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World in brief: May 15, 2024

GERMANY: A court in the city of Halle ruled on Tuesday that Bjorn Hocke, one of the best-known figures in the far-right Alternative for Germany party, knowingly used a Nazi slogan in a speech and ordered him to pay a fine.

The fine of €13,000 (£11,000) comes months before a regional election in the eastern state of Thuringia in which he plans to run for the governor’s job.

SWITZERLAND: A top criminal court today convicted Ousman Sonko, a former interior minister of Gambia for crimes against humanity over his role in repression committed by the west African country’s security forces under its longtime dictator, a legal advocacy group said.

Mr Sonko was sentenced to 20 years in prison, Trial International said on the X social media platform.

UKRAINE: President Volodymyr Zelensky today postponed all his planned foreign trips as his country’s army suffered further setbacks against Russian forces.

President Zelensky had been expected to visit Spain, and perhaps Portugal, later this week but Russian troops appear to have made huge gains on the front lines in north-east Ukraine’s Kharkiv region.

FRANCE: A massive manhunt was under way in France today for armed assailants who ambushed a prison convoy, killing two prison officers, seriously injuring three others and springing the inmate they were escorting. 

Prime Minister Gabriel Attal vowed that the gang would be caught.

He said in a speech to the National Assembly: “We are tracking you, we will find you and we will punish you.”

He said: “They will pay for what they have done.”

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