Qatar's critics scale back demands
DUBAI • The four Arab countries that have broken ties with Qatar indicated on Tuesday that they were no longer insisting on 13 precise demands that the Qataris must satisfy or on a specific deadline. The remarks by the diplomats from Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates seemed to indicate a slight easing in their position and a desire to make some progress in the bitter dispute.
French military chief quits after Macron row
PARIS • French leader Emmanuel Macron faced the biggest crisis of his young presidency yesterday following the resignation of the military chief he had rebuked for criticising defence spending cuts. The row between Mr Macron and General Pierre De Villiers blew up last week when the chief of the defence staff told a parliamentary committee he would not allow the armed forces to be "screwed" by the government's plans to slash €850 million (S$1.3 billion).
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France indicts 2 execs in Malaysia graft case
PARIS • French investigators have indicted Philippe Japiot, former chairman of the French naval dockyards unit DCNI, and Jean-Paul Perrier, former chief executive of the French defence and electronics giant Thales, in a probe into alleged kickbacks from the 2002 sale of submarines to Malaysia, sources close to the inquiry said on Tuesday.