Information round to clock

    • Tuesday 28 January
    • US ski star Shiffrin to skip World Cup stop in Sochi

      France 24 - 18h27

      American Mikaela Shiffrin will skip this weekend’s World Cup downhill and super-G at Rosa Khutor in Russia, the US ski team said Tuesday.

      A specialist in the technical events Shiffrin is on course for a fourth successive overall World Cup title and will skip the Sochi speed events to “rest and get a solid training block in,” the team tweeted.

      She won slalom gold as a teenager at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, but the weekend weather forecast is for snow and rain and Shiffrin generally suffers in poor weather.

    • Austria: 40 evacuated from cable cars after tree falls

      AP - 18h25

      About 40 people were evacuated from cable cars in western Austria on Tuesday after a strong gust of wind blew a tree onto the cable, authorities said.

      Some 35 mountain rescuers were deployed to bring people down from the Hahnenkammbahn, a cabin cableway in Hoefen in Tyrol province, the Austria Press Agency reported. Mountain rescuer Gregor Franke said there was never any danger to the people on board.

      Those in the cars included children from a local school on a skiing course.

      As stormy weather advanced on Austria, another cableway in Tyrol, in the Hochzillertal area, also had to suspend operations later Tuesday because of persistent high winds.

    • Argentina president to head off on European tour to discuss debt

      France 24 - 18h23

      Argentine President Alberto Fernandez will begin his first tour of Europe on Wednesday with a visit to the Vatican, after which he will concentrate on trying to renegotiate the South American country’s burdensome national debt.

      “We’re going to the European countries, as well as to visit his Holiness, to visit Western leaders,” said Foreign Minister Felipe Sola.

      “Because we’re close, because we want to know what they think of our country and because Argentina is in the midst of a complex negotiation, essential for our future, and they all have a seat at the IMF.”

    • US, others prepare evacuations as virus spreads from China

      AP - 18h20

      The United States and several other nations prepared Tuesday to airlift citizens out of a Chinese city at the center of a virus outbreak that has killed more than 100 people.

      Hong Kong’s leader said it will cut all rail links to mainland China and halve the number of flights as authorities in China and overseas sought to stem the spread of the new virus. The number of confirmed cases rose to more than 4,500.

      The U.S. government chartered a plane to fly out diplomats from the U.S. Consulate in Wuhan, where the outbreak started, and other Americans. The plane will make a refueling stop in Alaska before flying on to Ontario, California, the U.S. Embassy said.

    • US asks China for ‘more cooperation and transparency’ on virus

      France 24 - 18h18

      The United States asked China on Tuesday to step up its cooperation with international health authorities over the outbreak of a deadly virus that has claimed more than 100 lives.

      “We are urging China — more cooperation and transparency are the most important steps you can take toward a more effective response,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told reporters.

      He added that the United States has offered China assistance three times so far without success.

    • Japan sends plane to virus-hit Wuhan to evacuate citizens

      France 24 - 15h21

      Japan sent a first plane to the Chinese city of Wuhan on Tuesday night to evacuate citizens from the epicentre of a deadly virus outbreak, a foreign ministry official said.

      The plane left around 8:00 pm (1100 GMT), the official confirmed and was expected to return to Tokyo on Wednesday morning carrying several hundred Japanese nationals.

      Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi earlier announced the plans, saying efforts were being made to arrange additional evacuation flights.

    • ‘Like I’m trapped’: Africans in China lockdown see no escape

      AP - 15h17

      The normally bustling supermarket in Wuhan was deserted, looking more foreign than ever. Khamis Hassan Bakari walked the aisles and saw just two other shoppers, and fear sank in.

      “Everybody is scared. Scared of seeing anyone,” the 39-year-old Tanzanian doctor said, as authorities around the world scramble to contain the new virus that began in the industrial Chinese city of 11 million. “You don’t even want the supermarket to touch the products you buy.”

      Bakari spoke with The Associated Press this week from his university housing in Wuhan as China’s astonishing lockdown of more than 50 million people continues. Transport links have been cut. Streets are largely empty. Lunar New Year festivities have fallen flat.

    • Spurs sign Giovani Lo Celso on permanent deal

      France 24 - 15h15

      Tottenham have exercised their option to convert the loan signing of Giovani Lo Celso from Real Betis into a permanent deal, the Premier League club announced on Tuesday.

      The Argentine midfielder joined Spurs in August on loan but has now signed a contract for a reported fee of around £27 million ($35 million), keeping him at the club until 2025.

      “We are delighted to announce that we have exercised the option to convert the loan of Giovani Lo Celso from Real Betis Balompie to a permanent transfer,” Spurs said in a statement on their website.

    • Hong Kong to cut rail links as virus from China spreads

      AP - 15h12

      Hong Kong said Tuesday it will cut all rail links to mainland China as the United States and other governments prepared to evacuate citizens from the Chinese city at the center of a virus outbreak that has now killed more than 100 people.

      Wearing a green surgical mask, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam told a news conference that train service would stop at midnight Thursday and that the two stations connecting to the mainland would be closed.

      She stopped short of a total closing of the border, as North Korea and Mongolia have done, but said that flights from the mainland would be reduced.

    • Coronavirus outbreak could peak in ten days: Chinese expert

      France 24 - 15h10

      A viral outbreak that has killed 106 people in China could reach its peak in around 10 days, a top Chinese government expert said Tuesday.

      The novel coronavirus that has infected thousands of people across China has genetic similarities to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), a pathogen that left some 650 people dead on the mainland and Hong Kong in 2002-2003.

      The new virus first emerged in early December in the central city of Wuhan and the number of cases has soared in recent days, doubling to more than 4,500 in the past 24 hours.

    • Tears shed, joyful times recalled at Kobe Bryant memorial

      AP - 10h53

      Fans call it The House that Kobe Built, and since Kobe Bryant’s shocking death in a helicopter crash mourners by the thousands have gathered outside the glistening steel-and-glass edifice where the Los Angeles Lakers legend made so much basketball history.

      The arrivals at downtown Staples Center began soon after word spread that Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, were among nine people killed in Sunday’s crash. They continued unabated Monday as people took off from school or work to pay respects to a man with whom many felt a kinship.

    • France to ban systematic culling of male chicks: minister

      France 24 - 10h52

      France is to ban from the end of 2021 the hugely controversial but widespread poultry industry practice of systematically slaughtering male chicks, Agriculture Minister Didier Guillaume said Tuesday.

      “The aim is to oblige firms… to do this by the end of 2021,” he told BFM television, expressing hope that a method could be found that works on a large scale to determine the sex of an embryo in the egg rather than as now, after hatching.

      Guillaume also announced that within a similar time frame, France would ban the castration of piglets without anaesthetic, another measure long urged by animal rights activists.

    • Asian demand for face masks soars on fears of Chinese virus

      AP - 10h51

      Panic and pollution drive the market for protective face masks, so business is booming in Asia, where fear of the virus from China is straining supplies and helping make mask-wearing the new normal.

      Demand for face masks and hand sanitizing liquid has soared, as both local residents and visitors from China stock up on such products as a reassuring precaution.

      Factories are rushing to boost production as the number of infections and deaths from the new virus first found in the central Chinese city of Wuhan climbs. In some parts of Asia, wearing of surgical masks has become mandatory, for now.

    • Fugitive Colombian ex-senator Merlano captured in Venezuela

      France 24 - 10h50

      Fugitive Colombian former senator Aida Merlano, who was jailed for vote buying, has been captured in Venezuela almost four months after she escaped during a trip to the dentist, Venezuelan police said.

      A FAES police special forces unit arrested Merlano in Maracaibo, capital of the northwest border state of Zulia, FAES director Miguel Dominguez posted on Instagram on Monday.

      The former senator “entered Venezuelan territory illegally in the company of an undocumented Colombian citizen,” he added.

    • China counts 106 virus deaths as US, others move to evacuate

      AP - 10h48

      China’s death toll from a new viral disease that is causing mounting global concern rose by 25 to at least 106 on Tuesday as the United States and other governments prepared to fly their citizens out of the locked-down city at center of the outbreak.

      The total includes the first death in Beijing, the Chinese capital, and 24 more fatalities in Hubei province, where the first illnesses from the newly identified coronavirus occurred in December.

      Asian stock markets tumbled for a second day, dragged down by worries about the virus’s global economic impact.

    • Monday 27 January
    • UK faces choice on Huawei with global implications

      AP - 19h01

      Britain faces a crucial choice on Tuesday over whether to allow China’s Huawei Technologies to build its next-generation wireless networks.

      The decision has implications for the country’s diplomatic relations with the United States, which is pushing allies to shun the Chinese company over cybersecurity concerns.

      And Britain’s choice will feed into a wider battle between the U.S. and China over technological supremacy that has seen the world’s two biggest economies engage in a damaging trade war.

    • Lebanon parliament passes 2020 budget amid protests

      France 24 - 18h55

      Lebanon’s parliament on Monday passed the 2020 budget, state media said, as the debt-saddled country struggles to redress a plummeting economy and address anti-establishment protests.

      Dozens of protesters tried to prevent lawmakers from attending the session and some threw stones at police who retaliated with tear gas to disperse them and carried out arrests, an AFP journalist said.

      Lebanon has since October 17 been gripped by a cross-sectarian street movement that toppled the government and created a three-month political vacuum until a new cabinet was announced last week.

    • Mother of US journalist missing in Syria appeals to White House

      France 24 - 18h51

      The mother of a US journalist missing in Syria since 2012 on Monday appealed to President Donald Trump for help in securing his release, claiming that one or more senior US officials have blocked talks with the Damascus government on the matter.

      Debra Tice, appearing at a news conference to speak about her son Austin Tice, said she believes the Syrian government was willing to speak with Washington since 2014 but that the US government failed to follow through.

    • Bryant’s chopper crashed in fog that grounded other aircraft

      AP - 18h49

      The helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant and eight others that crashed in the rugged hills outside Los Angeles was flying in foggy weather considered dangerous enough that local police departments had grounded their choppers.

      The aircraft plunged into a steep hillside Sunday, scattering debris over an area the size of a football field and killing everyone aboard. The accident generated an outpouring of grief and shock around the world over the sudden loss of the all-time basketball great who spent his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers.

    • Brazil region swept by floods and record rains faces muddy desolation

      France 24 - 18h47

      Elaine Almeida looked at her aunt’s ruined house in Sabara, a town in a southeastern region of Brazil where at least 45 people have died in floods that followed record rainfall.

      “The water rose more than two meters, she lost everything,” Almeida said.

      She and her aunt tried pushing the door of the house open, but the mud inside was so deep they had to give up.

      In Sabara, a town of some 130,000 residents on the edge of Belo Horizonte, the capital of the state of Minas Gerais, homes built on the banks of the Rio das Velhas river were completely submerged by mud and water, their roofs either ripped off by the surging current or caved in under the weight of the mud.

    • Coronavirus outbreak : two cases confirmed in France

      France 24 - 16h27

      William Schaffner, professor of preventive medecine, department of health policy and professor of medicine, division of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee.

    • Democrats demand Bolton testify at Trump’s impeachment trial

      AP - 16h25

      The stakes over witness testimony at President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial are rising now that a draft of a book from former national security adviser John Bolton appears to undercut a key defense argument — that Trump never tied withholding of aid to Ukraine to a demand the country investigate rival Joe Biden..

      Bolton writes in the forthcoming book that Trump told him that he wanted to withhold hundreds of millions of dollars in security aid from Ukraine until it helped him with investigations into Biden. Trump’s legal team has repeatedly insisted otherwise.

    • Iraq: Three rockets hit US embassy in Baghdad

      France 24 - 16h23

      Three rockets slammed into the US embassy in Iraq’s capital on Sunday in the first direct hit reported after months of close calls, as thousands of protesters kept up anti-government sit-ins across the country.

    • US army investigates mystery plane crash in eastern Afghanistan

      France 24 - 16h21

      A plane crashed in eastern Afghanistan’s Ghazni province Monday, officials said, but it was not immediately clear how many people were on board, or if it was a passenger or military jet. Taliban sources claimed it was a US military aircraft, while American officials said they were still investigating the report.

    • Weinstein jury to hear from accuser alleging forced oral sex

      AP - 16h18

      By her own account, Mimi Haleyi once rebuffed one of Harvey Weinstein’s relentless advances by telling him, “I hear you have a terrible reputation with women.”

      Haleyi says she didn’t know just how terrible the then-revered Hollywood honcho could be until he sexually assaulted her in his New York City apartment in 2006 — an episode she’s expected to detail as a witness Monday at Weinstein’s rape trial.

      Weinstein, 67, is charged with forcibly performing oral sex on the former production assistant and raping another woman, an aspiring actress, in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013. He insists any sexual encounters were consensual.

    • Asian stocks fall as virus fears spook markets, hit tourism

      AP - 09h07

      Shares tumbled Monday in the few Asian markets open as China announced sharp increases in the number of people affected in an outbreak of a potentially deadly virus.

      Many regional markets, including China’s, were closed in Asia for Lunar New Year holidays. Australia was closed for Australia Day. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index sank 2% to 23,343.51. India’s Sensex lost 0.4% to 41,451.37, while the benchmark in Thailand dropped 2.9%. Indonesia’s share benchmark was 1.4% lower.

      China announced it was extending its week-long public holiday by an extra three days as a precaution against having the virus spread still further. By midnight Sunday, the National Health Commission said 80 people had died out of 2,744 cases that were confirmed.

    • Magnitude 6.3 earthquake strikes Solomon Islands

      France 24 - 09h05

      A 6.3-magnitude earthquake hit the Solomon Islands on Monday, the US Geological Survey said, but no tsunami warning was issued.

      The powerful quake struck just after 4 pm (0500 GMT) at a depth of 17.7 kilometres (11 miles) some 140 kilometres (90 miles) southeast of the Pacific nation’s capital Honiara, the USGS added.

      The Solomon Islands Met Service said there was no tsunami threat from the undersea quake.

    • ‘We will weep forever’: NBA mourns death of basketball great Kobe Bryant

      France 24 - 09h02

      The NBA grappled with the sudden death of league great Kobe Bryant on Sunday, players saying they felt sick to their stomach taking to the court without having ample time to absorb the shocking news.

      A haunting moment of silence preceded the Houston Rockets’ game against the Nuggets in Denver, which tipped off just hours after the helicopter crash in suburban Los Angeles in which Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were among nine who perished.

      In San Antonio, where the Spurs hosted the reigning champion Toronto Raptors, both teams took 24-second shot-clock violations on their first possessions of the game in honor of Bryant – who wore the number 24 in the later years of his career.

    • NBA plunged into mourning as Kobe Bryant dies in helicopter crash

      France 24 - 09h01

      The NBA grappled with the sudden death of league great Kobe Bryant on Sunday, players saying they felt sick to their stomach taking to the court without having ample time to absorb the shocking news.

      A haunting moment of silence preceded the Houston Rockets’ game against the Nuggets in Denver, which tipped off just hours after the helicopter crash in suburban Los Angeles in which Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were among nine who perished.

    • Friday 24 January
    • Chicago woman is 2nd US patient with new virus from China

      AP - 18h50

      A Chicago woman has become the second U.S. patient diagnosed with the dangerous new virus from China, health officials announced Friday.

      The woman in her 60s returned from China on Jan. 13 without showing any signs of illness, but three or four days later she called her doctor to report feeling sick.

      The patient is doing well and remains hospitalized “primarily for infection control,” said Dr. Allison Arwady, Chicago’s public health commissioner.

      Earlier this week, a man in Washington state became the first U.S. patient, also diagnosed after returning from a trip to the outbreak’s epicenter in central China.

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