Politician pulls out over fund probe
PARIS • A former French justice minister said he was renouncing his week-old nomination to the Constitutional Court after prosecutors opened an investigation into allegations that he had paid his daughter with public funds for fake work.
Senator Michel Mercier, who denies any wrongdoing, is the latest high-profile French politician to be caught up in judicial investigations into financial impropriety, which began with conservative presidential contender Francois Fillon.
More pressure on Zuma
JOHANNESBURG • South African opposition leaders piled pressure on President Jacob Zuma yesterday after a parliamentary vote of no confidence exposed deep rifts in his ANC party as it readies for a leadership battle.
Mr Zuma survived the attempt to oust him, but he was weakened after at least 30 African National Congress (ANC) lawmakers voted on Tuesday for a motion that would have forced him to resign. The 75-year-old is due to step down as head of the party in December, and as national president before the 2019 general election.
Boko Haram kills 30 in latest raids
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria • Boko Haram militants killed at least 30 fishermen in raids on communities around Lake Chad in north-eastern Nigeria, the governor of Borno state, residents and military sources said.
The raids are part of renewed attacks by the militant Islamist group which, prior to this, have led to at least 113 people being killed by the insurgents since June 1.
NZ election race tightens
WELLINGTON • The race for New Zealand's September election has tightened significantly only days after the appointment of New Zealand's new opposition Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern, a poll said yesterday.
Labour has jumped nine points to 33.1 per cent, its highest level since 2014, while the Nationals lost 0.8 percentage point to 44.4 per cent - their lowest level of voter support for more than 10 years, said a Newshub/Reid Research poll.