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Sarkozy wins French local elections; far right makes limited gains

Sarkozy wins French local elections; far right makes limited gains

The far-right National Front (FN) made only limited gains in French local elections won by ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy's conservatives yesterday. Sarkozy's UMP and its allies will take over 66-70 departements, up from 41, while the ruling Socialists will lose about half of the 61 departements they previously held, a poll by CSA for BFMTV said. Other...

  • Alps disaster looking like accident – airline

    Alps disaster looking like accident – airline

    The plane crash which killed 150 people when a budget airliner slammed into a mountainside in the French Alps yesterday was probably an accident, according to its operator. Lufthansa’s Germanwings confirmed flight 4U 9525 from Barcelona to...

  • Worst crash on French soil since Concorde disaster 15 years ago

    Worst crash on French soil since Concorde disaster 15 years ago

    Airliner comes down with 150 people on board in an alpine region known for skiing, hiking and rafting, but which is hard for rescue services to reach Yesterday’s tragedy was the first crash of a large passenger jet on French soil since the...

  • Germanwings: airline’s response to battle for budget travellers

    Germanwings: airline’s response to battle for budget travellers

    The Airbus which crashed into the French Alps yesterday was operated by Lufthansa’s Germanwings, a budget airline that has grown to become the German flag-carrier’s main short-haul operator as it battles competition from no-frills rivals. It was...

  • Students, teachers weep for classmates on doomed plane

    Students, teachers weep for classmates on doomed plane

    Students and teachers at a small-town German high school broke down in tears once they realised that 16 classmates and two teachers were on board an ill-fated Germanwings airplane that crashed in France yesterday on a flight to Düsseldorf. The...

  • Ukip candidate is expelled following expenses scandal

    Ukip candidate is expelled following expenses scandal

    Britain’s anti-EU UK Independence Party (Ukip) has expelled one of its candidates for a general election in May and replaced her with a recent defector from the opposition Labour Party. European Parliament deputy Janice Atkinson was dropped from...

  • Bardo museum in symbolic reopening after gun attack

    Bardo museum in symbolic reopening after gun attack

    Tunisia’s Bardo museum held a ceremonial reopening yesterday a week after gunmen claiming alliance with Islamic State killed 20 foreign tourists in an attack aimed at destroying the country’s tourism industry. Last Wednesday, at least two...

  • Frosty reception to UN proposal for Libyan ‘presidential council’

    Frosty reception to UN proposal for Libyan ‘presidential council’

    The United Nations tried yesterday to persuade Libyan rival factions to form a unity government by appointing a “presidential council” to try to resolve conflict in the oil-producing country. But UN Special Envoy Bernardino Leon received a frosty...

  • Seven killed by suicide bombers in Benghazi

    Two suicide bombers drove a car packed with explosives into an army checkpoint in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi yesterday, killing seven people and wounding nine, army and medical sources told Reuters. In a separate incident, a rocket hit a...

  • Ancient newt ‘size of a car’

    Ancient newt ‘size of a car’

    A killer newt the size of a small car terrorised lakes and rivers during the rise of the dinosaurs, scientists have discovered. The ferocious amphibian, a distant relative of salamanders living today, took the place of crocodiles as one of the...

  • Australia puzzled over ancient asteroid impact

    Mystery surrounds evidence of two massive asteroids each more than 10 kilometres wide smashing into the centre of Australia hundreds of millions of years ago. Such a violent double impact should have wiped out much of life on earth − yet there is...

  • World briefs

    World briefs

    The UK’s only female polar bear arrives at her new home today, bringing hopes of a cub in the future. Victoria is being introduced to Highland Wildlife Park as a potential mate for Arktos, who lives there with fellow male Walker. The female, who...

  • Homeless get Sistine Chapel tour

    First they got sleeping bags from Pope Francis. Then a shower and shave. Now Rome's homeless are getting a private, guided tour of the Sistine Chapel. The Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano says the Vatican will open its museum doors to 150...

  • Mulder and Scully return as Fox TV revives 'The X-Files'

    Mulder and Scully return as Fox TV revives 'The X-Files'

    Cult television thriller "The X-Files" will return for a limited series with David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson reprising their FBI agent roles, Fox Broadcasting network said. "The X-Files," which premiered on Fox in 1993, followed FBI special...

  • Utah brings back firing squads

    Utah brings back firing squads

    Utah has become the only US. state to authorise the use of firing squads for executions if lethal drugs are not available. Widespread concerns over the effectiveness of lethal injections prompted lawmakers to pass the legislation. The new law...

  • Update 5 - German Airbus crashes in French Alps with 150 dead, black box found

    Update 5 - German Airbus crashes in French Alps with 150 dead, black box found

    An Airbus operated by Lufthansa's Germanwings budget airline crashed in a remote area of the French Alps on Tuesday, killing all 150 people on board including 16 schoolchildren. No Maltese are believed to have been on the plane. Germanwings...

  • Britain to "beef up" defence of disputed Falkland Islands

    Britain plans to "beef up" its defences of the disputed Falkland Islands to ensure they are properly protected, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said today, in comments likely to irk Argentina which still lays claim to the archipelago. Tensions...

  • Cameron won't seek third term in power

    Cameron won't seek third term in power

    British Prime Minister David Cameron has ruled out seeking a third term in office if he wins a second mandate in a tightly fought national election on May 7, saying it would then be time for a new leader of his right-leaning Conservatives. His...

  • Putin sacks two senior Kremlin officials, speculation of turf wars

    Putin sacks two senior Kremlin officials, speculation of turf wars

    President Vladimir Putin dismissed two senior officials yesterday in a surprise move that followed recent rumours of feuding at the heart of the Kremlin. The twin sackings come less than a month after the killing of Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov,...

  • Islamic State moves west to attack Syrian army in Homs

    Islamic State moves west to attack Syrian army in Homs

    Islamic State fighters attacked a military airport in Syria’s Homs province yesterday as they pressed a westward offensive against government strongholds, a monitoring group said. Forays by Islamic State, which is strongest in the northeast and...

  • ‘Libya could agree over unity Cabinet leaders this week’

    ‘Libya could agree over unity Cabinet leaders this week’

    Libya’s warring groups could agree this week on the leaders of a national unity government to try to overcome the conflict in the North African country, but it will not be easy, a UN envoy said yesterday. The talks, originally due to end on...