At home of Mona Lisa, a retrospective on da Vinci’s life and work

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s Louvre museum, home to Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, is putting the final touches to one of the biggest ever exhibitions of the Italian master’s work with the presence of the world’s most expensive painting agonizingly unresolved. An infrared reflectography of the painting « Mona Lisa » by Leonardo da Vinci is pictured during a press visit of the « Leonardo da Vinci » exhibition to commemorate the 500-year anniversary of his death at the Louvre Museum in Paris, France, October 20, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit TessierThe Louvre…

Brexit: UK will leave EU this month, ministers insist

Media playback is unsupported on your device Ministers insist the UK will leave the EU by 31 October, despite a letter sent to Brussels asking for a delay. Boris Johnson sent the letter – unsigned – after a major setback in the Commons to his Brexit strategy. But the request was accompanied by a second letter, signed by the PM, saying he believed a delay would be a mistake. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the PM had « proved the doubters wrong » by getting a new deal and he…

Two teenagers dead after Milton Keynes stabbing

Two 17-year-old boys have died after being stabbed in Milton Keynes. Emergency services were called to a property in Archford Croft, in the Emerson Valley area, just before midnight, Thames Valley Police said. One of the victims died at the scene, while the other died after being taken to hospital. Two men were hurt in the incident and have been taken to hospital with serious, but not life-threatening injuries. No arrests have been made. Officers remain at the scene, which is on a cul-de-sac in a housing estate. « Thames…

Wales beat France 20-19 to reach Rugby World Cup semi-finals in thriller

2019 Rugby World Cup quarter-final Wales (10) 20 Tries: Wainwright, Moriarty Cons: Biggar 2 Pens: Biggar 2 France (19) 19 Tries: Vahaamahina, Ollivon, Vakatawa Cons: Ntamack 2 A dramatic late Ross Moriarty try booked Wales a World Cup semi-final place at the expense of 14-man France as Warren Gatland’s side came from behind to win 20-19 in Oita. France lock Sebastien Vahaamahina was sent off after 48 minutes for a blatant elbow on Wales flanker Aaron Wainwright in a decisive moment. France were leading 19-10 at the time and Wales…

Spotlight reveals IRA plan to hit south east England’s power supply

The IRA planned to knock out the power supply to the south east of England in the final years of its bombing campaign, a former insider has claimed. Details are revealed in the final episode of the BBC series Spotlight on the Troubles: A Secret History. Insiders describe a battle of wits between the IRA and British intelligence. When the British Government refused to admit Sinn Féin to peace talks in the mid-1990s, Canary Wharf was bombed. Two people were killed and damage was estimated at £150m in the attack…

Trump abandons plan to host G7 summit at his Miami golf course after criticism

Media playback is unsupported on your device US President Donald Trump has abandoned plans to host next year’s G7 summit at one of his resorts in Florida after bipartisan criticism. In a series of late tweets, Mr Trump said he was reversing the idea because of « crazed and irrational hostility » by Democrats and the media. Critics said the plan was evidence of Mr Trump using the office for personal gain, which the White House denied. Mr Trump said the presidential retreat at Camp David could host the G7…

Sculptor transforms Rome’s dead trees into art

ROME (Reuters) – Andrea Gandini, a 22-year-old Roman sculptor, is making a growing name for himself by turning the Eternal City’s dead tree stumps into much-admired pieces of art. Gandini, who began his tree carvings around five years ago, chipped away at his 66th stump in the huge Villa Pamphili park on Friday. He has plenty of raw material to work with. Rome is known as one of the greenest cities in Europe, with its 313,000 trees filling its many parks and lining the streets in the city center. However,…

Brexit: PM to send letter to Brussels seeking further delay

Boris Johnson will send a letter to the EU by 00:00 BST to request a Brexit delay – but he will not sign it, according to a Downing Street source. The request will be accompanied by a second letter, signed by Mr Johnson, which will say he believes that a delay would be a mistake, the source said. The PM was required by law to ask the EU for an extension to the 31 October deadline after losing a Commons vote. It is expected Donald Tusk will now consult EU…

Brexit: Johnson vows to press on despite defeat over deal delay

Media playback is unsupported on your device Boris Johnson has said he will press on « undaunted » with his Brexit strategy despite MPs backing the principle of a further delay to the process. The PM vowed to introduce legislation needed to implement his « excellent » agreement in Parliament next week. But he will have to ask the EU for an extension beyond 31 October after MPs backed a motion designed to rule out a no-deal exit by 322 votes to 306. The EU said it was up to…

People’s Vote march: Jubilant scenes at ‘final say’ Brexit protest

Media playback is unsupported on your device Protesters reacted with jubilation as MPs backed a delay to Boris Johnson’s new Brexit deal. Supporters of the « People’s Vote » second referendum campaign marched on Westminster calling for a « final say » on the new deal. Protesters gathered outside Parliament as MPs sat on a Saturday for the first time in 37 years. Organisers said up to a million people attended, while police said it was « very busy ». Videos posted to social media showed the moment the vote…

Turkey’s Erdogan vows to ‘crush heads’ of Kurdish fighters

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says that Turkey will « crush the heads » of Kurdish fighters if they do not withdraw from a planned safe zone area in northern Syria. Turkey agreed on Thursday to suspend an offensive for five days to allow the Kurds to retreat from the area. But on Saturday both sides accused the other of violating the ceasefire. Ankara views the Kurdish forces as terrorist and wants to create a « safe zone » buffer inside Syria. Despite the temporary ceasefire, some sporadic violence has…

Brexit: Commons set for knife-edge votes on deal

MPs are debating the PM’s Brexit deal, amid uncertainty about whether the decisive vote on it will go ahead. The PM is trying to convince MPs to support the agreement he secured with the EU, in Parliament’s first Saturday session in 37 years. Mr Johnson told MPs « now is the time to get this thing done », saying any delay beyond 31 October would be « corrosive ». But MPs will debate a proposal that could delay Brexit again until all the necessary UK legislation is passed. Commons Speaker…

England beat Australia 40-16 to make Rugby World Cup semi-finals

2019 Rugby World Cup quarter-final England: (17) 40 Tries: May 2, Sinckler, Watson Pens: Farrell 4 Cons: Farrell 4 Australia: (9) 16 Tries: Koroibete Pens: Lealiifano 3 Cons: Lealiifano England are into the World Cup semi-finals for the first time in 12 years as they ruthlessly dispatched old rivals Australia. Two first-half tries in four minutes from Jonny May on his 50th cap helped establish a 17-9 half-time lead before a sensational score from Marika Koroibete brought the Wallabies to within a point. But prop Kyle Sinckler smashed through from…

Chile protests: Unrest in Santiago over metro fare increase

A state of emergency has been declared in the Chilean capital, Santiago, after protests sparked by increased metro ticket prices turned violent. Protesters – many of them high school and university students – jumped turnstiles, attacked several underground stations, started fires and blocked traffic, leaving widespread damage across the city and thousands of commuters without transport. Television pictures showed protesters throwing stones, attacking police vehicles and burning at least one bus. Anti-riot police used tear gas and batons against some protesters, who have been demonstrating for days against the increase.…

Fate of Japan’s imperial dynasty rests on shoulders of 13-year-old

TOKYO (Reuters) – When Japan’s youngest prince, Hisahito, visited Bhutan in August on his first overseas trip just months after his uncle Naruhito became emperor, his trip was regarded as the debut of a future monarch on the world stage. FILE PHOTO: Prince Hisahito, accompanied by his parents Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko, poses for photos at Ochanomizu University junior high school before attending the entrance ceremony in Tokyo, Japan April 8, 2019. Koji Sasahara/Pool via Reuters/File PhotoGreeting his hosts in traditional “hakama” kimono and trying his hand at archery,…

Why does art matter? Banksy asks, offering originals for the right answer

FILE PHOTO: Original artworks by British artist Banksy, including a stab vest previously worn by grime artist Stormzy, form part of an installation inside a shop front, ahead of an online sale, in Croydon, Britain October 1, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls LONDON (Reuters) – British street artist Banksy is selling a Union Jack stab vest, riot helmet ‘disco balls’ and a ‘designer handbag’ made from a brick to randomly selected buyers who can answer the question: “Why does art matter?”. The works are offered in the “Gross Domestic Product” online store,…

Brexit: No better outcome than my deal, says Johnson

Media playback is unsupported on your device Boris Johnson has urged MPs to « come together » to back the Brexit deal he has secured with the EU, insisting there is « no better outcome ». The prime minister told the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg he wanted the country to « move on » from Brexit, which he described as « divisive ». And he said he was hopeful the deal would pass the Commons on Saturday. The government’s former allies in the DUP and every opposition party plans to vote…

El Chapo: Mexican president says police ‘did right’ to free drug lord’s son

Media playback is unsupported on your device Mexico’s president has defended freeing drug kingpin Joaquín « El Chapo » Guzmán’s son soon after his arrest. When Ovidio Guzmán López was seized at a house on a judge’s warrant in the city of Culiacán, cartel gunmen fought street battles with security forces. At least eight people were reportedly killed and 21 wounded, with vehicles left burning in the streets. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said the decision to cancel the arrest had saved lives. Senior security officials had decided on his…

Dad who raped daughters given 40-year term at Swansea Crown Court

A man who fathered at least six children with his own daughter has been handed a 40-year extended life sentence. The man from south west Wales was found guilty of repeatedly raping two of his daughters and one of the girls they subsequently gave birth to. The man, who cannot be named to protect his victims’ identity, showed no emotion as he was sentenced. Judge Paul Thomas QC told him: « Your behaviour was totally evil. » He jailed the man to 33 years with a further seven years to…

Nasa astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir in all-women spacewalk

Two Nasa astronauts are making the first ever all-female spacewalk. Christina Koch and Jessica Meir left the International Space Station’s Quest airlock on Friday to replace a failed power control unit. They were expected to spend five and a half hours replacing the power regulator with a spare. Ms Koch had already carried out four spacewalks but it was the first for MS Meir, who became the 15th woman to walk in space, Nasa said. Ms Koch, an electrical engineer, and Ms Meir, who has a doctorate in marine biology,…

Maids Moreton: Ben Field jailed for author’s murder

A churchwarden who murdered an author to inherit his estate has been jailed for a minimum of 36 years. Benjamin Field, 28, duped 69-year-old Peter Farquhar into a fake relationship to get him to change his will. Mr Farquhar died in the Buckinghamshire village of Maids Moreton in October 2015 and Field tried to make his death look like an accident or suicide. The Baptist minister’s son was found guilty of murder at Oxford Crown Court in August. He was also accused of plotting to kill Mr Farquhar’s neighbour Ann…

Brexit: Johnson in race to win support for deal

Boris Johnson will attempt to persuade MPs to back his Brexit deal later ahead of what is expected to be a knife-edge vote in the Commons on Saturday. Mr Johnson has insisted he is « very confident » MPs will back his deal. But the DUP’s opposition to his plans means he faces a battle to get the agreement through Parliament. The PM is expected to focus his attention on Labour MPs in Leave-voting areas, a group of Tory Brexiteers, and rebels he expelled from his party. Conservative Party chairman…

Swedish Academy defends choice for 2019 Nobel literature prize

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – The Swedish Academy has defended its decision to award the 2019 Nobel Prize for Literature to Austrian writer Peter Handke, saying he had made provocative comments but had not supported bloodshed. FILE PHOTO: Austrian author Peter Handke is pictured at his house, following the announcement he won the 2019 Nobel Prize for Literature, in Chaville, near Paris, France October 10, 2019. REUTERS/Christian HartmannHandke’s prize has attracted criticism, including from survivors of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre who have called for the academy to revoke the 9 million Swedish…

Brexit: Johnson ‘very confident’ MPs will back deal

Boris Johnson says he is « very confident » MPs will back the Brexit deal he has struck with the EU – despite the DUP’s opposition to it. The prime minister claimed he would win what is expected to be a knife-edge Commons vote on Saturday. « This is our chance in the UK as democrats to get Brexit done, and come out on 31 October, » he said. The DUP is against concessions he made to the EU on customs checks at the point of entry into Northern Ireland.…

National Doral Miami: Trump Florida golf course to host G7 summit

One of President Donald Trump’s golf resorts in Florida will host the G7 summit next June, the White House has announced. White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told reporters that President Trump would not profit from the event. Mr Mulvaney said « Donald Trump’s brand is probably strong enough as it is », so he did not need a branding boost. Mr Trump’s property, the National Doral Miami, is located around 8 miles (13 km) from Miami’s airport. The Group of Seven meeting, between Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan,…

Paul Gascoigne cleared of sex assault on train passenger

Former England footballer Paul Gascoigne has been cleared of sexually assaulting a woman on a train. The 52-year-old had been accused of « forcefully and sloppily » kissing the fellow passenger on a service from York to Newcastle in August 2018. Mr Gascoigne wept in the dock and thanked the jury to cheers of « yes » from the public gallery as the verdict was announced. He was also cleared of the lesser charge of assault by beating. More on this story Judge Peter Armstrong told Gascoigne: « You are…

Drayton Manor to be prosecuted over Evha Jannath’s death

The operator of a theme park where an 11-year-old girl died after falling from a water ride is to be prosecuted under health and safety laws. Evha Jannath, from Leicester, was on a school trip in 2017 when she fell from Splash Canyon at Drayton Manor. Staffordshire-based Drayton Manor Park Ltd will face a charge under Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act. An inquest will take place before the criminal proceedings begin, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said. The ride has remained closed at the…

New Brexit deal agreed, says Boris Johnson

A Brexit deal has been agreed between UK and EU negotiating teams before a meeting of European leaders in Brussels. Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: « We’ve got a great new deal that takes back control. » The two sides have been working on the legal text of a deal, but it will still need the approval of both the UK and European parliaments. The DUP has cast doubt on its sign off, saying they still cannot support it. The Northern Irish party earlier released a statement saying they could…

Extinction Rebellion protesters dragged from Tube train roof

Media playback is unsupported on your device Commuters have dragged climate change protesters from the roof of a London Underground train. Extinction Rebellion activists climbed on top of trains at Stratford, Canning Town and Shadwell during Thursday’s rush hour. The Jubilee Line and Docklands Light Railway were earlier partially suspended. Minor delays are still reported on the lines. Four protesters have been arrested, British Transport Police (BTP) said. Extinction Rebellion said the disruption was « necessary to highlight the emergency ». One commuter shouted at protesters on the top of…

Brexit: PM heads to EU summit as deal talks continue

Boris Johnson will travel to Brussels later for a crunch EU summit, as efforts continue to win support for his Brexit deal from MPs at home. The prime minister needs the EU to approve his deal at the gathering in order to avoid delaying Brexit beyond the scheduled 31 October deadline. But in Westminster, the Democratic Unionist Party has so far refused to sign off on the PM’s draft agreement. The party’s support is seen as crucial if Parliament is to approve his plans. On the EU’s side, the legal…