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Cubans fear return to 90s austerity amid cuts

Havana - Havana awoke Thursday to long lines at gas stations and public transportation stops after President Miguel Diaz-Canel warned fellow Cubans to expect fuel shortages and blackouts that he blamed on US sanctions.

Bolsonaro's scorched earth diplomacy could cost Brazil

Rio De Janeiro - Offending French, German, Norwegian and UN leaders along the way, Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro has embarked on a diplomatic scorched earth policy that is fueling concern over potential long-term damage to Brazil's global relations.

EU's Mogherini forges closer ties with Cuba amid growing US pressure

Havana - EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on Monday reaffirmed the bloc's drive to deepen trade with Cuba and counter a wave of lawsuits against European firms as Washington increases pressure on the communist-run island.

France pushes risky bet on detente with Moscow

Paris - French President Emmanuel Macron senses an opportunity to bring Russia's Vladimir Putin back in from the cold and potentially help usher in peace in Ukraine, an ambitious -- and risky -- undertaking that Western allies might not welcome.

French first lady is 'truly ugly,' says Brazilian minister

Rio De Janeiro - A Brazilian government minister said French first lady Brigitte Macron was "truly ugly" Thursday, only days after the country's president appeared to endorse an attack on her appearance.

Nigeria hardens rhetoric over anti-immigrant violence in S. Africa

Lagos - Nigeria intensified hostility with regional rival South Africa this week, in a harsh response to a recent wave of anti-migrant violence, with Africa’s most populous country asserting its leadership on the continent.

US president denies involvement in Pence stay at Trump hotel

Washington - US President Donald Trump denied Wednesday that he suggested his deputy Mike Pence stay at a Trump property in Ireland, as administration figures appeared to offer contradictory accounts of the vice-president's choice of accommodation.

Honduras recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital

Tegucigalpa - Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez will travel to Israel on Friday to inaugurate a "diplomatic office" in Jerusalem, recognizing the holy city as Israel's capital.

Amazon fires create image nightmare for Brazil

Rio De Janeiro - Scorched forests, government inaction and presidential insults -- fires in the Amazon rainforest are having a disastrous effect on Brazil's international image, analysts warn.

Anti-G7 activists march with 'stolen' Macron portraits

Bayonne - Several hundred anti-G7 protesters staged an unusual protest in southwestern France on Sunday, holding "stolen" portraits of French President Emmanuel Macron which were held upside down in a pointed critique on his policies.

Lampedusa mayor slams Rome over migrant boat standoff

Lampedusa - The mayor of Italy's Lampedusa island on Thursday denounced the collapsing government for its failure to deal with migrant rescue boats, as a ship carrying 356 people remained stranded in the Mediterranean.

Greenland row is Trump positioning for Arctic battle: expert

Copenhagen - The diplomatic row that has erupted between Washington and Copenhagen over Greenland is just one part of a broader strategic battle being waged over control of the Arctic, according to one expert.

Migrants in limbo again after landing in Italy

Lampedusa - Dozens of migrants who disembarked on Italy's Lampedusa island were again in limbo Wednesday as a European deal to redistribute them failed to materialise and Madrid said it could hit the Spanish charity with a huge fine for rescuing them.

Migrants' drawings depict their nightmares and best memories

Torture in Libya, war in Darfur, a home village in southern Sudan and the emblematic baobab tree in Senegal -- the drawings displayed on the bridge of the Ocean Viking rescue ship tell of the lives of the migrants on board.

Macron honours 'spirit of resistance' in WWII Provence landings

Saint-rapha - President Emmanuel Macron saluted Thursday a French army "that emerged from the shadows and exile" during the Allied landings on the Mediterranean coast 75 years ago, praising the sacrifices made by fighters from France's former colonies in Africa.

New Guatemalan leader demands respect from Trump

Guatemala City - Guatemala's president-elect Alejandro Giammattei said in an interview with AFP he would not seek confrontation with President Donald Trump over Central America's migration crisis but would demand respect from his US counterpart.

Rescue ship picks up 85 as Richard Gere shines light on migrant plight

The Ocean Viking charity ship plucked 85 African migrants from the sea off Libya Friday, the latest rescue in the Mediterranean as Hollywood star Richard Gere boarded a second vessel to highlight the plight of those stranded.

Rescue ship plucks 85 from the sea as Richard Gere shines light on migrant plight

The Ocean Viking had barely reached the huge rescue zone off Libya when it plucked 85 African migrants from an inflatable grey boat on Friday.

China may halt French police cooperation over Interpol case: source

Paris - Chinese officials are threatening to stop all police cooperation with France after it gave political asylum to the wife of the former Interpol chief, a Chinese national now languishing in prison on charges of bribery, a French source close to the matte...

African satirist Mamane plans drama school to promote 'freedom'

Niamey - On a dusty patch of land on the outskirts of the capital Niamey, Niger's most famous comedian Mamane shows off a site he says will host a drama school to promote African artists and freedom on a continent rife with corruption and strife.

Salvini wants Europe to take migrants from Italy coastguard

Rome - Far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini on Friday ordered 135 migrants and refugees rescued in the Mediterranean to remain aboard an Italian coastguard vessel until other European countries agree to take them in.

The 'populist wave' crashes over international relations

Washington - From Donald Trump to Boris Johnson, the group of world leaders with an anti-system stance bordering on populism grows ever more powerful, crashing over global diplomacy and threatening multilateralism and international cooperation.

Trump praises Pakistan's role in 'progress' on Afghan peace

Washington - President Donald Trump on Monday hailed Pakistan's help in advancing peace talks in Afghanistan, a marked shift in tone as the United States seeks an accord with the Taliban to end almost 18 years of war.

Dilemmas for West as Iran's arrests of dual nationals mount

Washington - Notorious for its conditions, Tehran's Evin prison is proving to be a headache for Western governments as a rising number of dual nationals are detained in what many see as a ruthless diplomatic strategy.

French-Iranian academic held in Iran is 'respected' scholar

Paris - A French-Iranian academic who has become the latest dual national to be arrested in Iran is a respected scholar, colleagues say, rejecting any suggestion she might have been spying as "grotesque".

Benin readies for return of treasures taken by France

Abomey-calavi - The display cases at the royal palaces in Benin's sleepy southern town of Abomey are coated in dust and the exhibition halls plunged in darkness.

Brazil's Bolsonaro says may appoint son as US ambassador

Bras - Jair Bolsonaro is considering appointing his son Eduardo as ambassador to Washington, the Brazilian leader has revealed, citing the 35-year-old's friendship with the children of US President Donald Trump.

Macron seeks lead EU role in Iran crisis

Paris - French President Emmanuel Macron is seeking to lead European diplomatic efforts to find a face-saving solution to the latest crisis between Tehran and Washington, with the EU looking to buy time and soothe tensions, diplomats and experts say.

Girls must be protected from sexual violence at school: UNICEF chief

Paris - Girls in developing countries must be protected from sexual violence in and around schools, the head of the UN's children fund has said, urging governments to make it a top priority.

Venezuela Independence Day marked by rival rallies, UN rebuke

Caracas - Venezuela's Independence Day was marked by rival rallies Friday, led by opposition leader Juan Guaido and President Nicholas Maduro, who waged a war of words even as the UN warned of eroded rule of law in the country.
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