Cyclone wreaks havoc in Tonga
WELLINGTON • Tonga's neighbours scrambled to deliver emergency relief yesterday after Cyclone Gita tore across the Pacific island nation in the middle of the night, flattening the Parliament, tearing roofs off homes and causing widespread flooding.
There were no confirmed reports of deaths from the Category 4 storm that brought winds of around 200kmh, but there were a lot of people injured, some seriously, said Mr Graham Kenna, an Australian government adviser at Tonga's National Emergency Management Office.
$800 million facelift for Paris' Grand Palais
PARIS • France unveiled a spectacular near half-billion-euro (S$811 million) overhaul of one of its best loved buildings, driving a new pedestrian boulevard through the Grand Palais in Paris to link the Champs Elysees with the River Seine.
Culture Minister Francoise Nyssen said the huge project will completely open up the enormous complex of galleries and exhibition spaces which also houses the city's Palace of Discoveries science museum.
Chibok girls' kidnapper jailed for 15 years
KANO, Nigeria • A man involved in the 2014 kidnapping of more than 270 schoolgirls from Chibok in northeast Nigeria has been jailed for 15 years, the government confirmed yesterday.
The conviction of Haruna Yahaya, 35, is the first in relation to the mass abduction by the Boko Haram militant group, which triggered global outrage and sparked a worldwide campaign for the girls' release. A total of 164 girls have escaped, been found or released, leaving 112 still being held captive.