Paris police seal off Seine River ahead of Olympics

PARIS — A special kind of iron curtain came down across central Paris on Thursday, with the beginning of an Olympic anti-terrorism perimeter along the banks of the River Seine sealing off a kilometers-long area to Parisians and tourists who hadn’t applied in advance for a pass.  The words on many lips were “QR code,” the …

Leader of Belarus marks 30 years in power after crushing dissent

TALLINN, Estonia — For three decades, European leaders have come and gone by the dozens, but Alexander Lukashenko remains in absolute control of Belarus. His longevity is due to a mixture of harshly silencing all dissent, reverting to Soviet-style economic controls and methods and cozying up to Russia, even as he sometimes flirted with the West. …

France’s divided National Assembly keeps centrist speaker 

PARIS — France’s divided National Assembly on Thursday kept a centrist member of President Emmanuel Macron’s party as speaker after a chaotic early election produced a hung legislature.  Speaker Yael Braun-Pivet, 53, has been at the head of the National Assembly since 2022 and she retained her post Thursday after three rounds of voting in the …

Threat to Europe, US will not end with Ukraine, officials warn

washington — Ending the war in Ukraine will likely not be enough to end the threat to Europe or even the United States, in the view of several top European diplomats and the top U.S. general in Europe. The officials, speaking Thursday at the annual Aspen Security Forum in Aspen, Colorado, described the war and their …

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip6

Your self-expression tool, Galaxy Z Flip6, is more compact and eye-catching, with Galaxy AI and a pro-level 50MP camera. Processor: CPU Speed 3.39GHz, 3.1GHz, 2.9GHz, 2.2GHz, CPU Type: Octa-Core; Display: Size (Main_Display): 170.3mm (6.7″ full rectangle) / 166.4mm (6.6″ rounded corners) Resolution (Main Display): 2640 x 1080 (FHD+); Technology (Main Display): Dynamic AMOLED 2X; Color …

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold6

Put PC-like power in your pocket, Galaxy Z Fold6. More powerful than ever with its super-slim, productive, super-charged with Galaxy AI on foldables. Specification: Colours: Silver Shadow, Pink, Navy, Crafted Black, White; Processor: CPU Speed: 3.39GHz, 3.1GHz, 2.9GHz, 2.2GHz, CPU Type: Octa-Core; Display: Size (Main_Display): 193.2mm (7.6″ full rectangle) / 192.5mm (7.6″ rounded corners), Resolution …

US Army honors Nisei combat unit that helped liberate Tuscany in WWII

ROME — The U.S. military is celebrating a little-known part of World War II history, honoring the Japanese-American U.S. Army unit that was key to liberating parts of Italy and France even while the troops’ relatives were interned at home as enemies of the state following Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor.  Descendants of the second-generation “Nisei” …

France’s newly elected lawmakers begin choosing speaker amid political turmoil

Paris — France’s influential lower house of parliament, the National Assembly, held its opening session Thursday to elect a speaker after chaotic snap elections called by President Emmanuel Macron produced a hung legislature. Parliamentary elections earlier this month resulted in a split between three major political blocs: the New Popular Front leftist coalition, Macron’s centrist allies …

Uncertainty is the winner and incumbents the losers so far in a year of high-stakes global elections

LONDON — Discontented, economically squeezed voters have turned against sitting governments on both right and left during many of the dozens of elections held this year, as global power blocs shift and political certainties crumble. From India to South Africa to Britain, voters dealt blows to long-governing parties. Elections to the European Parliament showed growing support …

Russia, China taking space into dangerous territory, US says

Washington — Russia and China are edging ever closer to unleashing space-based weapons, a decision that could have far-reaching implications for America’s ability to defend itself, U.S. military and intelligence agencies warn. Adding to the concern, they say, is what appears to be a growing willingness by both countries to set aside long-running suspicions and animosity …

Netherlands marks 10th anniversary of downing of MH17 airliner

Amsterdam — The Netherlands commemorated on Wednesday the 298 victims of flight MH17 with a ceremony attended by the bereaved and representatives from Malaysia, Australia, Britain, Belgium and Ukraine. Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, as fighting raged between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian …

Trump’s VP pick Vance is pro-Israel, anti-China and creating anxiety in Europe

washington — Senator J.D. Vance, former President Donald Trump’s newly announced running mate, will take center stage Wednesday evening at the Republican National Convention, focusing on the day’s theme, “Make America Strong Again.” Vance, 39, a former venture capitalist, has less than two years in public office and little foreign policy background. His recent comments mostly …

UK union fails to win recognition at Amazon site after losing ballot, Amazon says

LONDON — The GMB union has failed to secure the right to formally represent workers at an Amazon warehouse in Coventry, central England, Amazon said on Wednesday. The ballot result on union recognition is a blow for the U.K. trade union movement as victory in the ballot would have forced the U.S. e-commerce giant to negotiate …