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seattlepi.com: Europe News from the Associated Press





 



Concert-goers recall haphazard screening, but did it matter?

Tue, 23 May 2017 20:31:58 UT

LONDON (AP) — Survivors of the suicide bombing that killed 22 people at a Manchester concert hall said security screening ahead of the Ariana Grande show was haphazard, raising the question of whether public arenas and other crowded spaces are being safeguarded to the extent they could be. Manchester police would not say if the bomber blew himself up inside or outside the arena, so it is not clear if rigorous bag screening or additional pre-event security would have helped prevent the deaths and injuries. After the 2005 suicide bombings that killed 52 people riding subways and a bus in London, Britain installed barriers around airports, transportation hubs and government buildings. The attack illustrated the challenges in securing public spaces and potentially the limits of existing methods, although security protocols vary by country and venue. "Authorities could consider a perimeter farther away from the main space of the arena, but the practical matter then becomes where the screening should be done," Wendy Patrick, a California lawyer and threat assessment expert, said. There was some discussion of putting metal detectors in movie theatres after the 2012 mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado that killed 12 people attending a midnight film screening, "but the conversation then shifted when a different type of attack occurred," Patrick said.



Trump, Francis: After clashing, a search for common ground

Tue, 23 May 2017 20:07:32 UT

[...] when they greet each other — in a Vatican ceremony laden with history and symbolism — they may well find common ground, particularly in denouncing religiously inspired violence and demanding Muslim leaders take a greater stand in rooting out fanaticism from their places of worship. When Trump took his oath of office on Jan. 20, Francis sent him a telegram of congratulations, offering his prayers for wisdom and strength that the new president's decisions would be guided by ethical values. Francis early last year was sharply critical of Trump's campaign pledge to build an impenetrable wall on the Mexican border and his declaration that the United States should turn away Muslim immigrants and refugees. The pontiff has been a vocal advocate for aiding refugees, particularly those fleeing the violence in Syria, deeming it both a "moral imperative" and "Christian duty" to help. While pope and president differ on many social and economic issues, the two are preaching from the same playbook in demanding that Muslim leaders take a greater stand against extremists in their mosques and communities. While Trump and Francis may be in brief agreement on a need for Muslim leaders to do more against extremists, the president's prior anti-Muslim rhetoric — including his musing that Islam "hates" the West — is the antithesis of what the pope has been preaching about a need for dialogue with Muslims. Papal visits with heads of state are carefully arranged bits of political and religious theater that follow a specific program, with little room for deviation or unwanted surprises.



Officials: Manchester bomber was local man of Libyan descent

Tue, 23 May 2017 19:14:15 UT

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — The man who police say blew himself up in a packed concert arena in Manchester, killing 22 people, did not make a strong impression on his neighbors. Residents of the Manchester suburb of modest brick semi-detached homes where 22-year-old Salman Abedi lived remembered seeing the tall, thin young man who often wore traditional Islamic dress. Greater Manchester Police on Tuesday named Abedi as the suicide bomber who struck an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena, wounding 59 people in addition to those he killed. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility, although a top U.S. security official said the claim could not be verified. Abedi was a British citizen of Libyan descent, said a European security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about ongoing investigations.



US renews call for Hungary to talk with Soros-funded school

Tue, 23 May 2017 18:39:51 UT

The statement by Nauert, named to her post a month ago, was significant because Hungarian officials had dismissed earlier State Department declarations on CEU, saying they came from U.S. diplomats in place before the inauguration of President Donald Trump. Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said the amendments passed in April seek to put all universities in Hungary on equal footing and eliminate "unfair advantages" enjoyed by CEU, such as its ability to issue diplomas recognized both in Hungary and the U.S., where it is accredited in New York state. The Central European University issue is part of a wider government campaign against Soros, a Hungarian-American whose "open society" ideals contrast with Orban's plans to make Hungary an "illiberal state" and his radical opposition to migration.



Turkey arrests academic, teacher on hunger strike

Tue, 23 May 2017 18:14:55 UT

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey's state-run news agency says two dismissed public employees on a hunger strike have been arrested for membership in a terror organization. The Anadolu news agency reported that academic Nuriye Gulmen and teacher Semih Ozakca were detained Monday and had their homes raided.



Poland school honors 87 Jewish girls expelled under Nazis

Tue, 23 May 2017 17:20:28 UT

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A school in Poland unveiled a plaque Tuesday that commemorates 87 Jewish girls who were expelled in 1939 during the Nazi occupation of the country. The research project began nearly two years ago when principal Gabriela Olszowska contacted Yad Vashem after finding a trove of records that included a list of the 87 Jewish girls expelled on Dec. 9, 1939, following orders from the German Nazi authorities.



Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Ethiopia's former health minister, has been elected to lead the World Health Organization.

Tue, 23 May 2017 16:58:32 UT

GENEVA (AP) — Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Ethiopia's former health minister, has been elected to lead the World Health Organization. .



Austria: Syrian war victims' names read in 48-hour session

Tue, 23 May 2017 16:31:34 UT

VIENNA (AP) — The names of thousands of Syrian war victims are being read out in Vienna, in a 48-hour session meant to commemorate all who die in armed conflict. An estimated 400,000 people have been killed in the six-year civil war.



President Donald Trump arrives in Rome for visit with Pope Francis

Tue, 23 May 2017 16:30:14 UT

ROME (AP) — President Donald Trump arrives in Rome for visit with Pope Francis.



Manchester police chief confirms bombing suspect is 22-year-old Salman Abedi

Tue, 23 May 2017 16:24:10 UT

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester police chief confirms bombing suspect is 22-year-old Salman Abedi.



2 held in Greek border region for illegal herb harvesting

Tue, 23 May 2017 16:13:38 UT

THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) — Greek police say they have arrested two Albanian men in a border region for allegedly illegally harvesting herbs growing wild on the mountainside. [...] Greek legislation places strict limits on their harvesting, which is only allowed for a few weeks every season and in quantities of up to 2 kilograms per person annually.



Germany: Committed to meeting NATO defense spending goals

Tue, 23 May 2017 16:10:39 UT

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's defense minister says the country is committed to spending 2 percent of its gross domestic product on defense in keeping with its pledge to NATO.. The U.S. and others long have called for NATO members to honor their financial commitments, a message that has intensified under President Donald Trump.



Germany: No decision yet on relocating from Turkish air base

Tue, 23 May 2017 15:47:47 UT

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's defense minister says no decision has been made whether to pull troops out of an air base in Turkey, but that there are alternatives. Germany's Tornado reconnaissance jets and refueling plane are engaged in the international effort against the Islamic State group in Syria and the minister says "the fight against terror... has absolute priority."



Britain's queen, royals hold a moment of silence for Manchester attack victims

Tue, 23 May 2017 15:02:27 UT

LONDON (AP) — Britain's queen, royals hold a moment of silence for Manchester attack victims.



6,300-plus stoves recalled following electrocution death

Tue, 23 May 2017 15:01:50 UT

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) — The federal Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced the voluntary recall of 6,300 electric stoves in connection with the electrocution death of a plumber last year. The recall notice states a screw wasn't installed to secure the grounding strap during manufacturing.



Macedonian court convicts 9 over parliament invasion

Tue, 23 May 2017 14:47:33 UT

SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) — A Macedonian court has convicted nine people of participating in a mob invasion of parliament last month that left more than 100 people injured. Macedonia's interior ministry has already suspended 16 police officers, including a senior ministry official, over their failure to prevent the invasion.



Manchester bombing victim, 8, was "a beautiful little girl"

Tue, 23 May 2017 14:44:36 UT

LONDON (AP) — The names of the 22 victims killed by a suicide bomber at a Manchester concert on Monday night have not been officially released, but here what's known about them so far: In a statement, the head teacher of the Tarleton Community Primary School that she attended in the village of Tarleton, Lancashire, described her as simply a beautiful little girl in every aspect of the word. Runshaw College in Leyland, Lancashire said Callander expressed "enormous sadness" at her death, saying she was on the second year of her health and social care course.



German prosecutors to search Daimler offices in diesel probe

Tue, 23 May 2017 13:59:00 UT

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — German automaker Daimler AG says prosecutors will search several of its offices in Germany as part of a preliminary investigation into suspected manipulation of diesel emission controls. Diesel emissions have come under closer scrutiny after Volkswagen AG admitted in September 2015 that it had equipped cars with software that detected when the vehicles were on test stands and turned up the emissions control, then turned controls off in everyday driving.



Czech president pardons convicted contract murderer

Tue, 23 May 2017 13:37:03 UT

Tuesday's release of the 56-year-old was criticized by some politicians and legal experts but a majority of the public seemed to agree, according to a recent poll. Critics said he wanted to gain popularity ahead of the presidential election early next year as he plans to seek re-election.



Germany nabs Taliban suspect accused of killing policeman

Tue, 23 May 2017 13:15:04 UT

BERLIN (AP) — German authorities have arrested an Afghan man accused of being a member of the Taliban and participating in the killing of an Afghan police officer. Federal prosecutors said Tuesday that the 20-year-old, identified only as Omaid N. in line with German privacy rules, was arrested on Friday.