- - Sunday, February 6, 2011

GREECE

Anarchists sent letter bomb

ATHENS | A Greek anarchist group on Sunday claimed responsibility for a letter bomb sent to Justice Minister Haris Kastanidis earlier in the week.

Police defused the package after security officials working in the ministry warned them of the arrival of a suspicious letter.

The claim of responsibility comes a day before the trial of 13 suspected members of the group, the Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei, is due to resume in Athens.

Four of 13 suspected Greek anarchists charged with belonging to the terrorist group went on a hunger strike Friday “in protest against the court’s refusal to meet their demands,” a defense lawyer said.

BELGIUM

EU to fight for ban on female mutilation

BRUSSELS | The European Union is committed to eradicating female genital mutilation, the bloc’s foreign-policy chief, Catherine Ashton, said Sunday, calling the practice an “exceptionally brutal crime.”

“This is an opportunity to remind the world that the European Union condemns this abhorrent practice that severely violates the human rights and dignity of hundreds of thousands women and girls,” Mrs. Ashton said in a joint statement with the EU’s human rights commissioner, Viviane Reding, marking the International Day against Female Genital Mutilation.

Up to 140 million women and girls have had their genital organs totally or partially removed without their consent for cultural or religious reasons.

The practice is prevalent in Muslim nations but also found in some Christian Third World countries.

GERMANY

Cameron cites failure of multicultural Britain

MUNICH | British Prime Minister David Cameron condemned his country’s long-standing policy of multiculturalism as a failure, saying it was partly to blame for fostering Islamic extremism.

In a speech over the weekend to the Munich Security Conference, Mr. Cameron said many young British Muslims were drawn to violent ideology because they found no strong collective identity in Britain.

Signaling a marked change in policy toward ethnic and religious minorities, he urged a “more active, muscular liberalism” in which equal rights, the rule of law, freedom of speech and democracy are promoted actively.

“If we are to defeat this threat, I believe it’s time to turn the page on the failed policies of the past,” he told the conference during a panel discussion attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

In London, the Muslim Council of Britain expressed anger over his remarks, complaining that the Muslim community is still being treated “as part of the problem as opposed to part of the solution.”

ITALY

Police in 3 countries search for twins

ROME | Police in Italy, Switzerland and France are searching for a pair of 6-year old twin girls after their father died in an apparent suicide.

The body of Matthias Kaspar Schepp, a Canadian-born resident of Switzerland, was found near a railway station in southern Italy on Thursday. Police believe he threw himself under a train.

According to Italian news reports, the man picked up his daughters Alessia and Livia from their mother’s home in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Jan. 28 but failed to return them at the end of the weekend as scheduled. The couple reportedly are separated.

Italian police said Mr. Schepp traveled to Marseille and Toulon, France, before showing up in Italy.

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