Sunday 25 February 2018

In Brief: French plan for 75 per cent tax on the ultra-rich is thrown out by court

President Francois Hollande suffered a damaging setback yesterday when France's highest court ruled that his proposed 75 per cent "super-tax" rate was unconstitutional.

The measure, which would have hit fewer than 3,000 people, has been blamed for an exodus of rich French. The tax was central to the Socialist leader's election last year.

But in an unexpected blow, France's Constitutional Council ruled that the tax band did not guarantee equality for taxpayers because two households with the same total revenue could end up with different tax bills.

Polish folk hero cleric Tokarczuk dies

RETIRED Polish Archbishop Ignacy Tokarczuk, who built churches in secret in defiance of the communist authorities and became a folk hero, has died at the age of 94.

Dr Tokarczuk clandestinely built hundreds of churches under the noses of the officially atheist government in the Sixties and Seventies. The typical ruse was for a parishioner in the staunchly Catholic Przemysl region to get a building permit from the authorities to build a farmhouse, whose interior was then secretly fitted out as a church.

Islamist gunmen murder 15 villagers

AT least 15 people were killed when gunmen from a radical Islamist sect attacked a village in northeastern Nigeria.

The atrocity in Maiduguri, where the Boko Haram sect launched its attack on western education, was witnessed by a local primary school teacher. He said he heard gunmen call out for people to be slaughtered and later saw bodies with throats slit and their hands tied behind their backs.

21 kidnapped policemen found dead

Twenty-one policemen kidnapped by the Taliban have been found shot dead in Pakistan's northwest tribal region.

Officials found the bodies shortly after one policeman escaped. Militants lined the policemen up on a cricket pitch late last night and gunned them down

Cough medicine probe after 33 die

AUTHORITIES are investigating a cough syrup believed to have killed 33 people in Pakistan in the past three days.

An official said 54 other people being treated in hospitals in Gujranwala are also thought to have taken the syrup. The investigation is focusing on whether those affected drank too much of the syrup or if there was a problem with it.

Child kidnap case MEP wants review

THE MEP who helped reunite a mother with her six-year-old daughter who was kidnapped by her father three years ago said yesterday there was a "fundamental need" to review how similar cases are dealt with in the future.

Atiya Anjum-Wilkinson disappeared in November 2009 after going to stay with her father. He said he was taking Atiya to Southport but instead took her to Pakistan, and told Atiya's mother that she was "never going to see Atiya again".

But this weekend mother and daughter came face to face after the child was found and flown to Manchester Airport.

Four die in Moscow plane crash

A RUSSIAN passenger plane with eight people on board split into three pieces after sliding off a runway onto a highway outside Moscow's Vnukovo airport yesterday. Four people died in the incident and four were badly injured.

Explorer sad at missing girl's birthday

VETERAN explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes set off yesterday on the first stage of a six-month Antarctic challenge, but said he was more concerned about missing his daughter's seventh birthday in April.

He and his five-man team, including engineer Richmond Dykes from Cookstown, Co Tyrone, hope to become the first to cross the continent during the polar winter, when the temperatures will fall as low as minus 90C.

Former 'Times' editor Rees-Mogg dies

LORD Rees-Mogg, who as William Rees-Mogg was editor of The Times from 1967 to 1981, has died at the age of 84. His son, Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, said his father only recently discovered that he had inoperable oesophageal cancer.

Assad will not quit, says Russia

Russia's foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said that Syrian President Bashar Assad has no intention of quitting and it would be impossible to persuade him otherwise.

After meeting Lakhdar Brahimi, UN envoy for the Syrian crisis, Mr Lavrov also said that the Syrian opposition risks sacrificing many more lives if it continues to insist on Assad leaving office as a precondition for holding talks.

Sunday Independent

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