02112016Thu
Last update: Thu, 11 Feb 2016 10pm

World - Europe

France's Hollande to announce government shake-up PARIS: France's deeply unpopular President Francois Hollande is expected to announce a government reshuffle Thursday as he seeks fresh political momentum ahead of a run for a second term in office in 2017.Top of his list of priorities will be to name a new foreign minister after the veteran Laurent Fabius bowed out of politics to take up a position at the country's Constitutional Council.Hollande, whose popularity has once again plunged after a brief surge in the wake of the November militant attacks in Paris, will also be looking to cabinet choices that will widen his voter base with just 15 months to go until he seeks re-election.Hollande "must increase his political base at all costs", said a source close to the president, speaking on condition of anonymity."We can't face a presidential election without a Socialist family rallied behind their candidate and without the ecologists," said a source close to ...


World - North America

US jobless claims fall WASHINGTON: Fewer Americans filed new claims for US unemployment insurance benefits last week as the labor market overall shows improvement, government data released Thursday showed.Initial jobless claims, a sign of the pace of layoffs, fell by 16,000 to 269,000 in the week ending February 6, the Labor Department said. The prior week's level of 285,000 was not revised.Last week's claims level was the lowest since December 19.The drop in claims surprised analysts, whose average estimate ...

World - North America

Bernie Sanders' brother gets frontline role with UK Greens LONDON: The brother of Democratic US presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders was named as the new health spokesman for England and Wales's Green Party Thursday, two days after his sibling's New Hampshire primary win.Larry Sanders, who is 81 and has lived in Britain since 1969, is a retired social worker. He stood unsuccessfully as a candidate for the Greens in Oxford at last year's general election and has also represented them on the local council."Bernie's main ...

World - Europe

Internet is growing market for illegal drugs, says EU watchdog LISBON: The Internet is now a growing and varied market place for trading illegal drugs in Europe, the European Union's watchdog agency said on Thursday."Almost any kind of illegal drug can be bought today on the Internet and delivered by mail, with no face-to-face contact between buyer and dealer," said Dimitris Avramopoulos, the European commissioner for migration, home affairs and citizenship.He called on Europe to "attack the problem head-on" and reduce the online drug supply.The ...

World - Europe

Spain's acting PM may ask EU for leeway in reducing deficit MADRID: Spain's acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy indicated Thursday he may be willing to ask Brussels for leeway in reducing the country's deficit, following EU scepticism over his government's "optimistic" targets.Rajoy's conservative government predicted last year that it would reduce its deficit to 4.2 percent in 2015 and then to 2.8 percent in 2016 -- forecasts that EU finance commissioner Pierre Moscovici said were "a bit optimistic".The EU forecast that Spain would actually overshoot the ...

World - North America

Dozens dead in Mexico prison riot: reports MONTERREY: At least 30 people died in a pre-dawn prison riot in Mexico on Thursday, as flames billowed from the building and angry relatives tossed rocks at the gates, local media reported.Riot police and ambulances were deployed at the Topo Chico prison in the northern industrial city of Monterrey, while families desperate for news flocked to the entrance.Some relatives threw stones over the gate while others relatives shouted through a fence, hoping to hear information ...

World - Europe

EU regulators to investigate Spanish aid for postal operator BRUSSELS: European Union regulators will investigate whether a series of Spanish measures granted to Correos since 2004 have given the state-owned postal operator an unfair advantage, following two complaints. The European Commission said the probe will focus on tax exemptions, capital increases and compensation for the distribution of electoral material given to Correos since 2004. The EU competition authority will also examine whether Spanish authorities over-compensated the company for offering a universal postal service between ...