Gbagbo charged with theft
Former president Laurent Gbagbo has been charged with economic crimes, including aggravated theft and embezzlement of public funds, public prosecutor Simplice Kouadio Koffi said on Thursday. These are the first charges since his arrest in April by forces loyal to President Alassane Ouattara. Gbagbo’s refusal to concede defeat in November plunged the nation into post-election violence that killed thousands. Koffi said former first lady Simone Gbagbo was also charged with economic crimes. Last week Gbagbo’s son and 11 others were charged over post-election activities. No member of Ouattara’s group has been charged.
Pope to meet royalty, PM
Pope Benedict XVI was to meet the royal family and separately with Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero yesterday, the second day of his trip to the country. Later, the pontiff was to travel about 50km northwest of Madrid to El Escorial monastery, where he was to meet with young nuns and members of religious orders and Catholic university professors. His speeches were expected to touch on some of his major themes, such as the role of God in a secular world and the need for young people to be taught to seek truth.
Coco Chanel a Nazi spy: book
A new book alleges that iconic French fashion designer Coco Chanel was an anti-Semite and a Nazi spy. Sleeping with the Enemy: Coco Chanel’s Secret Wars, by US historian Hal Vaughan, contends Chanel was an agent of Germany’s Abwehr military intelligence organization that undertook wartime missions to Berlin and Madrid. The book is based in part on documents from archives in Germany, France, Britain and Switzerland. The House of Chanel said the book’s claims about Chanel’s alleged anti-Semitism “cannot go unchallenged.” “More than 57 books have been written about Gabrielle Chanel,” it said. “We would encourage you to consult some of the more serious ones.” The book was released on Tuesday.
Oasis feud deepens
The feud between Oasis rockers Noel and Liam Gallagher heated up yesterday after singer Liam issued a libel writ against his brother over claims a show was canceled because of his drinking. Liam, 38, called his older brother a “liar” and said accusations that the band pulled out of an appearance at 2009’s V Festival due to his hangover were a slur on his professionalism. “I have taken action against Noel Gallagher’s statement,” Liam, now frontman of his own band, Beady Eye, said in a statement published in the Sun newspaper. “The truth is I had laryngitis, which Noel was made fully aware of. What Noel has alleged this time went beyond rock-and-roll banter and questioned my professionalism.”
Shark attack warning issued
Emergency officials are telling residents along a 1,300km stretch of the Pacific coast to stay out of the water after two unprecedented shark attacks on swimmers this week. More than 60 workers of the Emergencies Ministry are patrolling beaches and waters in the Primorsky Krai, the southernmost region of the country’s Pacific coast, to try to locate the sharks, the ministry said in a statement yesterday. In the first attack, on Wednesday, a 25-year-old swimmer lost both his hands and sustained other serious injuries. A 16-year-old boy was severely bitten in the legs the next day.
Zara accused of ‘slave labor’