Champions League: Europe’s top leagues to get four group-stage spots8 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.
‘Evolution not revolution’
Read more: www.cnn.com
Scientology criminal enterprise lawsuit hurled out by Belgian judge16 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 mayor20 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 emerge20 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Marie Mosser, 24, and Manu, France
Another two employees of Universal Music France also died, the companys president, Pascal NÃ¨gre, wrote on Twitter, giving their names as Marie and Manu.
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.
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.
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.
AurÃ©lie 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 AurÃ©lie 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 SupÃ©rieures 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 LÃ©once 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.
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.
Loved ones gathered in Metz to remember the couple, Le Republicain Lorrain reported.
Alberto GonzÃ¡lez 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 SinfÃ³nica 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.
VÃ©ronique 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, StÃ©phane, 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.
Read more: www.cnn.com
‘He was very scared’: the death of a teenage stowaway1 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.
Read more: www.theguardian.com
Fiji in shock as body parts of missing Russian couple wash up on famed beach1 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.
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’ soldiers1 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 president1 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 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.
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