Paris cracks down on home rentals
PARIS • The Paris authorities will make it mandatory for all landlords renting their homes through Airbnb and other online platforms to register before offering lodging, Le Figaro reported.
The measure is meant to curb a housing shortage in the city, the newspaper said.
City rules limit home owners to rentals of 120 days or less a year, and the city is cracking down on owners with multiple properties listing on rental platforms.
Kurdish vote suspended
BAGHDAD • Iraq's supreme court yesterday ordered the suspension of a Sept 25 referendum on the independence of Iraqi Kurdistan, as legal and political pressure mounted on the Kurds to call off the vote.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's office said it had also filed a complaint against the referendum in the oil-rich autonomous Kurdish region on constitutional grounds.
There was no immediate reaction from Iraqi Kurdish leader Massud Barzani, who called the referendum, and who has resisted calls to cancel it from Turkey and Iran, as well as the United States and its Western allies.
France acid attack: Americans hurt
PARIS • Four young American tourists were attacked with acid at a train station in southern France on Sunday, injuring at least two of them.
The assailant, a 41-year-old woman, was quickly arrested in the port city of Marseille.
Police said they were not treating the attack as a terrorist assault, but said the suspect has "a psychiatric history".
Giant snail could save Aussie reef
SYDNEY • A giant starfish-eating snail could be unleashed to help save Australia's Great Barrier Reef, with a trial announced yesterday to breed thousands of the rare species.
Predatory crown-of-thorns starfish, which munch coral, are naturally occurring but have proliferated due to pollution and agricultural run-off and have been blamed for major damage to the reef.
Australian Institute of Marine Science research has shown crown-of-thorns starfish avoid areas where the Pacific triton sea snail - also known as the giant triton - is present.