World News

EU commission recommends funding freeze for Hungary

The European Commission recommended on Wednesday that 13 billion euros ($13 billion) in EU funds for Hungary be frozen because Budapest is falling short on its commitments to meet European rule of law.. Also, 5.8 billion euros from an EU coronavirus recovery fund was frozen until Hungary showed it was meeting 27 "super milestones" for its reforms, particularly on the judiciary issue.

Bird flu kills almost 14,000 pelicans, seabirds in Peru

The highly contagious H5N1 avian flu virus has killed thousands of pelicans, blue-footed boobies and other seabirds in Peru, according to the National Forestry and Wildlife Service (SERFOR).. "The latest official report carried out at a national level shows more than 13,869 wild seabirds killed by the dangerous H5N1 avian flu virus," said a SERFOR statement released late Tuesday.

Turkey says Sweden's steps for NATO bid positive but not enough

Turkey said on Wednesday Sweden's new government was more determined to address Ankara's security concerns in return for NATO membership but called for "concrete steps". . US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also sounded upbeat, saying he was confident that Sweden and Finland would "soon" join NATO.   "Turkey, Sweden and Finland are engaging directly as well as with NATO to make sure that Turkey's concerns are fully addressed, including concerns about its security," he said. 

Mozambique court starts ruling on 'hidden debt' graft scandal

A court Wednesday begun handing down verdicts in Mozambique's biggest corruption scandal, in which the government unleashed a financial earthquake by trying to conceal huge debts.. In March the IMF awarded $456 million in credit to Mozambique, the first such aid awarded since the debt scandal erupted.

Cuban rum masters' tradition declared UNESCO cultural heritage

The traditional knowledge held by Cuba's light rum masters was on Wednesday added to UNESCO's list of intangible heritage, a prestigious designation that recognizes a tradition dating back eight generations on the island.. Cuba already has several traditions listed as intangible heritage of humanity by UNESCO. The "tumba francesa" (French drum), songs and dances accompanied by percussion that arrived in Cuba with the French colonists and their Haitian slaves in the late 18th century, was recognized in 2008.

At least 16 killed, 24 wounded in north Afghanistan blast

At least 16 people were killed and 24 others wounded Wednesday by a blast at a madrassa in Afghanistan's northern city of Aybak, a doctor at a local hospital told AFP.  There have been dozens of blasts and attacks targeting civilians since the Taliban returned to power in August last year, most claimed by the local chapter of the Islamic State (IS) group.. In May last year, before the Taliban's return to power, at least 85 people -- mainly girls -- were killed and about 300 were wounded when three bombs exploded near their school in the neighbourhood No group claimed responsibility, but a year earlier IS claimed a suicide attack on an educational centre in the area that killed 24.

S.African parole for Hani's killer roiled by appeals, protests

The release from prison of the far-right killer of South African anti-apartheid hero Chris Hani hung in the balance on Wednesday, amid fierce bids to block the move. . On Wednesday, the South African Communist Party (SACP), which Hani used to head, said it was petitioning the court to go back on its ruling.

Let them eat bread: the origins of the baguette

It is as much a part of French culture as the Eiffel Tower or Edith Piaf but the origins of the humble baguette, which UNESCO on Wednesday added to its List of Intangible Cultural Heritage, remain a mystery.. Standardised at 80 centimeters (30 inches) and 250 grams (eight ounces) with a fixed price until 1986, the baguette was initially the mainstay of wealthy metropolitans, but after World War II became the emblem of all French people. rap-eab-cb/jmm

Iran World Cup loss sparks despair -- and joy from regime critics

For Iranians, their football team's World Cup loss against the United States was cause for either sadness or exuberant joy, depending on where they stand on a two-month-old protest movement.. The scenes of joy were not confined to Kurdistan province, reflecting the nationwide nature of the protest movement.