Champions League: Europe’s top leagues to get four group-stage spots

8 days ago

(CNN)Life just got a little bit easier for the clubs of European football’s top four leagues after UEFA, the sport’s governing body on the continent, announced that each division will have four guaranteed places in the Champions League group stage from the start of 2018-19 season.

The current top four leagues in Europe — according to UEFA’s coefficient rankings — are the Spanish La Liga, German Bundesliga, English Premier League and Italian Serie A.
    Under the present system, La Liga, the Bundesliga and the Premier League are guaranteed three places in the group stage, with a fourth spot possible through the playoff round, while Serie A is sure of two places and a third available through the playoff round.

    Leicester's

      JUST WATCHED

      Leicester’s Fuchs on UEFA Champions League

    MUST WATCH

    France’s Ligue 1, Russia’s Premier League and Portugal’s Primeira Liga sit fifth, sixth and seventh respectively in UEFA’s coefficient rankings, although they currently remain some distance behind the top four divisions.
    The new changes mean that 16 of the 32 Champions League group stage spots will now be guaranteed to teams in Europe’s top four leagues.
    The announcement comes just a day after UEFA presidential candidate, Aleksander Ceferin warned that a potential breakaway league of Europe’s top clubs could lead to war between teams and the governing body.

    ‘Evolution not revolution’

    As part of its “evolution of UEFA club competitions” process for the 2018-21 cycle, UEFA also announced that financial distribution to clubs participating in the Champions League and Europa League will be “increased significantly.”

    Leicester's

      JUST WATCHED

      Leicester’s Fuchs on UEFA Champions League

    MUST WATCH

    “A new four-pillar financial distribution system (starting fee, performance in the competition, individual club coefficient and market pool) will see sporting performances better rewarded, while market pool share will decrease,” the governing body confirmed.
    UEFA also announced that a new system for club coefficients, which help determine its coefficient rankings, will also be implemented with teams in future being judged on their own records and historical success in Europe also being taken into account.
    Elsewhere, Europa League winners will automatically qualify for the Champions League group stage from the 2018-19 season, rather than having to first take part in the playoff round.
    “The evolution of UEFA’s club competitions is the result of a wide-ranging consultative process involving all stakeholders and taking into account a wide range of expertise and perspectives,” said UEFA interim general secretary Theodore Theodoridis.
    “The amendments made will continue to ensure qualification based on sporting merit, and the right of all associations and their clubs to compete in Europe’s elite club competitions.
    “We are happy that European football remains united behind the concepts of solidarity, fair competition, fair distribution and good governance.”

    Read more: www.cnn.com

    Scientology criminal enterprise lawsuit hurled out by Belgian judge

    16 days ago

    Investigators and prosecutors criticised after trial of 11 members of church and two affiliated bodies that could have led to ban

    A court in Brussels has hurled out charges that could have find Church of Scientology banned as a criminal enterprise in Belgium, after a magistrate said the defendants were targeted because of their religion.

    Eleven members of the celebrity-backed, US-based church and two affiliated bodies had been charged with fraud, extortion, the illegal practice of medicine, running war criminals enterprise and infringing the right to privacy.

    The entire proceedings are declared inadmissible for a serious and irremediable breach of the right to a fair trial, the presiding judge, Yves Regimont, said on Friday.

    He criticised the examiners involved in an 18 -year inquiry into Scientology in Belgium for what he said was racism, and prosecutors for being vague in their case against the religion.

    The defendants were prosecuted principally because they were Scientologists, Regimont added.

    The case was the subject of a seven-week trial that objective last December.

    Its a relief, Scientologys spokesman in Belgium, Eric Roux, told reporters outside special courts. When you have had 20 years of your life under a pressure that you know is unfair, where one attacks your notions and not something you have done, the working day when the court says it officially, its a big relief,.

    Defence lawyer Pascal Vanderveeren denounced the suit as careless and prejudiced, adding that it was aimed at assaulting Scientology and not those who are part of it.

    Marie Abadi, a former Scientology member who has become a strong foe of it, told me that she expected an appeal, adding: We are evidently very disappointed. Either the facts are too old, or not precise enough. We are certain the prosecutor will appeal because things must budge.

    Championed by famous members such as Hollywood actors Tom Cruise and John Travolta, Scientology stirs up sharp divisions. Critics denounce it as a cult and a swindle, while advocates say it offers much-needed spiritual subsistence in a fast-changing world.

    Prosecutors had asked for the court to completely dissolve the Belgian branch of Scientology and the affiliated European Bureau for Human Rights, and for them to face a fine.

    The defence team said the charges were nothing more than an attempt to blacken Scientologys reputation.

    The Belgian authorities launched a first investigation in 1997 after several former members complained about the churchs practices.

    A second investigation followed in 2008 when an employment agency charged that the church had attained bogus job offers so as to draw in and recruit new members.

    Headquartered in Los Angeles, the Church of Scientology was founded in 1954 by science fiction novelist L Ron Hubbard. It is recognised as a religion in the US and in other countries such as Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and Sweden, and claims a worldwide membership of 12 million.

    But it has come under recurred scrutiny by authorities in several European countries, particularly in Germany. Several German regions have considered banning Scientology, while Berlin initially banned the cast of the Cruise Nazi-era movie Valkyrie from filming at historical locations but subsequently relented.

    A court in Spain in 2007 annulled a decision by the Spanish justice ministry to sremove it from the countrys register of officially recognised religions.

    Read more: www.theguardian.com

    What the rest of Europe thinks about Londoners picking a Muslim mayor

    20 days ago

    People living outside the UK give their views on Sadiq Khans win and whether a Muslim would be elected where they live

    As Europe grapplings with the rise of anti-immigration parties, Sadiq Khans appointment as the first directly elected Muslim mayor of a western capital city is important. According to those who responded to a Guardian callout, people living in the rest of Europe welcome the choice Londoners have made.

    Sadiqs appointment sends a great message to the world. It reflects Britains state of mind which, as a French person, I think is more open-minded than France, said 18 -year-old Mathilde from the south of France. It tells me that Londoners see above the religion or the race of a person.

    Last year, a YouGov poll procured that 31% of those living in the capital would be uncomfortable having a Muslim mayor, and 13% are still not sure. But the 1,310, 143 people who voted for Khan have boosted Londons reputation as a multicultural, multi-faith and liberal city.

    Mathilde lives in Alleins, a village not far from Marseille, which is home to 250,000 Muslims, the second largest population in France. In the 2015 regional elections Alleins citizens voted for the rightwing party Les Rpublicains( 52% ), and the far-right Front National( FN)( 48% )~ ATAGEND. In the first round of the local election Front National led, losing out in the second round to Les Rpublicains. I live in an area where, ironically, there are many Muslims but where the FN has the most success. There are definitely discriminations against Muslim people, even though its often in discreet forms.

    I tend to be pointed out that Muslims are not really integrated in society but left in a corner. I guess the Paris attacks helped the rightwing parties, especially the far-right party, to become more important. In fact the regional elections happened a little while after the attacks she said.

    Louis, 18, who also lives in southern France, feels that Muslim people are more integrated into society than Mathilde describes but doesnt ever expect to see a Muslim political nominee in a similar position to Khan.

    For me, it doesnt matter what his religion is or where he comes from as long as hes qualified and skilled. I guess[ Khans win] highlights Londons ethnic diversity and that he won thanks to their vote, he said.

    Rafiq, 70, from Switzerland, has positive experiences of Muslim people standing for local government elections and gaining referendums, despite the populist rightwing Swiss Peoples party( SVP) winning the biggest share of the vote in Switzerlands elections last year.

    It seems that acts of Islamophobia are not as widespread as are sometimes reported. Like most places Switzerland has all kinds of people, but many are open-minded and friendly with neighbours who are polite and kind to my hijab-wearing wife. Several Muslims are standing during the elections and some of them get a good number of referendums, but not quite enough, he said.

    Ursula, 62, from Munich believes that despite some visible rightwing sentiment Germans would vote regardless of religion.

    I think that convincing characters would have equal chances , no matter their religious beliefs. I was surprised by Sadiq Khans appointment. I had expected that the non-Muslim majority would not like to be represented by a Muslim major. Maybe such a big city attracts people with an open mind?

    The Muslim part of society is not very active politically. I suppose the majority still keep their distance, feeling that they should not get involved, she said.

    Wolfram, a 67 -year-old from Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler in the west of Germany, has considered anti-immigration sentiment imbue where he lives and cant insure a Muslim politician being elected any time soon.

    It seems that Londoners accept their history and the consequences of the empire, and the outcome dedicates hope that people with different religions can live together peacefully.

    Wolfram said he could not imagine a Muslim politician being elected where he lived, certainly not in the near future. Theres a instead deep split between those who are afraid of the rise in the number of Muslim people and the other citizens who are open-minded, even about open borders for refugees.

    Hanna, 24, from Helsinki, believes Khans win is important given the loathe speech and discrimination facing Muslims in Europe, the rise of rightwing parties, and what she describes as openly racist legislators in Finland.

    The anti-immigration party Perussuomalaiset[ known as Finns party, or PS] got into government and people attitudes have become harder towards refugees, especially to Muslims. The foreign minister, Timo Soini, who is party leader and co-founder of PS and a Catholic, even suggested we should prefer Christian refugees.

    As we took more refugees in than ever, the PS are losing advocates. But this entails some people are going for even more rightwing politics like Rajat Kiinni!( Border Shut !). On their Facebook page they openly call all Muslims rapists and terrorists.

    For this reason Im happy about Khans appointment, but mostly because of his politics , not just his religion. I dont really like any organised religions, but everyones free to believe what they want. It seems to me that Londoners suppose politics are more important than what religion someone believes in. They are wise, she said.

    Many respondents to the callout hope Khans win will raise the status of Muslim people living in their own towns and cities across Europe, and help to involve them more in political life.

    Nesi, 44, a secondary school teacher who lives in a small city outside Madrid, hopes Khans win will go some style in contribute to improving Muslim peoples opportunities.

    For the child of an ethnic minority to go into higher education, take part in politics and become a mayor, a lot of things in Spain have to change and improve. I think there must be some occurrences, but society doesnt provide equal opportunities for all children.

    Political posts of any relevance are largely merely for those who go to university or belong to a rich traditional household. And certainly not for a Muslim, I am afraid to say. Spain is too conservative in general to allow a Muslim to take part in politics.

    Sadiqs appointment shows that politics and important issues in the world should be about people , not religion. It also shows that a multicultural society living in peace is possible. And of course it shows what a fantastic place to live London can be, sometimes.

    Read more: www.theguardian.com

    Identities of Paris terror attack victims from more than a dozen countries emerge

    20 days ago

    The names of the 129 people killed in Friday nights attacks start to come to light as other friends and family continue to search

    The deadly and brazen terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday night killed 129 people and wounded 352.

    In the chaos that followed, friends and family took to social media to search for their missing loved ones.

    Citizens of at least 15 countries are among the dead, and below are just some of those identified.

    The deadliest single attack occurred at the Bataclan concert venue where gunmen opened fire on a crowd watching US band Eagles of Death Metal, massacring at least 89.

    Elodie Breuil, 23, France

    Breuil had attended the Eagles of Death Metal concert with a group of friends. One, speaking anonymously to Time magazine, said he became separated from her and the others when the shooting began. He ran for the exit with another man who had been nearby, but that man was shot and he fell. Once outside, Breuils friend reunited with some of the group, but Breuil and one other were missing.

    Can you imagine? Breuils brother, Alexis, said. One day youre just a happy teenager, playing video games. The next youre laying in a pool of blood with corpses all around you.

    Paris attacks: how events unfolded

    Valentin Ribet, 26, France

    Ribet was a criminal lawyer at law firm Hogan Lovells, and graduate of the London School of Economics. He was killed at the Bataclan.

    LSE (@LSEnews) November 14, 2015

    We have learned of some very sad news from our LSE alumni community, following the #ParisAttacks. pic.twitter.com/NZVsG6PDLh

    Ribets company described him as a talented lawyer, extremely well liked, and a wonderful personality in the office. It added: This is an awful tragedy and hard for any of us to truly comprehend. We are shocked by both our loss and the wider events in the city.

    Nick Alexander, 36, UK

    Alexander had been selling merchandise for the Eagles of Death Metal.

    His girlfriend, Polina Buckley, took to Twitter to search for him after news of the attack broke. Someone please help me find my boyfriend Nick Alexander. Merch guy for EODM #ParisAttacks #Bataclan, she wrote.

    Polina Buckley (@polinabuckley) November 14, 2015

    Please help me find Nick Alexander #Bataclan #ParisAttacks pic.twitter.com/eFUObFxPGR

    Alexanders former girlfriend Helen Wilson was at the Bataclan with him and said they lay on the ground when the attackers started shooting. Wilson was injured in both legs and Alexander was shot in front of her.

    His back was to me and I couldnt see what happened and I tried to keep him talking and then I tried to give him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, and they [the gunmen] were just sort of in the shadows and they would shoot if anyone said anything.

    Then he couldnt breathe any more and I held him in my arms and told him I loved him. He was the love of my life.

    Polina Buckley (@polinabuckley) November 14, 2015

    Sleep tight, my sweet prince, Nick Alexander… #fuckterrorism #iwillalwaysloveyou #Bataclan pic.twitter.com/foHCyPz2F7

    Nohemi Gonzales, US/Mexico

    A US-Mexico dual national, Nohemi Gonzalez, had been studying in Paris on exchange from the California State University, Long Beach.

    Yesterday, one of our students and a dear friend to many classmates, Nohemi Gonzalez, was senselessly murdered by Isis cowards in Paris, design department lecturer Michael LaForte said on Facebook. Our hearts are with her close friends and family.

    LaForte also called the terrorists spineless cowards [who] murder innocent people.

    Gonzalezs last public post on Facebook said: Learning a 3D modeling computer program in a language I dont know is up there In the top 3 hardest things Ive ever had to do. #YouTubeIsMyBFF

    The director of the Strate School of Design said other international exchange students from the school were wounded in the attack.

    Parents of Nohemi Gonzales: she had big dreams

    Thomas Ayad, 32, France

    Ayad was a product manager for Universal Music France, from Amiens in the north of the country. He was killed at the Bataclan.

    Lucian Grainge, chair of the Universal Music Group, wrote to staff to confirm the news of Ayads death:

    Here is the full text of Grainges letter, as printed in the LA Times.

    Dear Colleagues:

    Today, Im writing to you with a heavy heart.

    We, like so many around the world, are struggling with last nights horrific tragedy in France.

    Paris is in our thoughts and prayers. We extend our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims as well as our fervent wishes for healing for all of those affected by this senseless violence.

    This is especially painful and personal for all of us. As many of you know, the band Eagles of Death Metal is part of the UMe and Mercury France family. The band and its crew as well as our own teams from Mercury and other UMG staffs were present at the Bataclan theater for last nights show.

    At this point, we have confirmed that Thomas Ayad, an international product manager for Mercury Records lost his life in the attack on the theater. This is an unspeakably appalling tragedy. I cannot even begin to express the depth of my sorrow. On behalf of everyone here at UMG, we extend our most profound sympathies to his parents and all of his friends and family.

    We will update you further as information permits. In the meantime, please send all healing thoughts and prayers for those affected by this heinous act.

    Today is a dark day. We are a family. Lets support one another as we grapple with the weight of this darkness.

    Sincerely,

    Lucian

    Candlelight vigil in London for the victims of Paris attacks

    Marie Mosser, 24, and Manu, France

    Another two employees of Universal Music France also died, the companys president, Pascal Nègre, wrote on Twitter, giving their names as Marie and Manu.

    PascalNegre (@PascalNegre) November 14, 2015

    La famille Universal Music est en deuil : Thomas , Marie ,Manu . Nos pensées vont à leurs familles et à leurs amis . RIP

    It was later confirmed that Marie Mosser, a 24-year-old who worked with band The Vamps, had been killed alongside Thomas Ayad. The Vamps posted on Facebook: We want to pass on our deepest condolences to the families and friends of Thomas and Marie who were a huge part of The Vamps team in France and who tragically passed away Friday night in Paris. They will be sorely missed by us and all that knew them. Brad, James, Connor and Tristan.

    Fabrice DuBois, France

    DuBois was killed at the Bataclan, his employers at advertising agency Publicis Conseil have said.

    Our thoughts are with his family, his wife, his children, his friends, those with which he worked, a statement said. Fabrice will we miss you. We already miss you.

    Lola Salines, France

    The father of French woman Salines, confirmed on Twitter the death of his daughter at the Bataclan.

    Georges Salines (@GeorgesSalines) November 14, 2015

    Je cherche des nouvelles de ma fille #LolaSalines qui était au #Bataclan pendant la #fusillade. Merci de RT pic.twitter.com/dtxIDoLw3k

    Georges Salines (@GeorgesSalines) November 14, 2015

    Je viens d’avoir confirmation du décès de Lola #LolaSalines #rechercheParis Merci à tous ceux qui nous ont aidé aujourd’hui

    Mathieu Hoche, 38, France

    Hoche was a technician at the France 24 news channel. He was a passionate rocknroll fan, a friend said, and his Facebook page noted he was going to the Eagles of Death Metal concert. A colleague at France 24 said Hoche had a six-year-old child.

    Roselyne Febvre (@RoselyneFebvre) November 14, 2015

    #France 24 a perdu Mathieu Hoche. Il était jeune il avait un enfant de 6 ans. Tous malheureux pour lui et toutes les victimes.

    Guillaume B. Decherf, 43, France

    Decherf was a critic at a French culture magazine called Les Inrocks, had written about the bands latest album for a recent issue and attended the concert. A father of two, he was one of those killed, the magazine said.

    Aurélie De Peretti, 33, France

    The New York Times spoke to the sister of De Peretti, who learned on Saturday afternoon of De Perettis death.

    At the Town Hall for the 11th Arrondissement in Paris, Delphine, 35, said the family had been trying to reach Aurélie all night. They told us my sister was dead but they did not let us see her, she said.

    I am like a robot. I dont know what to do next. I have not watched the news or slept since last night.

    Delphine told the paper her sister was fond of music and culture and had loved to draw.

    My only concern right now is to be able to bring back her body and bring her with us to the south of France, said Delphine.

    Elsa DelPlace, France, and Patricia San Marti, 55, Chile

    DelPlace, a French citizen, died with her mother, Patricia San Marti, at the Bataclan, according to reports. DelPlace was a graduate of the Institut dEtudes Supérieures des Arts. A biography on her business website said she was a cellist with a degree in communications and cultural project management.

    Chiles foreign ministry said in a statement San Martin was the niece of Chiles ambassador to Mexico.

    Luis Felipe Zschoche Valle, Chile

    The foreign ministry in Santiago also confirmed Valle as dead in the attacks. Valle was a professional musician who had lived in Paris with his French partner for almost 10 years. Her whereabouts were unknown.

    Cedric Mauduit, France

    Mauduit worked for the Calvados county council. Jean Léonce Dupont, the chairman of the department in which Mauduit worked, said Mauduit had gone to the Bataclan with five friends and became the target of indiscriminate terrorism.

    Our sadness is immense, he said in a statement.

    Asta Diakite, France

    Diakites death in the attacks was confirmed by her cousin, the French international Lassana Diarra who was playing against Germany on the night. She was a support and a big sister to me, he said.

    Lass Diarra (@Lass_Officiel) November 14, 2015

    #PrayForPeace pic.twitter.com/lsOpaSxN62

    Michelli Gil Jaimez, 27, Mexico

    Mexican officials identified one victim as Michelli Gil Jaimez, who they said came from the port city of Tuxpan in Veracruz.

    Her Facebook page says Jaimez got engaged in late October.

    Family and friends, the Mexican embassy in France, confirmed to us that my cousin Michelli Gil Jaimez was one of those killed in the terrorist attack yesterday in the city of Paris, where she lived, wrote Felix Jose Gil Herrera on Facebook.

    Marie Lausch, 23, and Mathias Dymarski, 22, France

    Lausch and Dymarski were killed at the Bataclan, according to a friend on Twitter.

    Clara Regigny initially posted under the #rechercheParis hashtag, looking for information on her friends, who she had not heard from.

    About eight hours later she tweeted: The search is over, I have no words, only tears. Marie and Mathias have left us both, she said.

    Clara R. (@Photographys) November 14, 2015

    La recherche est terminée, je n’ai plus de mots, que des larmes. Marie et Mathias nous ont quitté tous les deux. pic.twitter.com/futx8GIROV

    Loved ones gathered in Metz to remember the couple, Le Republicain Lorrain reported.

    Alberto González Garrido, 29, Spain

    Garrido, an engineer from Madrid, became separated from his wife in the chaos of the shooting, the Daily Mail reported. The Spanish deputy prime minister confirmed the news with El Diario, and said the family were aware. According to his Facebook page, Garrido played for the Joven Orquesta Sinfónica de Granada (Granada Youth Symphony Orchestra).

    Mohamed Amine Benmbarek, Morocco

    Newlyweds Benmbarek and his wife were also caught up in the attack. Mr Benmbarek died and his wife remains in a critical condition, according to social media. Akram Benmbarek posted on Facebook: I just learned that one my cousins was a victim in the #Paris attack. A newly wed Mohamed Amine Benmbarek passed away while his wife received 3 shots and is in critical condition at the hospital.

    Francois-Xavier Prevost, 26, France

    La Voix du Nord reports Prevost was killed at the Bataclan. The paper said Prevost, who hailed from Lambersart, attended the concert with two friends who managed to escape. The University of North Texas said Prevost had attended there as an exchange student in 2007, and offered its condolences.

    Manuel Dias, 63, Portugal

    Lunion named a 63-year-old Portuguese taxi driver as a victim in one of the explosions at the Stade de France as Manuel Dias. The paper said he left behind a wife and two children.

    The Sporting Clube de Portugal paid its respects to Dias, and described him as a man who headed to Paris looking for a better life.

    Djamila Houd, 41, France

    Houd was killed at Rue de Charonne in Paris, according to newspaper lEcho Republicain. Houd was from the city of Dreux, west of Paris, and still had strong family and friendship ties there, but had lived in Paris to build her career, the paper said.

    According to Facebook posts from grieving friends, she had worked for Isabel Marant, a prestigious Paris-based ready-to-wear house.

    Véronique Geoffroy de Bourgies, France

    De Bourgies, killed at a restaurant on Rue de Charonne, was the president of a humanitarian foundation, Zazakely Sambatra in Madagascar. Her husband, Stéphane, was in China at the time of the attack and confirmed De Bourgies death on Facebook.




    Read more: www.theguardian.com

    Poland wants to outlaw phrases like ‘Polish death camps’

    29 days ago

    (CNN)A law proposal making phrases like “Polish labor camps,” “Polish extermination camps” and “Polish death camps” punishable by imprisonment for up to three years has been approved by Poland’s Cabinet.

    Critics responded to the news by suggesting it is an attempt to “criminalize ignorance” on the part of those who have unwittingly caused offense.
      Poland’s Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro said in a statement that under the new law “there will be criminal consequences taken against persons who publicly and against the facts say the Polish nation participated, organized, is responsible or co-responsible for committing the crimes of the German Third Reich.”
      “The offenders will be subject to fines and up to three years of imprisonment and those who committed it unintentionally will be fined or detained. The rulings will be announced publicly.”
      The law has yet to be approved by Parliament and the statement did not offer a timetable for when this is set to happen.

      The

      Poland was occupied by Nazi Germany during World War II. It lost millions of its citizens, including at least three million Jews in the Holocaust, according to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.
      Polish officials routinely request corrections from media figures and politicians who describe former death camps set up by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland as “Polish.” Even though the word may have been used as a geographical indicator, they object to the impression that Poland bore responsibility for the Holocaust, instead of being a victim.
      In a statement posted on the Justice Ministry website, Ziobro said the law was being introduced because ”we cannot allow those who were the victims, who suffered, to be accused and portrayed as the perpetrators or co-perpetrators of the Holocaust and the mass death and extermination camps, of the mass killings, of what remains a scar of the humanity’s conscience.”
      However, Ben Stanley, a politics lecturer at SWPS University in Warsaw, said: “Making people aware the death camps were Nazi in origin is necessary. Criminalizing ignorance is absurd.”
      Stanley, who is from northeast England and has lived in Poland for 15 years, told CNN that in recent years, efforts by embassies and NGOs to contact newspapers who have used such phrases have been both effective and well-received. In many cases, he said, newspapers have made corrections and taken steps to prevent a repetition.
      However, he said: “What the Polish government is now doing is trying to criminalize the phrase. That’s very counterproductive and doesn’t really help solve the problem. It becomes rather negative and protective of a martyrological narrative that the world doesn’t understand how Poland suffered.
      The Polish Justice Minister said in his statement that “when defamation of Poland takes place abroad, civil and criminal tools could be used where Poland is one of the parties.”
      Asked by CNN how the law could be applied to people outside Poland and to non-Polish citizens, a spokesman for the Justice Ministry replied: “According to proposed provisions, Polish system of justice will have global jurisdiction over the offence, as it has now over many other criminal behaviors. Therefore this draft law, when comes into force, could be applied towards foreigners committing aforementioned offences abroad. “
      The spokesman added: “The question of execution of such rulings abroad is a problem which could be solved by using international cooperation and mutual assistance instruments.”
      But Stanley believes it would be tough to enforce the criminal law outside of Poland against people who publish such phrases.
      “It’s a largely symbolic gesture where foreign journalists are concerned. I am not an expert on the law but I would imagine that it would be very difficult to prosecute foreign journalists for breaking a law that’s not applicable in their own countries,” he said.
      Meanwhile, the Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, Karen Pollock said: “The history of the Holocaust is a complex one and the Nazi occupation of Poland is no different.
      “Accuracy when talking about this period of history is essential but the emphasis and priority should be to reach universal understanding and recognition of the facts through education.”
      Update: We have replaced an unofficial tweet from a Holocaust Educational Trust member of staff with an official statement.

      Read more: www.cnn.com

      ‘He was very scared’: the death of a teenage stowaway

      1 month, 6 days ago

      Last month 14 -year-old Raheemullah Oryakhel died reach out to the UK. As the Calais camp where he lived is scattered, where will children like him run?

      The death of Raheemullah Oryakhel, a 14 -year-boy from Afghanistan, was marked last month with only a couple of paragraphs in the French press, for the purposes of the headline One migrant dead on the port ring road. There was nothing much to excite further interest; the son was the 12 th refugee to succumb in Calais this year. The news item added that Raheemullahs body had been found on the N216, on a stretch of motorway where a number of migrants had previously been run over. Police said he had probably been hit by a auto. Whoever was behind the wheel had not bothered to stop.

      Nor are the details of Raheemullahs death especially shocking to the handful of relatives and acquaintances he left behind in the Calais camp, a fetid, cramped cluster of sagging donated tents and roughly constructed wooden shacks , now home to an estimated 9,000 asylum seekers. The notion that vulnerable children, some as young as eight, who have mostly fled conflict zones, should spend night after night trying to leap on to moving vehicles, in a desperate( and mostly futile) attempt to reach the UK, surprises no one. Its a risky business. Sometimes people get suffocated in the trucks, or frozen in refrigerated receptacles; sometimes they choose a different road and drown trying to swim to England or get electrocuted on the railway. And sometimes they just get run over.

      But there is sadness and some bitterness at the drivers failure to stop, and at the apparently cursory nature of the police investigation. Abdul Wali, an older camp resident who helped raise more than 4,000( 3,516) to send Raheemullahs body back to his mothers, says, Even in Afghanistan, if someone is hit by a automobile, at least the driver will take him to a police station or hospital and say sorry. Here, people are succumbing and no one cares.

      Raheemullah is likely a very young asylum seeker to die yet, but his death epitomises the risks that hundreds are taking every night on the roads outside Calais. As the French government prepares to dismantle the camp next week, aiming to scatter its residents around the country instead, the sense of urgency surrounding the mission to are going to the UK has intensified. It is an unbearable situation for everyone involved: the lorry drivers, Calais residents, local police( who are depleted by nightly patrols) and, most of all, for the camps population.

      Boys
      Boys and young men play cricket by the fence that surrounds the Calais camp. Photograph: Abbie Trayler-Smith for the Guardian

      The last person to see Raheemullah alive was almost certainly his friend Karim, also 14, who was trying to pull him on to the top of a moving lorry shortly before dawn on Friday 16 September. I was saying, Give me your hand but he didnt, Karim says. He didnt listen. It was a terrifying few minutes, in total darkness. One second his friend was there, the next he was gone.

      Until recently, Karim( an assumed name to avoid anything that were likely to complicate his asylum assert, should he ever be in a position to make one) was depicting anyone he met a photograph of his dead friend, taken in the Lille morgue, seeming as bad as you might expect after a fatal road accident. Volunteers who have stepped in to help with the hundreds of children at the camp have since persuaded him to delete the image from his telephone. They know Karim is devastated, but have little at their disposal to cheer him up. One volunteer took him out of the camp for an ice-cream; another took him to the donations warehouse and get him a new pair of socks.

      Because the French authorities are unwilling to recognise the camp, “there dont” UN presence here, and no mainstream childrens charity on site; the 800 or so parentless children( a third of them from Afghanistan) are left largely to look after themselves. Volunteers with groups such as Help Refugees do their best, but are dismayed at the hopeless inadequacy of what they can offer. We have a severely traumatised child, one says, and what can we do? We say: Your friends dead, hes been squashed, have an ice-cream. Its awful.

      Two weeks after the accident, Karim sits on a wooden pallet at the edge of the camp and explains how he and Raheemullah came to be on the motorway before dawn that night. The two sons had walked for an hour along the high barbed-wire fencing that divides the camp from the road, to a place where other asylum seekers had dragged some wooden logs into the centre of the road, forcing lorries to slow down.

      Both had induced frequent night-time attempts to get to England together. Karim has been in the camp since January, trying most nights to induce his way across the Channel. Raheemullah, who came from the same part of Afghanistan, arrived in July, and the two became friends. Most evenings they played cricket and volleyball on the wasteland beside the motorway. He was a good friend, Karim says. I liked him very much.

      They found a crowd of people hoping to push their route on to the river of heavy goods vehicles as they slackened to navigate the obstacles. Karim and Raheemullah followed two older humen, climbing on to the axle between the drivers taxi and the receptacle section of the lorry. Karim managed to get on to the top of the container, but Raheemullah was still on the ledge between the taxi and the rest of the truck when it began to gather speed. Karim says the lorry started veering abruptly, as if are seeking to shake off the uninvited passengers. He leaned over the edge, offering his friend his hand. Why didnt he take it? he asks.

      No one knows quite what happened next. One of the older humen cut a small hole in the roof of the truck( a black vehicle with an enormous red logo on the side, Karim says ). Karim lowered himself through it into the receptacle, which held a consignment of swivelling office chairs, and hid there as the truck continued to the port. Some day later, he was discovered by port officials before the truck drove on to the ferry. When he returned to the camp, he detected his friend was missing.

      ***

      Raheemullah lived in the camp in a windowless chipboard shack with his first cousin, Wahid, 23, and two other men. No one has moved his belongings, a few clothes stored in plastic bags. The grubby brown blanket and mattress where he slept for the last two and a half months of his life are still there.

      Wahid is better able to articulate the loss and indignation he feels about his cousins death. He speaks good English, having expended three years at secondary school in Norwich, after fleeing the Taliban when he was 14. He was taken in by a foster family, attained friends, studied hard, took a part-time chore in a Chinese takeaway and then, at 17 and a half, his instance was reconsidered and he was told he would be deported back to Afghanistan, which the Home office categorises as a safe destination. He expended some time trying to appeal, but left for Europe rather than be sent back. There are many young Afghan men, with fluent English, in a similar situation in Calais.

      Wahids friend Abdul went to school in Birmingham( also after being threatened by the Taliban ), before being told at 17 that he was no longer eligible to remain in England. Both hope to return to the UK, which is the place they consider home, to appeal for leave to stay.

      Wahid
      Wahid in the hut he shared with Raheemullah; his cousins bed and clothes have been untouched. Photo: Abbie Trayler-Smith for the Guardian

      Wahid was shocked to see his cousin, whom he had not find since he was a child, arrive in the camp. While ambivalent about Raheemullahs determination to get to England, devoted his own mixed experiences, Wahid didnt try to dissuaded him. It was not my job to tell him how to decide their own lives. Instead, he invited him to come and share his shanty. Raheemullah had travelled alone from Afghanistan, and been badly beaten by Bulgarian police; he was relieved to find someone to protect him. For a month, they went out together five nights a week, to try to jump on a lorry.

      In the beginning he was happy, Wahid says. He said it was good fun. Slowly he realised it was not easy, that it was risky. Sometimes Id say, lets go tonight, and hed say, No, tomorrow. I knew he didnt want to go. He was very scared. Its a one-hour walk in the dark. You feel scared of the French people. You worry that if they see you alone, perhaps they will beat you. Sometimes there are 100 people by the road, trying to get into the lorries. People are pushing. Of course someone is going to fall over and get hit.

      Wahid was also aware the camp wasnt a safe place for Raheemullah. Thats why I said, The sooner you can go from here, the better. There is fighting between the Sudanese and the Afghans, between the Afghans and the Afghans for no reason, simply because of the tension here. It get boring. You sleep, wake up, sleep, wake up. You cant shower for a week. People are desperate. It is not a good place for anyone, especially not a child.

      He feels indignation at how slow the British response has been. Raheemullah had an older brother in Manchester, and was in theory eligible to join him in the UK; but the process for organising reunification is very slow, bureaucratic and hard to understand. It is difficult to see how much two brothers was able to help with the application, or if the working papers had even been lodged. Charities estimate there are 300 to 400 unaccompanied children in Calais with relatives in the UK; but even in straightforward instances, the legal process takes between five and 10 months, during which time the children often give up waiting and start inducing the nightly journey to the motorway instead.

      Security has been increased all over the port, so that finding a way in has become harder and much more dangerous. Work has now been begun on a 1.9 m, 1km-long wall to block off the dual carriageway, half-funded by the UK. Although French chairwoman Franois Hollande has committed to clearing the camp following completion of the year, there is scepticism about how easy it will be to find homes for everyone. Officials believe that people will stay on, and the barriers will still be needed. Why are you spending the money on building a wall? Abdul wonders, sitting with Wahid in a caravan that serves as a clothes distribution point, donated tracksuits piled up on the surfaces. You are wasting fund. If they hadnt built these fences, people wouldnt hazard their lives.

      Wahid and Raheemullah managed to get on lorries together three times, but each time were pulled off at the border by officials with sniffer dogs. The police were nice with him. And, because of him, they were nice with me as well. They take you to the front of the port and say, Go back to the jungle. Early last month, Wahid hurt his back severely after his friends put a heavy box over him to conceal him inside a lorry. I was under it for eight hours. I couldnt stand[ it] any more, so I left.

      The
      The Calais camp, home to an estimated 9,000 asylum seekers. Photograph: Abbie Trayler-Smith for the Guardian

      When Raheemullah suggested he come with him early on the morning of 16 September, Wahid said no: his back was too painful. I told him to be careful. He knew it was very dangerous. The next morning, when it became obvious Raheemullah was missing, a youth worker from the camp visited local hospitals and police stations to look for him. Later, Wahid went to the morgue to identify the body. Raheemullahs face was so badly injury, he was unrecognisable, except for his clothes and a distinctive mark on his arm. Wahid supposes his cousin wasnt strong enough to pulling himself up on to the roof. He was young, he had no muscles.

      Wahid spoke to his uncle, Raheemullahs father, in Afghanistan, but saw himself unable to break the news. They asked what happened, and I said, He is injured. I told them a lie. His parents are quite old. I didnt want to hurt them. He presumes their older son called subsequently, from Manchester, to tell them. Since the body arrived back in Afghanistan, accompanied by another relative who came from Norway to travel with the coffin, Raheemullahs parents have called again to ask how their son succumbed. The calls are distressing: They maintain ringing me. I say, You dont need to know. He is dead. Why build them more upset?

      It is still unclear why Raheemullahs mothers sent their son 4,000 miles across Europe to try to start a new life in England. Wahid isnt forthcoming; his own experiences of hostile questioning by the Home office have made him wary of the question and he will say merely that it wasnt an economic problem. There was a danger for him. But Karim guesses the absence of work in postwar Afghanistan was a factor. He was going to send fund to his family. His father was an old man he couldnt work. No one wants to go to England, but if they have problems at home, thats why they go.

      Whatever the reason, the decision to send a child away is never taken softly, Wahid says. Of course they will be wishing with their hearts now that they hadnt. They didnt know he was going to die. His own advice to other parents now is not to send their children to Europe, but there is often a reluctance to listen. On the whole, children do not tell their parents about the difficulties they have encountered, so an unrealistic perception predominates. Life[ in Afghanistan] is very hard. Theres Isis and the Taliban, and no security. They dont know anything about the situation in Calais. The parents dont know about the risks. Abdul has become equally firm. I “ve got five” brethren. They call me and ask, shall we come? I say, if you come, you will sleep in the street. Please dont garbage your time.

      Volunteers attempt to persuade refugees to claim asylum in France, rather than wasting months and risking their own lives trying to are going to the UK. They point out that particularly for young people from Afghanistan it stimulates more sense to remain in France, because there is less danger of being deported when they approach 18. But it is hard to persuade children whose mothers have paid large sums of money to dispatch them across Europe. People smugglers operating in the camp also have a vested interest in encouraging others to get to the UK, otherwise their business model disappears.

      Increasing numbers of camp residents have applied for asylum in France; it is now largely those with relatives in the UK who persist in their attempts to join them. But many of those children who decide to stay in France are told there is no room for them in the nearby emergency shelter, which is turning away between 15 and 35 children a day, so they remain in a dangerous limbo. No one knows where the children will be sent once the camp is shut down.

      Wahid believes any investigation into his cousins death has already been closed. No one has come to look for witnesses in the camp. He built one visit to the police station when he was searching for Raheemullah, where he says the police officer was rude; he is reluctant to go again because of his illegal status in France. They dont care who has died. To them, were just illegal migrants, jungly people. The attorneys office of Boulogne-sur-Mer did not respond to emailed requests for details of the police investigation.

      Meanwhile, a minutes silence was held for Raheemullah in the camp at the end of September. Friends who expended period with him in the Kids Cafe, a wooden hut serving free food to unaccompanied children, say he was shyer than most. Mary Jones, an English volunteer who runs the coffeehouse, describes him as very quiet and polite. He attended some of the English lessons given by volunteers, who remember him as reserved, in a well-brought up way and very determined in everything he did, especially learning English.

      If Raheemullahs death failed to register more widely in France, it has had a quiet but significant impact in the UK both positive and negative. Some of the news reporting prompted delight amongst the more extreme anti-immigration voices on Twitter( even to harden eyes, to respond to this death by typing tweets such as Cant they indicate it happening I would enjoy watching it one less to worry about goes beyond the normal parameters of nastiness ).

      More constructive was the decision by a group of Conservative MPs to write to home secretary Amber Rudd, calling on her to do more to assist reunite children such as Raheemullah with their families. The letter, signed by former education secretary Nicky Morgan and nine others, told Rudd that Raheemullah had a legal right to be with two brothers but that, having waited for months in wretched conditions, he took fate into his own hands with devastating consequences.

      It was discussed at last months Labour party conference, too, by Alf Dubs, the kindertransport child refugee and Labour peer, who in May forced the government to accept an amendment to the Immigration Act, agreeing to give homes to some of the estimated 88,000 unaccompanied asylum seekers in Europe. Since his amendment was passed, none of the qualifying children has arrived in the UK. At a conference fringe session, Dubs fell his determination to be politely cooperative with the government, describing them as bloody liars for failing to act.

      As the demolition date approaches, concern about the fate of unaccompanied children is rising, but a solution has yet to be found. Last period French police attempted to demolish the camp, 129 children went missing, according to Help Refugees. Karim has promised volunteers that he wont try climbing on lorries again, but they suspect he is still going every night anyway.

      On Monday, Rudd told parliament that she wanted to speed up the transfer of those children with family in the UK, and that Britain would help to fund a shelter in France for children whose cases needed longer consideration. She promised to cut the bureaucracy involved, but there were no details of how many children would be given sanctuary here, and when they could arrive.

      Meanwhile, the bald listing of registered migrant deaths compiled by the local police grows longer, with a 13 th death in late September and a 14 th death last Sunday. This years toll includes: a migrant whose sexuality could not be identified at the time of the discovery of the body, seen drowned in Calais port; an Afghan migrant, 22 years, hit by an HGV on the A16 just before 6am; body of a migrant found dead around 7am near the port bypass injuries suggest this migrant was hit by a vehicle; a Sudanese migrant, 30 years, hit by a freight train on the railway, close to the port bypass; a migrant of unknown nationality on the A16 at the A47 interchange. No witness. Raheemullahs death is there, recorded succinctly: Around 5:30 am, the lifeless body of a migrant found on the port ring road.

      Read more: www.theguardian.com

      Fiji in shock as body parts of missing Russian couple wash up on famed beach

      1 month, 15 days ago

      Severed head and two pairs of feet found at popular Natadola beach after expatriate businessman and his wife disappeared

      Natadola beach in Fiji is often referred to as the worlds most beautiful stretch of sand. That was until body parts started washing up on the shore.

      Last month two pairs of human feet were found at the popular tourist spot. Then this week a New Zealand couple made another grisly find: a human head, wrapped in green cloth and weighed down by rocks, bobbing in shallow waters a few metres from shore.

      Police have confirmed that the body parts belonged to a missing Russian couple, Yuriy Shipulin and Nataliya Gerasimova retirees who moved to Fiji in 2011 and lived on a vegetable farm in the Nausori Highlands.

      Friends described Shipulin as a former pilot for the Russian air force, who had a number of failed business interests on the island and was owed upwards of US$200,000 by former business associates.

      It was his first time off the block in paradise and he was living lavishly and burning the candle at both ends, said Maxim, a friend of the couple who has lived in Fiji for a decade.

      Map of Natadola Beach

      Yuriy would give you the shirt off his back, he was too trusting and he was taken to the cleaners by unscrupulous people. He found out the hard way. He wanted paradise so bad, he couldnt see it was rotten.

      The couple were reported missing on 16 June by Andrew Luzanenko, who has been described both as Shipulins business partner and a farmhand. There is no suggestion that Luzanenko was at all involved in their deaths.

      The expatriate community organised searches in the dense forests surrounding the couples isolated farm but found no clue to their disappearance.

      It was a hot, sweaty, dusty, and tiring day, wrote Alla SeaStar on Facebook on 21 June.

      I know everyone wants to hear about the result of our search. No luck. Or maybe it is luck that we did not find Yura and Natahsa. It means we continue to hope and believe in miracles.

      A few days after the search, the couples car with the distinctive licence plate PILOT was found at Natadola beach, unlocked with the keys still in the ignition.

      Then came the body parts.

      Natadola beach is popular with tourists and locals alike, and has two major resorts situated on its shores the Intercontinental and the Yatule.

      We have asked the police a number of times why the beach remains open, said Repeka Nasiko, a reporter for the Fijian Times.

      Because body parts keep turning up, and always on the beach.

      Its a shocking killing, we are not used to something like this here, she said. It is so public and a very popular picnic spot. People are scared that whoever did this is still on the loose.

      Shafia Hassan, a businesswoman who employed Shipulin as a casual photographer, said the couple lived a happy life and were well liked and respected on the island. Hassan described Shipulin as gentle and helpful and Gerasimova as a soft, kind lady.

      I saw them in the week before they disappeared and they were fine and happy, in business mode, she said.

      This case is a huge mystery for us. It is all we can talk about because there are still pieces of the bodies to be found. Whoever did this is mad.

      Murder cases are rare in Fiji, where tourism makes up 30% of GDP, and this case is so brutal that police released a statement on Wednesday asking locals to refrain from discussing it publicly, so as not to taint the nations reputation as a holiday paradise.

      I want to urge members of the public not to speculate or spread unsubstantiated rumours about the case as it only serves to create unnecessary fear, the statement read.

      Speculation as such can paint a negative image of whats happening in Fiji.

      A friend of the couple who asked to remain anonymous said the murders had shocked the close-knit expat community in Fiji.

      Nobody saw this coming, the friend said.

      To have the bodies so damaged like that, what person with a good mind would do that? Before they disappeared everything was fine, like normal. Its a sunny island, a perfect island, there was no need to be worried about anything in paradise. Until now.

      Read more: www.theguardian.com

      Turkey intensifies row with Greece over ‘putschist’ soldiers

      1 month, 24 days ago

      Erdoan sends F-1 6 fighter jets into Greek airspace after pre-trial release of eight officers

      Turkey has sent fighter jets roaring into Greek airspace as tensions mount between the two neighbours following the release from pre-trial detention of eight Turkish army officers described as traitors by Ankara.

      Formations of F-1 6s flew at low altitude over Aegean isles for more than 20 minutes on Tuesday as Turkey furiously accused Greece of sheltering terrorists. Ankara vowed to trace the commandos who it claimed participated in the failed July 2016 coup against the president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and his government.

      ” It is our duty to find these’ putschist’ soldiers wherever they are, pack them up and bring them to Turkey ,” the country’s deputy prime minister, Bekir Bozdag, said late on Monday.

      He personally criticised the Greek prime minster, Alexis Tsipras, for is inadequate to hand the soldiers over to Turkey after they flew into Greek airspace.

      ” From statements built in Greece by its “ministers ” right after the coup, we were of the positive opinion that they would be extradited to Turkey ,” he said.” We thought that Mr Tsipras would keep his word. With time, though, we saw that the judicial authorities were mobilised and these’ putschists’ are still not extradited .”

      The fate of the eight has been in Greek hands ever since the army officers took local authorities aback, landing their helicopter outside the north perimeter township of Alexandroupolis a day after the abortive takeover.

      The commandos deny involvement in the putsch, which left 250 people dead and more than 2,000 injured.

      On Monday Greek authorities moved the military personnel out of police custody; following expiry of the 18 -month pre-trial period they are legally allowed to be detained while they apply for asylum. They have been placed in top-secret locations under heavy police protection.” Given Turkey’s mindset, the situation is very dangerous ,” said a senior judicial source.” But this is an issue of justice and we feel strongly that “were supposed to” stand up for it .”

      The Turkish government argued there was overwhelming proof the men participated in the attempted depose, which it claims was orchestrated by supporters of the US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.

      In the nearly two years since, Erdogan has moved ahead with a large-scale purging of the army and other institutions.

      With the eight fuelling nationalist sentiment in the run up to parliamentary and presidential polls on 24 June, the Turkish president has raised the questions several times.

      In April, only days after calling the snap elections, he appeared to raise the future prospects of a trade-off saying if the officers were returned, Ankara would consider Athens’ request for the release of two Greek perimeter guards imprisoned after being found in a” prohibited military zone” by Turkish authorities in early March.

      Greece has repeatedly rejected the extradition requests, with the country’s highest court ruling the men would not receive a fair trial, in contravention of EU law, if they were to go back to Turkey.

      In April, the tribunal ran further, granting one of the eight irrevocable asylum in Greece– and by extension the EU- despite Greek government objections. Judgment on the remaining asylum petitions is pending.

      Tensions between the Nato competitors have risen dramatically in recent months with disagreements over isles and airspace in the Aegean Sea. Friction along the land perimeter the two neighbours share has also grown since the arrest of the two Greek frontier guards.

      ” The air violations, like the tensions more generally, should be considered in the context of Turkey’s ambitions to become the region’s hegemon ,” retired admiral Vasilios Martzoukos told the Guardian.

      ” The EU has to recognise that Greece’s perimeters are Europe’s perimeters. Tensions are high. Turkey feels strong. It expends $18 bn a year on armaments. It doesn’t care about perimeters or international treaties. What we are seeing is because it has distanced itself from Nato and the values of the west .”

      Read more: www.theguardian.com

      How the world responded to Trump’s inauguration as US president

      1 month, 26 days ago

      Caution in China, regret and anger in Mexico, cork-popping in Moscow here are some of the global responses to Fridays power handover

      Germany

      Germany will need a new economic strategy geared toward Asia should the new US administration start a trade war with China, vice chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said, warning of a rough ride hours after Donald Trump was sworn in.

      What we heard today were high nationalistic tones, Gabriel said in an interview with the public broadcaster ZDF, in the first official German reaction to Trumps inauguration. I think we have to prepare for a rough ride.

      He added that Trump was extremely serious in his inauguration speech, which meant he would follow his promises on trade and other issues with actions. Europe and Germany must stand together to defend our interests.

      As the USs new chairperson took to the stage in Washington, hundreds of anti- and pro-Trump protesters gathered in front of Berlins Brandenburg Gate.

      Margaret Heidhues, of upstate New York, said she had not been able to stay at home to watch the inauguration. I would have been repulsed beyond belief, she said, holding a banner stating: The People Voted for Hillary on one side, and Nasty Woman, on the other side.

      Her nine-year-old son Theo had crafted his own poster with a digger truck on it and the slogan Dump Trump.

      I think he poses an incredible danger to Europe, said Heidhues, who has lived in Germany since 2000. The populist movements of the AfD[ Alternative for Germany] and Le Pens[ Front National] in France have been emboldened by his victory.

      When he was first elected, my German friends were conveying their empathy towards me. But now they are just as depressed, because they recognise they have to be scared for themselves as well.

      Protesters
      Protesters standing in front of Berlins Brandenburg Gate voice their opposition to new US president Donald Trump. Photograph: Michele Tantussi/ Getty Images

      On Pariser Platz square, where the protesters collected, the latter are faced by a line of around 10 Trump advocates, carrying flags that read: Trump, the very best alternative and Trump wants peace with Russia! What is wrong with that ?.

      Sylvia Block, a pensioner who said she was part of a group called Mothers Against War said she liked Trump because he was a grounded, down-to-earth personality will would look after the American people and who would building and strengthening American industry: The Americans have too much unemployment Trump will bring their industry back to its feet so that Americans can buy their own cars again , not import them from us.

      The anti-Trump protesters called their marching No to Global Trumpism. It started at the headquarters of the rightwing populists AfD and marched towards the Brandenburg Gate.

      Trumpism is not an isolated national motion, the march organisers said in their pre-protest blurb. We stand united against opportunists such as Frauke Petry and the AfD, Marine Le Pen, Geert Wilders and Nigel Farage who scapegoat and demonise immigrants and religious and ethnic minorities to build their own political power.

      The demonstration was organised by a variety of groups including American Voices Abroad Berlin, Berlin Forum on Global Politics, Berlin Ireland Pro Choice, Pussy Grabs Back and many others.

      The protests took place on the eve of a session of Europes rightwing populists, feeling strengthened by the Trump victory and Brexit, who are due to gather in the central city of Koblenz in a show of strength ahead of a string of elections this year in which they are predicted to construct gains.

      Wilders, of the Dutch far-right Freedom party, and Matteo Salvini of Italys northern league, are expected at the meeting. The superstar attractions at what has been billed a European Counter Summit will be Frances presidential hopeful Le Pen and AfDs Petry, who are due to hold a debate on the folly of Angela Merkels refugee policy. Philip Oltermann and Kate Connolly in Berlin

      Taiwan

      Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen congratulated Trump on his inauguration on Twitter, in a move likely to draw objections from Beijing, which is already angry with a protocol-breaking phone call a month ago between the two leaders.

      Tsai Ing-wen (@ iingwen)

      Congratulations @realDonaldTrump. Democracy is what ties Taiwan and the US together. Seem forward to advancing our friendship& partnership.

      January 20, 2017

      China

      After Donald Trump promised in his inauguration speech to fight back against the ravages of other countries, Chinas Global Times, a Communist party tabloid, said the impressive address signalled that the start of the Trump era would herald dramatic changes.
      On the world stage Mr Trump will likely align his foreign policy with US corporate interests, blurring the lines of ideology or political values. Frictions between the US and its allies, and trade tensions between the US and China seem inevitable within the four years ahead, the state-run newspaper said in an editorial.
      Undoubtedly the Trump administration will be erupting many fires on its front doorway and around the world. Lets wait and see when it will be Chinas turn.

      Chinas government and state-run media had struck a conciliatory tone on the eve of the inauguration Both sides should try to be friends and partners, rather than opponents or enemies, said Hua Chunying, a spokesman for Chinas foreign ministry. But domestic broadcasters were forbidden from screening Trumps inaugural speech live, with authorities perhaps fearful it might contain more assaults on the countrys Communist party leaders.

      Instead Xiong Tong, a Beijing-based journalist and self-declared Trump aficionado, tuned in at home on the internet. The 32 -year-old said he was overjoyed to consider the billionaire pick up the keys to the White House.

      Trump is fantastic, said Xiong who donned a Trump t-shirt as well as a synthetic blonde mop for his celebratory late-night viewing conference. He is so real. Thanks to him, the world is going to start heading in a positive direction. People will become more confident, which will lead to a rise on the stock market.

      Xiong said he saw similarities between the USs incoming leader and former Republican president, George HW Bush. Both of them are easy going and hard-working, he said. They are formidable people.

      He said he was unfazed that weeks of China-bashing by the billionaire meant he was now part of a shrinking pool of Chinese Trump supporters. Im an independent fan of his and I dont care what others should be considered the man, proclaimed Xiong. I think Trump acts the same way.

      Nor was he worried about the prospect of showdown with the worlds most powerful military if Trump continued to challenge Beijing from the White House, saying: If we start a fight with the US, beat them and subdue them, they will not dare to interfere with our South China Sea. Tom Phillips and Wang Zhen in Beijing

      Mexico

      Most Mexicans are torn as to who they abhor more: Donald Trump for his repeated insults and menaces on trade, migration and jobs; or their chairwoman, Enrique Pea Nieto, for trying to mollify him by extraditing drug capo Joaquin El Chapo Guzman to the US on the eve of the inauguration, thus ensuring the cartel boss will never pay for his crimes at home.

      A series of demonstrations are set to take place in the capital, Mexico City, this weekend to protest against Trumps anti-Mexico rhetoric.

      In a series of thinly veiled menaces directed at Mexico, which were peppered throughout his inauguration speech, Trump pledged to protect American perimeters from the ravages of other countries, and bring back jobs, borders, wealth and prosperity.

      Pea Nieto congratulated Trump on his inauguration, but said: Sovereignty, national interest and protection of Mexicans, will guide relations with the new government of the United States.

      He added that his government would establish a respectful dialogue with Trumps administration for the benefit of Mexico.

      The foreign minister, Luis Videgaray Caso, and finance minister Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, will hold talks with members of Trumps cabinet on 25 and 26 January in Washington.

      Amalia Ortiz Cortez, 31, a festival organiser, said the emotional and economic injury inflicted on Mexico by Trumps discourse had until now built the government looking weak, but his promised anti-Mexican policies could unify the nation for the first time in many years.

      It stimulated me feel very sad but its now clear that the speculation is over, and he literally means what he has said, Cortez said. Our government must strongly remonstrate against his discourse in line with social consensus and re-examine our foreign relations and trade deals

      Trump will bring business leaders, young people and the general population together to dialogue and I hope this will force us to become stronger as national societies and reconsider our relationships with our Latin American neighbours. Nina Lakhani in Mexico City

      Russia

      Russia has loomed unusually big in this presidential campaign and its aftermath, and at the Telegraph building not far from the Kremlin, a group of nationalist activists put on an inauguration party to celebrate the victory of the man who has come to be seen as the Kremlins candidate, with champagne and traditional Russian pies for guests.

      We started this movement a year ago when nobody believed in Trump except us, said Maria Katasonova, a nationalist activist who helped organise the party. I hope the words he said during the campaign were not just rhetoric and stick by them as president. She said Trump was a man, like Putin, who fights the system.

      Army
      Army of Russia shop window in Moscow, with an image of Trump considered on the advertising banner. Photograph: Sergei Karpukhin/ Reuters

      However, there were more journalists at the party than genuine Trump enthusiasts and there was a sense that the jubilation was a little artificial. While there is no doubt that the Russian political establishment are cautiously optimistic about relations under Trump, modern Russia is a largely apolitical country, and there was little sense of genuine excitement among ordinary Russians.

      We are ready to do our share of the work in order to improve the relationship, “ministers ” Dmitry Medvedev wrote on Facebook on Friday.

      The pro-Trump atmosphere that was visible in Moscow was largely of a tongue-in-cheek character, trolling the disliked US establishment and what Russians hope will be the end of a US that lectures them on human rights. The Army of Russia shops in central Moscow offered all Americans 10% off merchandise on inauguration day, while the occasional eatery offered a Trump burger or other gimmick.

      While there were continued denials about Russian meddling in the election, there was also a pride in Russias central place in the dialogue. At the celebration, one man wore a T-shirt with Youve been hacked inscribed on it. Shaun Walker in Moscow

      Iran

      In Iran, the national television did not broadcast the inauguration live, reporting on its news bulletin that the new US president had begun his run amid popular protests. Semi-official agencies dedicated a scant coverage to the event, partly due to continuing news from Thursdays devastating fire in Tehran.

      Many, however, followed the ceremony on the London-based BBC Persian, which is loathed by the Iranian establishment. Watched by millions in Iran via illegal satellite dishes, BBC Persian had its main presenter in Washington DC and aired the ceremony in full. Irans state-run English speech website Press TV broadcast the ceremony. One headline on the following website reflected an activists view: Trump forced on Americans by two-party system.

      Iranians are concerned about the impact of Trumps presidency on the landmark nuclear agreement, struck in Vienna in July 2015. Trump told the Times this month that he saw it as one of the worst deals ever stimulated but refused to give further details about his policy on Iran, because, he said: I simply dont want to play the cards. Some analysts say he may not rip up the agreement but instead could adopt a more rigorous implementation of the accord.

      Tehran University professor Naser Hadian told the Guardian: Trump is an unknown phenomenon and nobody knows how his words would translate into policies, so we dont know what he would do with the nuclear deal.

      According to Hadian, Trumps appointments so far have not been promising. They have been hawkish and talks about regime change or war with Iran, he said.

      On the negative side, Trump is the combination of a clever mind with little knowledge, which makes him incredibly dangerous, but on the positive side, he is a pragmatist and a businessman. Saeed Kamali Dehghan

      Israel and the Palestinian territories

      Trumps inauguration sharply divided opinion, with rightwing pro-settlement Israelis whose leaders were invited to attend the ceremony most enthusiastic.

      In a pointed intervention, Israels infrastructure minister Yuval Steinitz a close confident of Prime minister benjamin netanyahu said he hoped Trump would act quickly on his controversial plan to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Washington, a scheme fiercely oppoed by Palestinians who watch east Jerusalem as a capital of a future state.

      I hope and believe that he will move the American Embassy to Jerusalem, Steinitz told Army radio. It is absurd that the embassies are in Tel Aviv.

      Netanyahu also tweeted his congratulations ahead of the beginning of shabbat.

      Benjamin Netanyahu (@ netanyahu)

      Congrats to my friend President Trump. Look fwd to working closely with you to make the alliance between Israel& USA stronger than ever

      January 20, 2017

      In the Nana cafe in east Jerusalem, however, the clientele watched the inauguration with a mix of bafflement and fear over the facts of the case the US had elected Trump while warning of the consequences of moving the embassy.

      Moussa al-Bitouni, 53, father of the coffeehouse proprietor said : From what I hear “hes not” a man of peace. We does not want to support peace. This is not in our interest or the interest of the US. I was 100% for Clinton. I never guessed America would elect Trump.

      We want him to be fair , not biased, added lorry driver Faraj al-Joulem, 42.. We are against moving the US embassy. It will inflame the whole region.

      Israels newspaper columnists were divide, however, about what Trump portends, while Palestinian chairperson Mahmoud Abbas, in a statement posted in his name on the official Palestinian news organisation Wafa, congratulated Trump. He added: I look forward to working with him for the sake of peace, security and stability in a world that is troubled and in a region that lives a tragic era, and to contribute to creating a safe future for everyone.

      UK

      Before Trump had even arrived at Capitol Hill disgruntled Britons including Green party joint leader Jonathan Bartley had unfurled a flag reading Build bridges not walls across Londons Tower Bridge, while others held up a sign saying Act Now.

      We wont let the politics of hate peddled by the likes of Donald Trump take hold, said protest organiser Nona Hurkmans. Other flags were draped over Westminster Bridge during a protest outside parliament.

      British prime minister Theresa May did not send wishes to Trump before his swearing in, but leader of the opposition Jeremy Corbyn exhorted him to set the misogyny and the racism of his presidential campaign behind him. Speaking at an event in Glasgow, Corbyn said he hoped that as chairman he would reach out to all communities across the United States and called on him to promote critical participation with Russia.

      A
      A flag unfurled on Tower Bridge in London as part of the Bridges Not Walls protest against US president Donald Trump. Photograph: John Stillwell/ PA

      The foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, tweeted his congratulations to both Trump and the vice president Mike Pence, but the Liberal Democrat leader, Tim Farron, called Trumps journey to the White House the most divisive, vulgar and illiberal presidential campaign in memory before calling on May to stand up to Trump.

      Boris Johnson: Trump wants to put Britain at front of line

      Of course the UK must continue to engage with the US on matters of reciprocal concern, but Theresa May must not to damage our national integrity and values by bowing down to a bully, he said.

      Boris Johnson (@ BorisJohnson)

      Congratulations to @realDonaldTrump @POTUS on his presidential inauguration day. Seem presented to continuing strong UK – US bond

      January 20, 2017

      Boris Johnson (@ BorisJohnson)

      Congratulations to @mike_pence @VP on his inauguration today. Look forward to working together #specialrelationship

      January 20, 2017

      Protests against Trump also took place across Scotland. Hundreds marched from the foot of Edinburghs North Bridge to the US consulate on Regent Terrace to coincide with Trump being sworn in.

      Protesters were armed with banners with wording including: Love Trumps Hate, No to racism , no to Trump and Hey Donald, I hope you step on a lego.

      The demonstration organised in the Scottish capital by Stand Up to Racism considered hundreds of people chant slogans such as Donald Trump go to hell take the KKK as well and Donald Trump, go away sexist, racist, anti-gay.

      Trump was welcomed by some rightwing legislators, including Ukips Nigel Farage, but Sir Nigel Sheinwald, the former UK ambassador to the US, questioned his ability to unify the US and stand up to Russia. The really big test is over Russia and Nato, he told BBC Radio 4s Today programme. Over the next few months, you are going to have to see whether a harder edge comes into his approach to Russia, and whether he is prepared to validate a sense of commitment to Nato and to Europe.

      Downing Street is trying to arrange for May to travel to meet the new chairman as soon as is practicable, with speculation that a visit take place within days. Alexandra Topping

      France

      In a small bar in Pariss Mnilmontant neighbourhood, Trumps speech was relayed on a giant screen. As he dedicated the pledge, a 20 -something sighed and said: Well, there runs America. But another regular chipped in: I hurt for the American people. Half of the population didnt vote for him. Theyll have to endure the next few years.

      One of the waiters doubted that Trump could fulfil many of his election promises What is he going to do? he said. Send all the immigrants back? Line them up against a wall and shoot them? A survey on Friday goes to show that more than 80% of the French population had a bad or very bad sentiment of Trump. Some are anxious that his electoral success increases the the possibilities of victory for its own anti-immigrant nationalist leader, Le Pen, in elections this year.

      The president, Franois Hollande, did not mention Trump by name during a press conference in eastern France, referring instead to my colleague taking the oath and criticising the protectionism that Trump advocated. The French chairwoman has already been said that Trumps victory opens up a period of uncertainty that must be faced with lucidity and clarity. Sofia Fischer in Paris

      Canada

      Canadas government, eager to sidestep potentially protectionist US policies, said it was confident Trump would see that working closely with Canada benefited both nations. We are confident the new administration will see that Canadas partnership with the US mutually strengthens our two nations and offer real opportunities to grow our respective economies, Joseph Pickerill, spokesperson for foreign minister Chrystia Freeland, said in a statement.

      Prime minister Justin Trudeau also issued a statement congratulating Trump. Together, we benefit from robust trade and investment ties, and integrated economies, that is compatible with tens of thousands of Canadian and American undertakings, he said. Reuters

      Read more: www.theguardian.com

      A guidebook to Trump-speak: think ‘bloke talking aloud in the pub’

      2 months, 1 day ago

      From overly defensive Sigmar Gabriel to delusional Michael Gove, politicians are misreading the president-elects utterances

      Taken literally, Donald Trumps latest believes about the world, as retailed to the British politician Michael Gove, are frightening for Europe, the EU and Nato. But considered dispassionately, his comments are the most recent example of Trump-speak, a loose, untutored language form that politicians and envoys must now quickly learn to decipher.

      As has by now been well established, Trump-speak should be taken seriously, but not literally. Large pinches of salt, interspersed with reality checks and deep breaths, are involved. The hasty, too defensive reaction on Monday of Germanys deputy chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel, to Trumps suggestion the EU could disintegrate is not the way to run. Trump could and probably will say the exact opposite tomorrow.

      Trump-speak is typically off the cuff, unconsidered, contradictory, strongly conveyed and essentially transitory. It mixes long-held beliefs and prejudices with barely grasped facts and dawning realities. Its like a bloke talking aloud in the pub who only read this stuff in the paper.

      So, for example, Trump revealed to Gove that he has discovered matters were not going well in Afghanistan. I have just looked at something, he said. Oh, I should not show you it at all, because its secret but I have just taken a look at Afghanistan … And you ask yourself, Whats going on there? Well, yes actually, you do.

      Trump-speak is a thought-stream , not a logical or rational process. It blithely blunders into sensitive issues. It wings it, blurts and stumbles. It induces stuff up as it goes along. And it typically absence solid conclusions, leading interlocutors nowhere. The crucial thing about Trump-speak is that it is rarely his last word.

      Weighing Trump-speak for subtle diplomatic subtleties, calculated hints and cloaked policy switchings is a mugs game. Thus Goves gleeful declaration that Trump had bolstered Theresa May by promising a fast-track, post-Brexit trade deal with the US looks like delusional over-interpretation.

      This is the same Trump who has failed so far to fix a date to meet Britains prime minister but who found time for Gove, sacked by May, and Ukips Nigel Farage. Trump says hes a big fan of the UK. But his Scottish golf course aside, Britains interests barely register on his radar.

      The Chinese have a similar interpreting problem. They find Trump-speak on Taiwan to be deeply troubling. State media are talking angrily about nuclear war. On Monday, Beijing said it would take the gloves off if Trump persisted with his heretical ideas.

      But the Chinese are misreading the subject. To the extent that Trump has considered the matter at all, he appears to position Taiwan in the context of unfair US-China trade. Despite asserting his right to do so, he did not gratify Taiwans president when she transited the US last week. He could be plotting recognition of an independent Taiwan. But probably not.

      Likewise on Iran, Trump says Barack Obama cut a terrible nuclear deal in 2015. His statements have provoked intense speculation in Tehran about malign US aims and defiant, pre-emptive warnings by Iranian leaders. Their misstep is to take him at his Twitter word. What seems to concern Trump most is not Israels future security. Its the money the US repaid to Tehran as part of the deal.

      In Trump-speak, Nato is both obsolete and important. US and Russian nuclear arsenals must be reduced substantially, although he has previously demanded a large US expansion. Angela Merkel, Germanys chancellor, is simultaneously fantastic and catastrophic.

      Trump told Gove he was undecided about who he would support in Germanys September federal election raising the scandalising possibility that he might publicly take sides. And if in Germany, why not in France? Was Marine Le Pen, the Front Nationals presidential nominee, simply taking coffee at Trump Tower last week? Or was Trump conspiring with her? In the equivocal world of Trump-speak, anything is possible , nothing is certain.

      Trump-speak says, repeatedly, that the US embassy in Israel will definitely move to Jerusalem until, suddenly this week, it is not up for discussion. It says the future prospects of North Korean nuclear missiles threatening the US mainland is not going to happen. Kim Jong-un, North Koreas paranoid dictator, thinks it will. So what next? Trump-speak is silent.

      On Iraq, Trump is consistent but clueless. The 2003 invasion was the worst ever decision in history. US policy, he said, was akin to hurling boulders into a beehive. On Syria, Trump-speak is all over the place. The president-elect must have had a briefing, because he now favours security zones presumably, the safe havens plan favoured by Hillary Clinton.

      It was terrible to shoot old ladies in Aleppo, Trump said on that, all can agree. But Trump says he trusts the shooter, Vladimir Putin, and looking ahead to doing great things with Russia. What this may mean is anybodys guess, although the Russian president likely has his own notions. A Nato pullback in eastern Europe for starters.

      Trump-speak is whatever Trump believes US policy should be at any given moment. This is not inevitably how policy is or how it will be. Trump-speak is the exact opposite of George Orwells newspeak, which was all about thought control and limiting alternative ideas and choices. It is thus essentially chaotic.

      Trump-speak is more akin to doublespeak. Working out what the next US president actually thinks, when he often appears not to know himself, is going to be a full-time job.

      Read more: www.theguardian.com

      Powered by WP Robot