The rise of right-wing extremism in Europe

right-wing-extremists-have-a-new-target-in-germany
Europe is facing a rising tide of right-wing extrem­ism. Extremist parties — whether called right-wing or far-right or ultra-nationalists — are in government in Finland, Austria, Slovakia, Hun­gary and Poland. So far, those groups are in gov­ernment just as coalition partners but indicators are that Europe is experiencing a distinct move to the right amid rising rhetoric against migration and the idea of open bor­ders. This is something that could become a threat to European unity, particularly given Britain’s decision to leave the European Union fol­lowing a referendum in which the main issue was migration. In light of what is the worst ref­ugee crisis since the end of World War II, a number of EU govern­ments have taken stances that seem to go against the stated objec­tives and values of the union, par­ticularly in terms of human rights and freedom of movement. The European Parliament has seen the rise of right-wing extremist parties, with 23% of the members of the body belonging to far-right-wing parties.

Courtesy : The Arab Weekly

 

 

 

 

 

Mount Etna Erupts and It’s Beautiful

Mount Etna, Europe’s largest volcano, erupted in Sicily overnight, and with no immediate danger, people are taking a moment to get some remarkable photos of the event. The eruption threw out jets of lava into the sky and was visible from further afield locations, such as the city of Catania, Euronews reports. Catania airport remains open.The eruption is not thought to be dangerous. Mount Etna is considered Europe’s most active volcano, and spectacular photos of the eruption have circulated online.

Deadly cold wave continues to sweep across Europe

An area of high pressure has been centred over Europe for much of the last couple of weeks. On its eastern flank, cold air has been brought down from the Arctic. Even by European winter standards, the extent of the cold air has been exceptional. Moscow has experienced daytime maximum temperatures of minus 23C, some 14C below average for January. Deaths because of the cold weather have been reported in Italy and Poland, and there have been many serious traffic accidents because of ice, snow and, across more western areas, fog. Although it will remain cold over much of the continent in the coming days, there should be a return to ‘average’ January weather conditions. Further snow is expected over central and southern areas.

 

 

 

 

 

Earthquake rocks Italy, destroys ancient buildings

A powerful earthquake strikes Italy in the same central regions that have been rocked by repeated tremors over the past two months, with more homes and churches brought down.

 

 

 

 

 

The burning Jungle of Calais

Migrants in Calais torch tents and shelters in a last act of defiance as French authorities clear the squalid camp that once housed more than 6,000 people. Fires are raging across parts of the “Jungle” migrant camp in Calais, three days into a French operation to demolish it. It was unclear who set the dozens of fires overnight and in the morning. The clearance began on Monday and about 4,000 migrants – out of some 7,000 – have been taken from the squalid camp to shelters around France. The prefect of Pas-de-Calais said authorities now expected to finish the evacuation operation on Wednesday. The camp has become a key symbol of Europe’s migration crisis, with its residents desperate to reach the UK.

Spain seeks to jointly govern Gibraltar

Spain seeks to jointly govern Gibraltar after the British territory voted in favor of remaining in the EU.
 Spain will seek to jointly govern Gibraltar with Britain following the British vote to leave the European Union, acting foreign minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said on Friday. The peninsula on Spain’s south coast, a British territory since 1713 known to its 30,000 residents as “the Rock”, is a major point of contention in Anglo-Spanish relations. Spain has long claimed sovereignty over the enclave.
“It’s a complete change of outlook that opens up new possibilities on Gibraltar not seen for a very long time. I hope the formula of co-sovereignty – to be clear, the Spanish flag on the Rock – is much closer than before,” Garcia-Margallo said. Chief Minister of Gibraltar Fabian Picardo told the territory’s parliament there would be no talks on such a deal. Co-sovereignty with Spain was rejected by around 99 percent of Gibraltarians in a referendum in 2002.
“Let others make irrelevant noises about flying flags over our Rock if they want to waste their breath. Such ideas will never prosper,” he said. The majority of people living in Gibraltar – designated as a British Overseas Territory – are British citizens with British passports, although thousands of Spaniards cross from mainland Spain every day for work. Gibraltarians voted overwhelmingly in favor of Britain remaining in the European Union but were outnumbered in Thursday’s referendum and now face the consequences.
Garcia-Margallo said Spain would push to keep Gibraltar out of any general Brexit negotiations between Britain and the European Union and will aim for bilateral talks to seek co-sovereignty and eventually Spanish control of the peninsula. Britain rejects any notion of Spanish sovereignty against the wishes of the people of Gibraltar, one of the most prosperous regions in Europe with a thriving economy based on financial services, tourism and Internet gambling. The mood was subdued in Gibraltar on Friday, with people apprehensive and confused about what the result may mean for the movement of labor and capital over the border with Spain.
  

Venezuela economic crisis means fewer meals, more starch

Venezuela is a powder keg. Once a rich country held together by strong leadership and heavy social spending, it is now in economic disaster and could slide into widespread social disorder, triggering instability throughout Latin America. Drastic shortages of food, medicine, electricity and other necessities are causing small riots. Organized crime and extrajudicial police killings have given Venezuela a frighteningly high rate of murder and violence, with narco-traffickers allegedly in cahoots with corrupt allies in the government and security forces. Runaway inflation means that from March 2015 to 2016 a basket of basic goods for a family of five became 524 percent more expensive. According to a local NGO, Venezuela faced 170 lootings or attempted lootings from January to April 2016.
The highly unpopular socialist government of Nicolas Maduro announced electricity rationing and drastic cutbacks to the state work schedule, in part because of a drought and in part because world oil prices have collapsed, cutting government revenues dramatically. Meanwhile, the National Assembly, which is controlled by Maduro’s opposition, declared the country’s health sector a national emergency. As if this weren’t enough, the government is taking steps toward authoritarian control over its opposition.
Maduro is the handpicked successor of former president Hugo Chávez (1999-2013) and leader of the chavista political movement’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV). Maduro’s PSUV controls the Supreme Court and all national institutions. The lone exception was the National Assembly, where a heterogeneous coalition of opposition parties had a three-fifths majority. Maduro recently declared a 60-day state of emergency, after alleging that his opposition was conspiring to launch a coup. Now Maduro is threatening to effectively close the assembly down.
The emergency decree already grants the president super powers by invalidating congressional authority to review key budgetary issues budget or issue motions of censure against his cabinet. Even more ominously, the decree expands the military’s role in the maintenance of public order. Sectors of the opposition have termed the decree an “auto-golpe” — self-coup — and a “tipping point” in the country’s crisis.

 

 

Lionel Messi : Argentina star retires from international football

Lionel Messi has retired from international duty after missing in a penalty shootout as Argentina lost a fourth major final in nine years. “For me, the national team is over,” he said after defeat by Chile in the Copa America final. “I’ve done all I can. It hurts not to be a champion.”Messi, 29, has won eight La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues with Spanish side Barcelona. But his only major international honour is Olympic gold at the 2008 Games. As well as losing two Copa America finals on penalties to Chile, Messi was in the Argentina side beaten 1-0 by Germany in the 2014 World Cup final. The forward, who was been awarded the Ballon d’Or five times, was also on the losing side against Brazil in the 2007 Copa America final.