A Polish grandfather left New York on Sunday on his third solo trans-Atlantic crossing in a kayak, aiming to arrive in Portugal in time to celebrate his 70th birthday on firm ground in September. Aleksander Doba paddled off from the tip of Manhattan after doing interviews and posing for selfies with a crowd of some 100 onlookers. A star at home, Doba gained global attention when he was named a National Geographic adventurer of the year in 2015.
The first, between October 2010 and February 2011, took him across one of the narrowest points of the ocean from the Senegalese capital Dakar to the Brazilian city of Acarau. The second saw him set off from Lisbon in October 2013 and arrive in Florida in April the following year, navigating ocean swells and tempestuous weather. On Sunday, he embarked on what he has called his "hardest" journey yet, a 6,000-kilometer crossing through storm zones in the frigid waters of the North Atlantic. Regardless of the obstacles, Doba - also an avid rock-climber, parachutist, glider pilot, sailor and yacht skipper - is determined to make it to the Portuguese capital in time to celebrate his 70th birthday on September 9.
Doba's more than 6-meter white and yellow kayak, which he calls Olo, was in large part designed by him. He will be paddling between eight and 12 hours each day - not exactly anyone's notion of grandpa napping in a rocking chair. Doba's extreme hobbies haven't always made things easy for his family, acknowledges his supportive wife Gabriela through a translator. He has already logged 96,000 kilometers by kayak and Doba says he is eager to see "my counter pass the 100,000-kilometer threshold" this year. Polish kayaker Aleksander Doba sails during the start of his trans-Atlantic kayak adventure from New York to Portugal on Saturday.
Tutors at South Korean test preparation schools denied criminal wrongdoing during a court hearing on Monday involving leaked information that led to the cancellation of the US SAT college entrance exam in South Korea in 2013. Nine of 22 defendants, including tutors and owners of private "test-prep" schools, appeared in a Seoul court for their first hearing, charged with illegally obtaining SAT college entrance exam test papers and offering them to pupils. The trial began after the test's administrator, the Educational Testing Service, provided documents to the court in March following Reuters inquiries to the company about what South Korean authorities said was a lack of cooperation.
Defense lawyers said on Monday their clients had used publicly available tests for their prep courses and their actions did not constitute copyright infringement because they had no intention of making a profit or violating fair use rules.
Another defendant, charged with obstruction of the test administrator's business by hiring people to take SAT tests to memorize questions, did not reconstruct and distribute what his part-timers learned, Oh said. That came after South Korean authorities alleged that Korean cram schools had illegally obtained SAT test papers. Japanese rescuers on Monday expanded the search for a 7-year-old boy missing for three days after his parents left him in a mountain forest inhabited by bears as punishment in a case that has infuriated public opinion.
The parents originally told police the boy got lost on Saturday while they were hiking to gather wild vegetables but later admitted they had left him in the forest to punish him. The boy, Yamato Tanooka, went missing in mountains on the northern main island of Hokkaido inhabited by wild bears.
Yamato, his older sister, mother and father came to a park near the forest on Saturday, but the parents became angry as the boy threw stones at cars and people, Japanese police and media reports said. On the way back home, they made Yamato get out of the car and left him alone in the forest, driving the car about 500 meters away, TV Asahi and other reports said. Some 180 rescuers and police officers widened the search area on Monday, mobilizing sniffer dogs and horses to go deeper into the woodlands, NTV footage showed. Many also worried about the fate of the child in the forest alone and reportedly with no food or water as heavy rain fell overnight. Mitsuru Wakayama, a spokesman for the local town of Nanae, said the mountainous area is a place that only local residents pass through occasionally as a shortcut. Another resident wistfully recalls missing out on a date with Marilyn Monroe, while a third has stories about "Walt" or "Frank" - that is Walt Disney or Frank Sinatra.
Hollywood's golden age may be long gone but it's still very much alive and kicking at this retirement community north of Los Angeles, where a who's who of the industry reside. Here, you can meet a set director who worked on Doctor Zhivago or Mutiny on the Bounty, a film researcher who worked on Star Trek, Chinatown and Fiddler on the Roof, or a 103-year old actress who knew Sinatra and recently auditioned for a horror flick.
The charitable organization began with coin boxes that were placed at the studios, where actors could drop spare change to help industry professionals who often worked as freelancers and had no job protection.
Nearly a century later, the home continues to take care of its own through donations, albeit on a much bigger scale, with the likes of George Clooney, Kirk Douglas and Steven Spielberg lending their support. About half of the 165 residents at the retirement home pay for their room and board, which ranges from $3,400 to $6,100 a month, and the Fund pays for the other half unable to afford the cost. On the walls of the grand old houses of this Balearic port which attracts millions of foreigners every year, a new kind of graffiti has flourished: "Tourists go home". Although still a minority protest, it points to tensions in Palma de Mallorca and elsewhere in Spain over rising numbers of visitors who are propelling the economy but also disrupting the lives of locals and straining services from transport to water. With tourism accounting for 12 percent of economic output and 16 percent of jobs, Spain can ill afford a backlash.
Long a popular beach destination, this year Spain is drawing record numbers of visitors who are shunning destinations where security is a concern, notably Tunisia, Egypt and Turkey.
Here the city council has recently banned parking near the sandstone cathedral, where vehicles on its sea-facing esplanade were deemed an eyesore. But losing that parking space has forced many families living in the area's narrow alleys to park much further afield or spend hours circling, Clar said.
In the Balearics off Spain's eastern Mediterranean coast, nearly a third of employment depends on the sector. Iraqi forces thrust into the city of Fallujah from three directions on Monday, marking a new and perilous urban phase in the week-old operation to retake the jihadist bastion. Led by the elite counterterrorism service, Iraq's best trained and most seasoned fighting unit, the forces pushed in before dawn, commanders said.
The involvement of the elite CTS marks the start of a phase of urban combat in a city where in 2004 US forces fought some of their toughest battles since the Vietnam War. The operation had previously focused on retaking villages and rural areas around Fallujah, just 50 kilometers west of Baghdad.
Only a few hundred families have managed to slip out of the Fallujah area ahead of the assault on the city, with an estimated 50,000 civilians still trapped inside, sparking fears the jihadists could try to use them as human shields. The only families who were able to flee so far lived in outlying areas, with the biggest wave of displaced reaching camps on Saturday night. In Amriyat al-Fallujah, a government-controlled town to the south of the jihadist bastion, civilians trickled in, starving and exhausted after walking through the countryside for hours at night, dodging IS surveillance. They also hold Mosul, the country's second city and de-facto jihadist capital in Iraq, east of which Kurdish-led forces launched a fresh offensive on Sunday.
It is not clear yet what resources IS is prepared to invest in the defense of Fallujah, which has been almost completely isolated for months, but the city looms large in modern jihadist mythology. In November 2004, the US military suffered some of its worst losses in decades during an operation dubbed Phantom Fury which saw at least 95 members of the US forces killed in fierce combat against one of IS's previous incarnations.
Fallujah is expected to give Iraqi forces one of their toughest battles yet but IS has appeared weakened in recent months and has been losing territory consistently over the past year.
According to the government, the organization that has sewn havoc across Iraq and Syria over the past two years now controls around 14 percent of the national territory, down from 40 percent in 2014. However, as the "caliphate" it declared two years ago unravels, IS has been reverting to its old tactics of bombings against civilians and commando raids. A member of the Iraqi security forces fires artillery during clashes with Islamic Statemilitants near Falluja on Sunday, during an operation to retake the jihadist bastion. The French government and CGT union dug in their heels on Sunday amid a wave of strikes and angry street protests against labor reforms, but there were fresh phone contacts between the two sides.
The CGT warned it would continue its campaign of stoppages and demonstrations to pressure the government to scrap plans to make it easier for companies to hire and fire workers.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Sunday that he was determined not to join a long list of politicians who have conceded defeat to protesters.
In the mid-1990s prime minister Alain Juppe triggered France's worst unrest in decades because he would not budge on pension reform but he eventually backed down after weeks of industrial action and protests. The dispute has sent Valls' approval rating down to 24 percent, its lowest since he became prime minister, according to a poll conducted by BVA for Orange et iTELE. A source close to the prime minister's office said Valls and CGT leader Philippe Martinez had been unable to reach agreement so far.
Meanwhile, a 27-year-old US man has been given preliminary charges of attempted murder in an exceptionally violent attack on police in their patrol car that drew national attention, the Paris prosecutor's office said on Sunday. The suspect is among five people given various preliminary charges in the incident, in which masked protesters were caught on video smashing and torching the car while two officers were inside. The May 18 attack came as police around the country were holding unusual protests of their own to decry violence during the labor demonstrations. The Japanese government said on Monday it was doing all it could to secure the release of a Japanese journalist being held hostage by an al-Qaida affiliate in Syria, after an apparent photograph of the man was posted on the internet.
The photograph, apparently uploaded to the internet late on Sunday, showed a bearded man dressed in orange holding a handwritten sign in Japanese. Yasuda's plight came to attention in March, when a video surfaced showing him reading a message to his country and his family. Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said the government was analyzing the new photo and believed it was Yasuda, while Chief Cabinet Spokesman Yoshihide Suga said the government was doing what it could. Asked if this meant contacting the al-Nusra Front, Suga said "that sort of thing was included" but declined to give further details. Early in 2015, the Islamic State militant group beheaded two Japanese nationals - a self-styled security consultant and a veteran war reporter. Yasuda, a freelance journalist since 2003, was held in Baghdad in 2004 and drew criticism for drawing the Japanese government into negotiations for his release. In December, media freedom organization Reporters Without Borders retracted and apologized for a report it had issued that said Yasuda had been threatened with execution in Syria. At least 24 people were killed in the north Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand due to thunderstorm and cloudbursts, officials said on Monday.
At least five UN peacekeepers were killed in an ambush in central Mali by suspected militants on Sunday, the UN and police sources said.
A member of Australian parliament has blamed a fatal crocodile attack on human error, saying it was stupid for anyone to swim at night. Thailand will lift a ban this week on overseas travel by some politicians, the defense minister said on Monday. A man came into a Houston auto detail shop and began shooting, killing a man known to be a customer and putting a neighborhood on lockdown on Sunday before being killed by a SWAT officer, police said.
Three people have been killed in floods in the southwestern German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg and a young girl was killed by a train as she took shelter from the rain under a railway bridge.
When Swiss engineer Carl Eduard Gruner came up with the idea to build the world's longest rail tunnel under the Alps in 1947, he predicted the visionary project could be finished by the start of the 21st century. Gruner's sketch and technical paper called "Journey through the Gotthard Base Tunnel (GBT) in the year 2000" planted the seeds for a venture that will be launched this week and aims to transform travel through the heart of Europe. Constructing the 57-kilometer rail tunnel took just over 12 billion Swiss francs ($12 billion) and some 2,400 workers, according to Swiss government statistics. More than 28 million metric tons of rock had to be excavated from the mountain near the Gotthard pass.
The bumpy road from Gruner's initial idea to the official start of construction in 1999 included bureaucratic delays and concern over the project's financial viability. Momentum in favor of the GBT built again ahead of a 1992 referendum, which supported the project, but public outcry about the expense put work on hold. Eventually, a November 1998 referendum closed the deal, when 64 percent of Swiss voters approved the final plans along with funding schemes, including a new road tax. The tunnel runs from Erstfeld in the central Swiss canton of Uri, to Bodio in southern Ticino canton, and will shave the train journey from Zurich to Milan in northern Italy down to two hours and 40 minutes, roughly an hour less than it currently takes. The new route also aims to make rail freight more efficient, including by supporting heavier cargo, which should reduce the number of diesel-guzzling lorries on the roads, in turn improving traffic and curbing pollution. The number of daily rail passengers is also expected to increase from the current rate of 9,000 people to 15,000 by 2020, according to the Swiss federal railway service. In a study of the GBT's possible economic benefits, Swiss bank Credit Suisse forecast a range of positive impacts driven by an easier movement of goods, growth in day-trip tourism and higher property values in the affected cantons linked to increased accessibility. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, along with Swiss officials, are due to attend Wednesday's grand opening, which will feature a ceremonial run.
The world's longest rail tunnel, which runs under the Alps and took 17 years to build, will be inaugurated on Wednesday. 1882: That was the year the first rail route through the Gotthard pass opened, a landmark in Swiss history that helped boost trade through the Alpine nation, which had previously been arduous to cross. 43,800: According to the Swiss federal rail service, it took that number of hours of nonstop work by 125 laborers rotating in three shifts to lay the GBT's slab track.
2 hours and 40 minutes: That is the estimated length of time it will take to get from Zurich to Milan once the GBT opens full service in December, roughly an hour shorter than the journey currently takes. Miners holding their national flags stand next to a giant drilling machine that completed the world's longest tunnel beneath the Swiss Alps.
He's a fugitive on Interpol's Red List and a marine vigilante who's done jail time for extradition requests. Love him or loathe him, Paul Watson, the 65-year-old, silver-haired founder of Sea Shepherd and co-founder of Greenpeace is now a celebrity because of his job: ramming whaling boats for a living. Watson has a hit US reality TV series, Whale Wars, that has aired on the Discovery Channel since 2008 about his organization's fight against Japanese whalers. Both have attracted a new legion of global fans to Sea Shepherd's controversial approach of battering whaling and fishing ships.
France has granted Watson political asylum, shielding him from extradition requests by Costa Rica and Japan on charges that he asserts are trumped up.
Japan says Watson allegedly masterminded Sea Shepherd's disruption of Japanese whale hunts in the Antarctic Ocean and thus put whalers' lives at risk during the hunt. The same year he founded Sea Shepherd with the mantra using "aggressive nonviolence" to protect marine life. Nameless migrants laid to rest in unmarked scrubland, murder victims dumped in mass graves, desperate searches for the missing after natural disasters.
His country, where some 8,000 people are still missing after years of civil war, has become one of the latest nations to sign a treaty pledging to support the work of the International Commission on Missing Persons. In the Philippines, also a signatory to the treaty, there are still 2,000 missing after Typhoon Haiyan struck in November 2013. And while finding and identifying the missing killed in conflicts or disasters is an age-old problem, no overall global figure has ever been determined. The numbers are thought to be "staggering" - between 250,000 and a million in Iraq alone stretching back to the early days of the regime of former dictator Saddam Hussein, said Kathryne Bomberger, ICMP director general. The organization, which finances its painstaking research through voluntary donations, held a recent seminar on its work as it moves its headquarters from Sarajevo to The Hague. Born out of the conflicts in former Yugoslavia and set up in 1996 by then US president Bill Clinton, the ICMP has used sophisticated DNA matching techniques to identify more than 70 percent of the 40,000 who went missing in the Balkans wars. Now it is shedding its ad hoc status to become a recognized international organization - the only one dedicated exclusively to accounting for the missing. It hopes to open a new lab in the Dutch city in the coming months, to complement its first one in Sarajevo which already has the capacity to handle up to 10,000 DNA cases a year.
After five years of civil war and a huge exodus from the country, there are an estimated 60,000 missing Syrians.
She's hoping to try to move into the refugee camps, build up trust with families there and start organizing a valuable database.
Eight children and three adults were struck by lightning on Saturday in a Paris park after a sudden spring storm sent a bolt crashing down upon a children's birthday party, a spokesman for Paris' fire service said.
He credited an off-duty firefighter with playing a critical role in getting immediate medical help to the victims, but one child remains in critical condition. Another group of people at a children's soccer match in western Germany were also hit by lightning on Saturday afternoon, leaving three adults seriously injured. The birthday group had sought shelter under a tree at Park Monceau, a northwest Paris park popular with well-to-do families, when a lightning bolt touched down, according to Paris fire service spokesman Eric Moulin. Moulin said Commander Pascal Gremillet, an off-duty firefighter, was visiting a museum nearby when he noticed the commotion and discovered nine of the 11 victims lying unconscious. He said that the condition of three of the more seriously injured children was improving, All seven of the children were placed under observation, Carli said.


Footage shot by the fire service showed a dramatic scene at a nearby bank that was commandeered as a makeshift treatment center. More than 30 people were taken to the hospital after lighting struck on Saturday at the end of a children's soccer match in western Germany, police said. Three adults were seriously injured in the incident in the town of Hoppstaedten, police said - including the 45-year-old referee, who suffered a cardiac arrest after being hit directly by lightning and had to be revived by onlookers and a doctor. All 29 of the children, ages 9 to 11, who had taken part in the match between local teams SG Perlbachtal and SG Meisenheim also were taken to nearby hospitals, police said in a statement.
Militants attacked a crude oil pipeline operated by Italy's ENI on Saturday, a Nigerian state government said, hours after the Niger Delta Avengers militants claimed another strike in the region. Nigeria's oil output has fallen to a 20-year low due to attacks on pipelines in the southern swamps, home to much of its hydrocarbon resources, which have compounded the impact of low oil prices on Africa's largest economy. The Avengers, who have been targeting oil and gas facilities for the past three months, earlier said on Twitter they had attacked the Nembe pipelines 1, 2 and 3, pumping Royal Dutch Shell's Bonny Light crude, and an Agip facility. The army raided the Oporoza community, home to Government Ekpemupolo, also known as Tompolo, a former militant leader whom security officials have linked to the Avengers, residents said.
A newsletter close to the group said soldiers had arrived at the community, located in the swamps of the Delta, on seven gunboats. The army could not be immediately reached for comment but a military source said seven people had been arrested, adding that explosives had been found in their possession.
In the first sign that the government might try a less heavy-handed approach, Oil Minister Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu has said an amnesty program for former militants, signed in 2009 to end a previous insurgency, needed to improve. Seventeen people died when a makeshift home for elderly people outside the Ukrainian capital Kiev caught fire in the early hours of Sunday.
The fire tore through the two-story shelter for the elderly which is in the village of Litochky, located some 50 kilometers north of Kiev. Citing preliminary information, the service said that 35 people were at the home when the fire broke out in the early hours of Sunday. Eighteen people have been rescued and five of them have been hospitalized, said the service, adding that the fire had been extinguished by Sunday morning. It was not immediately clear what caused the blaze but according to one version it might have been sparked by an exploding TV set. National television channels, reporting from the scene, said that the street where the shelter was located was now cordoned off by police. Pictures released by the state emergencies service showed a fire-gutted white brick building, with rescue teams scouting its remains. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has been notified of the blaze, the government said in a statement, adding that Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman had tasked officials with creating a special commission to look into the fire. Groysman expressed condolences to the families of those who had perished in the "terrible tragedy", the government said in a statement.
First deputy head of national police, Vadym Troyan, said in televised remarks that a man who had organized the temporary shelter had already been detained.
In post-Soviet countries like Ukraine outdated infrastructure is still in widespread use and managers often take a lax approach to fire safety. Such fires often claim the lives of some of the most vulnerable people including the elderly and those with mental illness.
Rescuers inspect the debris of a residential house after a fire broke out, in the village of Litochky, northeast of Kiev, Ukraine, on Sunday. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe intends to push back his debt-loaded country's next tax hike for two and a half years, when he will likely have left office, reports said on Sunday.
Abe on Saturday told his close aides, including Finance Minister Taro Aso, that he intends to push back a planned raise in taxes to October 2019, according to Japanese media.
Abe's premiership will end in September 2018 unless his ruling Liberal Democratic Party approves an exceptional measure to extend his leadership.
This means Abe will likely leave the tricky work of imposing heavier taxes - a key measure which would help pay down one of the biggest debt loads among rich nations but may also undermine Japan's frail economic recovery - to his successor.
Abe had previously said that his government would only push back the long-planned consumption tax hike in the event of "a grave situation" - on the scale of the collapse of Lehman Brothers or a major earthquake. At the two-day Group of Seven leaders summit, which concluded in Japan on Friday, Abe argued that the global economy risked a "crisis", though Germany's Angela Merkel and International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde reportedly said that prediction was too negative. Tokyo's last sales tax rise in April 2014 - the nation's first in 17 years - was blamed for stalling a nascent economic recovery and pushing Japan into a recession from which it has barely recovered. Japanese government coffers are deep in the red, with public debt standing at twice the size of the economy - the worst among industrialized nations. A flotilla of ships saved 668 migrants on Saturday from smugglers' boats in distress in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya, Italian authorities said - bringing the week's total of migrants plucked from the sea to a staggering more than 13,000 people. The rescues by the Italian coast guard and navy ships, aided by Irish and German vessels and humanitarian groups, are the latest by a multinational patrol south of the Italian island of Sicily.
The Irish military said the vessel Le Roisin saved 123 migrants from a 12-meter-long rubber dinghy and recovered a male body.
On Sunday, the UN said more than 700 migrants were feared dead in three Mediterranean Sea shipwrecks south of Italy in the last few days as they tried desperately to reach Europe in unseaworthy smuggling boats. Carlotta Sami, spokeswoman for UNHCR, told The Associated Press by phone that an estimated 100 people are missing from a smugglers' boat that capsized on Wednesday off the coast of Libya. Sami said about 550 other migrants and refugees are missing from a smuggling boat that capsized Thursday morning after leaving the western Libyan port of Sabratha a day earlier.
Meanwhile, with migrant shelters filling up in Sicily, the Italian navy vessel Vega headed toward Reggio Calabria, a southern Italian mainland port, bringing 135 survivors and 45 bodies from a rescue a day earlier.
Other survivors who arrived on Saturday in the Sicilian port of Pozzallo told authorities they had witnessed a fishing boat filled with" hundreds" of migrants sink on Thursday, a Save The Children spokeswoman, Giovanna Di Benedetto, told The Associated Press by telephone from Sicily. According to survivors, two smugglers' fishing boats and a dinghy set sail on Wednesday night from Libya's coast.
Authorities say many migrant boats in the past few years apparently have sunk without a trace in the Mediterranean, with the dead never found. Often the only news about them comes when family members in Africa or Europe tell authorities that their loved ones never arrived after setting sail from Libya.
Under a European Union deal, tens of thousands of those rescued at sea and seeking asylum were supposed to be relocated to other EU nations from Italy and Greece, where most of the migrants have landed.
Russian President Vladimir Putin visited a Russian Orthodox monastery on Saturday as he wrapped up a two-day visit to Greece, which is looking for more Russian investment and tourism as it copes with a prolonged financial crisis and a massive wave of migrants.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had said the Russian president's visit was a chance to "upgrade" relations. Putin visited a Russian Orthodox monastery on Saturday on the northern Greek peninsula of Mount Athos. During his trip, Putin expressed gratitude for Greece's friendship - and used his visit to blast US policy toward Moscow. At the height of Greece's financial crisis last year, Athens had sought aid from Russia as a counterbalance to its difficult negotiations with its European Union and International Monetary Fund creditors. Panagiotis Lafazanis, a former energy minister who has left the ruling Syriza party, said the Greek government had played down the Putin visit in order to curry favor with US and NATO officials. Greek opposition figures were pleased with Putin's decision to meet opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis. During his visit to Mount Athos, where women are not allowed to visit any of the 20 monasteries there, Putin repeatedly praised the spirit of the monastic community. Putin flew from Athens to Thessaloniki on Saturday morning, traveled by road to a port near Mount Athos and then took a boat - the only way to reach the isolated community. Russian President Vladimir Putin lights a candle as he arrives at the church of the Protaton, dedicated to the Dormition of the Virgin, in Karyes, the administrative center of the all-male Orthodox monastic community of Mount Athos, Greece, on Saturday.
Cincinnati Zoo has temporarily closed its gorilla exhibit after a special zoo response team shot and killed a 17-year-old gorilla that grabbed and dragged a 4-year-old boy who fell into a moat. Zoo officials said the boy fell after he climbed through a public barrier at the Gorilla World exhibit Saturday afternoon. Zoo Director Thane Maynard said the zoo's dangerous animal response team decided the boy was in "a life-threatening situation" and that they needed to put down the 400-pound-plus male gorilla named Harambe.
But he mourned the loss of the gorilla, which came to Cincinnati in 2015 from the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas. Two female gorillas also were in the enclosure when the boy fell in but zoo officials said only the male remained with the child.
Maynard said the gorilla didn't appear to be attacking the child, but he said it was "an extremely strong" animal in an agitated situation. It was the first time that the team had killed a zoo animal in such an emergency situation, Maynard said. The area around the gorilla exhibit was closed off Saturday afternoon as zoo visitors reported hearing screaming. The zoo will be open on Sunday but officials said the gorilla exhibit has been closed until further notice.
France's nationwide fuel shortages - the consequence of a bare-knuckle dispute over labor reforms which have pit militant unions against the government - are easing amid signs that both sides may be seeking a compromise. Fuel shortages that have led to long lines at the pump are dissipating, the country's junior transport minister, Alain Vidalies, told journalists Saturday, although he warned that the crisis wasn't over and unions, including the leftist CGT, have promised even more dramatic action next week. Some union-watchers say both sides have dropped hints that they're looking for a way out of the confrontation.
He noted that CGT boss Philippe Martinez said he wanted to meet President Francois Hollande and highlighted recent statements from French ministers which suggested aspects of their reforms were open for renegotiation. Panic at the pump has been among the most serious effects of weeks of French labor action, which has shuttered refineries, blocked fuel depots and disrupted travel across the country. There are increasing worries that the strikes will interfere with football's European Championship in mid-June. France's Socialist government says the labor reforms are needed to reduce the country's persistently high unemployment rate. The CGT and other left-wingers say the new measures will tear apart the country's social safety net without generating real work. Over 6,000 people have fled areas in northern Syria as a result of the attacks by the Islamic State militants, a monitoring group reported on Sunday. Zimbabwe's central bank will probably in August introduce its own "bond notes", valued at par with the US dollar, into the country's multi-currency system that has allowed nine world currencies to circulate legally in the market, the state media reported on Sunday. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande together marked the 100-year anniversary of the Battle of Verdun on Sunday, laying a wreath at a cemetery in northeastern France for the 300,000 soldiers killed. Nine out of 10 of Britain's top economists working in London's City financial district, small business and academia believe the economy will be harmed if Britain leaves the European Union, a poll said on Sunday. Police said on Sunday they arrested five Indians accused of assaulting Africans in New Delhi, after African diplomats urged the Indian government to ensure the safety of their nationals living in the country. The agreements were signed on May 23 during a three-day visit to Sudan by a Chinese delegation led by Nur Bekri, head of the National Energy Administration and deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission. Sun Qin, chairman of CNNC, says the company will work with Sudan's Ministry of Water Resources and Electricity. Chai Guohan, chief engineer at the Ministry of Environmental Protection's Nuclear and Radiation Safety Center, says it is likely the Chinese-designed Hualong 1, a third-generation reactor, will be chosen for the Sudan plant.
With the world's largest number of reactors under construction, China plans to develop this experience into nuclear exports.
CNNC has clinched deals with Argentina to build two nuclear reactors, while China General Nuclear Power Group has partnered with France's EDF to build three reactors in Britain. Sudan has faced power shortages in recent years and is seeking to build two 600-mW pressurized water reactors to meet the growing demand for electricity, with construction on the first starting in 2021. Finance Minister Badr-Eddin Mahmoud says the agreements with China reviewed all energy issues facing the country and predicts they will provide solutions for these and for new projects. China National Nuclear corp will work with Sudan's Ministry of Water Resources and Electricity to develop nuclear power. Su Chengfen has spent all his life fishing in the reef-filled South China Sea, guided by a handwritten book more than 600 years old that depicts routes to various remote islands from Hainan province. The former fishing vessel captain, who lives in the town of Tanmen, cherishes the book, wrapping it in layers of paper even though at 81 it is impossible for him to return to the sea.
A book belonging to Chinese fisherman Su Chengfen depicts sailing routes from Tanmen county in Hainan province to Huangyan Island in the South China Sea. He has always known it is precious, as it contains detailed information handed down over the generations, but at first he had not realized its true significance.
Specialists say the information the book contains is undeniable proof of China's sovereignty over Huangyan Island.
He wrote An Arcane Book About the South China Sea, the first book in China studying genglubu, a term used for various editions of ancient handwritten books recording sailing routes in the South China Sea.
The book is not easy to understand or decipher, as it uses archaic words and ancient expressions for directions. Fu Shibao, an officer at the border police station in Tanmen, says there used to be at least 1,000 such books in the seafaring town. He says the true value of the books was realized after friction between China and the Philippines over Huangyan Island escalated sharply in 2012.
Zhou, who has studied genglubu for 26 years with his wife, says a book provided by former sea captain Peng Zhengkai records 17 routes to the Xisha Islands and more than 200 routes to the Nansha Islands.
Fishermen in ancient times named 136 islands and reefs in the books for China, much earlier than their naming by other countries, he says. He says the routes, along with China's historical documents, archaeological discoveries and accounts from old seafarers and fishermen, show "waters around the Dongsha, Xisha, Zhongsha and Nansha islands had become fixed fishing grounds for Chinese fishermen in the Ming Dynasty". Accordingly, although China is the victim of the South China Sea issue, it has been firmly committed to resolving disputes peacefully through friendly consultations and negotiations with countries directly concerned. This sincerity and commitment by China has been a deciding factor for stability of the situation in the South China Sea. Especially since the late 1990s, China has been proactively engaged with some directly concerned parties of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to work out possible solutions of sovereignty disputes over islands and reefs in question through bilateral consultation, and with the ASEAN as a whole to build up confidence and to collectively maintain peace and stability in the region.
I am proud to say that as head of the Chinese delegation taking part in the first few rounds of working group meeting on the draft of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, I contributed in a small measure to such a significant endeavor.
From my personal experience, working with the ASEAN and its member states, I should say that China and ASEAN members have the wisdom and every capability to resolve disputes peacefully and maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea on their own. Now, China is working with ASEAN members to implement the declaration, and we are speeding up the "code of conduct in the South China Sea" consultation. With a view to securing common interests and common objectives of maintaining long-lasting peace and stability in the South China Sea, China has made a few proposals. First, the disputing parties must peacefully resolve their disputes through negotiation in accordance with the declaration.
Second, pending eventual solutions, countries in the region, claimants or otherwise, that border the South China Sea must work together to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea, and to uphold the freedom of navigation in accordance with international law. Third, it is hoped that countries outside the region support the resolution of the disputes through negotiation between the directly concerned parties, and support the efforts of China and the ASEAN to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea. So long as the above-mentioned points are put in place, peace and stability in the South China Sea will continue to be maintained. As pointed out by Fu Ying and Wu Shichun in their article contributed to the National Interest, South China Sea: How We Got to This Stage, "The future direction will very much depend on the perceptions and choices of the parties involved. China and the European Union have shared strategic interests in maintaining the freedom and safety of navigation, and promoting stability and prosperity in the South China Sea.
Given this, we sincerely hope the EU will strictly abide by its political commitment to respect China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and China's position on the South China Sea issue, and refrain from taking any action that constitutes interference in the South China Sea issue. French unions urged workers to step up a wave of industrial action on Friday against a controversial labor law, a day after clashes over the reform in Paris. With just two weeks to go before France hosts the Euro 2016 soccer championship, the country has been gripped by more than a week of strikes that have disrupted transport and sparked fuel shortages.
The tug of war between unions and President Francois Hollande's deeply unpopular government showed little sign of ending, as union representatives urged workers to "multiply and support" the strikes. At the Tricastin nuclear plant in southern France, workers set fire to piles of tires on Thursday.
Unions are furious about the legislation forced through Parliament aimed at reforming France's rigid labor laws by making it easier for companies to hire and fire workers. They said the government's response to the strikes was only "boosting the determination" of opponents to the legislation. The call came a day after police fired tear gas at a small group of masked youths who smashed shop windows and parked cars in central Paris, in the latest outburst of anger at the controversial legislation.


Nationwide protests on Thursday saw 153,000 people take to the streets overall, officials said, though union leaders put the number at 300,000.
French authorities said 62 demonstrators were taken into custody across the country, 32 of them in the capital, while 15 security officers were injured in clashes.
Although some blockades on fuel depots and refineries in the north of the country were called off, many motorists were still stuck in long queues at petrol stations around France.
A man in his 50s had to be airlifted to hospital after a motorist rammed a roadblock outside a petrol refinery at Fos-sur-Mer. Speaking in Japan after a summit with otherworld leaders, Hollande said France's economy was starting to pick up and should not be derailed by opponents of the reform. The Scripps National Spelling Bee ended in a tie for the third consecutive year on Thursday night, with Jairam Hathwar and Nihar Janga declared co-champions after a roller-coaster finish. Scripps made the bee tougher after two consecutive ties, forcing the last two spellers to get through three times as many words as in years past. In another change, bee organizers didn't stick to a predetermined list of "championship words" for the last two or three spellers. Because the best spellers become fluent in Latin and Greek roots, the bee went to words derived from trickier or more obscure languages, including Afrikaans, Danish, Irish Gaelic, Maori and Mayan. Jairam's winning word was Feldenkrais, which is derived from a trademark and means a system of body movements intended to ease tension. Among the words they got right: Kjeldahl, Hohenzollern, juamave, groenedael, zindiq and euchologion.
This was the 89th bee, and while Scripps' records from early years are incomplete, the youngest known champion was Wendy Guey, who won 20 years ago at age 12.
The producer behind an Australian television program's involvement in a mother's botched child-snatching operation in Lebanon has lost his job, as the show's founder on Friday dubbed the debacle "the gravest misadventure in the program's history".
The comment by Australia's 60 Minutes founder Gerald Stone came amid the release of a damning internal review into the incident, in which the program paid a so-called child recovery agency to snatch an Australian woman's two children back from her estranged Lebanese husband. Sally Faulkner said her children's father, Ali al-Amin, took them from their home in Australia to Beirut on a holiday last year and never returned. Stephen Rice, the producer of the story, will leave the company effective immediately, according to a statement by the program's network, Channel Nine. The review, conducted by current and former Nine executives, cited a series of failures, including violating company policy by directly paying the child recovery agency to snatch the children. You will attend two parties of the young beautiful Philippine women who are just waiting to meet you. The only thing more beautiful than this lush paradise are the Women, Beautiful, Educated, and looking for Love! Your "Do It Yourself" - Fiancee Visa Kit ($90.00 value US clients only) written by immigration attorney M.
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It is not considered as profit-making," Oh Seung-hyun, a lawyer representing five of the defendants, told the court. College Board, which owns the SAT, canceled the sitting of the exam in South Korea because of leaked questions.
I was either going to save my children or die with my children," said Ahmad Sabih, 40, who reached the NRC-run camp early on Sunday.
Valls had sought to reassure more supportive unions that he will stand firm on the text of the draft labor bill. It symbolized tensions between police and protesters amid months of demonstrations against a bill weakening worker protections. Protesters said police have instigated the clashes by using tear gas, water cannon, batons and pepper spray. This is my last chance," said the sign, written in shaky characters and signed "Jumpei Yasuda". Japanese media said he was captured by a group called Nusra Front after entering Syria from Turkey last June. The gruesome executions captured the attention of Japan but the government said at the time it would not negotiate with the militants for their release. The attack is the first time the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, MINUSMA, has recorded fatalities in the center of a country long beset by violence in its vast and desolate north.
Comments by Warren Entsch, a Liberal Party MP for the northern Queensland electorate of Leichardt, came after a crocodile attacked a 46-year-old woman at approximately 1030 pm on Sunday night while she was swimming in waist deep water.
Several people were shot and injured, including a man authorities initially described as another suspect because he was present and armed.
Two streams have burst their banks in the town of Braunsbach, unleashing floodwaters that destroyed one house, damaged several others and left streets strewed with debris.
Yet to many, he's also a heroic marine conservationist who risks his life and those of his crew to save countless endangered whales, turtles, dolphins and sharks from slaughter. And his influence reached new heights with the award-winning documentary Sharkwater, which conservationists say resulted in shark finning being banned worldwide. During an interview with The Associated Press in Paris, Watson - a dual US-Canadian citizen - was stopped four times in the street by fans of all nationalities who asked for autographs.
Watson now lives as an international fugitive in a luxurious 18th-century chateau near Bordeaux. And as the conflicts in Syria and Iraq feed a new wave of refugees, hundreds of whom have perished at sea lacking any kind of documents, a new challenge is emerging.
He identified the injured adults as two men and a woman who is the mother of some of the children. Nengi James, a chairman of the Nembe Oil and Gas Committee that liaises with oil firms, said vandals had targeted the Agip pipeline, which had been attacked before. Shell declared force majeure on Bonny Light loadings after a previous attack on the Nembe creek trunk pipeline, but some exports had been continuing with delays.
British Foreign Minister Philip Hammond this month cautioned President Muhammadu Buhari that he needed to deal with poverty and anger over pollution from oil spills in the region. A German ship patrolling to intercept smugglers' boats also was involved in four separate rescue operations, the Italian coast guard said on Saturday evening. The shipwrecks appear to account for the largest loss of life reported in the Mediterranean since April 2015, when a single ship sank with an estimated 800 people trapped inside. The Italian navy took horrific pictures of that capsizing even as it rushed to rescue as many people as possible from the sea. Di Benedetto said the survivors were among 500 or so aboard the one fishing boat that didn't sink and the dinghy. Several Russian ministers also expressed interest in the privatization of Greek railways and in the northern port of Thessaloniki, but no major deals were announced. The Russian leader praised the spiritual uplift and moral guidance provided by the austere monastic community in a sacred place. He described a newly expanded US missile defense system in Europe as a threat to Russia's national security and said his country would retaliate.
Greek tourist officials said Putin's visit would help encourage more Russians to visit Greece. Instead of the usual small ferry, the Russian president used a 33-meter yacht provided by the Greek navy. He was taken to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, where he is expected to recover.
He said tranquilizing the gorilla wouldn't have knocked it out immediately, leaving the boy in danger. The mass exodus was witnessed in the towns of Sheikh Issa, Mare' and other towns in the northern province of Aleppo, as a result of the IS attacks on these areas that are under the control of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces. Governor of the Reserved Bank of Zimbabwe, or the central bank, John Mangudya was quoted as saying by the Sunday Mail newspaper that the launch date was around August or September. The Verdun battle was one of the longest in World War I, lasting more than 300 days from February to December 1916.
The poll, which the Observer newspaper said was the biggest of its kind drawing responses from more than 600 economists, is a boost for Prime Minister David Cameron, who is leading the campaign for Britain to stay in the 28-member bloc at a referendum on June 23 despite opposition from some in his party.
Delhi deputy police commissioner Ishwar Singh said altercations and scuffles took place on Thursday night after locals became offended by Africans playing loud music and drinking alcohol in the street.
He did not disclose the contract value or the type of nuclear technology to be used for the reactor. Chinese nuclear companies are already making inroads in global nuclear markets, including Britain and Argentina. Compiled by reporters Li Xiaokun, Zhang Yunbi and Liu Xiaoli, the articles cover a range of topics and provide an insight into what life is like on South China Sea islands. It clearly proves that generations of Chinese fishermen have worked on the island," says Zhou Weimin, a retired professor with Hainan University. This book also contains many other details, including the weather conditions and ocean currents for every month. The Paracel Islands, for example, are named from a Portuguese word meaning "stone reef", which originally comes from the Chinese.
Zhou says the ancient Chinese did not name the others because many of them are submerged or partly submerged banks.
That is to safeguard national territorial integrity and maintain regional peace and tranquility. Article 4 of the declaration makes it crystal clear that the dispute must be resolved by the directly concerned states. Yet China and the EU are not disputing parties, and the South China Sea issue is not an issue between the two.
We also hope the EU will play a constructive role by supporting the resolution of the disputes through negotiation between the directly concerned parties, and support the efforts of China and the ASEAN to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea. But unions are demanding the reforms be scrapped altogether, arguing they favor business at the expense of workers' rights and are unlikely to bring down high unemployment.
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve called for a probe into the incident that led to the man's injuries. No one will know whether the bee had harder words in reserve, but former spellers said Jairam and Nihar nailed the toughest words in recent memory. In April, Faulkner and a 60 Minutes crew covering her story went to Beirut in a bid to get back the children. If you have ever dreamed about a trip to the Philippines, then you have to include the exotic Island of Cebu. It is fast-paced yet relaxed where luxuries of cosmopolitan living complement the breathtaking beauty of the great outdoors. It is one of the largest cities in the world in terms of land area, covering 943 square miles (2,443.61 square kilometers). Simply call 1-(209) 689-0007 and when prompted enter conference code 103766 Once you have joined the conference simply press 5* to join the conversation!
I know the economy here in the USA is terrible at this time and that maybe will affect your client numbers.
The skillful facilitation of such an event by you and your amazing, extraordinary and warm staff was second to none.
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The UN did not immediately confirm the nationality of the dead soldiers but a police source indicated a group of Togolese peacekeepers came across a mine and a terrorist attack some 50 kilometers out of Mopti. The victim of the attack was swimming with a friend at Thornton beach, a popular area for croc-spotting tours. But it excludes politicians such as former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra who faces criminal charges over alleged corruption in her government's rice subsidy program. Putin said the Orthodox tradition shared by Russia is particularly important at this moment in history. Strained ties with Turkey and lax airport security in Egypt have reduced the number of Russian tourists going to those sun-drenched countries. Sunday's commemorations at Verdun took place in the rain, and Hollande held an umbrella for Merkel and himself as they made their way to the German cemetery Consenvoy to lay a wreath.
Sriram also got a word wrong during his bee, but his eventual co-champion, Ansun Sujoe, flubbed his chance at the solo title. But after agents hired by 60 Minutes grabbed the children off a Beirut street, the four-member TV crew, Faulkner, two agents from the Britain-based Child Abduction Recovery International company and two Lebanese men were jailed on kidnapping charges. Cebu is one of the most developed provinces in the country and the main center of commerce, trade, education and industry in the central and southern parts of the archipelago. The UK-based Condenast Travellers Magazine named Cebu the 7th best island destination in the Indian Ocean-Asia region in 2007.
Our office manager will be there to answer your questions, along with interested ladies, concerning their culture and country, and the entire Singles Tour experience.
I hope not , But here is the 'FINAL PRODUCT' of what you and others helped accomplish for us.
Like I said before we are planning a big wedding in the Philippines in the future and I do hope you can be a part of it. Its labor force is cited as among the best in the region: educated, easily trainable, industrious, and English-speaking. It has five-star hotels, (The Agency Cebu Hotel and Casino), white sand beaches, world-class golf courses, convention centers, and shopping malls.
Joe picked a dress with diamond brooce both front and back matched with beautiful bracelet and earrings. The patients that you and your staff exhibited was superb, truly a comfort to the group of men that I accompanied on the tour. You and your staff are impacting the future of so many people in a profoundly positive way that your name and deeds will live on for generations. They were the best ,so attentive and helpful, all you had to do was turn around and someone was there to help you .. The time I spent there in Davao March 14-20, 2013 with you, your staff and over 200 beautiful Filipina women has and will continue to impact my life from that day forward. I will be in contact with you and your staff as I pursue my goal, either for assistance with wedding and visa or with my continual such.
Still, China and other ASEAN members are doing our best to implement Article 4 of the declaration.
Thank you for a great experience and the little promo that they asked me to do on tape, was sincere and true and I meant every word of this. You were right, about my worries of using the wheelchair due to my recent surgery, It was no problem. If I didn't find my life partner during this tour, I want her as my buddy when I return for the next one. I do believe that I found who I was looking for, but time will tell if she has found what she is looking for. The only problem I saw with the whole thing was there were like 80 girls at the first social party,and I think 9 guys .. I never felt out of place These ladies really were the best and you should be proud of your organization , The hotel was as nice as any hotel in Vegas that I have stayed at ,and thats the truth.. One thing I know for sure is that there is a woman in Davao that is ready for the deluge of love and affection that I have to offer, and that she is offering too. It is always good to follow rules of the office, be patient and this company is protecting women of the Philippines, guiding us to become good persons and have a better life than before.



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