World Briefs: French politician named Brexit chief

French politician named Brexit chief

BRUSSELS • European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker yesterday appointed veteran French politician and former European Union commissioner Michel Barnier to lead the negotiations with Britain on its exit from the bloc.

Mr Barnier takes up his position on Oct 1 but the Brexit talks can only begin once Britain invokes Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty, which sets the clock ticking on two-years of divorce talks.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


Earth severs link with robot lab in space PARIS • Ground controllers bid a final farewell yesterday to robot lab Philae, severing communications after a year-long silence from the pioneering probe hurtling through space on a comet.

Writing an extraordinary chapter in space history, the washing machine-sized craft was the first to land on a comet - primeval rubble from the formation of the Solar System.

Philae sent home reams of data garnered from sniffing, tasting and prodding its new alien home hundreds of millions of kilometres from Earth.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


Key Vatican aide probed for child abuse

SYDNEY • Vatican finance chief George Pell is being investigated by Australian police over child sexual abuse allegations, a report by the national broadcaster said yesterday, as the leading Catholic cleric denounced the claims as "totally untrue".

The new allegations against Cardinal Pell, 75, being probed by police in Victoria state, span two decades, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.

They came just months after the cardinal admitted he "mucked up" in dealing with paedophile priests in the state.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 28, 2016, with the headline 'World Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe