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"Danke schön!" EU leaders, Obama give Merkel big sendoff

10/22/21 9:10 AM

Angela Merkel is still Germany's Chancellor and might be still when the European Union leaders meet again, yet they have given her a farewell party at Friday’s EU summit

"Dogs Are Fine": Mystery Disappearance At Volcano Grips Spain

10/22/21 8:17 PM

For days, Spain was gripped by the drama of four hungry dogs trapped by an erupting volcano as daring plans were made to rescue them by drone.

"No Room For Compromise": China Tells US On "Wrong Signals" On Taiwan

10/22/21 1:27 PM

China's foreign ministry urged the United States on Friday to avoid sending any wrong signals to proponents of Taiwanese independence, after President Joe Biden said the United States would come to...

'Big John', largest-ever triceratops, goes under hammer

10/21/21 11:57 AM

He is expected to fetch up to 1.5 million euros ($1.7 million) at the Drouot auction house.Big John's skeleton is 60 percent complete, and was unearthed in South Dakota, United States in 2014 and put together by specialists in Italy.He lived during the Upper Cretaceous period, the final era of dinosaurs, and died in a floodplain, buried in mud that kept him very well preserved.A horn injury near his cranium suggests he got into at least one nasty fight.It is the latest dinosaur to be sold by the Drouot auction house which, according to its website, handled an allosaurus and a diplodocus each worth 1.4 million euros in 2018.The Drouot auction house has sold several dinosaur skeletons over the past few years Christophe ARCHAMBAULT AFP/FileThe price tag means that museums are largely excluded from the purchase."We can't compete," said Francis Duranthon, director of the Toulouse Museum of Natural History.He said 1.5 million euros represented 20 to 25 years of his acquisitions budget.But auctioneer Alexandre Giquello said there was a good chance it would still be seen by the public.He told AFP that half of those expressing an interest in Big John had stated their desire to show it in a museum, and it was not clear how the others felt.Scientists had also been able to analyse the bones before the auction.The triceratops is among the most distinctive of dinosaurs due to the three horns on its head -- one at the nose and two on the forehead -- that give the dinosaur its Latin name.Dinosaur sales can be unpredictable, however: in 2020, several specimens offered in Paris did not find takers after minimum prices were not reached.© 2021 AFP

'Ghost towns': Evergrande crisis shines a light on China's millions of empty homes

10/15/21 12:01 PM

Evergrande's unraveling is still commanding global attention, but its troubles are part of a much bigger problem.

'Lava Tsunami' Flows From Spanish Volcano As Island Rattled By Yet Another Earthquake

10/15/21 8:46 AM

Lava rolling toward the Atlantic Ocean forced the evacuation of another 300 people on La Palma late Thursday, bringing the total number to 7,000.

'Listen to your bodies': Bill Clinton grateful for support after hospitalisation – video

10/21/21 10:18 AM

Bill Clinton has said in a video after his release from hospital that he has been touched by an 'outpouring of support'.The former US president was hospitalised in California for a urological infection last week. He advised people on his Twitter to take care of themselves to fulfil their 'important role to play in life and in the immediate future' Continue reading...

'Monument' Merkel gets standing ovation at her last EU summit

10/22/21 12:11 PM

Merkel has attended a staggering 107 EU summits that saw some of the biggest twists in recent European history, including the eurozone debt crisis, an inflow of Syrian refugees, Brexit and the creation of the bloc's landmark pandemic recovery fund."You are a monument," the host of the summits, European Council chief Charles Michel, said in the closed-door homage to her, according to an official in the room.An EU summit "without Angela is like Rome without the Vatican or Paris without the Eiffel tower," Michel said after Merkel's 26 counterparts gave her a standing ovation.He handed Merkel what was described as an "artistic impression" of the Europa building, a contemporary glass-topped cube where summits are hosted.Luxembourg's Prime Minister Xavier Bettel called Merkel a "compromise machine" who "usually did find something to unite us" through marathon intra-EU negotiations."Europe will miss her," he said."She is someone who for 16 years has really left her mark on Europe, helping all 27 of us to take the right decisions with a lot of humanity at times that were difficult," said Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo.Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said he hoped Merkel, a "great politician", would remain on the political scene "in one form or another".Over her 16-year reign, Merkel played an influential role in European politics JOHN THYS POOL/AFPAustrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg called her "undoubtedly a great European" and "a haven of peace, if you like, within the European Union".Her departure, he said, "will leave a hole".Soft-power skillsHer final summit, a two-day affair in Brussels, leaned once again on her soft-power skills to ease a burning row with Poland over its rejection of the EU's legal order -- something many believed could be the next existential threat to the European Union.On first day on Thursday, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki defended an October 7 ruling by his country's Constitutional Court that said EU law applied only in specific, limited areas and Polish law prevailed in all others.Merkel, backed by French President Emmanuel Macron, spent her considerable political capital pushing for dialogue with Poland, warning against a "cascade" of legal fights if the issue blew up into challenges before the European Court of Justice.The message was received by the European Commission and countries such as the Netherlands and Belgium that wanted a more muscular slapdown of Poland, which they accuse of rolling back democratic norms by removing judicial independence in national courts.Merkel in her light jacket stood out from the dark suits of her counterparts in a summit group photo JOHN THYS AFPEast-west feuding has been a recurrent theme in Merkel's long tenure.Her mediating role reflected both the status of Germany as the EU's economic powerhouse with sway over many of the former Soviet-bloc countries, whose membership to the union tilted the political balance away from Paris and towards Berlin.It also spoke to Merkel's family background, of German and Polish descent, as well as her tactic of discreet behind-the-scenes nudging while conflicting forces exhausted themselves, before stepping in with a compromise solution.MigrationMigration has been one of the most divisive issues with eastern countries.Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban was among those who railed against Merkel's unusually bold decision in 2015 to open Germany's borders to more than one million asylum seekers, mostly from war-torn Syria.Merkel's CDU party was handed a drubbing in September elections she did not contest Olivier HOSLET POOL/AFPOrban -- backed by Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Poland -- simply ignored an EU directive to share the burden, causing a rift on migration that has yet to heal.The migration issue was on the table again on the second day of the summit on Friday.But with the migration-leery positions of the eastern countries already well known, and to an extent backed by Austria and the Netherlands, little substantive discussion was expected, and certainly no breakthrough on burden-sharing.Germany is still in the process of putting together a government to replace Merkel's, following September elections she did not contest that saw her conservative CDU party handed a drubbing.© 2021 AFP

'Plan Z': With Afghanistan lost, U.S. weighs help from adversaries in terror fight

10/21/21 5:03 PM

America's top generals say a counterterrorism partnership with the Taliban is a possibility. They have even explored a potential deal with Vladimir Putin to use Russian military bases as a launchpad for U.S. strikes on extremists. The drastic measures under serious consideration in the Biden administration underscore the daunting challenges ...

'Shameful milestone': 10,000 Yemeni children killed or maimed in violence since 2015 – UNICEF

10/19/21 1:07 PM

Ten thousand Yemeni children have been killed or injured since a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia intervened in March 2015 after an Iran-aligned group ousted the government, the United Nations children's agency UNICEF said. Read Full Article at

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