French President Emmanuel Macron announced tax cuts for middle-class workers and plans for a more representative parliament Thursday as part of a promised response to the weekly yellow vest protests that damaged his presidency. He unveiled measures to boost pensions under 2,000 euros ($ 2,226) and said he would propose an overhaul of France’s retirement system during the summer. But he said the “best solution” for financial disparities is “to cut taxes for a maximum number of citizens and especially those who are working, especially the middle-class.”
The strongest cyclone ever to hit Mozambique has made landfall in the country’s north, five weeks after Cyclone Idai devastated its center, according to meteorologists. Surpassing both Idai and the 2000 cyclone that had been the strongest to date, Cyclone Kenneth hit Cabo Delgado province with wind speeds of 140mph (225km/h), bringing the threat of extreme rainfall. After forming off Madagascar’s coast earlier this week, Kenneth passed to the north of the island nation of Comoros on Wednesday night, killing three people and causing widespread damage to homes and infrastructure.
The North Korean government presented the United States with a bill for $2 million for the hospital care of Otto Warmbier, the American college student who was held as a prisoner by Pyongyang, and insisted the US sign a pledge to pay the bill before releasing him from their custody in 2017, according to two sources familiar with the matter. Warmbier was in a comatose state at the time of his release from North Korean custody and died a few days after returning to the United States.
Sri Lankan officials revised the death toll from Easter Sunday bombings down by about 100 on Thursday, blaming the difficulty in identifying body parts at bomb scenes for the earlier inaccurate number. The new official figure was 253, down from an earlier 359, Deputy Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardene said. Police issued names and photographs of four men and three women wanted in connection with the attacks, as bomb scares and security sweeps kept the country on edge.
The Duke of Cambridge has met survivors of the Christchurch mosque attacks, in which 50 people were killed in March. The duke also met some of the officers and medics who were among the first at the scene of the shootings. Later, the prince had a private meeting with Muslim community leaders, thanking them for bringing the community together after the tragedy. Prince William is traveling on behalf of the Queen at the request of Ms Ardern.