Cocaine with a street value of more than Ã‚Â£50 million (59 million euros, $62 million) washed up on two beaches in England, British officials tasked with disrupting organised crime announced Friday. The drugs -- 360 kilos (794 pounds) -- were in holdalls found at Hopton-on-Sea on Thursday and Caister-on-Sea on Friday, villages on either side of Great Yarmouth, a major port, in Norfolk, the National Crime Agency said.
By Olesya Astakhova MOSCOW (Reuters) - Slovenia would be a good place for a first meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump, Russia's Vladimir Putin said on Friday, but he said the choice of venue would not be Moscow's alone. Putin made the comments after Slovenian President Borut Pahor offered Ljubljana, his country's capital, as a venue for a meeting between the Russian and U.S. leaders who have not met since Trump's inauguration last month. Trump and Putin have both said they would like to try to mend battered U.S.-Russia ties, which fell to their lowest level since the Cold War after Russia's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimea.
By Tom Miles GENEVA (Reuters) - More than 400 migrant deaths have been recorded so far in 2017, including on the Mediterranean crossings to Europe from North Africa and the route into the United States from Mexico, the International Organization for Migration said on Friday. The deaths were recorded in the slow winter months and the IOM fears the toll will rise in the warmer weather, spokesman Joel Millman told a U.N. briefing in Geneva. "Forty days into the year we've recorded almost 420 deaths worldwide of migrants, which is a rate of about 10 a day," Millman said.
LONDON (AP) â€” A charity took the British government to court Friday seeking to reverse the closure of a program bringing unaccompanied child migrants to the U.K., as the head of the Anglican Church said children will be trafficked and exploited as a result of the government's decision.
By Luiza Ilie BUCHAREST (Reuters) - On Feb. 1, hours after Romania's government issued a decree seen as turning back the clock on the country's fight against corruption, Florin Badita took unpaid leave from his job in the western city of Cluj and left for the capital Bucharest to help mobilize a response. Through the Facebook page Coruptia Ucide (Corruption Kills) that he created in 2015, Badita had helped rally protesters after a fatal fire tore through Bucharest's Colectiv nightclub in October that year. The government fell, toppled by an outpouring of anger against a culture of official graft and negligence that had enabled the club to flout safety regulations.
By Igor Ilic and Matt Robinson ZAGREB/NASICE, Croatia (Reuters) - An international exhibition about Anne Frank had already toured over 20 schools across Croatia when it ran into trouble last month in the coastal city of Sibenik, spotlighting the nation's struggle to resolve its dark World War Two past. The story of the Holocaust diarist and her death at age 15 in a German concentration camp had been well received in a country that during the war was run by a Nazi puppet regime.
BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) â€” A Serbian court has rejected an extradition request by Montenegro for a suspect in an alleged pro-Russia plot to overthrow the small Balkan country's government.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) â€” The Latest on migrants and refugees entering Europe and member countries' response to the inflow (all times local):
By Marine Pennetier LYON-MONT VERDUN AIRBASE, France (Reuters) - From close-up encounters with Russian warplanes to the threat of attacks from lightweight drones, France's air force is on alert on two fronts as it confronts a return to Cold War shadow-boxing and heightened domestic security concerns. In the latest alert involving European airspace, the French air force said on Thursday two Mirage combat jets and one Rafale had escorted the two bombers down the French coast before handing over to Spanish military planes. Britain said it had also scrambled Typhoon jets to monitor two Russian Blackjack bombers which flew near British airspace.
By Andrea Shalal BERLIN (Reuters) - The German and Dutch militaries have agreed to further deepen defense cooperation this year by putting a German short-range air defense unit under the command of the Dutch military, a source familiar with the plans told Reuters on Friday. The German defense ministry had no immediate comment on the agreement, which comes as Europe is seeking to expand defense cooperation on a broader level in the face of U.S. pressure to contribute more to its own defense under the NATO alliance. The change is based on a broader agreement for a mixed German-Dutch 414 Tank Battalion, which is expected to be fully formed by 2019, according to the source.
GENEVA (AP) â€” High-school student Selena Mercado was born in Switzerland, has gone to school in Switzerland, considers herself Swiss and dreams of a political career here one day. But her passport is from Chile, a country that she's never set foot in but was home to her grandparents before they moved to this small Alpine nation decades ago.
BERLIN (AP) â€” Ljubisa Beara, a former senior Bosnian Serb security officer convicted of genocide by a U.N. war crimes tribunal for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, has died in a German prison, authorities said Friday. He was 77.
Talks between Greece and its creditors ended with no breakthrough Friday as months of feuding with the International Monetary Fund raised fears of a new debt crisis. Greece is caught up in a complicated row with its eurozone paymasters and the IMF over debt relief and budget targets that has rattled markets and revived talk of the country's place in the euro. Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem said progress was made after five hours of talks in Brussels with Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos and other EU and IMF officials, but provided few details.
BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) â€” Hungary's populist prime minister on Friday lashed out against billionaire financier George Soros, claiming he and groups backed by him want to secretly influence the country's politics.
By Ahmed Elumami TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Mayors from Libya's desert south to its northern shores fear a deal between Tripoli and Rome to fund migrant holding centers in this north African country will simply shift Europe's migration crisis onto Libyan soil. The Mediterranean Sea between Libya and Italy has become the main crossing point for asylum seekers and economic migrants seeking a better life in Europe. The deal foresees European Union money for holding centers in towns and cities along the main human trafficking routes criss-crossing Libya, as well as training and equipment to fight the smugglers.
By Alonso Soto BRASILIA (Reuters) - A Brazilian Supreme Court justice called on Friday for the legalization of marijuana and even cocaine to undo the growing power of drug gangs behind a wave of violence that has shaken Latin America's largest country. Justice Roberto Barroso, a Yale graduate and constitutional law professor, said 50 years of war against drugs had failed miserably, clogging jails with small-time dealers and fueling a violent gang battle for control of the lucrative trade. "Unlike the United States and Europe where the problem lies in the impact drugs have on consumers, in Brazil the problem lies in the power drug traffickers have over poor communities," Barroso told Reuters in the court's modern glass building in Brasilia.
MEMPHIS, Tennessee (AP) â€” Draymond Green had an uncommon triple-double while scoring only four points as the Golden State Warriors beat Memphis 122-107 on Friday night for their first victory over the Grizzlies in three tries this season.
The war between Kiev and Moscow-backed rebels has killed more than 10,000 people, rattled eastern Europe and plunged relations between the West and Russia to post-Cold War lows. The war erupted in April 2014 as the ex-Soviet republic was thrust into a geopolitical tug-of-war between Russia and the West. It followed the ouster of Kremlin-backed president Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014 after massive street protests over the government's decision to turn its back on closer ties with the European Union.
Two years have passed since the signing of a deal aimed at ending the war in Ukraine but the bloody conflict has rumbled on -- at the cost of another 5,000 lives. The Minsk II accord saw Kremlin-backed rebels agree with Kiev and Moscow on a halt to the fighting and outlined a complex roadmap for securing peace. It was hammered out by the presidents of Ukraine and Russia with the help of their French and German counterparts and signed on February 11 two years ago.
STOCKHOLM (AP) â€” The Latest on the flow of migrants into Europe (all times local):
By Andrius Sytas VILNIUS (Reuters) - The Baltic states will press the United States and NATO to take additional security measures in the region ahead of a large Russian military exercise planned for September, Lithuania's president said on Thursday. NATO has already started to deploy four battle groups of about 1,000 soldiers each to the Baltic states and Poland, part of efforts agreed under previous U.S. president Barack Obama to deter Russia from interfering in the region. The three small Baltic republics and Poland have felt especially vulnerable since Moscow's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region in 2014 and its support for pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine.
BERLIN (AP) â€” A French film about a jazz guitar virtuoso who struggled under the Nazis kicked off the Berlin International Film Festival on Thursday, the first of the year's major European movie fests.
ROME (AP) â€” The British defense secretary says he has "no doubt at all" about the U.S. commitment to NATO under President Donald Trump.
By Robert Hetz MADRID (Reuters) - Key export chains in Spain could face major disruption if a long-running dispute between the government and the country's dock workers extends beyond a planned three-day strike next week, industry sources warned on Thursday. The standstill will take place every other hour on Feb. 20, 22 and 24 at dozens of Spanish ports which employ more than 6,000 stevedores and handle an estimated 500 million tonnes of merchandise a year. "The strike action could cause a lot of problems, not only for the ports but also for the companies," said an administrative source at the busy Mediterranean port of Valencia, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
A German neo-Nazi was sentenced to eight years jail Thursday for an arson attack on a sports hall that had been designated to house refugees. Maik Schneider, 29, a local politician of the far-right NPD party, received an additional term of one year and six months for other xenophobic crimes. A co-accused right-wing extremist was sentenced to seven years behind bars for the August 2015 arson in the high school sports hall in Nauen, a town 40 kilometres (25 miles) west of Berlin.