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Europe

French niqab law deserves support

An essential thread running through the national fabric of France is the principle of secularism.

Citizens of the Fifth Republic are the direct heirs to centuries of blood and treasure that was expended for the right to live unbounded by religion and the concomitant guarantee of the separation of church and state.

That belief is facing its greatest test in a generation right now on the streets of Paris.

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Barbara Kay: Britain’s noble stand against porn

Warning in a recent speech that access to online pornography was “corroding childhood,” British Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that Internet providers — who he said were not fulfilling their “moral duty” to take responsibility — will be forced to block pornography as a default, only releasing access to those subscribers who actively demand it. He also stated that the possession of online pornography depicting rape would become illegal in England and Wales (it already is in Scotland). The “family-friendly filters” would apply to all devices linked to home wifi networks “wherever children are likely to be present.”

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Iceland ISPs may block porn sites

Anyone who wants to surf porn in Iceland may soon have to ask their Internet service provider for it, as the country's two largest ISPs consider blocking access to those sites.

Vodafone and Siminn may not allow content from porn, gambling or other "questionable" websites to reach customers, the English-language Reykjavik Grapevine reported, citing the country's national broadcaster RUV.

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Queen signs gay ‘marriage’ law

LONDON, July 17, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Queen Elizabeth II has today given Royal Assent to the coalition government’s bill creating gay “marriage,” after the House of Commons approved minor amendments on Tuesday. The law will come into effect mid-2014. All three of the main parties in Parliament supported the bill, though there was significant opposition within the ruling Conservative party. 

Colin Hart, director of the Campaign for Marriage said that Prime Minister David Cameron, leader of the Tory party, “needs to remember that the Coalition for Marriage has nearly 700,000 supporters, nearly six times the number of members of the Conservative Party”. 

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Der Spiegel names Europe’s 10 most dangerous politicians

Loose lips sink ships, the wartime warning goes, and that has never been truer in modern-day Europe.

Faced with its worst crisis since the Second World War and global markets that react to every twitch, the eurozone can ill afford politicians who aim to make hay out the melee.

It’s in that spirit that German magazine Der Spiegel has created a hall of shame for politicians whose reckless rhetoric for populist gain is fanning the flames of the euro crisis.

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Ireland Senate follows House lead, takes major step toward legalizing abortion

DUBLIN, July 16, 2013 (LifeSiteNews) – The Irish Senate (Seanad) voted Tuesday morning to move forward on legislation that would create exceptions to the Catholic country’s ban on abortion, including a provision for mothers who threaten suicide that pro-life campaigners warn could be abused to legally justify any abortion at any stage of pregnancy, since the legislation issues no time limits.

The legislation was crafted partly in response to the much-publicized death of Savita Halappanavar, who died of sepsis at Galway University Hospital last year while pregnant with a 17-week-old baby.  Pro-abortion campaigners claimed that an abortion would have saved her life, but that she had been refused one under Irish law.  Later investigations proved that to be untrue, but the firestorm of criticism in the international media prompted lawmakers to take steps toward lifting the abortion ban.

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Merkel unsure if euro will survive; comments spook markets

NEW YORK — The euro fell broadly on Wednesday after a media report cited comments from German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the uncertain future of the euro zone, rattling investors already cautious about the outlook for the common currency.

“We have not yet shaped the European project so that we can be sure that everything will turn out well, we still have work to do,” she said. However, she added that she was “optimistic that we will succeed,” a reiteration of her usual line on the survival of the euro.

The common currency sold off across the board following her comments, falling to a session low against the U.S. dollar, a record trough against the Australian dollar and an 11-1/2 year low versus the Swedish crown. Euro zone peripheral bond yields also rose, adding to downbeat market sentiment.

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Police used systematic violent force against French traditional marriage demonstrators: report

STRASBOURG, June 26, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A report will be presented today at a hearing at the Council of Europe detailing systematic use of excessive and violent police actions by France’s socialist government to suppress opposition to the same-sex “marriage” law. (Read the report here - PDF)

The report on the French “Manif pour Tous and its police repression” will be presented in conjunction with today’s session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and will be presented to the United Nations in Geneva.

The hearing was organized by the European People’s Party and the Strasbourg-based European Centre for Law and Justice, in the presence of Luca Volontè, President of the EPP Group. The report contains numerous testimonies of victims of police brutality in the course of several mass demonstrations against “gay marriage.”

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Four shot dead at French Jewish school, prompting terror probe

TOULOUSE, France — At least four people, including three children, were shot dead at a Jewish school in Toulouse in southwest France on Monday, the third fatal shooting in the region in just over a week.

President Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande, the Socialist opposing him in his uphill bid for re-election in May, both cancelled appointments to head to the shooting scene to show sympathy for the victims and support for greater security.

The killings could bring the theme of security back to the top of the agenda in a bitter election campaign that has been dominated by issues of taxation and immigration. Prosecutors opened anti-terrorism investigations in all three attacks.

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"Allah will punish you all!" Muslim attacks other Muslims with machete in UK mosque for not praying properly

When you have a religion that teaches that human beings are the executors of the wrath and vengeance of the supreme being, and that apostates and heretics should be murdered, this kind of thing is going to happen. "'Allah will punish you all!': Terror at mosque as worshipers and policeman slashed with machete by 'Taser-proof' madman after row over whether they were praying properly," by Paul Bentley and John Stevens in the Daily Mail, June 16:

A Somali Muslim allegedly stabbed a policeman and three mosque worshippers after screaming: ‘Allah is going to punish you all.’ 

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UK to allow commercial abortion clinics to advertise on radio, television

The United Kingdom’s Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) will soon allow for-profit abortion providers to run ads on television and radio programs. The move was met with scorn from conservative members of Parliament and Christian charities.

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Mali-based Islamists pledge attacks on French soil

Islamist fighters in northern Mali have pledged to strike “at the heart” of France, after a joint Malian-French offensive -- which has entered its fourth day -- began pushing back al Qaeda linked rebels controlling the region.

A military offensive to reclaim Mali’s north from Islamists fighters entered its fourth day on Monday, with al Qaeda linked-rebels promising attacks on French soil in retaliation for Paris’s intervention in the unstable West African country.

Malian and French soldiers, backed by heavy French military air support, pushed back rebel fighters from the central town of Konna over the weekend.

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Friends Agrees to Resolution Takeover

Friends Agrees to Resolution Takeover

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Greece Downgraded to 'Selective Default' by S&P

Standard & Poor's on Wednesday cut Greece's sovereign long-term foreign currency credit rating to "selective default" from an already low "CCC" rating.

Last week Greece and its international lenders reached a deal to lower the country's debt burden, which included a debt buyback.

The decision to lower the sovereign rating follows the government's invitation to private sector bondholders to participate in the debt buyback "which under our criteria we view as a selective default," S&P said in an e-mailed statement.

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U.K. Taxpayers Face Less of a Bill

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‘Help! ‘Enough Europe!’ Man takes austerity protest direct to God by climbing Vatican’s St. Peter’s Basilica

VATICAN CITY – An Italian man clambered onto a ledge on the huge dome of St Peter’s Basilica on Tuesday to stage a precarious protest against Prime Minister Mario Monti and the European Union.

Video footage showed the man, identified as Marcello Di Finizio, jumping over railings near the top of the 137-m- (450- ft-) high dome on Tuesday afternoon, shocking visitors taking a tour. He then tied a cord to the railings and abseiled to a ledge over a window in the cupola.

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U.S. to Aid Gay Rights Abroad, Obama and Clinton Say

GENEVA — The Obama administration announced on Tuesday that the United States would use all the tools of American diplomacy, including the potent enticement of foreign aid, to promote gay rights around the world. In a memorandum issued by President Obama in Washington and in a speech by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton here, the administration vowed to actively combat efforts by other nations that criminalize homosexual conduct, abuse gay men, lesbians, bisexuals or transgendered people, or ignore abuse against them.

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