Monday 11 December 2017

In Brief: Chad's military chief claims his troops have killed Algeria gas plant terrorist

Chad's military chief announced late last night that his troops deployed in northern Mali had killed Moktar Belmoktar, the terrorist who orchestrated the attack on a gas plant in Algeria that left 36 foreigners dead.

The French military, which is leading the offensive against al Qaeda-linked rebels in Mali, said they could not immediately confirm the information.

Anti-austerity demos across Portugal

THOUSANDS of demonstrators marched in more than 20 Portuguese cities yesterday to protest against state-imposed austerity. Protesters filled streets with placards saying "Screw the troika, we want our lives back."

Iran and Syria lash US anti-Assad plan

IRAN and Syria yesterday condemned a US plan to assist rebels fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad, saying the Syrian leader intends to stay in power at least until 2014 presidential elections.

The remarks came as Assad's military regained control over a string of villages on a key potential supply route in Syria's heavily contested north towards Aleppo.

Bug forces Queen to cancel Wales trip

QUEEN Elizabeth was forced to cancel a planned visit to Wales after suffering from symptoms of gastroenteritis, Buckingham Palace said last night. She was due to attend a military celebration in Swansea today during the city's St David's Day celebrations. A spokeswoman said the Queen will instead spend the weekend at Windsor and will be assessed in the coming days.

Muscovites march over US adoptions

Thousands of people marched in Moscow yesterday in an orderly show of support for a ban on adoptions of Russian children by Americans, echoing President Putin's demands for better care for orphans in Russia.

Activists mixed bitter criticism of the US with calls for improvements in Russia's own care system. Police said 12,000 people joined the rally, and organisers denied allegations some were coerced or paid to attend.

Kenyan election rivals in poll wrangle

One of Kenya's top two presidential rivals accused the electoral commission yesterday of disadvantaging him by "design or omission" in last Monday's vote. Prime Minister Raila Odinga, locked in a tight race against Uhuru Kenyatta, said he was still confident of a first-round victory, but his comments hint at legal wrangles if the result is as close as surveys suggest.

More than 1,200 people died in ethnic violence in 2007 after Mr Odinga disputed the victory of incumbent president Mwai Kibaki. But he said that, unlike in 2007, he had confidence in a reformed judiciary to adjudicate.

Takeaways are OK, if served on china

In a modern world where time is precious, it is tempting to cut corners when hosting a dinner party by ordering a takeaway. Now Debrett's, the authority on social etiquette since 1769, is offering a concession to those too busy to spend time in the kitchen or surprised by unexpected guests: serving takeaways to your guests is not the social faux pas it once was, the guide says, provided that the meal is served on china and that the plates have been warmed first. But hosts must never attempt to pass off the food as their own, and asking guests to pay anything is also frowned upon.

The new guidance appears in Debrett's Guide to Entertaining Etiquette, which offers hosts advice that includes the correct way to serve tea and how to ensure your guests do not overstay their welcome.

Irish Independent

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