Hollande appeals for solidarity after storms
At least 16 people were killed in flooding caused by torrential rains in France’s Cote d’Azur region, with six others missing. French President Francois Hollande, who visited the region on Sunday, said the death toll was not yet final. He promised aid for residents and appealed for the “solidarity of the nation”. The French Riviera was lashed by 180 millimetres (seven inches) of rain in just three hours.
Russian intervention in Syria vital, says Assad
Syria President Bashar al-Assad welcomed the air strikes carried out by Russia in his war-torn country, saying it was vital for the entire Middle East. Russian air strikes and raids against Islamic State targets entered a fifth day on Sunday despite accusations in the West that the strikes are mainly targeting moderate opponents of the regime. In an interview broadcast by Iranian state television, Assad said that the alliance between Russia, Syria, Iraq and Iran must succeed “or else the whole region will be destroyed”.
MSF leaves Kunduz after air strike
International medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) called for an independent investigation into the bombing of its hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz. MSF blamed the United States for the air strikes, which at last count have killed at least 22 people, and said it was withdrawing from the city.
Typhoon leaves four dead in South China
A strong typhoon hit southern China on Sunday, bringing heavy rain and winds up to 50 metres per second. At least four people have been killed according to one report, while several fishing vessels are stranded at sea. More than 500 tourists have also been stranded on Fangji Island, a popular tourist destination.
Pope Francis calls for welcoming Church, but no gay marriage
Pope Francis on Sunday reaffirmed Catholic opposition to gay marriage but said the Church had to show love and understanding towards all. The pontiff was speaking at the opening of a synod ‒ a three-week gathering of bishops from around the world ‒ in the Vatican. The Pope’s comments came a day after the Vatican dismissed one of its priests after he came out as gay and called for changes in Catholic teachings against homosexual activity. Pope Francis dedicated a third of his homily to the topic of love between man and woman and its role in procreation.