Europe

Denmark’s immigration minister uses cartoon of Prophet Mohammad as iPad background

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Inger Stojberg says Denmark has right to criticise religions Denmark’s immigration minister on Tuesday posted a screenshot of her iPad showing a drawing of the Prophet Mohammad on Facebook, one of the satirical cartoons that caused outrage among Muslims around the world more than a decade ago. Independent  The Facebook post comes as a reaction to a decision by the Skovgaard Museum in Viborg, Denmark, not to include the drawing in a new exhibition about blasphemy since the Reformation. “It ... Read More »

Vegetative-state patient responds to therapy

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A man in France has regained some degree of consciousness after being in a vegetative state for 15 years Doctors treated the 35-year-old, injured in a car accident, with an experimental therapy that involved implanting a nerve stimulator into his chest. Michelle Roberts BBC Within a month, he could respond to simple instructions, turning his head and following an object with his eyes. Experts say the results are potentially very exciting, but need repeating. Vagal nerve stimulation (VNS) may not work as ... Read More »

On Catalan independence, Julian Assange, Edward Snowden emerge as surprise backers

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Two Moscow-linked figures have emerged as the loudest voices on Twitter amplifying news and commentary about Catalonia’s secession referendum. Chris Zappone The Age Research independently confirmed by Fairfax Media shows Twitter accounts of WikiLeaks leader Julian Assange as well as former National Security Administrator contractor Edward Snowden now account for nearly a third of all Twitter traffic under the hashtag #… Assange has peppered his followers with more than 80 original tweets supporting the Catalan independence referendum, suggesting “the future ... Read More »

Angela’s ashes: 5 takeaways from the German election

BERLIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 24: (EDITOR'S NOTE: This image was converted from color to black and white) German Chancellor and Christian Democrat (CDU) Angela Merkel smiles after leaving her election party and reacting to initial results that give the party 33,1% of the vote, giving it a first place finish, in German federal elections on September 24, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. Chancellor Merkel is seeking a fourth term and coming weeks will likely be dominated by negotiations between parties over the next coalition government. (Photo by Alexander Koerner/Getty Images)

The next few years won’t be pretty Angela Merkel will remain German chancellor. That widely anticipated outcome was about the only unsurprising element of Sunday’s German election. Matthew Karnitschnig  Politico The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) finished much stronger than most observers dared predict, becoming the first unabashedly racist, anti-foreigner party to sit in Germany’s parliament since the days of Hitler. The Social Democrats (SPD) all but imploded, opting to go into opposition to lick their wounds rather than risk another ... Read More »

Catalan referendum: MSPs call for independence vote to go ahead

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Spanish authorities must allow a referendum on Catalan independence to go ahead, a cross-party group of MSPs has said as tensions in the province rise. PARIS GOURTSOYANNIS The Scotsman Parliamentarians from four parties have signed a letter to the Spanish government voicing “grave concern” at a widening crackdown against organisers of the referendum on 1 October, which Spain’s constitutional court has ruled is… The constitutional row has seen Catalan government officials arrested and control over devolved institutions taken by authorities ... Read More »

Auditor says he was forced to quit Vatican after finding irregularities

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The Vatican’s first auditor-general, who resigned without explanation in June, has broken his silence, saying he was forced to step down with trumped-up accusations after discovering evidence of possible illegal activity. Reuters Hurriyet Speaking to reporters from four media organizations including Reuters in the office of his lawyers in Rome, Libero Milone also said he believed that some in the Vatican wanted to slow down Pope Francis’s efforts at financial reform. He said he could not give details of the ... Read More »

Turkey and Germany: A Worsening Crisis

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The harsh measures taken by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan since the failed coup attempt last year have led to a deepening crisis with a host of Western states, first and foremost with Germany. Yaniv Avrahm BESA Since the coup attempt, relations between Ankara and Berlin have been at an unprecedented low. However, in light of their history of close relations, the volume of stable economic trade over the years, and Turkey’s ability to stabilize the waves of immigration to ... Read More »

What the stunning success of AfD means for Germany and Europe

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The radical right party profited from the fact immigration was the number one election issue. But can its breakthrough last? Cas Mudde The Guardian n 1991 Belgium had its (first) black Sunday, when the populist radical right Flemish Block gained 6.8% of the national vote. Since then many other western European countries have gone through a similar experience, from Denmark to Switzerland. And now, even the ever stable Germany has its own schwarzer Sonntag, and it’s blacker than most people ... Read More »

Trump may have to sanction Turkey for Russian deal

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Before their meeting Thursday, President Donald Trump praised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, bragged about their friendship and claimed U.S.-Turkey relations are at an all-time high. Josh Rogin The Morning Call Trump may not be aware he might soon have to sanction Erdogan for striking a major arms deal with Vladimir Putin‘s Russia. “I think right now we are as close as we’ve ever been. And a lot of that has to do with the personal relationship,” said Trump, on ... Read More »

Austria burqa ban: Government warns Muslim women to show faces in public or be fined

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Breach of new integration law will be punished with €150 fine Chris Baynes  The Independent The Austrian government has issued posters and leaflets threatening Muslim women with fines for wearing face veils ahead of the introduction of a controversial ban. The authorities launched the publicity drive to raise awareness of the legislation outlawing niqabs and burqas, which will come into force on 1 October. Under the new “integration” policy, anyone wearing clothes that obscure their face in public can be fined €150 (£132) ... Read More »

Ireland must devise a better, kinder way than direct provision

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‘Imagine your child locked in camps with endless rules, depressed and isolated’ My husband and I, with our four children, have been living as Nigerian asylum seekers in direct provision for three years and nine months. Christiana Obaro The fanatical Muslim group Boko Haram forced us to flee from two homes. Finally we had to flee the country. The Irish Times Throughout trouble and tragedy, my husband always struggled to give me and the children the best in life. He became one of the ... Read More »

In Ireland, Israel’s Religious Right Engages with Ideas for Peace

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Our Israel Senior Analyst Ofer Zalzberg joins nine leaders of Israel’s national religious community as they seek ideas for peace in meetings with the architects of Northern Ireland’s peace process. Unexpectedly, he finds the trip inspires subtle shifts in their thinking – and in his own. Ofer Zalzberg ICG BELFAST, Northern Ireland – So much is stuck in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process that it makes sense to question habitual premises and take a new approach. For me, that means deepening ... Read More »

War triumphs over sex in British films

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Britons have made more films about war than any other subject, including sex, according to new research. © 4CA The British Film Institute has looked at its new archive of more than 10,000 UK films, from the first released in cinemas, in 1911, to the present day. It found that more British films (582) have been made about war – from The Dam Busters (1955) to this year’s Dunkirk, starring Harry Styles – than any other… That number towers over ... Read More »

Turkey Uncensored: A History of Censorship and Bans

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On April 29, the Turkish government announced that it completely blocked Wikipedia over the online encyclopedia’s refusal to delete articles and comments that suggest that Ankara is co-operating with terrorist groups such as the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda. Uzay Bulut Philos Project Despite multiple requests by Turkish officials, Wikipedia refused to take down the content the Turkish government objected to. In response, Turkish authorities blocked online access to Wikipedia in all languages across the country. Wikipedia continues to be blocked ... Read More »

Terry Glavin: Trudeau is as silent on China as Trump is on Russia

U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

The U.S. says the WTO can’t cope with China’s bullying and conniving; the WTO wasn’t built for the kind of police-state threat it poses Terry Glavin National Post Aboard the cavernous decommissioned aircraft carrier USS Intrepid, moored at Pier 86 in the Hudson River just off Hell’s Kitchen, in the glittering dining hall formerly known as Hanger 3, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wowed them Tuesday night. Nearly 600 diplomats, corporate executives, United Nations’ swells and celebrities were gathered for the ... Read More »

This pension fund is now worth $1,000,000,000,000

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Norway’s giant pension fund is now worth over $1 trillion. Yes, 1 followed by 12 zeros. The fund’s managers announced Tuesday that currency shifts had helped push its value above $1 trillion for the first time. Ivana Kottasová CNN “The growth in the fund’s market value has been stunning,” fund chief Yngve Slyngstad said in a statement. “I don’t think anyone expected the fund to ever reach $1 trillion when the first transfer of oil revenue was made in May ... Read More »