Greek athletes struggle to make it to the Rio Olympics

GRC130306AA001Thessaloniki, Greece - More than a decade after the 2004 Athens Olympics, many of the once-gleaming athletic venues lie unused and destroyed. And the pride that came with successfully hosting the Games has now turned to anger.

In fact, many believe that the Games contributed to Greece's public debt, which resulted in six years of austerity policies and budget cuts across all areas, including professional sports.

Read more at Al Jazeera

European Universities Seek to Integrate Refugees

NET140724aa001AMSTERDAM—The challenges and opportunities of integrating refugees into European institutions for higher education were the focus of a two-day seminar held in Amsterdam on June 9 and 10.

Organized by the European Association of International Education (EAIE), an Amsterdam-based non-profit association for the internationalization of education in Europe, the conference focused on the situation European universities face as they try to serve the young refugees who have flooded into Europe.

Read more at Al-Fanar Media

Donald Trump set for chilly reception on visit to Scotland, Ireland

USA160101aa001TURNBERRY, Scotland — Summer is in full swing on Scotland’s idyllic west coast. But Donald Trump is set for a chilly reception on his forthcoming visit here and in Ireland next week for a quick tour of his real estate holdings.

On June 22 Mr. Trump, who has Scottish ancestry, plans to touch down here to mark the official reopening of the luxury Turnberry golf resort he has been redeveloping at a reported investment of $285 million. He is tentatively scheduled to fly on to Ireland to check on another of his golf resort investments, although new reports this week cast some doubt on whether that part of the trip will come off.

Read more at Washington Times

Paris prosecutor: Suspect in killings pledged allegiance to ISIL

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_FRA14231aa001.jpegPARIS — The suspect in the killings of a police commander and his partner in a Paris suburb pledged allegiance to the Islamic State and had a list of other targets, the Paris prosecutor said.

François Molins told a news conference Tuesday that suspect Larossi Abballa, later killed by police, was responding to a statement by the militant group calling on followers to attack "non-believers" in their homes.

Read more at USA Today

Eiffel Tower to be home for the night for lucky contest winners

FRA15128aa001PARIS, France -- Want to go to Paris? Want to see the Eiffel Tower? Want to sleep there, looking out at a view that you'll never forget?

Four lucky winners will do just that, as part of a contest by vacation rental company HomeAway – a sponsor of the Euro 2016 soccer event that kicked off Friday – in which the firm inaugurated its newest Parisian vacation flat: on top of the Eiffel Tower.

Read more at USA Today

Integrating Syrians: A Discussion in Germany

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_SYR1605aa001.jpegBERLIN—A recent one-day event here focused on how to integrate Syrians in Europe and provide them with access to higher education.

Jusoor, a non-governmental organization supported by Syrians that focuses on youth, held its 4th Annual Global Conference on June 4 titled, “Syrians as Global Citizens: Paths Towards Success in Europe.” The meeting featured two panels, the first concentrating on higher-education and vocational-training efforts in Germany, and the second on integration issues and employment opportunities.

Read more at Al Fanar Media

France tense: As security fears loom before Euro 2016

b_160_0_16777215_00_images_DEU130531aa002.jpegPARIS — When the Euro 2016 soccer championship starts here Friday, security guard Salim Toorabally will be at the entrance to the Stade de France to watch over fans with a keen eye for terrorists.

On another Friday last year, Toorabally stopped a bomber from entering the stadium as a string of suicide attacks in Paris killed 130 people. France's soccer match against Germany that Nov. 13 was halted because of the attacks.

Read more at USA Today

European floods: Claim at least sixteen lives

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_GBR130123AA001.jpegPARIS — Torrential rains across France and Germany left at least 16 people dead, drove thousands from their homes and forced the Louvre Museum to move its art treasures to higher ground.

The floodwaters snarled traffic in this French capital and forced the closure of several railway and Metro stations. The Louvre was closed as staff removed artworks from lower rooms threatened by the rising River Seine that runs next to the museum. Leonardo Da Vinci's masterpiece, the Mona Lisa, is located on an upper floor and did not have to be moved.

Read more at USA Today

Growing migrant deaths provoke tears, desperation for families left behind

GRC130306AA001 LESBOS, Greece — As he knelt in front of his younger brother's grave, Farouk Nabi held up his smartphone so that his mother and sister more than 2,000 miles away could read the writing on the marble stone: "Pakar Ghulam Nabi, 50."

He heard the two women in Afghanistan scream, cry and then pray. “My mother doesn't sleep at night anymore,” Nabi, 52, said. “She waits to say goodbye to her son and hopes that her grandchildren are still alive. I came here to put her soul at ease.”

Read more at USA Today

German police: 26 women report sexual assault at concert

DEU131031AA001BERLIN — German authorities are investigating alleged attacks on more than two dozen women at a music festival over the weekend that bear similarities to mass sexual assaults elsewhere in Germany during outdoor New Year's Eve gatherings.

Police said they arrested three Pakistani men, ages 28 to 31, in connection with the assaults, but they were later released, the Darmstadt Echo newspaper reported. Two of the three men have filed for asylum in Germany, according to the newspaper. Police would not say whether any charges have been filed.br />
Read more at USA Today

Conservative government: Baby subsidy polarizes Poland

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_POL151226aa001.jpegWARSAW — Poland’s conservative government wants more Polish babies — and it’s willing to pay for them.

The governing Law and Justice Party, with a political base in the country’s heavily Catholic east, last month launched an expensive initiative to reverse the country’s flagging population growth and soften the impact of global competition.

Read more at The Washington Times

Greece starts: Clearing Idomeni refugee camp

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_GRC151313aa001.jpegIDOMENI, Greece — Greece began clearing its Idomeni refugee camp on the Macedonian border Tuesday, sealing the area and deploying more than 400 riot police to relocate thousands of refugees. Officials said they would refrain from using force in the operation.

Giorgos Kyritsis, a spokesman for the Greek government's refugee crisis committee, told the Athens News Agency that all the refugees would be moved to “industrial premises” around Greece.

Read more at USA Today

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

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