OLD FRIENDS: Russia’s Vladimir Putin poses with Greek president Prokopis Pavlopoulos on a visit to the Orthodox community of Mount Athos, who hold him in high regard. Putin also met with prime minister Alexis Tsipras and described an expanded US missile  defence system in Eastern Europe as a threat to Russian security. Picture: BLOOMBERG/KONSTANTINOS TSAKALIDIS
OLD FRIENDS: Russia’s Vladimir Putin poses with Greek president Prokopis Pavlopoulos on a visit to the Orthodox community of Mount Athos, who hold him in high regard. Putin also met with prime minister Alexis Tsipras and described an expanded US missile defence system in Eastern Europe as a threat to Russian security. Picture: BLOOMBERG/KONSTANTINOS TSAKALIDIS
A Syrian girl poses with a lamb in a field near the village of al-Bahariyah, in eastern Ghouta, a semi-agricultural  region on the outskirts of Damascus. Fighting devastated production after it first hit wheat growing areas in 2012. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/AFP/AMER ALOHIBANY
A Syrian girl poses with a lamb in a field near the village of al-Bahariyah, in eastern Ghouta, a semi-agricultural region on the outskirts of Damascus. Fighting devastated production after it first hit wheat growing areas in 2012. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/AFP/AMER ALOHIBANY
United Arab Emirates  economy minister  Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori  expects oil to rise to US$60/barrel based on US summertime demand, he told an event in Dubai  this week. This follows a new high of $50 reached in May. Picture: BLOOMBERG/ALEX ATACK
United Arab Emirates economy minister Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori expects oil to rise to US$60/barrel based on US summertime demand, he told an event in Dubai this week. This follows a new high of $50 reached in May. Picture: BLOOMBERG/ALEX ATACK

AFRICA

• Côte d’Ivoire’s former first lady Simone Gbagbo’s trial for crimes against humanity begins, but rights groups won’t participate.

• Uganda cuts military and police ties with North Korea, depriving it of a base for arms and other exports in Africa.

• A special AU-backed court in Senegal sentences former Chadian dictator Hissène Habré to life in prison for war crimes.

• Nigeria’s police chief orders members of a Biafran secessionist group accused of involvement in violent protests to disarm.

• Over 800 migrants are feared drowned in a series of shipwrecks off the coast of Libya.

• The head of Egypt’s journalists union is charged with spreading false news and harbouring wanted journalists.

ABROAD

• French president François Hollande insists that controversial labour reform will not be withdrawn in spite of nationwide strikes.

• Turkey labels the pacifist movement of Fethullah Gulen a terrorist group and says it is trying to topple the government.

• A second minister in Brazil’s government resigns after a recording that appears to show him trying to derail a corruption investigation is published.

• LATAM and Lufthansa suspend flights to Venezuela, citing tough macroeconomic conditions.

• Volkswagen’s profit tumbles 20% in the first three months of 2016 as it continues to grapple with a diesel emissions scandal.

• Chinese president Xi Jinping commits to better relations with the Philippines after a spat over the South China Sea.

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