Russian nuclear accident: Medics fear ‘radioactive patients’

Russian medics who treated radiation victims after a military explosion in the Arctic had no protection and now fear they were irradiated themselves. Two of the medics in Arkhangelsk spoke to BBC Russian about the victims’ evacuation, on condition of anonymity. Five nuclear engineers died on 8 August when an « isotope-fuel » engine blew up at the Nyonoksa test range, officials said. Six other people were injured. President Vladimir Putin said the test involved a new weapon system. Officials gave few details about the accident. On 14 August Russia’s…

Brexit: Backstop indispensable, Macron tells Johnson

Boris Johnson is meeting Emmanuel Macron in Paris for Brexit talks, with the French president saying the UK’s vote to quit the EU must be respected. But he added that the Ireland-Northern Ireland backstop plan was « indispensable » to preserving political stability and of the single market. The backstop, opposed by Mr Johnson, aims to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland after Brexit Mr Johnson said that with « energy and creativity we can find a way forward ». On Wednesday German Chancellor Angela Merkel said…

City of Bielefeld offers €1m for proof it doesn’t exist

It’s a German city dating back to the 9th Century, with 340,000 residents, a university, a medieval fort… but does it really exist? Bielefeld is now offering a €1m (£914,000) prize to anyone in Germany who can prove the city’s non-existence. The city marketing group running the competition wants to disprove a 25-year-old conspiracy theory. Back in 1994 a student light-heartedly posted the message « Bielefeld? There’s no such thing » on the Usenet system. Achim Held’s message became a long-running joke in Germany, once it spread virally with the…

Pompeo praises ‘US ally’ Denmark after Trump cancels visit

Media playback is unsupported on your device US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has praised Denmark amid a public row over Greenland that saw President Donald Trump cancel a visit to the country. In a phone call with Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod, Mr Pompeo « expressed appreciation for Denmark’s co-operation » as a US ally. Mr Kofod welcomed the « frank, friendly and constructive talk ». It came after Mr Trump said Denmark’s prime minister had been « nasty » when rebuffing his idea of buying Greenland. Mette Frederiksen…

France dampens Brexit deal hopes as Johnson visits

Boris Johnson is to meet Emmanuel Macron later, hours after the French president seemed to downplay hopes of solving the Irish backstop problem. On Wednesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel suggested a solution to the backstop – a key Brexit sticking point – might be achievable within 30 days. The PM said he was « more than happy » with that « blistering timetable ». But later on Wednesday, Mr Macron insisted reopening negotiations on the issue was « not an option ». Mr Johnson has said that the backstop –…

Brexit solution ‘possible within 30 days’

Media playback is unsupported on your device German Chancellor Angela Merkel has suggested an alternative to the Irish border backstop – a key Brexit sticking point – could be found within 30 days. Speaking at a press conference alongside Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Berlin, she stressed it would be up to the UK to offer a workable plan. The PM said he was « more than happy » with that « blistering timetable ». He accepted the « onus » was on the UK, but said he believed there…

Denmark defiant on Greenland after Trump cancels state visit

Media playback is unsupported on your device Denmark’s prime minister, Mette Frederiksen, says she is « annoyed and surprised » after Donald Trump cancelled his visit over the future of Greenland. « Our preparations were well under way, » she said, adding she had been looking forward to meeting the US president. Ms Frederiksen reiterated that the island of Greenland, an autonomous Danish territory, was « not for sale ». Mr Trump was scheduled to visit on 2 September, at the invitation of Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II. But last week,…

Booba attack: Gang targets French rapper video team

Shots were fired and three people were wounded when a gang armed with guns, iron bars and baseball bats attacked a team filming a video for rapper Booba in the northern suburbs of Paris. Up to 20 people took part in the attack outside a disused warehouse in Aulnay-sous-Bois, Europe 1 radio reported. Booba had already left the set by the time of the assault, shortly before midnight on Tuesday. Three people were hurt including the video director, the radio station said. One local person watching the film crew was…

Trump cancels Denmark visit over Greenland spat

US President Donald Trump has cancelled a state visit to Denmark after the nation’s prime minister said Greenland was not for sale to the US. The president was scheduled to visit on 2 September, at the invitation of Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II. Then last week Mr Trump suggested the US was interested in buying Greenland, an autonomous Danish territory. Danish PM Mette Frederiksen described the suggestion as « absurd » and said she hoped Mr Trump was not being serious. Announcing the cancellation of his visit, Mr Trump tweeted: «…

Italy PM Conte quits amid coalition row

After a blistering attack on coalition partner Matteo Salvini, Italy’s prime minister says he will resign This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly. Please refresh the page for the fullest version. You can receive Breaking News on a smartphone or tablet via the BBC News App. You can also follow @BBCBreaking on Twitter to get the latest alerts. Source: BBC

Croatian diplomat suspended for ‘white Europe’ comments

A senior Berlin-based Croatian diplomat has been accused of damaging her country’s reputation after she wrote inflammatory Facebook posts alongside idyllic images of the Adriatic coast. « Just white Europeans as it used to be only 30 years ago in the whole of Europe, » wrote Elizabeta Madjarevic. The foreign minister said she was being recalled. The incident has embarrassed Croatia, which only joined the EU in 2013 and takes over its presidency next January. The Facebook account of Ms Madjarevic, who is first secretary at the Berlin embassy, has…

Italy government crisis: Fate of coalition to be decided as PM faces removal

The fate of Italy’s coalition is set to be decided after weeks of hostility between ruling parties the nationalist League and Five Star. Matteo Salvini, leader of the League, called for a snap election earlier this month, saying differences between the parties had led to deadlock. Italy’s independent Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is due to make a statement amid speculation he may quit. If a new coalition government is not agreed, it could force fresh elections. On Tuesday, Mr Salvini tweeted: « We’ll see if anyone has made arrangements, if…

UK PM tells EU backstop is ‘anti-democratic’

Boris Johnson has told the EU the backstop plan for the Irish border must be scrapped because it is « unviable » and « anti-democratic ». In a letter to European Council President Donald Tusk, the PM said the backstop – which aims to avoid a hard border – risked undermining the Northern Irish peace process. If the plan was removed, Mr Johnson claimed a Brexit deal would be passed by parliament. Brussels has not yet responded. However, the EU has consistently insisted the backstop must remain part of the…

Gran Canaria: Wildfires displace 4,000 on holiday island

Around 4,000 people have been evacuated as wildfires rips through Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands. The fire, which started on Saturday, is advancing on two fronts in a mountainous area of the island. Ten planes and helicopters, as well as about 700 firefighters on the ground including 200 from the military, are fighting the flames. Efforts to tackle the fires are being hampered by high temperatures, strong winds and low humidity, officials say. « The fire is not contained nor stabilised or controlled, » Canary Islands regional president Angel…

Italy’s Salvini lets 27 teenagers off Open Arms migrant ship

Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has agreed to let 27 unaccompanied teenagers leave a migrant rescue ship amid a row between the far-right leader and his fellow ministers. The minors were allowed to disembark on the Italian island of Lampedusa after more than sixteen days at sea. More than 100 migrants remain on board the Spanish rescue ship Open Arms. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte had called Mr Salvini « obsessed » with keeping migrants out of Italian ports. Two ministers on Friday also refused to sign off Mr Salvini’s orders…

Russia bird strike: How cool heads glided jet down to safety

Media playback is unsupported on your device The Russian pilots who crash-landed a fuel-laden Airbus jet in a corn field, without any serious harm to the 233 people on board, are being hailed as heroes. The A321 was just 15 minutes into its flight, after taking off from Moscow’s Zhukovsky airport, when a flock of seagulls got sucked into its engines, causing both to fail. Russians are comparing the drama to « Miracle on the Hudson » – the bird strike that almost doomed an Airbus over New York in…

Russia bird strike: 23 injured after plane hits gulls and crash-lands

A Russian passenger plane has made an emergency landing in a cornfield near Moscow after striking a flock of birds. Twenty-three people were injured in the incident, which saw the plane land with its engines off and landing gear retracted, health officials said. The Ural Airlines flight was travelling to Simferopol in Crimea when it hit the flock of gulls shortly after take-off, disrupting its engines. State media has dubbed the landing the « miracle over Ramensk ». The airline said the plane was significantly damaged and would not fly…

UK opposition leader’s plans to defeat no-deal Brexit

Jeremy Corbyn has urged the leaders of the other opposition parties and Tory rebels to install him as caretaker PM in order to stop a no-deal Brexit. If he wins a no-confidence vote in the government, the Labour leader plans to delay Brexit, call a snap election and campaign for another referendum. Mr Corbyn outlined his plan in a letter, saying the caretaker government would be « strictly time-limited ». Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson dismissed the plans as « nonsense ». Downing Street said Mr Corbyn would « overrule…

Danish PM vows to tighten Swedish border controls after bomb blasts

The Danish prime minister has pledged to tighten controls at the Swedish border after two bomb blasts in Copenhagen this week. Two Swedish men have been charged over the attacks. Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said she wanted to protect Denmark in a « better and smarter way ». « We cannot have a situation where you can travel from Sweden to Denmark and place dynamite in the middle of our capital, » she said. « The target is the criminals – it’s not the many commuters or people who travel…

Greece wildfires leave blackened forests in their wake

Fires have been raging through a « unique, untouched pine forest » on the Greek island of Evia as authorities fight to keep the flames under control. Hundreds of people were evacuated from nearby villages as the fire broke out in the early hours of Tuesday and ravaged through the dense forest. « It’s a huge ecological disaster, » acting regional governor Kostas Bakoyannis told AFP. More than 200 firefighters are helping to combat the blaze along with 75 fire engines, nine helicopters and seven planes, the news agency reports.…

Swedish court finds ASAP Rocky guilty of assault

US rapper ASAP Rocky has been found guilty of assault during a Stockholm brawl and given a suspended sentence. The 30-year-old was involved in a fight in the Swedish capital at the end of June. He spent nearly a month in custody before being released ahead of the verdict. Two members of ASAP Rocky’s entourage, Bladimir Corniel and David Rispers, were found guilty of the same charge. This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly. Please refresh the page for the fullest version. You…

Portugal strike: Tanker drivers defy threat of arrest

Three days into a strike, Portuguese fuel tanker drivers have rejected a new government decree requiring them to fulfil minimum services or face arrest or even jail. « No-one will respect the minimum service or civil requisition, » said union spokesman Pedro Pardal Henriques. Strikers reacted angrily after proceedings began against 14 drivers who did not comply with the decree. The government is trying to stop the strike hitting key tourist areas. Officials are particularly keen to protect Lisbon airport and the southern Algarve coastal region and the military and…

Russia says rocket explosion caused 16-fold radiation spike

Radiation levels near the site of a deadly rocket explosion in Russia’s far north spiked 16 times above normal, Russia’s weather service has said. Rosgidromet measured radiation levels in the port city of Severodvinsk after the blast. The explosion happened off the coast of the city at a military facility in the White Sea last Thursday. Russia’s state nuclear agency, Rosatom, said a nuclear-powered engine was being tested. Five of its scientists were killed and three injured in the accident, near the village of Nyonoksa, the agency said. Readings for…

Danish PM apologises for historical abuse in children’s homes

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has officially said sorry to hundreds of victims of historical abuse in state-run homes. From 1945-76, children were sexually abused, beaten and drugged, an inquiry into what happened at the homes found. The abuse took place across Denmark and campaigners have for years appealed to the state to accept it was at fault. « The apology means everything. All we wanted was peace of mind, » said one of the victims, Arne Roel Jorgensen. The sixty-eight-year-old told the BBC how the lives of many of…

Portugal police drive fuel trucks as strike bites

Police and soldiers are driving fuel tankers in Portugal to counter the impact of a strike by tanker drivers, now in its second day. The government issued an emergency decree called « civil requisition », meaning the strikers can be prosecuted and face up to two years in jail. At least 14 tankers driven by soldiers left the Sines refinery for the Algarve, where petrol stations are running dry at a peak time for tourism. Petrol rationing is now in force too. Motorists are restricted to 15 litres (3.3 gallons)…

Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz to be tried over ‘Guinea bribes’

Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz and two associates are to stand trial for allegedly bribing Guinean officials to win mining licences, Swiss prosecutors say. The trio allegedly paid $10m (£8.2m) to one of the wives of former Guinean President Lansana Conte. Mr Steinmetz and his mining company Beny Steinmetz Group Resources (BSGR) have previously denied any wrongdoing. The prosecution is seeking prison terms of two to 10 years. The prosecutors, who opened an investigation into the alleged bribery six years ago, allege that Mr Steinmetz obtained the mining rights in the…

Norway mosque attack: Bruised suspect Manshaus appears in court

A 21-year-old Norwegian man has appeared in court in Oslo, accused of terrorism in connection with a gun attack on a mosque at the weekend. His face and neck marked by bruises and scratches, Philip Manshaus was also charged with attempted murder, as well as the murder of his stepsister. Prosecutors are seeking to extend his custody for another four weeks. He appeared to smile at photographers before the judge opened the case behind closed doors. Mr Manshaus is accused of opening fire at the Al-Noor Islamic Centre in Baerum,…

Italian politicians try to stop push for elections

Media playback is unsupported on your device The heads of Italy’s political groups will decide on Monday when to hold a no-confidence vote, days after nationalist leader Matteo Salvini announced he was pulling the plug on the populist coalition government. Mr Salvini wants snap elections, but faces a challenge from his ex-coalition partner and the opposition centre left. Ex-Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is calling for a caretaker government. A final decision on the next step rests with the president. Mr Salvini’s nationalist League party has been in government with the…

Norway mosque shooting probed as terror act

A shooting at a mosque in Norway is being investigated as a possible act of terrorism, police say. A gunman opened fire on the Al-Noor Islamic Centre, on the outskirts of the capital Oslo, on Saturday. One person in the mosque managed to overpower the gunman, suffering « minor injuries » in the process. Later, a woman was found dead at the house of the suspect. This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly. Please refresh the page for the fullest version. You can…

Moscow protests: Tens of thousands attend huge rally

Tens of thousands of demonstrators have taken part in a rally in Moscow to demand fair elections. It is the fourth major protest over the banning of opposition candidates in local elections in the Russian capital in a month. It was authorised by the city authorities, unlike the last two rallies which ended in violence and arrests. Organisers say nearly 50,000 people took part despite heavy rain. But police estimates suggested the figure was less than half of that. The organisers also called for an unauthorised march through the city…