10 in TEN
Flights cancelled as airline crew strike
STRIKING pilots and crew have grounded national airline Linhas Aerrreas de Mocambique.
Flights out of the capital, Maputo, stopped yesterday.
Workers told journalists they wanted higher wages and better working conditions.
Joao de Abreu, an official for the state-owned airline, said negotiations were continuing. He said international flights to Kenya, Tanzania and Zimbabwe had been cancelled because of the strike.
The European Commission last year banned Mozambican airlines from flying from Europe, citing a lack of technicians to implement safety rules. - Sapa-AP
More than half of country wants out of EU
MOST Britons would vote to leave the European Union if given the chance, according to a survey published yesterday.
The Optimum Research poll in The Observer newspaper found that 34% of respondents would definitely vote to quit the 27-member bloc and 22% would probably do so, giving a total of 56% that would opt to leave the EU.
About 11% would definitely vote to remain in the union, while 19% said they would probably vote to stay in - a total of 30%. Some 14% said they did not know what they would do.
Voters from the Conservative Party were the most in favour of leaving the EU, 68%. - Sapa-AFP
Rebels reach outskirts of city
M23 rebels were at the gates of the eastern city of Goma yesterday after pushing back UN peacekeepers and government troops, but a spokesman said they did not plan to take the city.
M23 spokesman Colonel Vianney Kazarama said rebel fighters had advanced to within 2km of Goma.
"We're not going to take the airport, we are responding to an attack by the army . We're just doing this to break the capacity of the FARDC [Congolese army]," Kazarama said.
More than 750000 people have fled their homes since the latest fighting in eastern Congo erupted in April. - Reuters
Migrants call for help after boat starts sinking
A GROUP of 120 migrants was found early yesterday near the island of Kythera in southern Greece after calling for help when their boat took on water.
According to the state-run Athens News Agency, the emergency call was placed by cellphone and the migrants managed to reach the shore on their own, while the coastguard searched for more possible survivors. - Sapa-AFP
US Marine arrested for trespassing
A 24-YEAR-OLD US Marine was arrested yesterday for trespassing in an islander's apartment in Okinawa, police said, as anti-American sentiment runs high following the rape of a local woman.
Lieutenant Tomas Chanquet is believed to have violated a night-time curfew imposed on all US servicemen in Japan after two US sailors were arrested on rape charges. - Sapa-AFP
Rebels attack military base at airport
INSURGENTS have shelled near the capital of the troubled North Darfur state for the second time in less than a month in an attempt to disrupt government air raids, a senior rebel said yesterday.
Residents of El Fasher confirmed hearing explosions on Friday night.
The Sudan Liberation Army's Minni Minnawi faction claimed responsibility, saying its target was an airport military facility. - Sapa-AFP
Kurd prisoners end hunger strike
HUNDREDS of Kurdish militants ended a hunger strike in jails across Turkey yesterday after an appeal from their leader. This raised hopes a deal had been struck that could revive peace talks.
Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan called on his supporters to end their protest.
More than 40000 people have been killed in 28 years of fighting between Turkey and the PKK.- Reuters
Pope of Coptic church officially enthroned
THE new pope of Egypt's Orthodox Coptic church was enthroned yesterday in an elaborate ceremony lasting nearly four hours and attended by the Muslim prime minister, cabinet ministers and politicians.
The official enthronement of Pope Tawadros II, 60, took place at the Coptic cathedral in Cairo. He replaced Shenouda III, who died in March after leading the ancient church for 40 years.
The packed cathedral repeatedly erupted into applause. After the papal crown was placed on Tawadros' head, he sat on the throne of St Mark, the Coptic church's founding saint. - Sapa-AP
Regime blasts France for invitation to coalition
THE government yesterday slammed as "hostile" a French decision to host an ambassador from the opposition National Coalition, as the regime bombarded southern districts of the capital, Damascus.
France invited the group to send an envoy to Paris, after President Francois Hollande and National Coalition leader Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib met.
"France is acting like a hostile nation," National Reconciliation Minister Ali Haidar said in key ally Iran. "It's as if it wants to go back to the time of the occupation," he added, referring to the French mandate in Syria after World War 1. - Sapa-AFP
Hollande more unpopular than ever
FRENCH President Francois Hollande's approval rating has declined for the sixth month in a row, a poll showed yesterday, as he wrestles with a sickly economy and rising unemployment.
The number of people satisfied with Hollande's performance slipped by one percentage point to 41% in November, according to the Ifop poll. It is a new low since he became France's first Socialist president in 17 years in May.
Hollande said this week that public criticism would not divert him from his goal of reviving the economy and called on voters to judge him in five years' time. - Reuters