Information round to clock
- Thursday 08 October
US poet Louise Glück wins 2020 Nobel Prize in LiteratureFrance 24 - 17h50
American poet Louise Gluck won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Literature for “her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal”, the Swedish Academy said on Thursday.
The Nobel prizes are named after dynamite inventor and wealthy businessman Alfred Nobel and have been awarded since 1901 for achievements in science, literature and peace in accordance with his will.
Nobel prizes for medicine, physics and chemistry were awarded earlier this week, and the peace prize is to be announced on Friday.
Lebanon’s ‘boat people’: Desperate Tripoli residents attempt sea crossing to EuropeFrance 24 - 17h49
Hundreds of impoverished Lebanese people have recently tried to make the sea crossing from the northern port city of Tripoli to Cyprus in order to escape the country’s financial meltdown. FRANCE 24 met three of them in Tripoli after they were sent back by Cypriot authorities.
Madrid court overturns govt order introducing new coronavirus restrictionsFrance 24 - 17h46
A Madrid court on Thursday struck down a government order imposing a partial lockdown on the city and nine satellite towns, ruling in favour of the Madrid region in a standoff with national authorities.
Under the health ministry’s order, Madrid regional authorities on Friday barred residents from leaving the area without a valid reason, and imposed other restrictive measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 contagion in one of Europe’s worst virus hotspots.
But regional government chief Isabel Diaz Ayuso had opposed the order, saying it would ravage the region’s economy, also arguing the ministry had no power to impose such curbs on a region.
- Wednesday 07 October
Pence and Harris to square off in ‘most important VP debate in US history’France 24 - 18h03
Given the age of the two White House contenders, and President Donald Trump’s Covid-19 diagnosis, Wednesday’s debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic challenger Kamala Harris is being billed as a critical test in an increasingly acrimonious election campaign.
The televised clash in Salt Lake City, Utah, comes at a precarious moment for the incumbents, less than a week after the president announced he had contracted Covid-19 amid a White House outbreak that has infected numerous high-profile Republicans.
Two IS ‘Beatles’ to appear in US court to face chargesFrance 24 - 17h59
Two members of an Islamic State cell dubbed the “Beatles” were to appear in a US court on Wednesday to face charges of conspiring to murder four American hostages, US officials said.
Former British nationals El Shafee Elsheikh, 32, and Alexanda Kotey, 36, are accused of involvement in the murders of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and aid workers Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller.
They are also suspected of involvement in the deaths of two Britons, Alan Henning and David Haines, and several other hostages including Japanese nationals.
Africa roundup: Coach Halilhodzic hails Morocco recruitsFrance 24 - 17h58
Bosnia and Herzegovina-born Morocco coach Vahid Halilhodzic has hailed Spaniard Munir el Haddadi and German Aymen Barkok for changing their international allegiance.
Midfielder Barkok and forward El Haddadi were permitted to switch loyalties because they have Moroccan parents.
“They are the type of players the national squad needs,” said the coach before a high-profile friendly against Senegal behind closed doors in Rabat Friday.
Over 1,000 get coronavirus at Sri Lanka factory that made masks for USFrance 24 - 17h56
More than 1,000 workers have tested positive for coronavirus at a Sri Lanka factory that until August was producing surgical masks for the US, officials said Wednesday, as they scrambled to find the source of the country’s biggest outbreak.
The flurry of cases since the first positive test at the garment factory was reported three days ago pushed the island nation’s infections total near 4,500.
September was world’s hottest on record, EU climate change service saysFrance 24 - 17h54
Last month was the world’s hottest September on record, with unusually high temperatures recorded off #Siberia, in the Middle East, and in parts of South America and Australia, the European Union’s Copernicus #Climate Change Service said on Wednesday.
Pence-Harris debate to unfold as Trump recovers from virusFrance 24 - 17h52
Vice President Mike #Pence and his Democratic challenger, California Sen. Kamala #Harris, are set to face off in a debate that will offer starkly different visions for a country confronting escalating crises.
UN calls for universal health coverage without delayFrance 24 - 17h51
United Nations chief Antonio Guterres said Wednesday that the coronavirus pandemic had shown that countries must increase efforts to provide universal health care coverage without delay.
“We must all draw the hard lessons of this crisis,” the UN Secretary-General said in a video message.
“One of those lessons is that under investment in health can have a devastating impact on societies and economies,” he added.Universal health coverage is one of the UN’s sustainable development goals for 2030.
France, Russia and US set for talks in coming days to press for Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefireFrance 24 - 17h49
France’s foreign minister said on Wednesday that talks would be held in Geneva on Thursday and Moscow on Monday to try to convince warring sides in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to agree to negotiate a ceasefire.
Jean-Yves Le Drian told the French parliament’s foreign affairs committee that France, Russia and the United States would hold those talks to start a dialogue that needed to take place without preconditions.
The foreign minister also accused Turkey of “military involvement” on the side of Azerbaijan in its conflict with Armenia over the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Macron visits flood-ravaged southeastern France, promises aidFrance 24 - 17h47
A van clings to the edge of an Alpine ravine, tossed by an exceptional storm. A tattered French flag hangs off a tree uprooted by vicious floods. Emergency medics treat injured residents in a brasserie converted into a field hospital.
With at least 12 dead and others missing, France and Italy are still assessing damage and cleaning up after violent rains that began Friday, sweeping away homes and unearthing bodies from cemeteries.
French President Emmanuel Macron is visiting the mountainous area near the Mediterranean coast Wednesday, and promised government aid to flood victims.
Kenyan court finds two men guilty over deadly Westgate mall attack in 2013France 24 - 17h43
A Kenyan court found two men guilty on Wednesday for their part in aiding Al-Shabaab gunmen who attacked the Westgate mall in Nairobi in 2013, killing 67 people. A third man accused of the attack was acquitted.
After a trial that began in January 2014, Magistrate Francis Andayi found that Mohamed Ahmed Abdi and Hassan Hussein Mustafa conspired with and assisted the four attackers, who died in a siege claimed by the Somalia-based Al-Qaeda-aligned group.
The third accused, Liban Abdullahi Omar, was acquitted of all charges and immediately allowed to leave the dock.
Covid-19 pandemic : Boris Johnson under fire for handling of crisisFrance 24 - 14h35
Hilary Ingham, Department of Economis, Lancaster University
‘Our incomes have collapsed’: Covid-19 threatens future of Paris’s famed ‘bouquinistes’France 24 - 14h32
They form part of a centuries-old tradition and are an iconic feature of the French capital, but Paris’s historic riverside booksellers, known as ‘bouquinistes’ are under threat. Like many other businesses that rely on tourism, Covid-19 has taken a devastating toll on their income.
Hunt on for Indian tiger after eighth human killFrance 24 - 14h31
Indian authorities are hunting for a tiger which has killed eight people in the last two years after another fatal attack, officials said Wednesday.
The big cat’s latest victim, an elderly villager, was mauled to death late Monday when he ventured into a forest for firewood in Khambada, around 660 kilometres (410 miles) from the financial capital Mumbai.
‘It’s my lucky place’: Kvitova back in Roland Garros semi-finals after eight yearsFrance 24 - 14h26
Petra Kvitova returned to the French Open semi-finals for the first time in eight years on Wednesday after defeating Germany’s Laura Siegemund 6-3, 6-3, describing Roland Garros as her “lucky place”.
Czech seventh seed Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champion, will face either Australian Open winner Sofia Kenin or Danielle Collins for a place in Saturday’s final.
Turkish Cypriot FM quits in protest at move to reopen ghost resortFrance 24 - 14h23
Turkish Cypriot foreign minister Kudret Ozersay has announced his resignation in protest at the nationalist prime minister’s decision to reopen the Greek Cypriot resort of Varosha, a sealed-off ghost town since 1974, just days before a presidential election.
Ozersay’s People’s Party, the third largest in the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state’s parliament, also pulled out of the governing coalition, depriving it of its majority, he announced late on Tuesday.
Stolen $300m Mao scroll found ‘cut in half’: Hong Kong policeFrance 24 - 14h22
A stolen poetry scroll written by Mao Zedong and valued at hundreds of millions of dollars has been recovered, Hong Kong police said Wednesday — but not before it was cut in half.
Officers said someone handling the thieved artefact had given it the chop after judging it “too difficult to display”.
How ‘revolutionary Conservatives’ made state aid the crux of Brexit dramaFrance 24 - 14h19
Boris Johnson and Ursula Von Der Leyen gave their negotiators another month to reach a post-Brexit deal on Saturday, days after the EU Commission president announced she would begin legal proceedings against the UK for passing a bill to break international law. Analysts say that Johnson’s plan to jettison EU state aid rules is at the heart of this imbroglio – driven in turn by a desire to sweep away decades of economic orthodoxy.
Greek court rules neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn guilty of acting as criminal groupFrance 24 - 14h16
A Greek court found neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn guilty of acting as a criminal organisation on Wednesday in a landmark verdict in the marathon, five-year-long trial against the country’s extreme right-wing Golden Dawn party Wednesday, with security tight and more than 15,000 people gathering in an anti-fascist rally outside.
Two months after explosion, Beirut nightlife scene struggles to returnFrance 24 - 14h15
Around 200 bars and restaurants were damaged in the Beirut port blast on August 4, weakening a sector that was already struggling to overcome months of economic crisis and closures triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic. FRANCE 24 takes a look at the Beirut nightlife scene two months after the explosion.
Armenian volunteer returns from France to fight for Nagorno-KarabakhFrance 24 - 14h13
As clashes continue to rage between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, Armenians living abroad have headed back to their homeland to fight. FRANCE 24 met with Vardan, an Armenian builder living in western France, as he flew back to his native country.
Vardan, an Armenian builder living in western France, flew back to his native country to fight in the conflict with Azerbaijan over the breakaway, ethnic Armenian region of Nagorno-Karabakh. “We are very proud of him,” one of his sons said, seeing him off at Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport.
- Tuesday 06 October
Bars and cafes close in Paris amid rising Covid-19 infectionsFrance 24 - 12h09
Bars and cafes were shuttered in Paris on Tuesday for two weeks under new measures to fight the rapid spread of the epidemic, although restaurants have been allowed to remain open.
With the rate of new infections, hospitalisations and deaths accelerating months after the lifting of a nationwide lockdown, new rules on social distancing entered into force on Tuesday.
“These are braking measures because the epidemic is moving too fast,” Paris police chief Didier Lallement told journalists on Monday. “From tomorrow, all bars will be closed.”
Ordinary investors offer $50 billion for BTS label sharesFrance 24 - 12h08
Ordinary South Koreans rushed to pour more than $50 billion into the initial public offering for the management agency of K-pop sensation BTS, sale organisers said after it closed Tuesday.
The trailblazing septet cemented their prominence in the world’s biggest music market in August, when their all-English track “Dynamite” debuted at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100.
They are credited with generating billions for the South Korean economy, and the flotation of their label Big Hit Entertainment will make its founder a billionaire — while adding millions to each BTS member’s net worth.
Kyrgyzstan’s election commission invalidates vote result amid unrestFrance 24 - 12h07
Kyrgyzstan’s chief electoral body said on Tuesday it was cancelling the results of a disputed parliamentary vote that has plunged the Central Asian country into political chaos.
The Central Electoral Commission said in a statement it had “invalidated the election results” which saw parties close to pro-Russian President Sooronbay Jeenbekov score big wins amid accusations of mass vote-buying campaigns.
The announcement came a day after opposition supporters seized Kyrgyzstan’s seat of government in the capital Bishkek, and freed the country’s former president, Almazbek Atambayev, from jail.
How did QAnon conspiracies spread so fast in 2020?France 24 - 12h05
The increasingly visible and vocal followers of QAnon promote a bewildering blend of unsubstantiated conspiracy theories, worrying everyone from Facebook to the FBI.
Once on the fringes of the internet and focused on US politics, the movement has seen sharp growth on mainstream social media platforms this year, prompting tech firms to tighten controls and ban QAnon followers.
The movement is centred on the unsubstantiated belief that the world is run by a cabal of Satan-worshipping paedophiles. It has extended that this year to allege, without proof, that the coronavirus is a conspiracy by that group to control people using vaccines and 5G.
Spain detains software creator McAfee wanted in USFrance 24 - 12h05
Anti-virus software creator John McAfee, who is wanted in the United States for tax evasion, has been arrested at Barcelona airport, police said Tuesday.
Officers detained the 75-year-old on Saturday as he was about to board a flight to Istanbul and he was being held at a jail near Barcelona awaiting extradition to the United States, a Spanish police source told AFP.
His arrest comes a day after US prosecutors released an indictment against McAfee for allegedly failing to report income made from promoting crypto-currencies, making speaking engagements and selling the rights to his life story for a TV documentary.
‘Save our lives’: Fears grow for civilians as Nagorno-Karabakh fighting ragesFrance 24 - 12h01
Clashes between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces were raging on Monday over the disputed Nagorno-#Karabakh region as fears grew for civilians after the two sides began shelling major cities. Separatist forces in Karabakh — an ethnic Armenian enclave that broke away from Azerbaijan in the 1990s — reported firefights along the frontline and the regional capital #Stepanakert again coming under artillery fire.
Tsai defiant as Taiwan’s anti-China jet flights doubleFrance 24 - 11h58
Taiwan will not “yield an inch” in defending itself, President Tsai Ing-wen warned Tuesday, as new figures revealed the island is scrambling fighter jets at more than double the rate of last year in response to Chinese incursions.
Authoritarian China views democratic Taiwan as its own territory and has vowed to one day seize it, by force if necessary, even though the island has been self-ruled for the last seven decades.