Judges last year ordered phone taps on former French president Nicolas Sarkozy as part of a corruption probe into allegations he received illegal campaign funding from Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, according to a leading French newspaper.
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
Top UN officials said on Thursday that the Central African Republic is in desperate need of a peacekeeping mission, as CAR’s foreign minister broke down during an emotional plea to the UN Security Council to help stop the deadly conflict.
A Malaysian court sentenced opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to five years in jail on Friday after finding the former deputy prime minister guilty of sodomising his aide in 2008.
A court in Paris on Friday convicted three young men who are believed to have tried unsuccessfully to join rebel forces in Syria fighting against the country’s president, Bashar al-Assad.
Turkey’s president on Friday ruled out any ban on Facebook and YouTube after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the sites could be shut to stop his foes anonymously posting audio recordings purportedly exposing corruption in his inner circle.
Saudi Arabia has officially designated the Muslim Brotherhood movement as a terrorist organisation, state television reported on Friday, citing a statement issued by the country’s Interior Ministry.
Local French politicians had until Thursday night to sign up for municipal elections but when enrolment closed at 6 p.m., 64 municipalities found themselves without candidates for the first round of voting, scheduled for 23 March.
Congolese warlord Germain Katanga was convicted at the International Criminal Court on Friday of being an accessory to four war crimes and one crime against humanity committed during a 2003 village attack in which some 200 civilians were killed.
Winter Paralympics 2014
Russia will open its first-ever Winter Paralympics at the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Friday, but the Games have been largely overshadowed by the diplomatic fallout from the ongoing crisis in Crimea.
Ukraine lurched towards breakup on Thursday as lawmakers in Crimea unanimously voted to join Russia, in a dramatic escalation of the crisis that saw Russian President Putin tell US President Obama that he “cannot ignore calls for help” from Crimea.
An Islamic court in northern Nigeria on Thursday ordered four men to be flogged with horsewhips after being found guilty of homosexuality.
Lawyers representing Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni on Thursday filed an emergency injunction against further publication of leaked recordings that reveal compromising comments made by the couple during the ex-president’s time in office.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad appears to have begun quiet preparations for re-election, despite three years of deadly conflict following an uprising against his leadership which has claimed the lives of over 140,000 people and displaced millions.
An invasion-of-privacy lawsuit brought by French actress Julie Gayet against a gossip magazine that reported she was having an affair with President François Hollande went to court on Thursday.
Two members of feminist movement Femen, which was founded in Ukraine, were arrested Thursday in Crimea's capital Simferopol after staging a topless demonstration against Russia's intervention in front of the regional parliament.
Ukraine’s interim prime minister on Thursday said the country’s armed forces would act if Russia’s military intervention escalated and slammed as “illegitimate” a decision to hold a referendum on whether the region should become part of Russia.
FRANCE - RUSSIA
One of the two French-built Mistral-class warships purchased by Russia got its first test run on Wednesday in western France. Despite the crisis in Crimea, Paris said it was not yet ready to scrap its €1.2 billion deal with Moscow.
Russia will come under heightened diplomatic pressure on Thursday as the UN Security Council and European leaders hold emergency talks on Ukraine, after attempts to foster a diplomatic meeting between Russia and Ukraine in Paris on Wednesday failed.
The Supreme Council of Crimea decided on Thursday to hold a referendum March 16 on whether the region should remain in Ukraine or become part of Russia. Earlier in the week, Ukraine’s election commission had said such a move was unconstitutional.
In Crimea, Ukrainians, Tatars and Russians live next to each other without rancour but the arrival of Russian troops is forcing people to pick sides. Watch the FRANCE 24 report from a small village that illustrates the Crimean dilemma.
LIBYA - NIGER
Saadi Gaddafi, the son of Libya’s former dictator, was extradited by Niger on Thursday and immediately taken into custody in Tripoli, the Libyan government said.
Statistics released Thursday showed that France’s jobless rate fell for the first time in two years in the fourth quarter of 2013, dropping to 10.2 % under a new calculation method and providing a much-needed boost for troubled President Hollande.
The United States is restricting the movements of Syria’s UN ambassador, Bashar Ja'afari (pictured), to a 25-mile (40 km) radius of New York City, the US State Department announced on Wednesday.