Francois Hollande has announced he will not stand for re-election as France’s president.
In a live television appearance Hollande said he was aware of the risks of running again without a significant amount of support.
“The world, Europe, France have faced particularly serious challenges during my mandate,” he said. He was referring to last year’s terrorist attacks in Paris and Nice and the Charlie Hebdo shooting which forced France to declare a state of emergency which has endured since November 2015.
His popularity has decreased considerably since his presidency began in 2012, a recent satisfaction rating gave him a mere 4 per cent.
In his live address, Mr Hollande noted his achievements, such as introducing same-sex marriage and lowering the unemployment rate. He will be the first president in modern history to not pursue a second term in office.
Russia reaches out to Trump
President Vladimir Putin wants to restore relations with the US to unite and fight against the threat of international terrorism. He says Russia wants to help overcome global challenges, but only if its position and interests are respected.
“Unlike our foreign colleagues who are seeing Russia as an enemy, we have never been looking for enemies – we need friends,” Putin said.
Relations between President Obama and Putin deteriorated over differences regarding the Ukrainian crisis and the Syrian War. Putin has expressed his enthusiasm to work with President-elect Donald Trump. “We are ready for cooperation with the new American administration,” he said.
Ugly American dismisses Sydney students’ HIV pill
Martin Shkreli, the entrepreneur who controversially bought a pharmaceutical company last year and almost immediately increased the price of its HIV drug Daraprim 5000 per cent, from $US13.50 to $US750 per pill, has downplayed the achievement of Sydney students who managed to synthesise the drug for just $2 a pill.
A group of 16- and 17-year-old students from Sydney Grammar School recreated the lifesaving drug to highlight Shkreli’s exploitative pricing. On Twitter, Shkreli dismissed their achievement, saying “How is that showing anyone up? Almost any drug can be made at small scale for a low price.” In another message he wrote “Learning synthesis isn’t innovation.”
South Sudan faces ethnic cleansing: UN
Starvation, arson and rape are being used as weapons of ethnic cleansing across South-Sudan, says the UN Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR). The country has been ravaged by civil war for three out of the five years since gaining independence, forcing more than two million people to leave their homes.
A UNCHR commission found that “the stage is being set for a repeat of what happened in Rwanda,” where 800,000 people were killed in three months during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The South Sudanese President Salva Kiir has rejected the claims.
Thailand heralds a new King
Thailand’s Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, 64, has ascended to the throne 50 days after the death of his venerated father King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The acceptance ceremony at the royal palace in Bangkok was broadcast on television, and his coronation is expected to occur next year following King Bhumibol’s cremation.
The monarch will now known as Rama X, replacing his father who served for more than 70 years. “I would like to accept in order to fulfil his majesty’s wishes and for the benefit of all Thais,” he said. – Compiled from web sources by Alicia Camilleri and Sinead Fogarty
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