Thursday, April 5, 2012

Does the far-right in Europe pose a growing threat to democracy?

The next generation of European terrorists could emerge from the growing ranks of far-right groups becoming disillusioned with elections, researchers have warned.

The English Defence League hosted a rally in Denmark last weekend in a bid to draw together anti-Muslim groups from across Europe in a new far-right alliance.

The gathering was declared a flop, outnumbered 10 to one by counter-protesters, but experts believe these organisations could become breeding grounds for would-be terrorists and have called for greater efforts to be made to track their activities.

Right-wing extremist violence has been on the increase across mainland Europe in recent years with attacks in Norway, Germany, Spain, Czech Republic and Italy. Read More

Shah public house Stabbing, Hastings, East Sussex: Boy 17 Killed after being Stabbed in the Chest

A 17-year-old boy has died after being stabbed in the chest near an East Sussex pub.

Sussex Police said officers and an ambulance were called to the Shah public house in Mount Pleasant Road, Hastings, at 3.19pm following reports of an attack.

An ambulance spokesman said the teenager was treated for two stab wounds to the chest.

"Paramedics fought to save the boy who had been stabbed in the chest, but sadly he died," a Sussex Police spokesman said.

More to follow...

Strong storm hits Argentina, leaving at least 11 dead, more than 20 injured

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — A strong storm in Argentina’s capital has blown down trees and destroyed roofs, killing at least 11 people in the region and leaving more than 20 injured.

Authorities say four people died in the capital of Buenos Aires as hail fell and heavy gusts of wind tore through the city.

Regional emergency management official Luciano Timerman told the government news agency Telam Thursday that seven others died in area near Buenos Aires. One was electrocuted and six were crushed by toppled walls and fallen roofs.

Timerman says the gusts of wind on Wednesday topped 100 kph (62 mph). Source

April snowstorm hits Moscow

Muscovites woke up today to a blanket of snow covering the Russian capital after a powerful cyclone brought a winter storm in the middle of spring.

"Last night a small but powerful cyclonic whirl hit the capital at a speed of 50 kilometres (31 miles) per hour bringing with it copious snowfall," weather forecaster Fobos said.

Temperatures in the afternoon were expected to go up to two degrees Celsius (36 degrees Fahrenheit).

The snowstorm comes as a major test of patience for Muscovites who have endured an unusually cold and long winter lasting five months. Russians consider that spring begins on March 1.

"Pedestrians and drivers are urged to be careful. Gusts of wind can fell trees and tear down advertising hoardings," said NTV television channel.

Snowstorms were also forecast to continue on the far eastern Sakhalin Island, while cold weather was also expected in Siberia. Read More

Ship's toxic chemical leak under control, China

A minor toxic chemical leak from a Danish container ship at Yangshan Deep-water Port has been controlled while no pollution has harmed the waters, following three days of emergency response and cleanup work, Shanghai authorities said Wednesday.

The furfuryl alcohol leak from Susan Maersk was reported shortly before 9 pm on Sunday, Shanghai Maritime Safety Administration said.

"The leak occurred at a rate of 1 to 2 drops per minute," Huang Yongchang, a press officer for the maritime safety department of Yangshan Deep-water Port, told the Global Times Wednesday. "But, it only affected the docks; the waters were not polluted at all."

Cleanup work resumed on the docks after the container ship was removed Tuesday, after which final checks and monitoring of the situation showed that safety risks had been removed, he added. Furfuryl alcohol has a medium-level toxicity classification in China.

The cause of the leak is still under investigation. Source

2 killed in Colorado plane crash after midair collision

Two small planes collided midair north of Denver just before noon today, killing at least two people, authorities say. One pilot survived.

A witness told Longmont Times-Call that he believes the single-engine planes clipped each other about 11:45 a.m. MT (1:45 p.m. ET), causing a Cessna to lose a wing and spiral into the ground along a road near a Walmart. No one survived that crash (photo), which killed two people, the Weld County coroner tells the Associated Press.

About five minutes later, the second plane crashed near the City of Longmont Public Works Garage, not far from the entrance to the Vance Brand Mumicipal Airport. The unidentified woman piloting the plane was pulled from the wreckage (photo) by passers-by and is reported in stable condition at an area hospital. Read More

White House in damage control over Obama Supreme Court remarks

(Reuters) - The White House was forced on the defensive on Wednesday as it sought to explain controversial remarks President Barack Obama made earlier in the week about the Supreme Court's review of his signature healthcare reform law.

"What he did was make an unremarkable observation about 80 years of Supreme Court history," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters during a White House briefing dominated by the topic.

Obama expressed confidence on Monday that the Court would not take an "unprecedented, extraordinary step" by overturning the law, provoking a storm of protest that he had been inaccurate and was challenging the nation's top judges in an election year.

The Supreme Court could decide to reject his Affordable Care Act to expand health insurance to millions of Americans, striking down a key achievement of his presidency and potentially harming Obama's bid for re-election on November 6. Read More

Officials weigh U.S. threat of Iran-backed Hezbollah

(Reuters) - The warning last month from Representative Peter King, the chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security, was blunt: An investigation by his staff had determined that "hundreds" of people he described as "Iranian and Hezbollah terrorists" were in the United States.

But interviews with U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials, as well as private experts, about the Iranian-sponsored group paint a more nuanced picture. There is a threat, though whether it is imminent or extensive is far from clear, they say.

An alarming part of the officials' assessments focuses on the apparent surveillance missions that Iranian diplomats and possible Hezbollah operatives have been seen conducting at sensitive targets such as New York subways and bridges, and at nuclear power plants and tunnels elsewhere in the United States in the past 10 years. Read More

Viktor Bout the Russian Arms Dealer faces long prison sentence

(CNN) -- Convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout faces the possibility of life in prison at his sentencing in a federal court in New York on Thursday.

Last year Bout, who's been dubbed "the merchant of death" by his accusers, was convicted on four counts of conspiracy to kill Americans, acquire and export anti-aircraft missiles and provide material support to a terrorist organization.

At the trial, the prosecution said that during a 2008 sting operation by U.S. drug enforcement agents in Thailand, Bout believed he was selling weapons to Colombian guerrillas.

Bout, whose life is considered to have inspired the 2005 Nicolas Cage movie "Lord of War," faces 25 years to life in prison. Read More

Kony sequel is out and firing back at critics

Pakistan wants solid Mumbai evidence from the U.S.

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- Pakistan has suggested that the United States needs to provide convincing evidence against a man accused of masterminding the 2008 terrorist assault on Mumbai before it will take any action.

Washington posted a notice Monday offering as much as $10 million for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, a 61-year-old Pakistani man wanted by Indian authorities in connection with the Mumbai attacks, which killed 166 people.

"Pakistan would prefer to receive concrete evidence to proceed legally rather than to be engaging in a public discussion on this issue," the Pakistani foreign ministry said in a statement.

"In a democratic country like Pakistan, where (the) judiciary is independent, evidence against anyone must withstand judicial scrutiny," the statement, released Wednesday, said. Read More

Hand over Saif Gadhafi, court tells Libya

(CNN) -- Libya must make arrangements to hand over Saif al-Islam Gadhafi to the International Criminal Court immediately, court officials said Thursday, complaining that the son of the deposed Libyan leader has been mistreated since he was captured last year.

Gadhafi is in a "legal black hole," held for 139 days in "total isolation" except for visits from officials, his ICC-appointed defense said in a strongly worded statement.

"At no point have the Libyan authorities been legally justified in their failure to surrender him to the ICC," lawyers Xavier-Jean Keita and Melinda Taylor said.

"The brutal death of Moammar Gadhafi deprived the Libyan people of their right to justice, and their right to the truth. It would be a travesty for the prospects of a free and fair Libyan state if the same were to occur to his son," they said.

Amnesty International called on Libya to hand Saif al-Islam over at once in light of the ICC statement. Read More

Mali rebels declare cease-fire in north

(CNN) -- Separatist rebels who captured northern areas of Mali called a cease-fire starting Thursday, saying they had captured key territory and achieved their military mission.

The Azawad National Liberation Movement said the rebels had captured enough of Mali's vast Sahara region to put down their guns.

The online statement said the MNLA "decides unilaterally to proclaim an end to military operations as of Thursday, April 5 at midnight GMT."

The Tuaregs consider the area, which they call Azawad, as the cradle of their nomadic civilization and launched an insurgency in January to achieve a separate homeland. The conflict has uprooted more than 200,000 people from their homes. Read More

Sky News channel admits e-mail hacking



London (CNN) -- UK news channel Sky News said Thursday it had authorized its journalists to hack illegally into the e-mail of individual members of the public on two occasions.


John Ryley, head of Sky News, said the instances involved suspected criminal activity.

"We stand by these actions as editorially justified and in the public interest," he said in a statement. "We do not take such decisions lightly or frequently."

An external review of e-mail records is under way at the broadcaster's instigation, he said, but no grounds for concern have yet been found.

"Sky News is committed to the highest editorial standards. Like other news organizations, we are acutely aware of the tensions that can arise between the law and responsible investigative journalism." Read More

Tokyo stocks drop on renewed concern over European debt crisis

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Tokyo stocks dropped for the third consecutive session Thursday, with the benchmark Nikkei index closing at a one-month low, on renewed fears about the eurozone sovereign debt crisis and its impact on the global financial system.

After losing more than 230 points in the previous session, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended down 52.38 points, or 0.53 percent, from Wednesday at 9,767.61, the lowest close since March 7 when it finished at 9,576.06.

The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished 2.79 points, or 0.33 percent, lower at 832.57.

Major decliners included the sea transport, insurance and mining sectors. Gainers were led by the electricity and gas, pulp and paper, and land transport sectors.

Stocks faced selling after poor results from Spain's government bond auction rekindled concerns about the debt crisis, while overnight weakness in European and U.S. markets also dampened investor sentiment, brokers said. Read More