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Germany begins clean-up after storm
BERLIN: Trains on Germany’s intercity lines resumed running early on Friday, a day after being suspended when violent gales battered northern Europe, as the toll of the deadly storm rose to eight in the country. Two more people were reported killed in the worst storm to strike Germany in a decade, adding to an earlier toll of six which included two firefighters deployed to attend to emergencies.
 
 
New Zealand PM pregnant with first child
WELLINGTON: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Friday she was pregnant with her first child, prompting an outpouring of support from women’s rights groups and labour activists as she declared “I’ll be a prime minister and a mum.” Ardern said she planned to work until the end of her pregnancy in June and then take six-weeks leave, during which time Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters would run the country.
   
Puigdemont says can govern region from Belgium
Barcelona: Catalonia’s former leader Carles Puigdemont, who was sacked by Madrid over his attempt to break from Spain, said on Friday he can govern the region from Belgium as he eyes a comeback after scoring big in elections. “There are only two options: in prison I would not be able to address people, write, meet people,” Puigdemont, who is in self-imposed exile in Belgium and risks arrest on charges of rebellion, sedition and
 
 
Teen injures six in school axe attack
Moscow: A teenage boy injured six people, five of them minors, in an axe attack in a Siberian classroom on Friday, local authorities said, days after 15 were injured in a knife fight at another Russian school. Investigators said the boy, thought to be 15 or 16, carried out the attack in a class of children aged around 12 or 13 in the city of Ulan-Ude near the Mongolian border. He also set the classroom on fire with a bottle of
   
Parliament strips Czech premier of immunity
Prague: The Czech parliament on Friday stripped billionaire Prime Minister Andrej Babis of immunity as a lawmaker, allowing the police to investigate his alleged role in EU subsidy fraud from 2007. “The decision was adopted,” said deputy parliament speaker Tomio Okamura in a 111-69 vote. Police have charged Babis with fraud, alleging the 63-year-old Slovak-born chemicals, food and media tycoon pulled his Stork Nest farm out of
 
 
New inmate attack fuels French prison strikes
PARIS: French police fired tear gas to break up a picket line of striking prison guards at Europe’s biggest prison on Friday, as a fresh assault by inmates on staff at a facility in Corsica fuelled demands for better security. The scuffles at the huge Fleury-Merogis prison just south of Paris came as unions were pressing a fourth day of strikes across France sparked by a string of attacks on guards. The latest came in Borgo on
   
Russian president braves freezing temperatures
MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin along with millions of Orthodox believers braved freezing temperatures to take a barechested plunge into icy water in a traditional ritual marking the baptism of Jesus. Surrounded by Orthodox priests and glittering religious icons, and with the temperature hovering around -5°C, Putin lowered himself into waters of Lake Seliger some 350 kilometres northwest of Moscow. Many other Russians
 
 
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