Police detained Moroccan smuggling to Spain via Gibraltar

Police detained Moroccan smuggling to Spain via Gibraltar

Police in Spain and Gibraltar have smashed an unusual migrant-smuggling network which flew Moroccans into the tiny British territory then sneaked them over the border to Spain, arresting 47 people. The trafficking ring, which had operatives in Morocco, Gibraltar and the neighbouring Spanish city of La Linea, managed to sneak more than 130 Moroccans into Spain, earning profits of more than a million euros (dollars), Gibraltar police said in a statement on Sunday (12 January). Most of the migrants stayed in Spain but others travelled on to France, Italy and…

Read More

Minister arrested after investigation

Minister arrested after investigation

Bulgaria’s minister for environment and water resources, Neno Dimov, was placed in 24-hour custody, the office of the Prosecutor General said on Thursday (9 January). The development took place after an investigative report exposed mismanagement that left the city of Pernik without drinking water. Earlier on Thursday, Dimov was questioned for several hours by the specialised prosecutor’s office about the water crisis in Pernik and the import of garbage in Bulgaria, mainly from Italy. Italian authorities are investigating a mafia scheme under which Bulgaria imports garbage from Italy, reportedly to…

Read More

Germany warns of a “second Syria” as the EU receives Libyan Prime Minister

Germany warns of a “second Syria” as the EU receives Libyan Prime Minister

EU leaders met the head of Libya’s UN-recognised government Wednesday (8 January) as they scramble to contain the escalating crisis there, with Germany warning the country could deteriorate into a “second Syria”. Fayez al-Sarraj, whose beleaguered Government of National Accord is facing an offensive by rival forces who control the country’s east, met EU diplomatic chief Josep Borrell, who cautioned that Libya was facing a “watershed point”. He also met EU Council President Charles Michel and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who told reporters that “we want to prevent Libya…

Read More

Iran’s supreme leader cries when a huge crowd mourns the slain general in Tehran

Iran’s supreme leader cries when a huge crowd mourns the slain general in Tehran

Iran’s supreme leader wept in grief with hundreds of thousands of mourners thronging Tehran’s streets on Monday (6 January) for the funeral of military commander Qassem Soleimani, killed by a US drone on the orders of US President Donald Trump. As the coffins of General Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who also died in Friday’s attack in Baghdad, were passed over the heads of mourners, Soleimani’s successor vowed to expel US forces from the region in revenge. The killing of Soleimani, the architect of Iran’s drive…

Read More

The main military operations of Turkey abroad, before Libya

The main military operations of Turkey abroad, before Libya

After Turkey’s parliament passed a bill on Thursday (2 January) approving a deployment of armed forces to Libya, here is a look back at some of the other Turkish military operations abroad. The deployment to Libya is aimed at shoring up the UN-backed government in Tripoli, which has been under sustained attack since April by military strongman General Khalifa Haftar, who is backed by Turkey’s regional rivals. – Korea – In July 1950, during the first Korean War, Turkey joined an international force dominated by the US army to help…

Read More

Brussels court suspended extradition of ex-Catalan leader Puigdemont

Brussels court suspended extradition of ex-Catalan leader Puigdemont

A Brussels court has suspended the extradition of former Catalan pro-independence leader Carles Puigdemont, his lawyer said on Thursday (2 January). Paul Beckaert told Reuters that the Belgian judge in charge of the case had ruled in favour of Puigdemont and Toni Comin, another former member of the Catalan government, citing their immunity as members of the European Parliament (MEPs). The Belgian federal prosecutor’s office was not immediately available for comment. The pair are wanted in Spain on charges of sedition after organising a failed Catalan independence referendum in 2017…

Read More

EU warns of escalation in Iraq after US kills chief Iranian commander

EU warns of escalation in Iraq after US kills chief Iranian commander

The president of the European Council warned on Friday (3 January) against further escalation in Iraq after US forces killed an Iranian general, triggering fears of a wider conflict. “The cycle of violence, provocations and retaliations which we have witnessed In Iraq over the past few weeks has to stop,” former Belgian premier Charles Michel said. “Further escalation must be avoided at all cost,” he added, hours after a US strike killed Iranian covert force commander Major-General Qasem Soleimani at Baghdad airport. The United States killed Soleimani, head of the…

Read More

Turkish supreme court voted against violations of freedom of speech and Wikipedia ban

Turkish supreme court voted against violations of freedom of speech and Wikipedia ban

With six out of 10 votes, Turkey’s Constitutional Court ruled on Thursday (26 December) that the government’s ban on access to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia violated freedom of expression, the official Anadolu news agency reported. The ban was imposed by Turkey’s Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK) in April 2017. The move caused an outcry among freedom of information activists who accuse Turkey of slapping bans on websites and social media with alarming regularity. Turkish officials said at the time the measure was needed as Wikipedia had failed to remove…

Read More

Turkish parliament is preparing a bill allowing the sending of troops to Libya

Turkish parliament is preparing a bill allowing the sending of troops to Libya

Turkey may need to draft a bill to allow for troop deployment to Libya and its parliament is working on the issue, Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Tuesday (24 Decembrer), after Ankara signed a military cooperation agreement with Tripoli last month. “There might be a need for an authorisation in line with the developments over there. The parliament is conducting work on this issue,” Kalin told a news conference in Ankara. “We will continue to support the internationally recognised Libyan government. This support may be in terms of military…

Read More

Kazakhstan leadership opens with “alternative opinion”

Kazakhstan leadership opens with “alternative opinion”

Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev delivered a major agenda-setting speech on Friday (20 December), outlining measures to improve the economy and social standards, but also introducing several democratic reforms. The Central Asian country is rich in resources, with a relatively small population and a huge territory, and keen to attract foreign investment. The EU as a whole is the number one investor in Kazakhstan. From the early stage of its post-Soviet transition, Kazakhstan has consolidated strong state power to avoid chaos. Today, as the country is considered successful at home and…

Read More