Celebrity chef Paul Prudhomme, the man credited with reinventing Louisiana's Cajun cuisine, has died aged 75, US media reported on Thursday. Prudhomme's death was confirmed by his restaurant, K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen, according to local television network WWL, a CBS affiliate in New Orleans. The youngest of 13 children, Prudhomme learned his love of fresh food from his mother, cooking at her side while growing up in Louisiana, according to the chef's website.
Regime troops backed by Lebanon's Hezbollah and Russian air raids advanced Thursday in western Syria in a "vast offensive" against rebels, as NATO voiced alarm at Moscow's escalating military activity in the country. Russia has dramatically stepped up its nine-day-old air war against foes of President Bashar al-Assad, with heavy bombing by warplanes and cruise missile strikes from the Caspian Sea. A Syrian military source told AFP on Thursday that the army, backed by Russian raids and allied militia including the powerful Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah, had advanced in a key mountain range.