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One step closer to possible reconciliation in Sudan

The Sudanese government signed a preliminary deal with one rebel group on Friday, a move that is seen as the possibility for reconciliation in Sudan. The deal, signed by Sudan's ruling council and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) conveys special status to two regions: South Kordofan and Blue Nile. Both were already partly under control of rebel groups, and the sites of years of conflict. "After this signing we are going to finalise the full agreement and the SPLM-North will be part of the new system in Khartoum," said Yasir Arman, deputy head of SPLM-N, at the ceremony. Sudan rebels take a stance on ruling military council Sudan success tops Africa headlines for 2019This new status means that the two special regions will be able to draft their own laws, with an aim to resolving ongoing land disputes in the area, said Arman. The process towards this first step began in October when the ruling council and the rebel groups re-started talks in an effort to e..

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A jam packed Saturday at the Australian Open

Results round-up: The Australian Open saw an exodus of seeded players this week, with second seed Karolina Pliskova crashing out in the women's draw on Saturday. In the men's Nick Kyrgios scraped past Karen Khachanov in five sets to set up a grudge match against top seed Rafael Nadal in the last 16. The Australian showman came through a tense battle with the Russian 16th seed after 4hrs 26 mins in front of passionate home support on Melbourne Arena to win 6-2, 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (6/8), 6-7 (7/9), 7-6 (10/8). "This is epic, man, I don't even know what's going on," he added. "He's (Khachanov) an absolute warrior," said Kyrgios. It sets up a mouthwatering clash with the world number one Nadal, who romped past fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta 6-1, 6-2, 6-4. Kyrgios, who was handed a 16-week suspended ban in September after a string of indiscretions, disparagingly labelled Nadal "super salty" last year, and mimicked his serving routine during the second round at Melb..

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French Polynesia court rejects former president’s bid to get on electoral roll

A court in Pape'ete rejected the appeal of former French Polynesia president Gaston Flosse to register to vote in the capital in order to eventually be a candidate for the municipal elections, because the court did not believe Flosse lived in a studio with his partner, his lawyer Dominique Antz told AFP on Friday. In addition to the presidency, 88-year-old Flosse had also been a senator, a MP and the mayor of Pirae. Flosse claimed that he had been living in Pape'ete for more than six months in a 15m2 sublet studio with his partner. Political veteran Gaston Flosse back in power in French PolynesiaFormer Tahiti leader Flosse faces corruption trial This room "cannot be qualified as living quarters,” according to the court, pointing out that the studio had no kitchen and there were no personal effects placed there, and could not be used as a main residence. Flosse, previously ineligible to run for office after a number of corruption scandals, is hoping to return to politics. "Th..

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Paris airport to prepare medical screening for flights from China as coronavirus spreads

Paris' Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport will open a medical screening service to check passengers arriving from China who may be affected by the novel coronavirus. This comes as Chinese authorities drastically step up measures to halt the spread of the virus. On Friday, the French health minister confirmed that three cases of coronavirus had been detected and that the patients were being monitored in hospitals in Paris and Bordeaux. Health authorities announced on Saturday that a medical screening service would be set up in Paris' Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport to check passengers arriving from China. Symptoms include respiratory difficulties and fever. Meanwhile, China has quarantined cities and shut major tourist attractions from Disneyland to the Forbidden City and a section of the Great Wall as it scrambles to stop a deadly SARS-like virus from spreading further. China's capital Beijing will suspend buses that enter and exit the city boundary, state media reported ..

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French health authorities confirm first cases of new coronavirus in Europe

Three cases of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed in France, according to the health ministry on Friday, the first recorded in Europe since the outbreak began in the Chinese city of Wuhan last month. This comes as the death toll surges past 40. The three people concerned had travelled to China and were now hospitalized in Paris and Bordeaux under special isolation conditions. In Bordeaux, "the patient is 48 years old. He just returned from China, where he had spent time in Wuhan," explained the French health minister Agnès Buzyn. "He came to see health authorities with symptoms on Thursday. He is now hospitalized in his home city of Bordeaux in an isolated room. He is doing well. He's been in contact with a dozen people since his return from China." "We have the first cases in Europe probably because we have up to date testing systems and we can identify patients quickly," said the minister, estimating an incubation time of between two and twelve days. Monitor breathing and..

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Priscillia Ludosky and the Yellow Vests

This week on The Sound Kitchen, you'll hear the answer to the question about the group formed by Priscillia Ludosky within the Yellow Vest movement. There's “On This Day”, great music – and of course, the new quiz question. Just click on the “Audio” arrow above and enjoy! Hello everyone! Welcome to The Sound Kitchen weekly podcast, published every Saturday. You'll hear the winner's names announced and the week's quiz question, along with all the other ingredients you've grown accustomed to: your letters and essays, “On This Day”, quirky facts and news, interviews, and great music … so be sure and listen every week. Send me your music requests! I'll make programs of your favorite music when I can't be in the kitchen to cook something up new for you … write to me at[email protected] For our DX enthusiast and shortwave listener friends: I am sad to announce we no longer have a shortwave frequency; we have severe budget constraints which no longer pe..

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Frenchman slapped with 22-year prison term for recruiting young jihadists

A French national who was convicted for his crucial role in recruiting youths in France to fight as jihadists in Syria was handed down a 22-year prison sentence in a Paris court on Friday evening. Prosecutors named Mourad Farès, 35, as the key to francophone youth recruitment for Syria. They pointed out that he showed no regret for his actions, and looked unfazed after the verdict was read out. Fares fled Syria to Turkey in 2014, where he was arrested and handed over to French authorities. The challenges of French jihadism are "ahead of us, not behind" says French author Turkey sends 11 suspected French jihadists back to FranceDuring his trial he admitted that he had an indirect hand in recruitment, primarily through the videos he posted, as well as aided in helping a number of fighters get to Syria, but said he was not directly involved in combat in Syria. Prosecutors said that Farès had actively participated in fighting with Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a group which..

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Body of French tourist found after snowmobile accident in Canada, several still missing

Police have found the body of one of five French tourists who fell into icy water during a snowmobile excursion near Quebec. Hopes have dimmed of finding any other survivors, despite a search that included divers, sonar operators and helicopters. Quebec provincial police spokesman Hugues Beaulieu said the body "was found more than two kilometers from the initial search area in Grande Decharge River" at the mouth of Lake Saint-Jean where the accident happened, about 225 kilometers north of Quebec City. "At the moment, we can't identify the body," Beaulieu said. The group included eight French tourists, three of whom survived and were flown back to France on Friday. "They were only slightly injured but were in a state of shock," the French consulate in Quebec said. Six snowmobiles found in lake Police had already recovered six snowmobiles at the bottom of the lake near where the accident occurred, which prompted a pledge from provincial authorities to tighten safety measures on the ..

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Turkey hit by a deadly earthquake as death toll rises

Rescuers scrambled to find people trapped in collapsed buildings on Saturday after a deadly 6.8 earthquake which killed at least 22 people in Elazig province in the east of the country. According to Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, 39 people have been pulled from the debris since the quake, but more are still trapped. One woman was rescued after 13 hours and another was pulled out of the wreckage after 15 hours. The earthquake hit Elazig province late Friday, and followed up with more than 390 aftershocks. The national Disaster and Emergency Authority (AFAD) reported that some 18 people were killed in Elazig, while another four were killed in Malatya, a neighbouring region. A total of 1,031 were treated for injuries in hospitals throughout the region. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said 34 of the 121 people still being treated for injuries sustained in the quake are in intensive care, but not critical. Additional health care facilities will be set up if needed, he added. Digging throu..

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15 year sentence demanded for former coach in French child sexual abuse case 

Prosecutors at a court in Paris have called for a 15-year sentence for a former tennis coach accused of raping four of his students, all minors at the time. The case comes as senators call on the government to better protect children from sexual predators. Andrew Geddes, 53, a former tennis coach, is accused of repeatedly raping and sexually assaulting four girls between 1999 and 2005. The youngest was only 12 years old at the time, the others were between 15 and 17. “He was God, he was a guru,” France's avocate-générale (top legal adviser) told the Assize Court in Nanterre on Friday on the last day of the trial. “He gradually sucked these young tennis players in.” Details from trial During the trial, the four women told how they had been under the influence of the “charismatic” trainer who “isolated them”; how he alternated between humiliation and compliments to undermine their confidence. Some civil parties described how sexual intercourse took place in Geddes' car or in ..

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