit by Saudi prince who has rocked the kingdom

Washington - Donald Trump will host Saudi Arabia's crown prince in Washington Tuesday, giving the president a receptive audience to denounce rival Iran and a chance to take stock of significant changes the prince is engineering in the kingdom.

Prison, abduction, execution on menu for 'traitors'

Paris - Heavy prison terms, abduction, execution -- the scale of the fate reserved for double agents and other "traitors" depends on the nature of the regime they have crossed and the need to make "examples" of them.

Xi's life mandate seals march of the strongmen

Paris - The Chinese Communist Party's decision to give President Xi Jinping a mandate to rule for life is further evidence of the world's slide towards more nationalist, authoritarian regimes, analysts said.

For Trump's numbers, close enough is frequently good enough

Washington - When it comes to numbers, US President Donald Trump worries little about precision.

UN calls on Taliban to take up offer of direct talks

New York - The United Nations envoy to Afghanistan on Thursday urged the Taliban to take up an offer by the Afghan government of direct talks on peace.

Iran bars widow of dead environmentalist from leaving

Tehran - Tehran has barred the widow of an Iranian-Canadian environmentalist who died in prison from leaving the country, drawing protests from Ottawa and her family.

Leaving troubles behind, Netanyahu to meet with 'true friend' Trump

Washington - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is to meet his "true friend" Donald Trump in Washington on Monday during a visit that will take him away from swirling accusations of personal corruption and a government crisis roiling the Israeli scene.
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