AFP Video

Stella Assange defends right to ‘speak freely’


London (AFP) – “It’s about the right to be able to speak freely without being put in prison,” says Julian Assange’s wife Stella outside the London High Court where a hearing for his final appeal against extradition to the United States is underway. The hearing opened in the absence of the 52-year-old WikiLeaks founder who “is not feeling well”, according to his lawyer Edward Fitzgerald. Assange is facing trial in the United States for publishing secret military and diplomatic files.

©AFP

Michelangelo’s David gets spa treatment in Florence


Florence (Italy) (AFP) – Every two months, Michelangelo’s statue of David, completed in 1504, undergoes a careful cleaning at its home in Florence’s Accademia Gallery, where it has resided for over 150 years. His personal restorer, Eleonora Pucci, climbs on a scaffolding for an up-close view — part of a monitoring and cleaning ritual necessary for the preservation of the Renaissance icon visited by over two million visitors last year.

©AFP

Michelangelo’s David gets spa treatment in Florence


Florence (Italy) (AFP) – Every two months, Michelangelo’s statue of David, completed in 1504, undergoes a careful cleaning at its home in Florence’s Accademia Gallery, where it has resided for over 150 years. His personal restorer, Eleonora Pucci, climbs on a scaffolding for an up-close view — part of a monitoring and cleaning ritual necessary for the preservation of the Renaissance icon visited by over two million visitors last year.

©AFP

Navalny’s mother urges Putin to release body ‘immediately’


kharp (Russia) (AFP) – The mother of late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny appeals to President Vladimir Putin for the release of her son’s body. “I demand that Alexei’s body be released immediately so that I can bury him in a humane way,” says Lyudmila Navalnaya. AFP can confirm that she is speaking against the backdrop of a church that corresponds to photos available in the media of the Russian Arctic prison colony where Navalny was jailed and died, according to the prison service.

©AFP

Russia FM Lavrov arrives in Venezuela


Caracas (AFP) – Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov gets off a plane at Caracas airport as he arrives in Venezuela, his second stop on a Latin American tour for a G20 summit in Brazil. Lavrov began the trip in Cuba, where he met President Miguel Diaz-Canel and lashed out at US sanctions against the island. IMAGES

©AFP

Lab-grown diamonds put natural gems under pressure


Surat (India) (AFP) – Man-made gems are reshaping the $89 billion global diamond jewellery market, especially in the west Indian city of Surat where 90 percent of the world’s diamonds are cut and polished.

©AFP

China’s homegrown airliner makes international debut in Singapore


Singapore (AFP) – China’s first domestically produced passenger jet C919 makes its international debut at the Singapore Airshow, the largest aviation event in Asia. The single-aisle model from COMAC is a potential competitor to the market-leading A320, made by Europe’s Airbus, and the 737 MAX from US-based Boeing. IMAGES

©AFP

"The Zone of Interest" BAFTA winners speak to AFP on red carpet


London (AFP) – Stars walk the red carpet at the 77th British Academy Film Awards as members of the cast and crew of the award winning “The Zone of Interest” speak to AFP. Jonathan Glazer’s harrowing film about a Nazi concentration camp commander and his family living next to Auschwitz, took home three awards including best British film, best film not in the English language and best sound.

©AFP

Explosions rock Ukraine’s Avdiivka after capture by Moscow


Avdiivka (Ukraine) (AFP) – Plumes of smoke rise on the frontline of the eastern Ukrainian city of Avdiivka — which Moscow claimed “full control” of on February 17 — as explosions can be heard in the distance. Ukrainian forces announced they had withdrawn from Avdiivka on February 17, facing ammunition shortages and outnumbered on the battlefield.

©AFP

Navalny’s widow accuses Putin of killing him


Unknown (AFP) – Alexei Navalny’s widow Yulia Navalnaya accuses President Vladimir Putin of killing her husband and promises to “name names and show faces” of those she claims are responsible for his death, three days after Navalny died in an Arctic prison. Her video address comes as the Kremlin said an investigation into his death was “ongoing” and his mother Lyudmila was denied access to his body for a third day.

©AFP

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