Tourists flee: Brussels after terror attack

FRA151119AA001BRUSSELS — Restaurants, bars and other venues in the heart of this historic city are usually hopping on Thursday. Not this week.

Patrick Bordigato, 27, a bartender at the restaurant Pin Pon, was standing idly at his counter. “I'm going to put on some music,” he said. “I should do it anyway,” even though there was no one else there to listen. 

Read more at USA Today

Italy pushes: Closer European security cooperation after Brussels attacks

EUR130204AA001BERLIN — Tuesday’s deadly terrorist attacks in Brussels could help pull the fraying European Union closer together. At least that's the idea behind an Italian proposal for closer European security cooperation.

Following the attacks at the Brussels Airport and a metro station that killed at least 31 people and injured 270, Italian Prime MinisterMatteo Renzi called for Europe to work toward a common strategy for security and defense. 

Read more at USA Today

Complaints grow: Belgium bungled security before attacks

FRA141202aa001BRUSSELS — Two days after the worst terror attack on Belgian soil, signs are growing that the Belgian governmentfailed to address security lapses that might have contributed to Tuesday's bombings.

The European Union told Belgian authorities to remedy gaps in their border security weeks before suicide bombers attacked Brussels Airport and a metro station, killing 31 people and wounding 270, according to a report published Thursday.

Read more at USA Today

Belgian Muslims: Fear growing anti-Islam backlash in wake of terror attacks

FRA150111aa001BRUSSELS — It's already been a rough few months for Belgian Muslims in the wake of November's terrorist attacks in Paris and the search for suspects in Belgium: Lockdowns, increased security and raids on homes.

Now, in the wake of the country's deadliest terrorist attacks Tuesday, Muslims who live in Belgium fret more fear, suspicion and harassment is on the way. 

Read more at USA Today

After attacks: Sorrow, union and dignity in Brussels

BEL160428AA001BRUSSELS — Packed with smiling photos of the missing and desperate appeals for information, the Facebook page full of sorrow was set up to help families find loved ones whose fate remained unknown days after the murderous attacks that tore through Brussels' airport and a subway train on Tuesday.

"Still there is no word of him," says a post by Chandrasekar Ganesan, searching for his brother Raghavendran. "We have also tried calling on his mobile, but are simply not able to reach."

Read more at Al Jazeera

Islamic State: Claims responsibility for Brussels attack that killed dozens

SYR130328PT002BRUSSELS — The Islamic State claimed responsibility for brutal attacks that brought blood and chaos to this capital city's airport and downtown metro station Tuesday, killing dozens of people, wounding more than 150 and heightening terror alerts around the world.

As of Tuesday evening, the death toll was 34, the Associated Press said a Belgian security official indicated. Authorities blamed suicide bombers for the attacks, but embarked on manhunt for at least one suspected surviving attacker. 

Read more at USA Today

Terror attacks: 'It could have been us': How countries see Brussels

BEL151125aa001BERLIN — USA TODAY world editors were meeting in Berlin with their foreign correspondents Tuesday when Brussels was struck by terrorist attacks. 

Here are their reports on the reactions and impact in their countries on the latest attacks

Read more at USA Today

'Their faces': Brussels attacks first hand

BEL130313AA001BRUSSELS — Explosions at the Brussels airport and a downtown metro stop rocked the city Tuesday, killing more than 30 people, and wounding dozens.

In the city, all public transportation has been shut down as officials work to piece together what happened. Here's a look at the chaotic scene in Brussels from the people who witnessed the attack and those who are trying to navigate daily life in a city on lockdown.

Read more at USA Today

Terrorist Attacks: Brussels luck runs out

BEL160427AA001BRUSSELS — We knew it was coming. Belgium had never experienced a massive terrorist attack, and no one believed that was because our police and intelligence services were more skilled than those of Spain, France or the U.K. — not for one second.

It never added up. London, Paris, Madrid, but not Brussels, where there’s so much institutional real estate, with the biggest concentration of lobbyists outside Washington, D.C., with NATO headquartered here. We tried not to give in to the fear-mongering, but in our hearts we knew it was just a matter of time. 

Read more at USA Today

Spanish reaction: To the Brussels terror attacks

SPA160426AA001BERLIN — Spanish journalist Belen Diego reacts to the attacks in Brussels today. 

Read more at USA Today

Italian reaction: To the Brussels terror attacks

ITA130315AA004BERLIN — Eric J. Lyman, who covers Italy for USA Today, talks about Rome's reaction to the attacks in Brussels. 

Read more at USA Today

Brussels attacks: What it might mean for 'Brexit'

UK013302BERLIN — USA Today journalist Dominic Hinde talks about the Brussels attacks in the context of Britain's potential exit from the European Union. 

Read more at USA Today

In Trump: The World Sees 'Ugly American'

USA160101aa001BERLIN — Donald Trump's raw campaign rhetoric has been criticized in the United States as xenophobic, racist, vulgar, spreading falsehoods and for inciting violence at his political rallies. And while the Republican Party presidential front-runner has dismissed such criticism, around the world words appear to matter.

Trump's rhetoric has drawn condemnation from all corners of the world, including – remarkably – from some of the United States' most stalwart of allies. 

Read more at US News and World Report

Small Greek village copes with thousands of migrants unable to leave

GRC131025AA001 IDOMENI, Greece — Walking past his village's main square, Antonis Zois stares at the Syrian refugee families filling their water bottles at the public fountain.

“The camp is not a place for a human being to live,” said Zois, 85, waving at a young girl in a red polka-dot jacket. “We always had migrants passing through, but I've never seen a situation like this.”

Read more at USA Today

Angela Merkel: Open-Door policy for migrants faces test in Germany state elections

DEU121121AA001BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel doesn't face voters until October 2017, but her decadelong dominance of the German political scene will be sorely tested in three key state elections this weekend.

Ms. Merkel's open-door policy on migrants is turning off many of her longtime supporters, and an anti-immigrant right-wing party could make big gains.

Read more at The Washington Times

American pizza and espresso want to invade Italy

ITA130315AA004 ROME — Italy has long resisted the temptations of U.S. food chains inspired by this country’s storied culinary traditions. Yet, that has begun to change with American pizza and coffee companies aiming to set up shop here.

ROME — Italy has long resisted the temptations of U.S. food chains inspired by this country’s storied culinary traditions. Yet, that has begun to change with American pizza and coffee companies aiming to set up shop here.

Read more at USA Today

Tensions mount at migrant bottleneck in Greece

GRC130215AA001 IDOMENI, Greece — Zakhir Nair and his wife sit outside their two-person tent, their 14-month-old son between them, trying to take his first steps.

The Afghan family of five, with another child on the way, have been on the road nearly three weeks: walking through Iranian mountains, busing through Turkey, crossing the Aegean Sea on an inflatable boat to Greece, then taking trains and expensive taxis to this remote border post, en route to the promised land — Germany.

Read more at USA Today

Chaos, riots as France dismantles Calais migrant camp

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_FRA14231aa001.jpeg CALAIS, France — Rahmanjan Safy scrambled to salvage anything valuable from the demolished tents and makeshift shelters at this Calais migrant camp Wednesday, even as riot police and bulldozers destroyed the site.

Food, clothing, spoons — he picked up everything he could find.

Read more at USA Today

Russia and Turkey fight for control in Bulgaria

BUL121106AA001 Sofia, Bulgaria—Russia and Turkey are fighting for control over an obscure but powerful ethnic-Turkish political party in Bulgaria – a country that was once the Soviet Union’s closest foreign ally and has since periodically had to fend off allegations that it is a Russian “Trojan horse” in NATO – in a proxy battle in their wider conflict.

The fight threatens to destabilize further the European Union’s southern border.

Read more at The Globe and Mail

Chaos in Kosovo as opposition pushes more Serbian power

KOS-160503AA001PRISTINA, Kosovo — In the gravest political crisis of Kosovo’s brief life as an independent nation, opposition politicians have set up tent cities in the heart of the capital, organized mass rallies and even set off tear gas canisters to shut down parliamentary floor debates to protest a government plan that they say would give more power to the local Serbian minority and encourage Serbia to recognize Kosovo’s independence.

“We’ve asked the government to withdraw from the agreements, and we’ve asked them to resign,” said Boiken Abazi, secretary of external relations for Vetevendosje, or the Self-Determination Movement, one of three political parties that have been spearheading the anti-government efforts. “If they don’t, the united opposition of Kosovo will continue to call protests.”

Read more at The Washington Times

Ankara bombing underscores border fears as Turkey pushes for buffer zone

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_TUR130607AA006.jpegTurkey’s push to create a 10 kilometre-wide buffer zone on the Syrian side of its southern border, backed by Saudi Arabia and Germany in the face of Russian threats that this could ignite “World War III,” is expected to confront an important test Thursday when EU leaders gather in Brussels to try to hammer out a common stand on refugees.

Yet a powerful bomb attack in Ankara Wednesday evening, which claimed at least 28 lives with more than 60 wounded, according to media reports, came as a deadly reminder of the risks such an operation would incur. In recent days, as both Syrian government forces and a U.S.-allied Kurdish militia keep edging closer toward the Turkish border with the help of Russian air strikes, Ankara’s international isolation has grown, making such a move less likely and more dangerous, experts say.

Read more at The Globe and Mail

Pope administers: ‘Kindness therapy’ at Mexican children’s hospital

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_ITA130401AA001.jpegMEXICO CITY (RNS) After ruffling feathers in Mexico’s religious and political establishment, Pope Francis visited a children’s hospital and preached what he called “kindness therapy.”

“It’s important to feel loved and cared for, and I say ‘Thank you’ to all the people who look for better ways to take care of us,” the pope said on Sunday (Feb. 14) as he visited the Federico Gomez Pediatric Hospital in Mexico City’s poor and crime-ravaged Doctores neighborhood.

Read more at Religion News Service

Disillusioned Mexicans: Await Pope Francis’ visit

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_ITA130401AA001.jpegMEXICO CITY (RNS) On a recent morning outside the Church of San Agustin in the middle-class neighborhood of Narvarte, two students sell bric-a-brac and blast the Beatles’ “Let It Be” through a smartphone hooked up to speakers.

When asked what Pope Francis’ first visit to the country as pontiff on Friday (Feb. 12) means to them, they shrug.

Read more at Religion News Service

Moscow kiosk: Crackdown at odds with Putin’s public support for small businesses

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_RUS140804AA001.jpegMOSCOW — They are ubiquitous in Russia and many East European capitals: small islands of capitalism where residents can purchase an apple, a newspaper, some nylons or a new cellphone cover. And now they’re under assault here in Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

In a move that has sparked an uproar, city authorities here have sent in bulldozers to tear down kiosks housing bakeries, florists, cellphone dealers and other shops in a frenzy of destruction that came just months after Mr. Putin ironically stressed the importance of small businesses and entrepreneurship for the country’s battered economy.

Read more at The Washington Times

Little Norway: Spends big on Syrian refugee crisis

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_SYR130326AA001.jpegOSLO — While Germany has grabbed most of the attention for its response to Europe's migrant crisis, little fjord-filled Norway has quietly emerged as one of the largest contributors of humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees.

The oil-rich Scandinavian country of 5 million has pledged $1.2 billion over the next four years for people who have fled Syria's nearly 5-year-old civil war.

Read more at USA Today

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