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French libel trial opens against alleged sex assault victim

Paris - A French writer reaffirmed in court Monday her accusation of sexual assault by a former minister, who is suing her for libel in a case critics see as an attempt to discourage abuse victims from speaking out.

Niger opposition figure jailed after return

Niamey - A leading opposition figure in Niger who returned from self-imposed exile last week was jailed on Monday to serve out the rest of his time for a conviction of baby smuggling, his family told AFP.

Chinese takeover marks new chapter in history of British Steel

London - A Chinese buy-out marks a new chapter in the tumultuous history of steelmaking in the United Kingdom, which has been characterised by nationalisation, privatisations and recurring crises.

US Supreme Court to examine 'Dreamers' program Trump wants axed

Washington - The US Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday on the fate of the "Dreamers," an estimated 700,000 people brought to the country illegally as children but allowed to stay and work under a program created by former president Barack Obama.

Pedro Sanchez, stubborn survivor of Spain's political gridlock

Madrid - A former basketball player once dubbed "Mr Handsome" for his boyish good looks, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez is a political survivor whose rollercoaster career has played out to the backdrop of chronic instability.

Thousands join French march against Islamophobia

Paris - Over 10,000 people turned out north of Paris on Sunday for a march against Islamophobia that drew criticism from both the government and the far right.

Chile's middle class takes to streets over crushing debt

Santiago - It is not poverty that is driving Chile's middle class into the streets to join massive protests: it is debt, brought on by sky-high private health and education costs that have created an economic fragility many find unbearable.

Spain exhumes Franco's embalmed body from opulent tomb

Madrid - Spain on Thursday exhumed the embalmed body of Francisco Franco from a grandiose state mausoleum ahead of its relocation it to a more discreet grave in a country still conflicted over the dictator's decades-long regime.

Mali president on the ropes as jihadist revolt mounts

Bamako - Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has few strong cards left to play as he seeks to roll back a jihadist insurgency and mounting public discontent.

Cyclist who flipped off Trump running for local office

Sterling - A viral photo taken in the fall of 2017 shows a cyclist flipping off Donald Trump's presidential convoy. The image cost Juli Briskman, the cyclist, her job.Two years later, Briskman has jumped headfirst into politics and is running for local office.

Opposition and US voice concern over stalled Bolivia vote count

La Paz - The main opposition candidate in Bolivia's presidential election Monday blasted unexplained delays in announcing the results and accused President Evo Morales of trying to avoid a second round run-off.

Catalan crisis looms large over Spain's November election

Barcelona - Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and the opposition leader visited Barcelona on Monday to meet police struggling with Catalan separatist violence in a crisis that could be a game-changer in next month's general election.

Syria, Ukraine, Republican rebellion, G7: Trump's very bad week

Washington - Donald Trump has had some bad weeks in office, but rarely has the US president seen one as difficult as the week ending Sunday, with members of both parties as well as US diplomats rebelling over his Syria and Ukraine policies, while a public uproar fo...

Spanish PM under pressure over Catalan protests

Barcelona - Spain's Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez faced sharp criticism Sunday for his handling of violent Catalan separatist protests ahead of next month's general election, even as calm returned to Barcelona and other cities.

How Catalan protest tactics are inspired by Hong Kong

Madrid - From blocking airports to using encrypted messaging apps, Catalan separatists demonstrating against the jailing of nine of their leaders are openly copying tactics devised by pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong.

Protests and strike stoke jitters over Catalan economy

Barcelona - The tenors fell silent at Barcelona's opera house on Friday where a performance of Turandot was cancelled as a general strike and mass protests brought Catalonia to a halt after Spain's top court jailed nine separatist leaders.

More Barcelona violence feared as separatists call for new protest

Barcelona - Barcelona was bracing for fresh violence Saturday after nearly 200 people were hurt in a night of clashes with radical separatists hurling rocks and fireworks at police who responded with tear gas and rubber bullets.

In Catalonia, frustration boils over into violence

Barcelona - After years of peaceful separatist demonstrations, violence finally exploded on the Catalan streets this week, led by activists frustrated by the political paralysis and infuriated by the Supreme Court's conviction of nine of its leaders over a failed ...

Catalan separatists, police clash in fresh violence

Barcelona - Catalan separatists burned barricades and clashed with police in Barcelona on Thursday in a fourth night of violence triggered by Spain's jailing of nine of their leaders over a failed independence bid.

Violence 'must stop now', Catalan leader says as Barcelona burns

Barcelona - Catalan president Quim Torra called for an immediate halt to the violent clashes that rocked Barcelona for a third day Wednesday, warning they were harming the image of the separatist movement.

Fresh protests in Spain over Catalan sentence

Barcelona - Catalan separatists on Tuesday blocked streets and train tracks in protest against Spain's jailing of nine of their leaders, as the Spanish government hit out at what it called "generalised violence" a day after activists stormed Barcelona airport.

Top Spain court to rule on Catalan separatist leaders' fate

Madrid - Spain's Supreme Court is expected to issue a verdict Monday in the controversial case of 12 Catalan leaders over their role in a failed 2017 independence bid that sparked the country's worst political crisis in decades.

Children of Venezuelan exodus trade one ordeal for another in Colombia

Apo - Stateless baby Wilbelys officially "doesn't exist," Arianna is a six-year-old who's moved home seven times, Jazmin is missing school -- the children of the Venezuelan exodus are trading one ordeal for another in neighboring Colombia.

Stalled esclators, empty water coolers at UN as budget crunch hits

New York - Stalled escalators, the heating turned down, even the diplomats' bar closing early at 5pm: already the UN budget crunch, one of the worst in a decade, is making itself felt in a series of measures announced by the world body on Friday.

Spain braces for verdict in Catalan separatist leaders' case

Madrid - Spain was battening down the hatches Friday ahead of a Supreme Court ruling on the fate of 12 Catalan leaders for their role in a failed 2017 independence bid that sparked the country's worst political crisis in decades.

Canada's Trudeau called 'compulsive liar' in last election debate

Gatineau - Justin Trudeau was labelled a "compulsive liar" by his main rival during the final leaders' debate before upcoming Canadian elections, in which the prime minister was forced to defend his environmental policies.

Evangelical churches gain ground in Pope's crisis-hit Argentina

Buenos Aires - The pastor's voice bellows through an old converted cinema in a rundown Buenos Aires barrio and hundreds of hands reach out in prayer.

Iraq begins national mourning for protest dead

Baghdad - Iraq began three days of national mourning Thursday for more than 100 people killed during recent protests, while the government was expected to present a reshuffle to parliament in response to the political crisis.

Whistleblowers: What does US law say about them?

Washington - At least two, and possibly more, US officials with knowledge of the impeachment allegations against President Donald Trump have formally sought the protections that US law affords whistleblowers, according to their lawyers.

Family bid final farewell to Chirac in home village

Sainte-f - Former French President Jacques Chirac's family bade him a final farewell Saturday at an intimate ceremony in the southwestern village where he grew up.
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