At midnight on January 1, 2000, people all over Paris held their collective breath as they awaited an explosion of fireworks to mark the new millenium. Then, slowly, the iconic Eiffel Tower was illuminated by a triumphant array of light.
FRANCE – MALI
France said Sunday its military offensive that freed northern Mali from the grip of Islamists would be replaced by an operation spanning the wider, largely lawless Sahel region to combat extremist violence.
In a video distributed on Sunday, the head of Nigeria's Boko Haram Islamists, Abubakar Shekau, claims responsibility for bombings in Abuja and Lagos and voices support for the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS, or ISIL).
Iraq's fractious parliament met briefly on Sunday under heavy pressure to set differences aside and make progress towards a new government to help counter the offensive by the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS, or ISIL).
Moscow complained of a "dangerous escalation" on Sunday after Russian authorities reported casualties caused by shells fired from Ukraine, where government troops are on the offensive against rebels holed up in the cities of Donetsk and Lugansk.
A French court on Saturday suspended municipal by-laws banning religious symbols from a public beach in the Paris suburb of Wissous, under which two mothers wearing Muslim headscarves had been refused access.
ISRAEL - GAZA STRIP
Israeli navy commandos clashed with Hamas gunmen during a raid on the coast of the Gaza Strip on Sunday, while the army moved more tanks and troops along the border with the Palestinian territory.
Islamist militias attacked the rival Zintan group that controls Libya's international airport in Tripoli on Sunday, triggering fierce clashes that halted flights. Tensions run high as Libya awaits the results of contentious elections.
WORLD CUP 2014
Brazil's already traumatic World Cup ended with more pain on Saturday, as they lost 3-0 to a superior Holland in the third-place play-off at the Mane Garrincha National Stadium in Brasilia.
WORLD CUP 2014
With Brazil out, Sunday’s World Cup final may not be the game the hosts wanted to see, but with two behemoths of world football in Germany and Argentina facing off at the legendary Maracana, it is a match more than worthy of the biggest stage.
ISRAEL - GAZA STRIP
The UN Security Council called for a ceasefire in hostilities between Israel and Palestinians on Saturday, expressing its deep concern over the welfare and protection of civilians on both sides of the conflict.
US Secretary of State John Kerry announced on Saturday that the two candidates in Afghanistan’s disputed presidential run-off have agreed to a full audit of every single ballot cast in the vote.
TOUR DE FRANCE
Blel Kadri became the first French rider to win a stage at this year’s Tour de France on Saturday, claiming victory after a breakaway as the race entered the Vosges Mountains.
ISRAEL – GAZA STRIP
Israel shelled Gaza for a fifth day Saturday, vowing no let-up in its air campaign on militants that has left more than 120 Palestinians dead. Two Israelis have been reported seriously injured.
Iraqi forces and government-affiliated militias appear to have executed at least 255 prisoners over the past month in apparent revenge for killings by the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS or ISIL), a rights group said on Saturday.
The death toll from the collapse of three residential buildings in Casablanca, Morocco’s largest city, earlier this week has risen from four to eight, local officials said on Saturday, amid local outrage.
WORLD CUP 2014
Holland and Brazil, beaten semi-finalists, will meet Saturday for a chance to claim third place in the 2014 World Cup - a prize neither side is keen to play for.
Tommy Ramone, a co-founder of the seminal New York punk band the Ramones and the last surviving member of the original group, has died.
AFGHANISTAN – US
US Secretary of State John Kerry was to hold a second day of talks with Afghanistan's feuding presidential hopefuls on Saturday, seeking a deal to "clean up the tally" after disputed elections.
NBA superstar LeBron James made an emotional return Friday to the Cleveland Cavaliers, departing the Miami team in the hopes of bringing his hometown the same success he helped his Florida club achieve.
Despite international criticism of Israel’s recent air strikes on the Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday that he would not bow to pressure to end the offensive, pledging instead to carry on.
Ukraine has vowed to make pro-Russian rebels pay after losing 23 servicemen in clashes across its separatist east on Friday, while Russia proposed a UN resolution demanding a ceasefire to Europe's deadliest conflict in decades.
RUSSIA - CUBA
Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the Soviet Union's Cold War ally Cuba on Friday, launching a tour that will see him cozy up to Latin America amid newly frayed relations with the West.
A magnitude 6.8 earthquake hit off eastern Japan on Saturday morning, the Japan Meteorological Agency said, sparking a minor tsunami of up to 20 cm but causing no damage along the coast that was ravaged by the catastrophic March 2011 tsunami.
Armed Kurdish forces took control of two Iraqi oilfields near the disputed northern city of Kirkuk on Friday, replacing Arab workers with Kurdish personnel.