Italy bids farewell to Berlusconi with state funeral

Devotees of former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi bid him farewell in Milan on Wednesday at a state funeral for the controversial billionaire, which closes a 30-year chapter in the country’s history. The coffin of the media mogul, adorned with white and red roses, was driven through the city from his villa in Arcore to … Read more

Dozens of migrants dead, 100 rescued as boat sinks off Greece

At least 78 migrants died after their fishing boat sank off the Peloponnese, Greece’s coastguard said Wednesday, as fears mounted that the death toll could rise much higher. Some 100 people were rescued after the boat capsized in international waters in the Ionian Sea in an operation complicated by strong winds, the coastguard said.  A … Read more

UK’s pandemic inquiry opens as victims’ relatives lash out

An inquiry probing the UK government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic kicked off Tuesday with the investigation mired in controversy even before the first witness is called. The inquiry chair, retired senior judge Heather Hallett, has called for ex-prime minister Boris Johnson’s unredacted WhatsApp messages and notebooks to be handed over, prompting a legal challenge … Read more

Rescued Colombian kids in ‘high spirits,’ draw missing search dog

The four Indigenous children rescued after wandering the Colombian Amazon for 40 days are recovering and in “high spirits”, welfare officials said Monday, even drawing a picture thought to depict a missing army search dog. Siblings Lesly, Soleiny, Tien Noriel and Cristin — aged 13, nine, five and one, respectively — were receiving treatment at … Read more

Speed demons: the ‘uriko’ beer vendors of Japanese baseball

In between chanting fans at Japan’s Tokyo Dome baseball stadium race an army of women in fluorescent uniforms carrying unwieldy backpacks with attached spray-guns. These are the “uriko” — beer vendors who are as unique to Japanese baseball as the cheering sections that beat drums and blow horns to rally their teams. Made up almost … Read more

UK’s Sunak in slanging match with predecessor Johnson

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Monday became embroiled in a public war of words with Boris Johnson, in a spat over the former leader’s controversial awards to his key political allies. Johnson’s long-awaited political honours list was published on Friday, rewarding Brexit die-hards and even those implicated in the “Partygate” scandal that contributed to … Read more

Facing unprecedented fire season, Canada confronts logistical challenge

Larger and more powerful wildfires than ever have scorched millions of hectares of Canadian forests and displaced tens of thousands of residents. With so many fires out of control and no relief in sight, the nation is facing a logistical nightmare. After an early start, it is on course to be the worst wildfire season … Read more

Muchova shocks Sabalenka to reach French Open final, Swiatek eyes title

Unheralded Karolina Muchova saved a match point as she stunned world number two Aryna Sabalenka to reach the French Open final on Thursday, while Iga Swiatek hopes to stay on course for a third Roland Garros title. The 43rd-ranked Muchova will play her first Grand Slam final after knocking out Australian Open champion Sabalenka 7-6 … Read more

Sunak talks Ukraine with Biden, seeks to boost post-Brexit UK

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak opened talks Thursday with US President Joe Biden at the White House to discuss the Ukraine war and NATO’s future leadership — as well as taking an opportunity to boost Britain’s post-Brexit brand. While the main thrust of the Oval Office meeting is expected to be on Ukraine and the Western … Read more

The Afghan valley proud of its young suicide bombers

Taliban-trained suicide bomber Ismail Ashuqullah regrets missing the chance to blow himself up at the height of the Afghan war — like many other young men from the lush green Tangi Valley. He had fought for eight years with the Taliban against US-led foreign forces and Afghan government troops before joining a special brigade trained … Read more

Pope awake and joking after hernia operation

Pope Francis was said to be awake and cheerful Wednesday after undergoing a three-hour hernia operation which has revived concerns over the 86-year-old’s increasingly fragile health. The Argentine pontiff had been admitted earlier in the day to the Gemelli hospital in Rome, where he is expected to stay for several days. “The Holy Father reacted … Read more

‘World’s best restaurant’ to reopen in Spain as museum

Spain’s elBulli, repeatedly voted the world’s best restaurant before it closed over a decade ago, is set to reopen as a museum dedicated to the culinary revolution it sparked. Nestled in an isolated cove on Spain’s northeastern tip, the museum is dubbed “elBulli1846” — a reference to the 1,846 dishes ground-breaking chef Ferran Adria says … Read more