Washington (AFP) - The World Health Organization has reported the largest single-day increase in coronavirus cases, as US President Donald Trump proposed hosting world leaders for the annual G7 summit as a sign of "normalization."The WHO said Wednesday that more than 106,000 virus cases had been reported -- the most in a single day since the outbreak erupted in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December.The UN body's chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was "very concerned" about the situation in low- and middle-income nations.Latin America has seen infections surge in recent days and, in some...
Paris (AFP) - AFP has followed one extended family through the ups and downs of France's eight-week coronavirus lockdown.As families across the world faced unprecedented upheaval, this family shared its shock, fears, questions, difficulties and discoveries.From their different locations across France, the family spoke to an AFP journalist between March 17 and May 10.Week 1 - 'We are at war'"Keeping your spirits up? Got food in?" It takes up hours, all the checking in with each other, but sets the rhythm of the days. The family rallies around "ma", great-grandmother Jacqueline Sebban, 83, a psy...
Paris (AFP) - People living in the most deprived areas of Britain are more than four times likelier to test positive for COVID-19 than those living in the richest neighbourhoods, new research showed Saturday. A University of Oxford study looked at more than 3,600 COVID-19 test results from national programmes and found that deprivation, age and chronic liver disease all increased the likelihood of testing positive.Of that sample, the more than 660 people living in the most deprived areas, 29.5 percent tested positive, compared with just 7.7 percent of those in richer areas, the study showed. T...
Paris (AFP) - French police on Saturday arrested one of the last key suspects in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, describing him as its "financier" and one of the world's most wanted fugitives.Felicien Kabuga, once one of Rwanda's richest men, was living under a false identity in the Paris suburbs, the public prosecutor's office and police said in a joint statement. The operation, carried out at dawn, resulted in the arrest of a fugitive "who has been sought by the judicial authorities for 25 years", the statement said.Around 800,000 people -- Tutsis but also moderate Hutus -- were slaughtered over ...
Tehran (AFP) - Iran sentenced a French-Iranian academic to five years in prison on national security charges on Saturday, her lawyer told AFP.Fariba Adelkhah was "sentenced to five years for gathering and conspiring against national security, and one year for propaganda against the Islamic republic," Said Dehghan said.He said his client would only be expected to serve the longer, five-year jail term and added that she intended to appeal.Adelkhah, a specialist in Shiite Islam and a research director at Sciences Po university in Paris, was arrested in June last year.She is a citizen of Iran and ...
Miami (AFP) - Joe Biden scored decisive victories in all three major Democratic primaries Tuesday, earning him a nearly insurmountable lead over rival Bernie Sanders in their race for the party's presidential nomination.As the United States grappled with combating the spreading coronavirus pandemic, voters handed the former vice president victory in delegate-rich Florida, as well as Illinois and Arizona.The command performance speaks to the eagerness of many Democrats to coalesce around a moderate flag bearer, to challenge Republican President Donald Trump, after several other candidates dropp...
Washington (AFP) - The US Senate voted along party lines on Tuesday to set the rules for President Donald Trump's historic impeachment trial.By a 53 to 47 vote, the Republican-controlled Senate approv...
President Vladimir Putin suggested in a US television interview that Ukrainians, Tatars or "Jews," could have meddled in the 2016 US presidential election -- but not the Kremlin. "Why have you decided the Russian authorities, myself included, gave anybody permission to do this?" Putin asked in the often-combative interview with NBC television. The leading US intelligence…
The Republican-controlled US House of Representatives voted Tuesday to ban nearly all late-term abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, advancing a priority held by President Donald Trump's party. Trump is a backer of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, and the White House has said he would sign the measure should it pass Congress and reach…
At this stage in the US presidential race, the candidates’ spouses should be everywhere, smiling themselves to exhaustion as they do their bit for the campaign.
But for the past two months Donald Trump’s wife Melania has all but vanished.
The last big appearance of the 46-year-old former model born in Slovenia was at the Republican National Convention in July in Cleveland.
She gave a major speech designed to put a more human face on her husband, but which flopped miserably as it emerged her address plagiarized remarks by Michelle Obama from 2008 at the Democratic National Convention.
The ghostwriter of the speech took the fall and Melania Trump all but disappeared from the US political scene, where she was a rare presence anyway.
Last week she appeared briefly in New York as Trump gave a speech on national security, and accompanied her husband Saturday at the funeral of Phyllis Schlafly, a prominent American conservative.
But people have started asking what has become of Trump’s wife, with the hashtag #WhereisMelania surfacing on Twitter.
The night before the September 11 anniversary last weekend, Melania Trump responded that she has been spending time with her family.
Before the Republican convention she gave several interviews in which she ardently defended her husband, criticized for his brash style, comments seen as racist and sexist and his lack of knowledge on issues both foreign and domestic.
At that time she said she preferred to focus on the education of her 10 year old son with Trump, Barron, at their home in Trump Tower in New York.
– To Twitter for defense –
Since the convention Melania Trump has been protecting herself. Her Twitter feed — once a reflection of her jet set lifestyle and posh parties she attended, dressed to the nines — has become a way for her to defend herself.
At the end of July her website was yanked after a controversy over an architecture degree that it mentioned but which Mrs Trump did not earn.
“The website in question was created in 2012 and has been removed because it does not accurately reflects my current business and professional interests,” she tweeted.
In early August, nude photos of Trump published by the New York Post triggered another mess.
They were supposedly taken in the US in 1995, but Trump always said she arrived in the country in 1996, so the shots raised questions about her immigration status at the time they were taken.
Trump, who has vowed to deport all immigrants who are in the US illegally, promised a press conference at which Melania, a US citizen since 2006, would provide an explanation.
Instead, a month later, Melania took to Twitter once again on Wednesday to respond to the controversy.
“I am pleased to enclose a letter from my immigration attorney which states that, with 100 percent certainty, I correctly went through the legal process when arriving in the USA,” she tweeted.
In the attached letter, attorney Michael Wildes states: “Through an interview with Mrs Trump, we ascertained that the photo shoot in question did not occur until after she was admitted to the United States in H-1B visa status in October 1996.”
In early September Melania Trump also sued two publications — the Daily Mail online and the blog Tarpley — for reporting she had worked as an escort in the 1990s. Trump sought $150 million in damages and interest.
At least two other websites removed similar stories, acknowledging they were based on rumors and apologizing to her.
In 1999, as Trump sought to become the presidential candidate of the Reform party, Mrs Trump told the New York Times she would be a very traditional first lady — “like Betty Ford or Jackie Kennedy. I would support him”.
But with the 2016 election less than 60 days away, there is little sign that Melania Trump will join her husband on the campaign trail any time soon.