Virus resurgence casts pall over France’s Ligue 1 season kick-off

With Champions League finalists Paris Saint-Germain way above the cut, the question in France is not who will win the next Ligue 1 title, but how the season will be played amid the Covid-19 crisis. Olympique de Marseille were scheduled to play the curtain-raiser against Saint-Etienne on Friday but four confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus at the … Continue reading Virus resurgence casts pall over France’s Ligue 1 season kick-off

6.9-magnitude quake strikes off Indonesia: USGS

Jakarta (AFP) A 6.9-magnitude quake struck eastern Indonesia on Friday, the US Geological Survey reported, but there was no tsunami warning issued and no immediate reports of casualties or major damage. In Kupang city, far south of the quake's epicentre in the Banda Sea, frightened residents ran outside as buildings and streetlights swayed. Indonesia quake … Continue reading 6.9-magnitude quake strikes off Indonesia: USGS

‘Relegation alert!’ Benitez’s winless team struggling in China

Shanghai (AFP) Former Real Madrid and Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez vowed improvements at Dalian Pro after their latest defeat left them rooted to the bottom of their group in the Chinese Super League. Pressure is building on Benitez, one of the best-paid coaches in world football on a reported £12 million ($15 million) a year … Continue reading ‘Relegation alert!’ Benitez’s winless team struggling in China

A hole new world: Japan city lights up sewer covers

Tokorozawa (Japan) (AFP) The humble manhole cover might not seem like much of a blank canvas, but one Japanese city is reimagining the possibilities with illuminated versions featuring anime characters. Tokorozawa, near Tokyo, is hoping the unusual additions will attract visitors, including enthusiasts of the painted decorated manhole covers that adorn some of Japan's streets. … Continue reading A hole new world: Japan city lights up sewer covers

Meghan Markle calls for ‘change’ in upcoming US election

Washington (AFP) Meghan Markle, the wife of Prince Harry, on Thursday broke from protocol normally followed by British royals in calling for a "change" in the upcoming US presidential election. Her comments came during a virtual "voter registration couch party" organized by When We All Vote, an outreach group co-chaired by former first lady Michelle … Continue reading Meghan Markle calls for ‘change’ in upcoming US election

Settled at last, Neymar ready to deliver for PSG on biggest stage

Lisbon (AFP) Paris Saint-Germain's fortunes in the Champions League in recent years have been inextricably linked to those of Neymar, even before they bought the Brazilian for a world record fee, and if he maintains his recent form in Sunday's final it may make the difference against formidable Bayern Munich. At 28, Neymar is desperate … Continue reading Settled at last, Neymar ready to deliver for PSG on biggest stage

New Zealand mosque shooter to face survivors at sentencing

Wellington (AFP) The Australian white supremacist who murdered 51 Muslim worshippers in last year's New Zealand mosque shootings will face survivors of his rampage during a sentencing hearing next week that is likely to see him jailed for life. Far-right extremist Brenton Tarrant was convicted in March of 51 murder charges, 40 of attempted murder … Continue reading New Zealand mosque shooter to face survivors at sentencing

Morocco’s king warns of potential new lockdown as Covid-19 cases spike

Morocco could return to a complete coronavirus lockdown as cases continue to spike, Moroccan King Mohammed VI said on Thursday, warning of severe economic repercussions. The warning came as a jump in infections in the once bustling tourist hub of Marrakech strained health services and led to protests by medical staff in recent days. Moroccan … Continue reading Morocco’s king warns of potential new lockdown as Covid-19 cases spike

Malaysia to open inquest into French-Irish teen’s death

Kuala Lumpur (AFP) A Malaysian coroner will begin an inquiry next week into the death of a French-Irish teenager whose unclothed body was found in the jungle after she went missing on holiday last year. Nora Quoirin, a 15-year-old with learning difficulties, disappeared from the resort where she was staying with her London-based family, triggering … Continue reading Malaysia to open inquest into French-Irish teen’s death

After port disaster, Lebanese brace for virus lockdown

Beirut (AFP) Still reeling from a deadly port blast that ravaged their Beirut homes and businesses, Lebanese wearily braced themselves for a new coronavirus lockdown due to start on Friday. "What now? On top of this disaster, a coronavirus catastrophe?" said 55-year-old Roxane Moukarzel, as she waved towards the devastated port from the balcony of … Continue reading After port disaster, Lebanese brace for virus lockdown

More evacuations as massive fires rapidly expand in California

Los Angeles (AFP) A series of massive fires in northern and central California forced more evacuations as they quickly spread Thursday, darkening the skies and dangerously affecting air quality. The blazes, most of which were touched off by a rash of lightning strikes earlier in the week, are concentrated to the north, east and south … Continue reading More evacuations as massive fires rapidly expand in California

Conte’s demands drive Inter back to the big time

Cologne (Germany) (AFP) Antonio Conte may not welcome comparisons with Jose Mourinho given the bad blood between the two, but for the first time since the Portuguese's departure, Conte has made Inter Milan a force to be reckoned with. Friday's Europa League final against Sevilla in Cologne will be the Nerazzurri's first European final since … Continue reading Conte’s demands drive Inter back to the big time