Thursday, May 4, 2017

World News Briefs -- May 4, 2017

AFP: France's Le Pen and Macron trade blows after TV debate

Paris (AFP) - France's presidential candidates traded fresh blows Thursday after one of the fiercest TV debates in the nation's history, with frontrunner Emmanuel Macron holding on to his status as favourite for the weekend's decisive run-off.

The centrist Macron and his far-right rival Marine Le Pen clashed repeatedly over terrorism, the economy and Europe in Wednesday's hot-tempered debate watched by 16.5 million people.

Le Pen branded the 39-year-old former economy minister and investment banker "the candidate of the elite" while he called her "the high priestess of fear".

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Mosul offensive gains fresh momentum as army attacks IS from northwest. Mosul battle: Iraqis open up new front to retake city from IS. Iraqi forces launch new operation northwest of Mosul.

Iraq, US in talks to keep American troop presence after IS.

Regional powers agree on Syria 'de-escalation zones'.

Putin: Trump backs plan to establish safe zones in Syria.

Russian, Turkish leaders re-affirm their pact on Syria.

Turkey in 'final phase' of secretive Saudi export deal.

US forces seen operating near terrorist-designated PKK forces.

Yemen hunger crisis leaves refugee chief 'shocked to the bones'.

Two-state solution in the air, but Trump still confident of Middle East peace.


India troops block Kashmir villages amid rebel hunt. Indian troops launch major anti-militant drive in Kashmir.

India-Pakistan conflict intensifies after Indian Army promises revenge for alleged beheading of soldiers.

North Korea missiles designed to U.S. THAAD defense system.

North Korea demands South suspend joint military drills.

After North Korea criticism, China says wants to be good neighbor.

Japanese leader sets 2020 deadline for changing pacifist constitution.

Not welcome: Japan tough to crack for refugees.

Afghan warlord Hekmatyar returns to Kabul after peace deal.

Beijing hit by new air pollution crisis as huge sandstorm blows in.


Algerians vote amid anger over economy.

Libyan government, rival military commander agree to ease tensions.

Mozambique's opposition extends truce as step to end war.

Somalia attack: Minister Abdullahi Sheikh Abas killed in Mogadishu.

Zimbabwe 'not a poor country': Mugabe.

Protests as South Africa hosts World Economic Forum.

DR Congo miners upset at US 'conflict mineral' rules.


France's election is ending in a verbal cage fight. French election: Macron and Le Pen both claim debate success.

Eurozone economy growing at 'fastest rate in 6 years'.

Romania withdraws amendment pardoning corrupt officials.

Court upholds sentence against Russian activist Alexei Navalny.

Treason trial against Yanukovych begins in Ukraine.

Swiss 'spied inside German ministry' in tax scandal.

Greece rejects new extradition request for Turkish soldiers.

Prince Philip announces he is completely retiring from royal duties aged 95 after 70 years of sterling service to his Queen and country.


US Republicans plan health-care vote on Thursday, capping weeks of fits and starts.

Trump blasts Susan Rice for declining request to testify before Senate panel. Trump criticizes former Obama security adviser.

U.S. coaxes Mexico into Trump plan to overhaul Central America.

Jailed Venezuelan opposition leader dispels rumors of health scare.

Raul Castro's daughter: His successor may surprise Cubans.

Authorities haven't found 'even a dollar' of El Chapo's $1bn drug fortune.

UN Security Council in Colombia to encourage peace process.

US opioid crisis at epidemic proportions.


Suicide bombings detail Turkistan Islamic Party’s role in Syria.

Europol probes 'Islamic State'-created social media network.

Pakistani Taliban retaliates for ‘the drone attack in North Waziristan’.


Google coughs up 306 million euros in Italy tax settlement.

Global drone market expected to surpass $22B by 2022.

Facebook nears two billion monthly users.

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