Trans Adriatic: Pipeline to cut Europe’s reliance on Russia for natural gas

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_ALG150303aa001.jpegLESBOS, GREECE — If it goes as its backers hope, a newly inaugurated pipeline crossing a half-dozen countries will shore up natural gas supplies in Europe and reduce the Continent’s worrying dependence on Russia as its critical supplier.

But many are wondering whether the pipeline can handle all the cargo — physical, economic and geopolitical — it’s expected to carry.

Read more at The Washington Times

Paris still: Struggling 6 months after 'Black Friday' terror attacks

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_FRA150225aa001.jpegPARIS — The winding cobblestone streets of Paris' swanky Le Marais district usually bustle with tourists this time of year, but its trendy bars, bistros and boutiques are uncommonly quiet.

"Normally whether it's cold or warm, whether it's sunny or rainy, there are lots of people here," said Cyrille Semama, owner of a women's clothing store in the neighborhood. "Our shop is in a tourist area, but we don't see many tourists. … It should not be like this," he added, gesturing to the nearly deserted streets.

Read more at USA Today

President Rousseff: Calls Brazil impeachment a 'coup'

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_BRA160423002.jpegSÃO PAULO, Brazil — Suspended Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff called the impeachment a ‘coup’ Thursday and vowed to keep fighting hours after the Senate voted in favor of her impeachment trial.

"I confess, I never imagined it would be necessary to fight against a coup in my country,” Rousseff said in a speech to the nation. “Our democracy is young, made by struggle, made by deaths, it doesn't deserve this."

Read more at USA Today

Brazil's president: Faces impeachment vote

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_BRA161423003.jpegSÃO PAULO, BRAZIL — Less than three months before the Rio Olympics, Brazil headed deeper into political and economic disarray Wednesday as President Dilma Rousseff faced imminent impeachment.

The Senate planned to vote on whether Rousseff would go to trial over breaking public spending accounting rules. Some newspaper polls showed the necessary majority of the senate's 81 members was prepared to vote for impeachment.

Read more at USA Today

Labour Party: Struggles to root out anti-Semitism

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_ISR130226AA002.jpeg(RNS) The identity of Britain’s Labour Party is at stake as its leaders struggle to address accusations that anti-Semitism is rife within its ranks.

Once unchallenged in its confidence as the progressive, central-left party that former Prime Minister Tony Blair reformed into a viable political machine, Labour has reportedly suspended as many as 50 members for anti-Semitic comments made on social media and TV.

Read more at Religion News Service

Putin shows: Russia’s military might, delivers ‘stern warning’ to West

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_RUS140804AA001.jpegMOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin looked on as the pride of his country’s modernized military machine swept across Red Square on Monday at the annual event to commemorate the Soviet triumph over Nazi Germany in World War II more than seven decades ago.

But the present was never far away from Mr. Putin’s mind as the tanks, missiles, planes and men filed past.

Read more at The Washington Times

After losing a son, a Belgian mother hopes to save a generation

BEL130313AA001 BRUSSELS — Saliha Ben Ali’s voice softens to a whisper every time her son’s name comes up.

In the summer of 2013 her second-eldest child, Sabri, left for Syria. Four months later his father received a phone call: an anonymous voice saying Sabri had died in combat. “As a martyr,” the man on the other end of the line said before abruptly hanging up.

Read more at The Washington Times

Leicester City’s: Improbable Premier League title a beacon of hope for underdogs

b_160_0_16777215_00_images_DEU130531aa002.jpegLEICESTER, England — The last time this obscure onetime industrial city garnered global attention was four years ago, when archaeologists discovered the royal remains of the notorious Richard III buried underneath a local parking lot.

The king’s bones are now stored safely in the city’s old cathedral, but even the church knows its priorities: Above the cathedral entrance, the blue-and-white flag of the Leicester City Foxes — the improbable champions of one of the world’s greatest soccer leagues — flies proudly in the breeze.

Read more at The Washington Times

Want to: Own a piece of Scotland? Forget about it

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_SCO140911aa001.jpegDORES, Scotland — On the banks of the famous Loch Ness, Evan Beswick gazes at a scattering of low, slate-roofed houses in the woodlands across from this tiny village.

The shores of the lake are dotted with castles and hunting estates. The houses he points to are far from luxurious, but “we couldn’t just save up and buy one of those at the prices they go for,” he said.

Read more at USA Today

Right-wing: Parties threaten to upend EU's mainstream politics

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_EUR130204AA001.jpegAfter decades of backing mainstream politics, European voters across the continent are increasingly empowering right-wing parties to upend Europe's long march toward a common economic, social and political union.

On Sunday, a right-wing, anti-immigrant party candidate won the most votes in the first round of Austria's presidential election, a rebuke of the center-left and centrist parties that have dominated the country's politics for 70 years.

Read more at USA Today

In Germany: Creative craft beer brewers face off against a medieval purity law

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_DEU13128aaa001.jpegBERLIN, Germany — Do not mess with Germans and their beer.
Brewing beer is a sacred thing here. And there are rules one must follow. Serious rules.

One hugely popular tradition is the Reinheitsgebot, the “beer purity law” that says which ingredients are allowed. This past weekend it turned a sprightly 500 years old — the world’s longest-ruling food law, the German Brewers’ Federation says.

Read more at Global Post

Hello, operator: Kosovo wants its own calling code

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_DEU131128aa001.jpegPRISTINA, Kosovo — As Europe's newest nation, Kosovo has most of the symbols of other sovereign countries, such as a flag and a national anthem.

What it still doesn't have is its own international calling code, a political — and economic —- insult that infuriates people in this tiny nation of 1.8 million.

Read more at USA Today

Craft beer: Movement clashes with 500-year-old German purity laws

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_DEU130312AA001.jpegPBERLIN — It’s a law that has been on the books more than twice as long as the United States has been a country, protecting Germany’s dedicated quaffers from the dangers of inferior brews.

Frothy mugs of beer were clinking across the land over the weekend as Germans toasted the 500th anniversary of the country’s famous beer purity law, or Reinheitsgebot, which mandates that German beer may contain only malt, water, hops and yeast.

Read more at The Washington Times

German court: Asked to ban political party agitated by refugees

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_DEU151501AA002.jpegBERLIN — Amid a refugee crisis and a surge of violence targeting foreigners, Germany’s highest court is weighing a move it has taken only twice since the fall of the Nazis: banning a political party.

The Federal Constitutional Court has agreed to hear a contentious petition to outlaw the far-right National Democratic Party on grounds that it “foments hate.” Just over a decade ago, the court dismissed a similar attempt to ban the 52-year-old ultranationalist party.

Read more at The Washington Times

Officers try: To stop Muslim youth from radicalizing

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_EUR130204AA001.jpegBRUSSELS — When towns across Belgium started seeing alarming rates of young men leaving to fight in Syria, lawmakers offered a very Belgian solution — put a public servant on it.

Since Belgium had become the European Union country sending the most fighters to Syria per capita, local officials freed up close to $2.3 million in U.S. money to help recruit fighters.

Read more at USA Today

icolae Ceausescu’s: Legacy reconsidered amid nostalgia for communism in Romania

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_ROM160416aa001.jpegBUCHAREST, Romania — The last time Alexandru Socol saw Nicolae Ceausescu was in 1989, when the communist dictator visited Mr. Socol’s factory to inspect the components it produced for hydroelectric and nuclear power plants just as Europe’s old divisions were about to be blown apart.

At the time, Mr. Socol didn’t dare complain to Ceausescu about the cold and hunger his family was enduring as Romania’s state-controlled economy was collapsing. Instead, he cursed Ceausescu in private, knowing the Securitate, or secret police, operated among the factory’s workers.

Read more at The Washington Times

Brazil turmoil: After Rousseff impeachment vote

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_BRA161423003.jpegSÃO PAULO — Impeachment proceedings against Brazil's embattled President Dilma Rousseff now move to the Senate, which could vote to remove the leader from office and throw this country into further turmoil before it hosts the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Brazil's lower house of Congress voted 367-137 late Sunday for impeachment — well above the 342 votes needed to approve the measure. The vote was a tense, wild ride, with lawmakers fighting, throwing confetti and even spitting as the tally proceeded.

Read more at USA Today

Lawmakers vote: To impeach Brazil's president

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_BRA160423002.jpegSÃO PAULO — Lawmakers in Brazil handed embattled President Dilma Rousseff a sobering defeat late Sunday, voting overwhelmingly to impeach her.

After more than five hours of sometimes loud deliberations, the leader of the Workers Party in the lower Chamber of Deputies conceded defeat, Reuters reported, saying her allies couldn't keep Rousseff from facing trial in the Senate on charges of manipulating budget accounts.

Read more at USA Today

Pope brings: 3 Muslim refugee families to Rome

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_ITA130401AA001.jpegLESBOS, Greece — In an emotional visit to a fenced-in refugee center on this Greek island, Pope Francis told hundreds of displaced families Saturday that "you are not alone" — and underscored his message by taking three families of Syrian Muslim refugees back to Rome with him.

The 12 refugees, including six children, joined the pope on his plane after a five-hour visit to the Moria detention center. The pope also asked European leaders to do more to help the thousands of refugees stuck in camps.

Read more at USA Today

Bernie Sanders: Attacks capitalism abuses during trip to Vatican

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_USA160423001.jpegVATICAN CITY — Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders took a break from campaigning Friday to travel to the Vatican and issue a scathing attack on the abuses of capitalism.

He also greeted small, enthusiastic crowds of both U.S. expats and Italians here.

Read more at USA Today

French Prosecutors Target Journalist Over November Paris Terror Attack Coverage

ARA.pngFrench Prosecutors Target Journalist Over November Paris Terror Attack Coverage

Berlin—We at Associated Reporters Abroad (ARA) are outraged over French prosecutors' attempts to criminalize the conduct of our colleague, reporter and photographer, Maya Vidon-White, for doing her job covering the Paris terror attacks Nov. 13, 2015 for American news outlets USA Today and United Press International (UPI).

French prosecutors are targeting Vidon-White under the provisions of a French law that criminalizes publishing a photo of a survivor of a terror attack. Without going into the problematic nature of that law for reasons of press freedoms, we believe that Vidon-White has broken no laws: She took a photo of a victim of the attack who later died as part of her reporting; she did not publish the photo in France; she did not sell the photo to a French outlet – she sold it as part of a series to UPI in the United States. Afterward, she had no control over its resale or its publication.

We believe that French prosecutors are being overzealous and trying to make an example of Vidon-White to show to the grieving public – and the family of the victim – that they are taking action regarding the terror attacks, and twisting French law to do so.

We are calling for prosecutors to drop their case against Vidon-White and to refrain from using this law in the future to prosecute journalists doing their jobs. 

"We unfortunately are all too familiar with covering terror attacks and have tremendous sympathy for the victims of these murderous rampages including those who died on Nov. 13 in Paris," said Jabeen Bhatti, managing editor of ARA, who worked on the Paris coverage with Vidon-White. "But this is witch hunt by French prosecutors. What's next: prosecuting reporters for interviewing victims?"


Maya Vidon-White, a reporter, photographer and French national, was covering the Paris attacks Nov. 13, 2015 for USA Today (print), and United Press International (UPI) (photo) as a freelancer. 

On the night of Nov. 13, she took a photo of a victim of the massacre at the Bataclan concert hall at a square near the venue where emergency services set up a base: Cedric Gomet, who was attending the concert, later died of injuries sustained during the attack.

The photo she took was one of a series sold to UPI in the United States for whom Vidon-White is officially accredited. They in turn sold it to French photo agency MAXPPP to then sold it to French magazine VSD who published it on Nov. 17. 

Two months later, she was informed by the Paris prosecutor's office she had broken the law: She was charged with being an accomplice to the publication of an image showing Cedric Gomet which seriously "violates his human dignity," according to prosecutors.

The law allegedly violated is known as the Guigou law, passed in the wake of the terror attacks on Saint Michel metro station in 1995. It forbids the publication of the image of any survivor of a terror attack on the grounds that such photos violate their right to human dignity. Only Vidon-White and VSD were charged in this case.

Vidon-White is to be tried April 15, and if convicted, subject to fine of as high as 15,000 euros ($17,000).

Contacts in the case:

--French prosecutors' office: +33144329449 (Francois Molins)

--Attorney representing Maya Vidon-White: Vincent Toledano +33156 810319 /+33674849079; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

--Attorney for VSD magazine: Me Jose Michel Garcia +336032106 60 / 33144297720 

Maya Vidon-White is a Paris-based reporter and photojournalist who has reported from Africa, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Jerusalem and elsewhere. Before becoming a freelancer for Bloomberg News, the Financial Times, USA Today and UPI, she was a photo editor and staff photographer at the Associated Press and Agence France-Presse.

About ARA: Associated Reporters Abroad (ARA) is an American international journalism non-profit that serves media outlets around the world with reporting from the ground via a collective of 100+ freelancers.

Jabeen Bhatti
+491728122363 (cell)

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Donald Trump: Says Scotland golf course fight prepared him for presidency

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_USA160101aa001.jpegABERDEEN, Scotland — He has called his American media critics “disgusting” and “dishonest,” but across the Atlantic, Donald Trump has had no problem getting his views across in the press, thanks to a small local newspaper in the Scottish Highlands.

Eschewing more illustrious British outlets, the billionaire developer and Republican front-runner made his debut as a columnist Monday in The Press and Journal of this fishing and oil city on the North Sea coastline, where Mr. Trump has invested in a slew of luxury golf properties.

Read more at The Washington Times

Pope has: Good news for divorced, but not for gays

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_ITA130326AA002.jpegROME — Pope Francis released a document Friday that paves the way for new integration into the Roman Catholic Church for divorced Catholics, but does little to soften the church’s strict views on hot-button topics like gay marriage, abortion and contraception.

While the 256-page apostolic exhortation called “Amoris Laetitia,” Latin for “The Joy of Love,” makes no change to church doctrine it establishes that the pope sees individual conscience as the most important principle for Catholics trying to navigate difficult issues surrounding sex, marriage and family life.

Read more at USA Today

Panama papers: The story behind the massive leak

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_ARG140724AA001.jpegBERLIN — It started with an email in early 2015: "Hello, this is John Doe. Interested in data?"

"We are very interested," replied a journalist in Munich.

The exchange resulted in internal documents from Mossack Fonseca — a Panama law firm that creates anonymous offshore companies around the world — being sent to staff at the Süddeutsche Zeitung, a large German daily. The newspaper had been involved in tax-haven investigations before.

Read more at USA Today

Halt to: Migrant flood ends good times for smugglers

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_AFR150315aa002.jpegISTANBUL — Abu Sami, an Iraqi living in Europe, made a good living smuggling Syrians and other refugees from Greece to Germany.

But his good fortune at the expense of desperate migrants fleeing war and poverty is coming to an end now that Turkey has agreed to stop them from flooding into Europe. "Business has decreased by more than 70%," he said.

Read more at USA Today

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