Recently in International Category
The Belgian extremist suspected of masterminding the deadly attacks in Paris died a day ago along with his female cousin in a police raid on a suburban apartment building, French officials said Thursday, adding it was still not clear exactly how he died.
The body of Abdelhamid Abaaoud, 27, was found in the building targeted Wednesday in the chaotic, bloody raid in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis and was identified based on skin samples, the Paris prosecutor's office said Thursday.
Congratulations, France. Well done.
Now stop criticizing us when we kill our murderers.
PARIS--Terror swept the French capital late Friday as a series of attacks--in a bustling nightlife district and outside a soccer stadium--left more than 100 people dead in one of the bloodiest assaults in the country's history.
The sheer scale of the mayhem--six separate attacks--left authorities reeling. The government declared a state of emergency, sending military forces onto the streets of Paris, sealing off roads and reinstating border controls. Sirens blared across the city as police and emergency workers rushed to respond.
Marine Le Pen is on trial for making a speech. What did she say? Henry Samuel has this article in the London Telegraph. In 2010, Ms. Le Pen had this to say about mass prayer sessions being held by Muslims in the streets at the time:
"I'm sorry, but for those who really like to talk about the Second World War, if we're talking about occupation, we could talk about that (street prayers), because that is clearly an occupation of the territory," she said during the meeting.Poorly chosen words? Sure. A crime? Not in any country that understands what liberty is all about.
"It is an occupation of sections of the territory, of neighbourhoods in which religious law applies, it is an occupation. There are no tanks, there are no soldiers, but it is an occupation anyhow, and it weighs on people."
Rebecca Davis O'Brien, Christopher M. Matthews and Farnaz Fassihi report in the WSJ:
A former president of the United Nations General Assembly and five others were accused Tuesday of engaging in a bribery scheme, part of what federal authorities said was a wider probe into corruption in the top ranks of the international body.The more difficult question comes later in the story:
"We will be asking, is bribery business as usual at the U.N.?" said Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney in Manhattan, at a news conference announcing the charges.
Messrs. Ashe and Lorenzo could be shielded by diplomatic immunity in certain circumstances, but the complaint said they can be prosecuted for crimes outside the scope of their official positions.That is not my understanding of diplomatic immunity, but I don't pretend any expertise on the subject.
How...to explain Pope Francis's behavior in Cuba? The pope is spending four days in a country whose Communist dictatorship has remained unrelenting in its repression of free speech, political dissent and other human rights despite a warming of relations with the Vatican and the United States. Yet by the end of his third day, the pope had said or done absolutely nothing that might discomfit his official hosts.
Pope Francis met with 89-year-old Fidel Castro, who holds no office in Cuba, but not with any members of the dissident community -- in or outside of prison. According to the Web site 14ymedio.com, two opposition activists were invited to greet the pope at Havana's cathedral Sunday but were arrested on the way. Dozens of other dissidents were detained when they attempted to attend an open air Mass.
"He is dumbfounded that his action is being characterized as terrorism," said [Ms.] David, a lawyer in Arras, where the train was rerouted to arrest El-Khazzani -- now being questioned outside Paris by anti-terrorism police.
He described himself as homeless and David said she had "no doubt" this was true, saying he was "very, very thin" as if suffering from malnutrition and "with a very wild look in his eyes."
But wait, there's more.
Authorities praised two U.S. military members and their friend who tackled and subdued a man armed with guns and a box cutter on a Paris-bound train Friday as it sped through Belgium, breaking up what could have been a deadly terrorist attack.
The three Americans were seated on the train when they heard a gunshot and breaking glass, according to accounts from one of the men and a U.S. official briefed on the attack.
Crouching behind their seats, the Americans, who are childhood friends, decided they had to act. Airman First Class Spencer Stone, 23 years old, ran toward the gunman and tackled him.
"I told him to go, and he went," Alek Skarlatos, 22, a member of the Oregon National Guard who had been deployed in Afghanistan, said Saturday.
Two unarmed US Marines on board a high-speed train between Amsterdam and Paris foiled a terrorist attack after a gunman opened fire with an assault rifle, wounding three people.Two unarmed Marines took down a guy with a Kalashnikov, saving God knows how many lives. Now there is a profile in courage. Let us pray for the wounded hero.
The 26-year-old Moroccan national, who was known to security services, came out of the toilet brandishing the gun and opened fire. Fortunately, two US Marines were nearby and overpowered him before he could massacre passengers.
The suspected terrorist had at least nine full magazines of ammunition holding almost 300 rounds. He was also carrying a knife.
Unfortunately, one of the Marines was shot and is believed to be in a critical condition. It is feared that he was shot in the neck by the gunman.
Update: The headline now reads, "Unarmed US Marines foil suspected terrorist attack onboard high-speed train between Amsterdam and Paris after they take down Kalashnikov-wielding Moroccan gunman known to intelligence services"
Update 2: Turns out they aren't Marines, but the essential parts of the story are correct. See next post.
Frank van den Bleeken, imprisoned for 30 years for rape and murder, sought euthanasia from Distelmans, citing his incurable violent impulses and the misery of life behind bars. Belgian officials and Distelmans initially agreed; a lethal injection the murderer might have gotten as punishment in the United States would be supplied as therapy in anti-death penalty Europe.And what do Belgian doctors prescribe for a painless death? Sodium thiopental, the drug we are blocked from importing by the D.C. Circuit's dubious decision in Cook v. FDA.
PARIS--France's top constitutional court mostly upheld a new French surveillance law that would give intelligence services broad new powers to spy in France and abroad.
The court-backed provisions of the law allow a wide range of new surveillance techniques meant for the Internet age, including the collection of "metadata" about online traffic and the use of software that can monitor every keystroke on a computer. The court said intelligence services can use these tools without approval of a judge, though the government must still seek permission from an independent body created to oversee surveillance activities.
The court, known as the Constitutional Council, did strike down a provision of the law that would allow emergency surveillance without the approval of the prime minister or another minister in the government.
The Obama administration is preparing to release convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard from prison, according to U.S. officials, some of whom hope the move will smooth relations with Israel in the wake of the Iran nuclear deal.Such a deal for Israel. First we sign the most toothless agreement since Neville Chamberlain came back from Munich in 1938 waving a document and claiming "peace in our time," an agreement that practically guarantees that a country determined to wipe Israel off the map will acquire nuclear weapons. But not to worry, we will make it up by releasing one spy.
Such a decision would end a decadeslong fight over Mr. Pollard, who was arrested on charges of spying for Israel in 1985 and later sentenced to life in prison. The case has long been a source of tension between the U.S. and Israel, which has argued that a life sentence for spying on behalf of a close U.S. partner is too harsh. Israel has for years sought Mr. Pollard's early release, only to be rejected by the U.S.
Now, some U.S. officials are pushing for Mr. Pollard's release in a matter of weeks. Others expect it could take months, possibly until his parole consideration date in November.
These international stories often involve questions of the reach of U.S. law. Devlin Barrett, Christopher Matthews, and Aruna Viswanatha have this story in the WSJ.
Khalid Al Fawwaz was sentenced today for his part in the 1998 Embassy Bombing plot. He received three life sentences and a ten-year sentence, concurrent. And Judge Kaplan added this:
The Court makes the following recommendation to the Department of Justice: The Court is mindful of the fact that defendant may have the ability to apply to the U.S. Department of Justice under the international prisoner transfer program to be allowed to serve some or all of his sentence in another nation. Although a decision on any such application, if one is made, would be up to the Department of Justice, the Court strongly recommends that any such application be denied. The defendant has been convicted of very serious crimes against American citizens. His punishment ought to be served in, and more particularly, always remain under the control of the United States of America.Now that's refreshing to hear from a federal judge.