BBC Journalist Faces Five-Year Jail Term For Reporting Thailand Scam

BANGKOK, (REUTERS): A British journalist with the BBC faces up to five years in a Thai jail after a lawyer brought a criminal defamation case against him over an investigation into fraud on a popular tourist island. Rights groups say the case is the latest example of how Thailand's broad defamation and computer crime laws shut down investigative journalism and make it difficult to expose wrongdoing in a country where corruption is endemic. The prosecution was sparked by a September 2015..

UK Parliament’s Upper House Likely To Attach Conditions To Brexit Bill: Former Minister

LONDON, (REUTERS): The British parliament's upper chamber is likely to attach conditions to legislation giving Prime Minister Theresa May the power to trigger the country's exit from the European Union, a former minister from the opposition Labour Party said on Sunday. Earlier this month, Ms May won approval for the legislation from parliament's lower chamber, the House of Commons. The un-elected upper chamber, the House of Lords, is due to begin debating the bill on Monday. The legislation..

Germany to elect new president; Steinmeier the favorite

BERLIN, (AP): A German parliamentary assembly is electing the country's new president on Sunday, and the country's former foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, is the overwhelming favorite to win. The German president has little executive power, but is considered an important moral authority. The new head of state will succeed Joachim Gauck, a 77-year-old former pastor and East German pro-democracy activist who isn't seeking a second five-year term because of his age. The president is..

Scottish Parliament Votes Overwhelmingly Against Brexit Bill

EDINBURGH, (AFP): The Scottish parliament, in a symbolic motion, voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to reject Britain's march towards the European Union exit, with the semi-autonomous government warning Scotland would not be "humiliated". The Scottish government said the vote - backed by nearly three quarters of Scottish lawmakers from across the political spectrum - is one of the most important in the parliament's 18-year history. Minister for Brexit Negotiations Mike Russell said his government..

Queen Elizabeth marks 65 years on British throne

LONDON, (REUTERS):Queen Elizabeth, the world's longest-reigning living monarch, celebrates her Sapphire Jubilee on Monday, commemorating 65 years since she took the British throne. A 41-gun royal salute will take place in central London to mark the occasion. The queen's office released a 2014 portrait showing her wearing a suite of sapphire jewellery she received from King George VI as a wedding gift in 1947. The Queen, 90, has cut back on international tours but still regularly performs..

EU leaders say Trump worries them as rhetoric becomes policy

VALLETTA, Malta (AP): European Union leaders on Friday vowed to remain united and defiant in the face of an onslaught of criticism from the new American president that has started to undermine the once-unshakeable trans-Atlantic relationship. And they hit back in an increasingly grating battle of words, underscoring how they fear that Donald Trump's campaign rhetoric will be turned into policy and further tear apart their troubled bloc. This week EU chief Donald Tusk moved the U.S. into a..

European Union Chief Sees Donald Trump Announcements As Threats

BRUSSELS, (AP): The chief of the European Union put longtime ally the United States in a "threat" category on Tuesday, insisting that President Donald Trump is contributing to the "highly unpredictable" outlook for the bloc. In a letter to 27 EU leaders before Friday's summit in Malta, Donald Tusk mentioned the Trump administration as part of an external "threat" together with China, Russia, radical Islam, war and terror. Echoing statements from many European capitals, he said that those global..

Nazi Propaganda Chief Goebbels’ Secretary Brunhilde Pomsel Dies At 106

MUNICH, (AFP): The former secretary of Nazi Germany's propaganda boss Joseph Goebbels died aged 106 last week, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the maker of a documentary about her said Monday. Brunhilde Pomsel died on January 27 in a care home in the southern city of Munich, said Christian Kroenes, who conducted extensive interviews with her for his 2016 film "A German Life". Pomsel, who worked for Goebbels as a secretary, typist and stenographer from 1942-45, had insisted she had..

Angela Merkel Says Fight Against Terrorism No Excuse For US Entry Ban

BERLIN, (REUTERS): German Chancellor Angela Merkel told U.S. President Donald Trump that the global fight against terrorism was no excuse for banning refugees or people from Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States, her spokesman said on Sunday. Steffen Seibert said Merkel had expressed her concerns to Trump during a telephone call on Saturday and reminded him that the Geneva Conventions require the international community to take in war refugees on humanitarian grounds. "She..

German Foreign Minister: Trump’s election marks new era

BERLIN, (AP): German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier says U.S. President Donald Trump's election marks the end of an era, and Berlin will move quickly to secure "close and trusting trans-Atlantic cooperation based on common values" with the new administration. Steinmeier wrote in Bild newspaper on Sunday that "with the election of Donald Trump, the old world of the 20th century is finally over" and "how the world of tomorrow will look is not settled." He says with any power change..

Spain posts new record with 75 million visitors in 2016

MADRID, (AP): Officials in Spain say the number of tourists visiting the country has soared by 10 percent in 2016, setting a record figure for the fourth consecutive year as economic concerns and terrorism fears continued to lure visitors away from rival Mediterranean destinations. Energy and Tourism Minister Alvaro Nadal said Thursday that 75.3 million tourists arrived in Spain last year. Spain, Europe's most popular destination after France, hosted 68.1 million tourists in 2015. Britons..

Theresa May Vows To Seek Ambitious European Union Deal And Work With Donald Trump

LONDON, (AP): Prime Minister Theresa May said Sunday she will announce details of Britain's European Union exit plans in the next few weeks, and denied a former diplomat's claim that the government is "muddled" about Brexit. In her first interview of 2017, May also said Donald Trump had made "unacceptable" comments about women - but stressed she's had "good" conversations with the US president-elect about the vital trans-Atlantic relationship. May has said for months that she will invoke..

Europe 2017: Brexit, far-right surging, Russian threat

LONDON, (AP): Europe's leaders are not expecting a smooth ride in 2017 following a year marked by political upheaval, extremist attacks, unchecked immigration, and a rising military threat from Russia. Britain is suing for divorce, the far-right is on the march, some former Soviet satellites seem disillusioned with the West even as Russia seeks to regain its influence, and America will soon inaugurate an untested, seemingly Russia-friendly president who has voiced doubts about the usefulness..

Czech President Links Europe Attacks To Migration Wave

PRAGUE, (AP): The Czech president has linked recent attacks in Europe to the ongoing influx of migrants escaping war-torn, poverty-stricken countries. Milos Zeman told Czechs in his annual Christmas speech on Monday that "today almost no one doubts the connection between the migration wave and terrorist attacks." In order to prevent terrorist attacks on Czech soil, the president said that the Czech Republic shouldn't take in migrants on a "so-called volunteer basis," alluding to the European..

UK Economy Sidesteps Brexit Vote Hit, 2017 Outlook Darker

LONDON, (REUTERS): British consumers brushed off June's Brexit vote and drove the economy to expand faster than expected in the third quarter, but a hefty current account gap and weaker trade and investment raised warning flags for 2017. The economy grew by 0.6 per cent in the three months to September, above its long-run average and beating expectations in a Reuters poll of economists who expected the Office for National Statistics to stick with its earlier estimate of 0.5 per cent. The ONS..

Missed Chances: How Berlin Attack Suspect Slipped Through Net

BERLIN, (AFP): As police hunt for Tunisian Anis Amri, the top suspect in Berlin's Christmas market attack, public anger has grown over a catalogue of failures that allowed him to evade arrest or deportation. An incredulous public has learned that Amri was a rejected asylum seeker and known radical jihadist with a history of crime who had been under police observation for plotting an attack before surveillance was dropped. "They knew him. They did nothing," ran the scathing headline of..

9 Killed, Many Injured As Truck Slams Into Christmas Market, Say Berlin Police

BERLIN, (AP): Berlin police say a truck has run into a crowded Christmas market in the center of Berlin killing at least nine people, and causing multiple injuries. Police said on Twitter that the truck rammed into the market outside the capital's popular Christmas market at the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church on Monday evening. Bild newspaper posted a picture of a large Scania truck with its windshield smashed out on the sidewalk alongside the market. Police say they're still investigating..

Merkel says Germany to stick to ‘one China’ policy

BERLIN, (REUTERS): Germany will not change its “one China” policy, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday, distancing herself from comments by President-elect Donald Trump that the United States could reconsider its long-held policy that Taiwan is part of China. “We still stand by a ‘one China’ policy and we will not change our stance,” Merkel told a news conference with Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic when asked about Trump’s remarks questioning nearly four decades of..

Iran Summons UK Envoy Over ‘Divisive’ Theresa May Remarks To Gulf Arabs

DUBAI, (REUTERS): Iran summoned the British ambassador on Saturday to protest against remarks by Prime Minister Theresa May who accused Tehran of "aggressive regional actions" in a speech to a Gulf Arab summit. Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said the move was prompted by May's "irresponsible, provocative and divisive remarks" at the summit in Bahrain on Wednesday, the official Iranian news agency IRNA reported. May told the Gulf Arab leaders that "we must also work together to push..

UK Court Convicts Belgian Linked To Brussels, Paris Attacks Suspect

LONDON, (AFP): A British court on Tuesday convicted a Belgian man living in Birmingham of giving money to Brussels and Paris terror attacks suspect Mohamed Abrini. Zakaria Boufassil handed $3,770 and 3,550 euros in cash to Abrini when the latter visited the city in central England in July 2015, with the knowledge that it would be used for terrorism, the court found. Testifying at Kingston Crown Court in London last week, the 26-year-old admitted to meeting Abrini and to holding the money for..

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