International Briefs

Long Paris trash strike ends, workers face daunting cleanup

PARIS (AP) — Striking sanitation workers in Paris began returning to work Wednesday, ending one of the most enduring symbols of opposition to French President Emmanuel Marcon’s unpopular pension bill, as nationwide protests also appeared to be winding down.Awaiting clean-up crews were heaps of trash that had piled up over their weekslong strike beginning March 6, as well as debris from the streets following the tenth nationwide anti-pension reform protests a day earlier. Trash mounds that reached up to 10,000 tons along the French capital’s streets — matching the weight of the Eiffel Tower — have become a striking visual and olfactory symbol of opposition to Marcon’s plan to raise the retirement age by two years

Founding member of pope’s child protection board resigns

VATICAN CITY (AP) — A founding member of Pope Francis’ child protection advisory board resigned Wednesday, citing a host of problems inside the commission and in its relationship with the Vatican bureaucracy. In an unusually frank resignation note, the Rev. Hans Zollner cited inadequate financial accountability, insufficient transparency about decision-making and a lack of clarity about staff hiring and the board’s relationship with the Holy See’s sex abuse office.

Philippine police seize large stash of drugs in tea bags

BAGUIO, Philippines (AP) — Philippine police seized more than half a to of suspected methamphetamine concealed in tea bags Wednesday and arrested a suspected Chinese drug dealer in a northern mountain resort city, police officials said. The drug seizure in Baguio city had an estimated street value of 4 billion pesos ($74 million) and was one of the largest in recent years, officials said.

South Africa manhunt for convicted killer who escaped prison

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South African police have launched a manhunt for convicted rapist and murderer Thabo Bester who escaped from a privately-run maximum security prison in the Free State province under bizarre circumstances. Bester, known as the “Facebook rapist,” was found guilty in 2012 of raping two women and killing one after luring them with the social media platform. In March last year officials reported that he had died in a fire in his cell at the Mangaung Correctional Center, near Bloemfontein. But now it appears Bester escaped from his cell amid the fire and has been living lavishly in Johannesburg’s posh Hyde Park suburb.


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