A German clothing brand favoured by neo-Nazis in Europe, whose goods were banned because of their similarity to logos worn by SS officers, has opened a high-street store in the heart of London’s Jewish community.
The Viking Thor Shop, which opened in Finchley, North London a fortnight ago, is an outlet for Thor Steinar, a controversial brand whose products are strongly associated with far-right street groups and football hooligans.
The Ballards Lane store is situated yards from the office of the UK’s Chief Rabbi. Jewish and Islamic groups in the multicultural community have expressed concerns that the shop will attract far-right supporters and inflame tensions. But the store’s manager denied any neo-Nazi associations and claimed he was simply selling leisurewear.
World leaders and Jewish groups condemned a leaflet handed out in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk in which Jews were told to “register” with the pro-Russian militants who have taken over government office in an attempt to make Ukraine part of Russia, according to Ukrainian and Israeli media.
Jews emerging from a synagogue say they were handed leaflets that ordered the city’s Jews to provide a list of property they own and pay a registration fee “or else have their citizenship revoked, face deportation and see their assets confiscated,” reported Ynet News, Israel’s largest news website, and Ukraine’s Donbass news agency.
Secretary of State John Kerry said the language of the leaflets “is beyond unacceptable” and condemned whomever is responsible.
Honduras retains the world’s highest murder rate, according to a United Nations report published on Thursday, with the Americas overtaking Africa as the region with the most peacetime murders per 100,000 people.
Torn apart by gang warfare and invaded by Mexican drug cartels, the Central American nation of Honduras had a 2012 murder rate of 90.4 homicides per 100,000 people, almost double Venezuela’s rate of 53.7.
According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime’s report, Central America fared particularly badly. Belize had a murder rate of 44.7, while El Salvador’s was 41.2 per 100,000.
In a previous report in 2011, Honduras topped the list, with El Salvador in second place and Venezuela in third.
The impetus for the vote was a proposal to build a $174 million BRT system in Nashville called The Amp, which would’ve ran on a 7.1 mile route and served rapidly growing neighborhoods across the city. There’s a more detailed summary of the project over at The Tennessean.
Although BRT has been shown to revitalize economies and reduce congestion, opponents of The Amp voiced concerns about the safety of unloading bus passengers along roadways and whether private land would be used to build dedicated bus lanes.
After the vote, Amp opponents revealed that the conservative group Americans for Prosperity, founded with the support of brothers Charles and David Koch, had lobbied in favor of the bus ban.
1CORRECTION 3:50 p.m. Eastern 04.16.14: An earlier version of this story overstated the scope of the ban; it applies only to mass transit projects in counties with metropolitan governments, specifically Davidson and Moore counties.
The report is as sad as it is horrifying.
A child bride forced into marriage in Nigeria has been accused of killing her much older groom and three of his friends by poisoning their meals with rat poison.
The 14-year-old girl, Wasila Umaru, was married to the 35-year-old man last week.
Although she told authorities she was forced into the betrothal, Wasila will likely be charged with culpable homicide for the incident that took place last weekend.
“The suspect confessed to committing the crime and said she did it because she was forced to marry a man she did not love,” Assistant Superintendent Musa Magaji Majia said.
While shocking, Wasila’s story is far from uncommon.
According to the International Center for Research on Women, one-third of the world’s girls are married before they turn 18. One in nine will be married off before she turns 15.
Child marriage is most common in Nigeria and other African nations, particularly in drought years when a child bride can bring much needed money and decrease the number of mouths for a poor family to feed.
The situation in eastern Ukraine is grave and deteriorating, causing concern in NATO capitals in Europe and North America. Not since the end of the Cold War has there been a comparable crisis in Europe.
In reaction to Russian aggression there, NATO has requested Canadian military assets be deployed in Europe, and today Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Canada is sending six CF-18s and military personnel in response.
Keep an eye on these guys…
Against a backdrop of growing privacy concerns, with every week bringing revelations of data breaches at government or corporate websites, online search behemoth Google quietly updated its terms of service Monday, spelling out just how much personal data it mines as part of its normal business model.
The new language states: “Our automated systems analyze your content (including e-mails) to provide you personally relevant product features, such as customized search results, tailored advertising, and spam and malware detection.”
While corporate fine-tuning to an online policy that few users read closely - indeed, most don’t read at all - would not normally be news, Google is singular, say security and legal experts. Not only is the company in the midst of contentious lawsuits over both the spirit and letter of these privacy issues, but, more important, it dominates the online search space to such an extent that what happens at Google impacts the entire cyber-landscape.
“Whatever Google does matters since it is the 800-pound gorilla online,” says attorney Jeremy Mishkin, co-chair of the litigation department at Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads in Philadelphia.
Snowden, 30, wearing a jacket and open-collar shirt and speaking before a dark background, asked Putin: “Does Russia intercept, store or analyse, in any way, the communications of millions of individuals?”
“And do you believe that simply increasing the effectiveness of intelligence or law enforcement investigations can justify placing societies, rather than subjects, under surveillance?” he asked.
He was speaking in English, and Putin had to ask the anchor for help with a translation of the question.
Putin, a spy during a 16-year career with the Soviet KGB, raised a laugh among the studio audience when he said: “You are an ex-agent. I used to have ties to intelligence. So we will speak to each other in the language of professionals.”
Turning to Snowden’s question, Putin said Russia regulates communications as part of criminal investigations, but “on a massive scale, on an uncontrolled scale we certainly do not allow this and I hope we will never allow it.”
Can Snowden really be dumb enough to assume he can take Putin’s answer at face value? Did he really fall for that ham handed, buddy-buddy, ‘We are both ex-agents’ shtick? Or does he just relish trying to make the US look bad that much?
Read more here — not that there’s really anything else important but I wanted to give the link. (Oh wait, there’s a video!)
Russian President Vladimir Putin quashed the possibility that Russia would annex Alaska while on a question-and-answer call-in show Thursday, adding that the former Russian colony is cold, too.
Amid rising Russian nationalism after the president’s annexation of Crimea, Putin responded to an audience member’s suggestion of annexing Alaska during the televised national phone-in, asking, “Faina Ivanovna, my dear, why do you want Alaska?”
Russia is a “northern country” and 70 percent of its territory lies in “Northern and extreme Northern regions,” Putin said, according to Russian news agency RIA Novosti. “Is Alaska really in the Southern Hemisphere? It’s cold there, too. Let’s not get hot-headed,” he added. Russia sold Alaska to the U.S. in 1867 for $7.2 million.
“Who needs Alaska?” Putin added