Category: Europe

ITALY – Arson suspected in camper fire

ROME – Three Gypsy sisters were burned alive Wednesday after their camper burst into flames as they slept, in what officials suggested was an arson attack involving the Roma community living on Rome’s peripheries. Italian politicians from the president on down demanded the stiffest of punishments for those responsible, while Pope Francis sent his chief […]

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Turkey slams Trump's plan to arm Kurds

ANKARA – Turkey has lashed out at Washington’s plan to send arms to Kurdish rebels fighting ISIS in Syria, calling for an end to the US strategy that has long rattled Ankara. The Pentagon announced Tuesday that President Donald Trump had authorized arming the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), green-lighting a US policy that had […]

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FRANCE – Tough task ahead

PARIS – Emmanuel Macron took his first steps as France’s president-elect on Monday but faces a tough task establishing a team that can govern effectively. His party has announced it is changing name from En Marche to La Republique En Marche (Republic on the Move). It must pick candidates quickly ahead of parliamentary elections on […]

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Macron and Le Pen wrap up tense campaign

PARIS – The two candidates hoping to be France’s next president are making a final push for votes on the last day of campaigning before Sunday’s election. Centrist Emmanuel Macron – who has a substantial lead in opinion polls – is visiting the southern city of Rodez. His far-right rival, Marine Le Pen, was heckled […]

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FRANCE – Le Pen accused of speech plagiarism

PARIS – French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has been accused of plagiarising defeated rival François Fillon in a speech she delivered on Monday. Several sections of her speech in Villepinte, north of Paris, appear to repeat almost word-for-word comments Fillon made in an address on April 15. An official of her National Front party […]

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Merkel pushes Putin on gay rights

BERLIN – German Chancellor Angela Merkel has raised reports of the detention and abuse of gay men in Chechnya with Russian President Vladimir Putin, urging the leader to protect the rights of minorities across the country. The first report on the issue was published on April 1 by the major Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, which […]

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Protesters storm Macedonia parliament

SKOPJE – Protesters stormed into Macedonia’s parliament on Thursday after a vote to elect an ethnic Albanian as parliamentary speaker. Demonstrators from the United Macedonia initiative forced entry into the building in Skopje. Social Democrat leader Zoran Zaev was left with blood pouring down his face after fights broke out. The protesters, supporters of ex-prime […]

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Security dominates French election

PARIS – The killing of a policeman by a suspected Islamist militant pushed national security to the top of the French political agenda on Friday, two days before the presidential election. With the first round of voting in the two-stage election taking place on Sunday, far-right nationalist candidate Marine Le Pen promised tougher immigration and […]

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RUSSIA – Supreme court bans Jehovah’s Witnesses

MOSCOW – Russia’s Supreme Court on Thursday banned Jehovah’s Witnesses from operating anywhere in the country, accepting a request from the justice ministry that the religious organization be considered an extremist group. The court ordered the closure of the group’s Russian headquarters and its 395 local chapters, as well as the seizure of its property. […]

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GERMANY – ‘Islamist’ suspect held over team bus attack

DORTMUND – German police have detained a suspect with “Islamist links” following a bomb attack on the bus of the Borussia Dortmund football team. Prosecutors also said the three explosive devices contained metal pieces. Two letters claiming the attack on Tuesday evening were being investigated, they said. Prosecutors are treating the blasts as a terrorist […]

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FRANCE – French refugee camp reduced to ashes

PARIS – A huge fire ripped through a migrant camp in northern France late Monday razing it to the ground and leaving several people injured. Large numbers of migrants and refugees — including unaccompanied children — have been left homeless, according to an aid agency. The fire, which destroyed wooden shelters at the Linière camp […]

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ITALY – G7 seeks united front

ROME – G7 nations are meeting in Italy to try to hammer out a unified approach to the Syria conflict, in the wake of last week’s suspected chemical attack. Foreign ministers will seek to pressure Russia to distance itself from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said possible sanctions against Russian military […]

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SWEDEN – Deadly truck attack

STOCKHOLM –– A truck plowed into a crowd on a shopping street and crashed into a department store in central Stockholm on Friday, killing four people and wounding 15 in what the prime minister said appeared to be a terrorist attack. Swedish police said they had arrested one person after earlier circulating a picture of a […]

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RUSSIA – Funny business

MOSCOW – It is now illegal in Russia to distribute any images that depict President Vladimir Putin wearing makeup and implying he is gay. The Justice Ministry in Moscow has included one of them among a registry of “extremist materials,” along with others such as anti-Semitic and racist pictures and slogans. The punishment for offenders […]

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RUSSIA – Seven arrested

ST PETERSBURG — As part of a sweeping hunt for any accomplices of the St Petersburg suicide bomber, investigators Wednesday rounded up seven suspected Islamic State recruiters from the Central Asia region of the former Soviet Union but found no immediate evidence of their involvement in the subway attack. The Investigative Committee hasn’t caught any […]

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Measles outbreak across Europe

ROME – Measles is spreading across Europe wherever immunisation coverage has dropped, the World Health Organization is warning. The largest outbreaks are being seen in Italy and Romania. In the first month of this year, Italy reported more than 200 cases. Romania has reported more than 3,400 cases and 17 deaths since January 2016. Measles […]

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Body found in suitcase in Italian port

ROME – Police are investigating the discovery of an Asian woman’s body in a suitcase at the Italian port town of Rimini. The woman likely died of malnutrition and showed signs of extended physical suffering, police told Italian media. Previous reports had linked the body to a missing Dublin-based woman, who has not been seen […]

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