- Gerry Adams to attend Mandela service
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams will travel to South Africa this week to pay tribute to anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, he announced on Monday. The Irish republican said he was invited to Tuesday's huge memorial service in Soweto along with dozens of world leaders including US President Barack Obama, but will be unable to attend due to prior engagements in Ireland. Instead Adams, whose party was the former political wing of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), will attend a memorial service on Saturday in Pretoria, where the ruling African National Congress (ANC) will bid farewell to their former leader.
- French troops may find Central African Republic mission easier than Mali
By John Irish and Daniel Flynn PARIS (Reuters) - France's intervention to quell violence in Central African Republic may prove simpler militarily than the campaign it waged against al Qaeda-linked Islamists in Mali this year, defense experts said. But, in a country the size of France, imposing state authority after decades of coups, rebellions and poor governance will take years and risks tying Paris down longer than it wants. The U.N. Security Council mandated France on Thursday to do whatever necessary to protect Central African Republic's 4.6 million people and restore government authority while an African Union peacekeeping mission slowly deploys. "We are intervening for humanitarian reasons," French President Francois Hollande said, outlining a short campaign that would be unlike that against Mali's well-armed, determined rebels.
- Ex-Westlife singer Egan named "I'm A Celebrity" champion
Irish boyband star Kian Egan on Sunday beat fashion designer David Emanuel, creator of Princess Diana's wedding dress, to win the 2013 edition of "I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here!". The 33-year-old former Westlife singer called the experience on the ITV reality show "probably one of the best three weeks of my life" and that he would "highly recommend it to anyone."
- Analysis: 'Brussels consensus' widens gulf with EU electorates
By Paul Taylor PARIS (Reuters) - Call it the Brussels Consensus. A system of beliefs rooted in European Union treaties helps explain the growing gulf between policy elites and ordinary citizens that may cause a political earthquake in European Parliament elections next May. These articles of faith are widely regarded as self-evident truths in the European Commission and the European Central Bank but are often regarded by voters as the cause of their misfortunes rather than the solution to them. Like the free-market Washington Consensus that prevailed in the 1990s after the collapse of communism, there is no official definition of the Brussels Consensus. Economist John Williamson coined the Washington Consensus in 1989 to describe a set of neo-liberal economic policies prescribed by the U.S. Treasury, the International Monetary Fund and World Bank for developing countries in trouble.
- Apartheid strikers to attend funeral
Irish supermarket workers who went on strike to force a ban on produce from apartheid-era South Africa are set to attend Nelson Mandela's funeral.
- Phillips happy to be back playing club rugby
Wales scrum-half Mike Phillips expressed his content at having made his Racing-Metro debut on Saturday despite the fact it came in a heavy European Cup loss to Harlequins. Phillips, who was sacked by Racing's Top 14 rivals Bayonne in October for allegedly turning up drunk to a video training session -- a charge he denies, made his debut for the blue-and-whites when he came on for Maxime Machenaud and played the final 18 minutes. "Personally, I'm happy to have played my first match with Racing, but it's obviously not the result we wanted," said the veteran British and Irish Lion scrum-half.
- NI passengers face flight delays
Passengers travelling from two of Northern Ireland's airports are facing delays because of an air traffic control centre fault.
- Hollande urges Africa to take control of its own security
By Daniel Flynn and John Irish PARIS (Reuters) - French President Francois Hollande urged African leaders on Friday to take a grip on their continent's security by creating a long-delayed regional force, after Paris was forced into its second military operation this year. Paris deployed troops to Central African Republic on Friday after it won U.N. backing for a mission to quell mounting religious violence in the nation of 4.6 million people. That followed a massive French operation to dislodge al Qaeda-linked fighters from the deserts of northern Mali this year. Hollande told some 40 African leaders, gathered at a two-day summit in Paris to discuss security, that the crisis in Central African Republic showed the urgent need to press ahead with the African Standby Force (ASF).
- Man jailed for police officer murder
A man has been sentenced to at least 20 years for the "appalling" murder of a police reservist in a hospital car park in Northern Ireland in 1981.
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