World News

Legal battle looms over London's expanding vehicle pollution fee

A UK court will on Tuesday consider contentious plans to extend a scheme obliging the most polluting vehicles to pay for using London's roads, as opponents engage in protests -- and even sabotage.. The scheme -- first introduced in 2019 and separate from the city's two-decades-old congestion charge -- requires more polluting vehicles to pay a £12.50 ($16) toll on days they are driven within inner London. 

France says overnight protest violence falls sharply

Overnight violence in French cities has halved in 24 hours, the interior ministry said Tuesday, a week after riots erupted over the police killing of a teenager at a traffic stop.. The government has battled riots and looting since 17-year-old Nahel M. was killed by an officer during a traffic stop on Tuesday just outside Paris, rekindling long-standing accusations of systemic racism among security forces.

Polish mountaineer dies on Pakistan's 'killer mountain'

A Polish mountaineer has died after summiting the world's ninth-highest peak, officials said Tuesday, becoming the first casualty reported in Pakistan's climbing season.. Five of the globe's 14 mountains above 8,000 metres are in Pakistan -- including Himalayan peak Nanga Parbat, which earned the nickname "killer mountain" after more than 30 people died trying to climb it before the first successful summit in 1953.

UN talks aim to harness AI power and potential

The United Nations is convening this week a global gathering to try to map out the frontiers of artificial intelligence and to harness its potential for empowering humanity.. - 'Perfect storm' - "We're kind of in a perfect storm of suddenly having this powerful new technology -- I don't think it's super-intelligent -- being spread very widely and empowered in our lives, and we're really not prepared," said serial AI entrepreneur Gary Marcus.

Wanted activists should surrender or 'spend days in fear': Hong Kong leader

Hong Kong's leader has called on eight overseas activists to turn themselves in a day after police put out bounties on them for violating the city's national security law.. Asked about the criticism abroad, Hong Kong leader Lee replied that the city was not unique in having a national security law that was enforceable internationally.

Asian markets fluctuate as rate-hope rally fades

Asian markets struggled for direction on Tuesday as investors weighed signs of a slowing US economy against hopes the Federal Reserve's interest rate hiking cycle could be nearing its end.. While the cuts will mean tighter supplies, rising interest rates and the lingering threat of recession are weighing on demand expectations.

UK, Australian PMs wade into Ashes row

The British and Australian prime ministers have traded verbal bouncers after a controversial Test match between the two sides that has rocked the usually genteel world of cricket.. On Tuesday Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, a keen cricket fan, shot back that he was "proud" of Australia's "men's and women's cricket teams, who have both won their opening two Ashes matches against England."

US ambassador says jailed journalist in Russia in good health

Russia on Monday granted the United States consular access to jailed Wall Street Journal journalist Evan Gershkovich after a more than two-month gap, with the US ambassador reporting him in good health.. The United States, The Wall Street Journal and Gershkovich strongly deny he was a spy.

Oil prices fall despite output cuts, equities wobble

Oil prices reversed into the red Monday on global growth concerns, despite fresh output cuts by key producers Saudi Arabia and Russia aimed at propping up prices.. City Index analyst Fawad Razaqzada said this was primarily due to Russia producing and selling more oil than agreed and "judging by the somewhat muted response" on the oil market "traders clearly want to see evidence that Russia will be complying."

Health fears for Georgia's jailed ex-leader Saakashvili after TV footage

Former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili appeared on television for the first time in months on Monday, looking frail and emaciated, fuelling concerns over the detained politician's treatment. . - 'Save this man' - In Kyiv, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the Georgian ambassador to Kyiv would be asked to "leave Ukraine within 48 hours to hold consultations with his capital" on Saakashvili's treatment.