Panama Disease

Scientists warn a new strain of the Panama Disease fungus, which in the 1950s nearly wiped out the most popular banana in the world, the Gros Michel, is threatening today's favorite, the Cavendish, according to a new study published in "PLOS Pathogens". This untreatable fungal disease, called Tropical Race 4, has been active for decades in Southeast Asia. It recently has spread to other parts of Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Australia, and is expected to make its way to Latin America, where the vast majority of the world's exported bananas are grown.

French regional elections, 2015

Voters in France begin voting in the first round of regional elections just three weeks after the deadly Islamic State militant attacks in Paris. Exit polls show strong gains for the far-right National Front which is leading in six regions and reshape the political landscape after decades of domination by the centre-left and the centre-right coalitions. Midday voter participation is 16.27 percent, marginally higher than five years ago. There are 44.6 million eligible voters.


Germany's vice-chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel, accuses Saudi Arabia of financing Islamic extremism in the West and warns that it must stop. He tells German media, “We have to make clear to the Saudis that the time of looking away is over, Wahhabi mosques all over the world are financed by Saudi Arabia. Many Islamists who are a threat to public safety come from these communities in Germany". His comments come days after Germany's Federal Intelligence Service released a report saying Saudi Arabia was "destabilizing" the Arab world.