AFP

4435 Articles

AFP is a global news agency delivering fast, in-depth coverage of the events shaping our world from wars and conflicts to politics, sports, entertainment and the latest breakthroughs in health, science and technology.

Advertising Area



Latest by AFP


US drawing up new, tougher nuclear deal for Iran, says report

NEW YORK: The United States and its European allies are preparing a new, tougher deal over Iran’s nuclear program, in a first test of the weight of broader economic sanctions, The New York Times said Wednesday. The offer would have Iran ship out more than 4,400 pounds (1,995 kilograms) of low-enriched uranium, more than two …

AFP

Suspected Qaeda chief surrenders, says Yemen security official

ADEN: A suspected Al-Qaeda commander in the southern Yemen province of Abyan has surrendered to the authorities after negotiations conducted by tribal leaders, a security official said on Thursday. "Jamal Ahmed Mairan, leader of Al-Qaeda in Loder and Modia (towns) handed himself in on Wednesday after mediation by tribal authorities," the official told AFP, speaking …

AFP

Emir of Qatar welcomed to Britain with state banquet

WINDSOR: Queen Elizabeth II hosted a lavish state banquet to welcome the emir of Qatar to Britain, as her husband showed off his charming side to the Gulf ruler’s wife. Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani was the guest of honor for the banquet Tuesday in regal surroundings at Windsor Castle, which was also attended by …

AFP

Bin Laden says Niger kidnapping warning to France

DUBAI: Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden warned France in a recording aired by Al-Jazeera television on Wednesday that its security would be compromised if it does not pull its troops out of Afghanistan. Bin Laden urged the French government to treat as a warning the kidnapping of five of its nationals and two other foreigners …

AFP

Women in Beirut clinic clash with UN Hariri probe team

BEIRUT: A group of women charged at investigators from a UN probe into the murder of ex-premier Rafiq Hariri at a Beirut gynecology clinic Wednesday, snatching a briefcase but causing no injuries, a doctor said. Doctor Iman Sharara, who runs the private obstetrics and gynecology clinic, told reporters a team of two male investigators and …

AFP

Millions suffer ‘inhuman’ treatment in prison: UN expert

UNITED NATIONS: Torture remains prevalent around the world and millions of jail inmates suffer inhuman treatment, a UN specialist said Tuesday. Manfred Novak, UN special rapporteur on torture, said he had visited 18 countries in the past year and only in one — Denmark — was no case of torture reported. "Torture is practiced in …

AFP

Ruler of strategic UAE emirate dies, sparking power struggle

DUBAI: The ruler of the tiny but strategic emirate of Ras Al-Khaimah, Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammed Al-Qassimi, died on Wednesday at the age of 92, immediately sparking a war of succession between his sons. "Sheikh Saqr died at dawn on Wednesday in Ras Al-Khaima," WAM, the official news agency of the United Arab Emirates, reported. …

AFP

Contested Sudan region should be ceded to south, says SPLM

JUBA: South Sudan wants its former northern enemies to cede the contested oil-rich border region of Abyei without holding a landmark referendum, a senior southern official said on Tuesday. Instead of holding a referendum on the region, the presidency should "take a decision and transfer Abyei by presidential decree to the south, because the process …

AFP

US denies giving ‘bags of cash’ to Afghanistan

WASHINGTON: The White House denied Tuesday it was giving Afghanistan "bags of cash," after Afghan President Hamid Karzai said it was receiving cash payments from "various friendly countries," including Iran. "We provide assistance and aid to the Afghan government through a fairly well-established developmental aid program," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters pressing him …

AFP

UN rights chiefs lead new assault on US

UNITED NATIONS: UN human rights chiefs and experts launched a new offensive on the US conduct of its "war on terror" and conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The leaking of 400,000 documents on the Iraq war and war crimes charges against a former Al-Qaeda child soldier at the Guantanamo prison camp has opened the door …

AFP

Egyptian literature absent at Algiers book fair

ALGIERS: Egyptian publishers were absent Tuesday as Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika kicked off an international book fair, nearly a year after the two countries clashed over a football match. Despite assurances last month by the fair’s chief that Egyptian literature would be represented at the event, "Egyptian publishers have not come," said Abdallah Benadouda, spokesman …

AFP

Syria working to prevent Lebanon violence, says Al-Assad

BEIRUT: Damascus is working to avoid potential violence in neighboring Lebanon as rival parties go head-to-head over a UN probe into the murder of ex-premier Rafiq Hariri, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad said in comments published Tuesday. "The political situation in Lebanon is not good — it is even troubling," Assad told the pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat. …

AFP

‘Content, date, venue’ of nuclear talks undecided, says Iran

TEHRAN: said on Tuesday that the content, date and venue of a mooted fresh round of talks with six major world powers on its controversial nuclear program have yet to be finalized. The latest comment from Tehran came days after EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who represents the major powers in talks with Iran, …

AFP

15 Qaeda suspects surrender in south Yemen, says official

ADEN: Fifteen suspected Al-Qaeda members have surrendered to the governor of the restive south Yemen province of Abyan, a security official said on Tuesday. The 15 surrendered to Ahmed Al-Mayassari on Monday in the presence of tribal leaders and their relatives, the official said, adding that the men had joined Al-Qaeda about a year ago. …

AFP

Israel PM cooking up three-month settlement freeze, says report

JERUSALEM: Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu is working on a year-long plan to revive peace talks with the Palestinians, which would involve a three-month freeze on settlement building, a newspaper reported on Tuesday. Under the terms of the plan, which were outlined in the Maariv newspaper, the Israeli premier is planning to follow the three-month moratorium with …

AFP

N. Zealand PM, Hollywood execs in Hobbit deadlock

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key on Tuesday failed to secure a guarantee from Hollywood executives that Peter Jackson’s troubled “Hobbit” movies would be filmed in the country. After crisis talks with senior Warner Bros. executives that lasted more than two hours, Key said the fate of Jackson’s $500 million epic remained in limbo. He …

AFP

China Railway Construction slumps on Saudi rail project loss

SHANGHAI: Shares in China Railway Construction slumped Tuesday after it said it expects to lose 4.2 billion yuan (623 million dollars) in unforeseen costs on a rail line for Muslim pilgrims in Saudi Arabia. Shanghai-listed shares of the construction contractor closed down 5.24 percent to 7.6 yuan while its Hong Kong-listed shares dropped 13.98 percent …

AFP

Africa’s tech explosion holds promise of economic growth – Feature

JOHANNESBURG: Ask web entrepreneur Stefan Magdalinski why he moved from London to Cape Town two years ago, and he points to a map that illustrates the technological revolution reshaping Africa. The map shows the 14 undersea fiber-optic cables that will link the continent’s Internet service providers to the servers of Europe and Asia by mid-2012, …

AFP

Afghanistan, Iraq among world’s most corrupt nations, says NGO

BERLIN: Iraq and Afghanistan on Tuesday came near the top of a closely watched global list of countries perceived to be the most corrupt, despite efforts to stamp out graft in the war-torn nations. Nearly three-quarters of the 178 countries in Transparency International’s annual survey scored on the sleazier end of the scale, which ranges …

AFP

Iran admits giving ‘assistance’ to Afghanistan

TEHRAN: Iran acknowledged on Tuesday that it had given "assistance" to Afghanistan in reconstructing the war-wracked country, after President Hamid Karzai admitted receiving bags of cash from Tehran. "The Islamic Republic of Iran, as a neighboring government is deeply concerned about Afghanistan’s stability, and has given much assistance for the reconstruction of Afghanistan," foreign ministry …

AFP

Tareq Aziz, the urbane voice of Saddam’s rule

  BAGHDAD: Iraq’s former deputy premier Tareq Aziz, who state television said was sentenced to death on Tuesday, exploited his mastery of English to put a gloss on Saddam Hussein’s murderous regime for two decades.   As Saddam’s principal spokesman, the bespectacled Aziz — the only Christian in the now executed dictator’s inner circle — …

AFP

EU urges trade partners to remove protectionist barriers

BRUSSELS: European Union trade chiefs urged major partners including China, Russia and Brazil Monday to respect G20 commitments to roll back an alarming rise in protectionist barriers. A new report released by EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht identified "more than 330 trade restrictive measures" taken across 30 key economic rivals since the outbreak of …

AFP

Gallup to open Muslim opinion research center in UAE

DUBAI: Global opinion research organization Gallup is to open a research center into Muslim opinion in the United Arab Emirates, the official WAM news agency reported. "Building on Gallup’s seminal work in the field of Muslim studies, the Abu Dhabi Gallup Center (ADGC) will offer unmatched research on the attitudes and aspirations of Muslims around …

AFP

WikiLeaks insists website not anti-American

LONDON: WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson insisted Monday that the whistle-blowing website was not anti-American, as he revealed there was "a lot of material" in the pipeline. WikiLeaks on Friday released 400,000 classified US army documents on the war in Iraq, which offered a grim snapshot of the conflict, especially of the abuse of Iraqi civilians …

AFP

Israeli panel seeks testimony from all flotilla passengers

JERUSALEM: The Israeli panel examining a deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla has urged anyone who was on board the flagship Mavi Marmara at the time of the operation to come forward and testify. The appeal was issued by the Tirkel Commission late on Sunday, just hours before two Arab Israeli passengers were to …

AFP

Karzai admits receiving ‘bags of money’ from Iran

KABUL: Afghan President Hamid Karzai admitted Monday that his chief of staff had received "bags of money" from Iran but insisted the payment was transparent and a form of aid from a friendly country. Cash payments "are done by various friendly countries to help the president’s office… this is transparent," Karzai said at a press …

AFP

Youth killed, several wounded in Western Sahara

RABAT: A youth was killed and five people were wounded by Moroccan police when they tried to gain access to a camp near Laayoune in Western Sahara, a source close to local authorities said late Sunday. The source said a clash had broken out between a group of youths and the police who had "opened …

AFP

Tony Blair’s sister-in-law converts to Islam

LONDON: The sister-in-law of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has converted to Islam following a visit to Iran, claiming she is a "proud member" of the Muslim community. Lauren Booth has given up alcohol and pork, prays five times a day and has not ruled out wearing a burqa in the future, she told …

AFP

South Sudan chooses ‘freedom’ anthem

JUBA: Hundreds of cheering southern Sudanese packed a concert hall in the regional capital Juba to watch contestants battle it out to provide the music for a "national" anthem, less than 80 days before a planned referendum on independence. "This is a historic moment," said Mido Samuel, one of three entrants who made the final …

AFP

In US debut, Icelandic filmmaker exposes grim organ trade

For his first movie outside his native Iceland, filmmaker Baltasar Kormakur plunged into "the most horrific world I’ve ever been in" — that of the grim business of organ trafficking. Not an obvious choice of subject, but the resulting movie "Inhale," which opened in North American cinemas this weekend, is a gripping no-holds-barred investigation of …

AFP