World Bulletin/News Desk
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Friday threatened unilateral measures in a spat with Gibraltar over fisheries although he also said he hoped for talks soon with Britain about the disputed territory.
Tensions over Gibraltar - a British overseas territory to which Spain lays claim - flared up this month after Spain complained that an artificial reef being built by Gibraltar would block its fishing vessels.
"I hope that this doesn't go any further, but it's clear that Spain has to defend its national interest and that's what we're going to do," Rajoy told reporters after a meeting with Spain's King Juan Carlos in Mallorca.
Among the measures under consideration were a 50-euro ($67) fee for people entering or exiting Gibraltar, tax investigations of Gibraltarians with property in Spain, and restrictions on use of Spanish airspace for flights heading to Gibraltar.
The recent war of words over Gibraltar has been more heated than similar tiffs in the past. Opposition politicians have accused Rajoy of using the situation to distract Spaniards from the country's severe recession and a corruption scandal that has damaged the credibility of his conservative party.
British Prime Minister David Cameron and Rajoy spoke on Wednesday to try to defuse the conflict but both sides seemed reluctant to back down from their public positions.
Rajoy played down a scheduled visit by British navy vessels to Gibraltar in the coming weeks, saying it was routine and had been planned well ahead of time.
Spain's right-leaning media ran testy headlines on the coming arrival of the ships. "Cameron intimidates Rajoy with his fleet," El Mundo newspaper blared on Friday morning.
Spain ceded Gibraltar to Britain in the Treaty of Utrecht 300 years ago. The tiny rocky promontory near the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula has some 30,000 residents who live off tourism, on-line gambling operations and financial services.
Friction over Gibraltar has ebbed and flowed over the centuries. Spanish dictator Francisco Franco sealed the land border for years, forcing the British enclave to get supplies from across the Strait of Gibraltar in Morocco.
The latest dispute arose after Gibraltar sank a number of concrete blocks into a bay to extend an artificial reef it says is aimed at fostering fish populations.
Previously, Spanish police would check some incoming cars for smuggling - particularly for cigarettes from lower-tax Gibraltar - either randomly or based on concrete suspicion, while letting other vehicles pass without delay.
Now, nearly every car is examined and others are forced to wait until an inspection is finished. Britain has criticised the new border controls as excessive.
Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo spoke with his British counterpart on Wednesday and said they agreed to set up working groups on issues such as fishing. But
Gibraltarian authorities said no working groups had been agreed, clouding the diplomatic prospects.
Rajoy said any talks must be four-way, involving Spain, Britain, Gibraltar and Andalusia, the Spanish region that abuts Gibraltar and is home to many workers who cross the border into the British territory every day.
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The 34-year-old retired National Guard lieutenant, who has yet to be identified, was beaten and shot to death by attackers Saturday night in the town of Cabudare in the western state of Lara, prosecutors said.
The meeting in Pretoria comes as Zuma faces growing criticism within the ruling African National Congress, which sharpened after a March cabinet reshuffle when he sacked respected finance minister Pravin Gordhan.
"It is my opinion that many of the leaks coming out of the White House are fabricated lies made up by the #FakeNews media," he wrote the morning after his return home.
"The times in which we could completely depend on others are on the way out. I've experienced that in the last few days," Merkel told a crowd at an election rally in Munich, southern Germany.
Gaza continues to suffer from a severe power crisis
Macron praised the DR Congo authorities "for their mobilisation and the effectiveness of their action" in obtaining the hostage's release, the office said in a statement, without identifying him.
And the US president flew home Saturday boasting he had "scored a home run" everywhere he'd been, saying he had forged bonds with friends old and new in the fight against terrorism.
The Libyan jihadist group Ansar al-Sharia, which is linked to Al-Qaeda and deemed a terrorist organisation by the UN and United States, announced its "dissolution" in a communique published online on Saturday. Washington accuses the group of being behind the September 11, 2012 attack on the US consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi in which ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed. Ansar al-Sharia is one of the jihadist groups that sprung up in Benghazi, Libya's second largest city, in the chaos following the death of dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011. They overran the city in 2014. East Libyan military strongman Khalifa Haftar earlier this month launched an offensive to oust jihadist fighters from their two remaining strongholds in Benghazi. In its communique Ansar al-Sharia said it had been "weakened" by the fighting. The group lost its leader, Mohammed Azahawi, in clashes with Haftar's forces in Benghazi at the end of 2014. Most of its members then defected to the so-called Islamic State group. Ansar al-Sharia later joined the Revolutionary Shura Council of Benghazi, a local alliance of Islamist militias. At its zenith, Ansar al-Sharia was present in Benghazi and Derna in eastern Syria, with offshoots in Sirte and Sabratha, western Libya. The organisation took over barracks and other sites abandoned by the ousted Kadhafi forces and transformed them into training grounds for hundreds of jihadists seeking to head to Iraq or Syria.
An initial investigation showed that Bonnie Kalanick, 71, died Friday after the boat she was in struck a rock in Pine Flat Lake near the central California city of Fresno, the Fresno County Sheriff-Coroner's Office said in a statement.
Since its golden age in the 1960s, Clacton-on-Sea in the southeastern English county of Essex has struggled to reinvent itself, a decline witnessed by 77-year-old John.
Counter-terrorism air raid hit terror targets in Avasin-Basyan regions
The king's prosecutor late Friday ordered "the opening of an investigation and the arrest of Nasser Zefzafi" after he "obstructed, in the company of a group of individuals, freedom of worship in the Mohammed V mosque in Al-Hoceima".
Saturday's protest in Caracas was held to mark 10 years since the government shuttered a popular television station seen as having anti-government leanings.
His announcement came as a summit of G7 leaders in Sicily wrapped up in deadlock on the issue, with US partners voicing frustration at the president's failure to commit to the deal aimed at stemming global warming.
A man aged in his thirties stepped onto the grave and kicked the base of a 1.5-metre (4.9-feet) -high stone cross at its head, causing the cross to topple over and break, they said.
Investigators also gave details of the 22-year-old's last hours as they appealed to the public for any information about his movements in the days running up to Monday night's attack.