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EU chief hails 'pragmatic spirit' of UK talks on post-Brexit issues

Ursula von der Leyen on Thursday hailed a "more pragmatic spirit" in talks between the UK and the European Union aimed at resolving post-Brexit trade problems in Northern Ireland.. "I'm glad that today our talks with London are marked by a new, more pragmatic spirit," von der Leyen said during a wide-ranging 25-minute speech that lauded Ireland's place "at the heart of Europe".

Netflix airs trailer of Harry and Meghan series

Netflix on Thursday unveiled a long-awaited trailer for a six-part docuseries in which Prince Harry and wife Meghan lift the lid on their lives in the royal family.. The minute-long trailer, posted on Twitter, features intimate photographs of the couple, interspersed with a clip of Harry saying: "No one sees what's going on behind closed doors" and images of Meghan wiping her eyes. jwp/phz/jm

Disasters cost $268 billion in 2022: Swiss Re

Natural and man-made catastrophes have caused $268 billion of economic losses so far in 2022, chiefly driven by Hurricane Ian and other extreme weather disasters, reinsurance giant Swiss Re estimated Thursday.. Of the estimated $268 billion total economic losses for property damage so far this year, $260 billion are from natural catastrophes and $8 billion from man-made disasters, such as industrial accidents.

How bringing back lost species revives ecosystems

Scientists often study the grim impacts of losing wildlife to hunting, habitat destruction and climate change.. "Kelp and eelgrass are often considered good ways to sequester carbon which can help mitigate the ongoing impacts of climate change," stressed Fujii, a prime example of how destruction of nature can worsen planetary warming. ia/st/rma

Pope to visit DR Congo, S. Sudan in early 2023

Pope Francis will visit the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan early next year, a trip previously postponed due to problems with his knee, the Vatican said Thursday.. It was postponed "at the request of his doctors", the Vatican said at the time, as the pope underwent treatment for knee pain.

UK royals show ruthlessness in latest race row

The timing could not have been worse for Britain's royal family, not long after one racial reckoning involving Prince Harry and ahead of a new publicity blitz from the maverick "spare heir".. Harry's elder brother Prince William -- the heir to the throne -- has been forced to part ways with one of his godmothers after she used racially charged language to a black British woman at a palace reception on Tuesday.

Spain PM got letter similar to one which exploded at Ukraine embassy

The Spanish prime minister received a booby-trapped letter last week which was "similar" to one which exploded Wednesday at Ukraine's embassy in Madrid, lightly injuring an employee, officials said Thursday.. On Wednesday the security officer at Ukraine's embassy in Madrid lightly injured his hand while opening a letter bomb addressed to the Ukrainian ambassador, prompting Kyiv to boost security at its embassies worldwide.

Impeachment pressure builds on S.Africa's Ramaphosa

South Africa's ruling ANC party was due to convene emergency talks on Thursday as pressure mounts for President Cyril Ramaphosa to quit or face impeachment over a burglary that he is accused of concealing at his farm.. South Africa's largest opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, called for an early election saying the country faces a "seismic shift".

S.Africa's ruling ANC calls urgent talks as pressure grows on Ramaphosa

South Africa's ruling ANC party will hold emergency talks Thursday, the day after a report into scandal-hit President Cyril Ramaphosa paved the way for his possible impeachment.. Following the report, his party's National Executive Committee will hold urgent talks today at 7pm (1700 GMT) to discuss the farm theft scandal, an ANC official told AFP. Coming two weeks before the ANC holds its crucial conference -- where it is due to elect new leadership -- the report has dealt a serious blow to Ramaphosa's re-election bid.

Pride and pain in Albania's 'Little London'

In the town hall of Has, in Albania's mountainous northeast, the Union Jack flag has pride of place next to a framed photo of the late Queen Elizabeth II. It is an expression of gratitude towards the United Kingdom as the small town, dubbed 'Little London', owes everything to residents who left to find work across the Channel.. Meshi, a Has town hall employee, has two other children still living in London.