Afghan child with makeshift Lionel Messi jersey will meet his hero

A young boy in Afghanistan became a media sensation after photographs of his makeshift football jersey, made out of a plastic bag, went viral on the Internet. Five-year-old Murtaza Ahmadi had been asking his family for a team jersey of his favourite football player, Barcelonas Lionel Messi, for some time. But his father, Arif Ahmadi, said such a present was outside the means for the family living in rural Ghazni province. So Murtaza and his siblings made their own. Feb 1, 2016

France: Distressed freighter to hit coast if salvage fails

A stricken cargo ship drifting on its side off the French Atlantic coast will run aground in southwest France if a renewed attempt to tow it to port fails on 1 February, a French maritime official said. The 164-metre-long Modern Express, which was transporting 3,600 tonnes of wood along with construction machinery from Gabon to France, has been drifting towards the coast since its crew was evacuated by helicopter last week. Feb 1, 2016