Police fatally shoot gunman who took hostages at German theater

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_DEU160606aa001.jpegBERLIN - Police shot and killed a masked gunman Thursday who had opened fire in a cinema and taken hostages in a small town in western Germany, according to German authorities.

Initial reports in the German media indicated that at least 25 people had been injured in the melee, possibly by tear gas, but police said later that no one was hurt.

Read more at USA Today

Shunned by West, Putin seeks friend, financier on China visit

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_RUS140804AA001.jpegMOSCOW — The Kremlin’s much-vaunted “pivot to China” takes another big step forward Saturday when Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives in Beijing on a state visit that Moscow hopes will strengthen relations between the countries and provide a boost to Russia’s tanking economy.

The visit offers Mr. Putin a welcome break from a string of challenges elsewhere, but whether the Chinese will be such accommodating hosts is another question.

Read more at The Washington Times

Brits living in Europe fear 'Brexit' could change their lives

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_EUR130204AA001.jpegLONDON — Millions of Britons and other Europeans living outside their home countries fear that a British exit from the European Union could force a major change in their way of life, from visas to jobs.

Sybille Hazward, 39, an Austrian who has been in London 10 years and runs a fitness company, said she wants the United Kingdom to remain in the EU and believes the “entire stability of Europe” depends on Thursday's vote on the issue.

Read more at USA Today

Brexit vote terrifies Eastern Europeans who see need for EU economy, reforms from communism

POL151226aa001WARSAW — Many in Eastern Europe — who have been part of the European Union for only a little more than a decade — are looking on with a mixture of disbelief, anxiety and horror as Britons go to the polls in a referendum Thursday that could put the whole point of the alliance in doubt.

Pollsters say the “Brexit” vote on the United Kingdom’s membership in the European Union too close to predict, but the view from the other end of the continent is very different. In the past decade, millions of people from the region have traveled to Britain for work, pleasure or study. The ties are strong, people say, and could be in jeopardy if the “Leave” forces prevail.

Read more at The Washington Times

Rome's first female mayor takes victory lap after landslide win

ITA130306AA001ROME — The Eternal City's first female executive vowed Monday to be "a mayor for all Romans," as final election results showed her populist campaign winning in a landslide over a candidate representing Italy's political establishment.

Virginia Raggi, 37, an outsider from an upstart political party, won on a tide of voter anger over what many view as the mainstream political system's ties to corruption and cronyism. Official results showed Raggi won two-thirds of the vote in a runoff against Roberto Giachetti.

Read more at USA Today

Across the Channel, Europe hedges bets as Britain votes on EU exit

GER130222AA001BERLIN | Days before Britain’s referendum on staying in the European Union, those on continental Europe — especially expat Brits — are pleading with U.K. voters to stay and reassessing their life plans and opportunities if the vote goes the other way.

“I have been making plans to move back to Great Britain to go to graduate school, but the idea of moving back to a U.K. which is not part of Europe is very unpleasant,” said Jen, 27, a Berlin-based editor from Birmingham who declined to give her last name. “In fact, it would be enough to make me reconsider the move.”

Read more at The Washington Times

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

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