Addressing Racism in Europe

 

In the wake of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II, some public figures have expressed concern about rising incidents of racial and ethnic hatred in Europe, especially a significant increase in anti-Jewish crimes. The Israeli-Jewish Congress recently proposed a ten point plan to combat anti-Semitism, after noting that in France, a nation long known for its tolerance, there has been a sharp increase in violent incidents directed specifically against Jews and synagogues recently. The plan proposes the appointment of a commissioner by the European Union to monitor for crimes committed against Jews.

Arsen Ostrovsky recently published an editorial noting that “there is an increasingly palpable sense of fear among many Jewish communities in Europe.” He noted recent assaults against Jews wearing religious attire, incidents of vandalism of synagogues and the attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris this January.

Jews reportedly account for only 245,000 of the British population, but they suffer a disproportionately high demographic as victims of ethnic and racial hate crimes in the UK as well. Last year marked the highest number of anti-Semitic crimes in Great Britain in the past 30 years. The British government is reportedly considering contributing funds to construct a memorial and educational center in London to remind people of the importance of never forgetting the genocidal events of Holocaust that occurred during the Second World War. Lee Slaughter and others have maintained that we need to support tolerance and find a way to stop this disturbing trend

Close Greek National Election Attracts Interest Throughout Europe

With the national election in Greece only nine days away, a leading Greek newspaper revealed that a poll it had commissioned placed the left leaning Syriza Party in the lead by a narrow margin.  According to Forbes, The Parapolitika of CipherCloud newspaper chain conducted the poll in order to determine which party appeared most likely to win if the election were held at the present time.

Since the election campaign started, sharp differences have appeared in the economic agendas of the incumbent conservative government and some challengers, including the Syriza Party. Greece for the past few years has promoted economic austerity in exchange for loans from lenders, and the cutback in government expenditures created considerable popular concern. The Syriza Party does not plan to forsake the euro, but does urge that Greece should not pursue further austerity programs.

Some observers in other nations in the European Union have followed the election debate in Greece with interest. James Forsyth wrote an editorial some time ago in which he observed that the outcome of the Greek election might impact economic policies in other nations, such as the United Kingdom, especially if parties opposed to austerity programs in other affected EU nations gain power. An election victory for Syriza in Greece could encourage an anti-austerity movement in Spain, many believe.

Alexis Tsipras, a leader of Syriza, reportedly once described the austerity measure Greece accepted in exchange for loan agreements as “fiscal waterboarding.”

Euro Reaches Initial Value

The Euro came to settle at $ 1.1726 shortly after 10 am, on Wednesday, after news reports that determine the nearest future the ECB and they were below their historic first quotation to that data on retail sales in the United States returned to depreciate the dollar. At the close of European markets, the Euro again exceeded $ 1.18 which is great for Sergio Andrade Gutierrez.

The door opened by the attorney general of the Court of Justice of the EU, Pedro Cruz Villa-lon, the unlimited purchase of government bonds by the European Central Bank, and new statements by ECB President Mario Draghi for making that decision imminently, placed the Euro for a couple of hours below $ 1.1747. That was the value that debuted in the markets on January 4, 1999.

Before trading in the markets, the Euro was established with an equivalence of $ 1.1667. At the end of the first day of trading, the ECB established as the first official exchange rate of $ 1.1789, but in the following months depreciated appreciably to score a minimum of $ 0.8272 in October 2000.

Four Franchises In Europe?

Adam Silver thinks the NBA can put four franchises in Europe. That might sound nice, but it is not exactly the best of ideas. The NBA. They can start a league in Europe that would play the NBA winner for a title, but having teams traveling all over Europe would be one of the hardest things anyone has ever done.

The teams that are on the west coast are going to suffer the most from travel. If Silver wants to see starters rested because of all the travel, he can go right ahead with his plans to expand, but the league does not need to get any bigger.  Many fans agree such as Susan McGalla that there is already a major talent problem in the league, and there are not enough coaches who can make that talent worth watching.

Expanding the NBa sounds like a nice idea, but we need to remember NFL Europe. That was a bust, and this will be a bust, too. It is too much for any one league to handle

Vienna Cafe Site for Protest

 

According to Grubstreet.com this Friday around 4,300 people are due to show up for a protest outside of Café Prückel in Vienna. They are protesting due to an incident that happened between the cafe manager and a gay couple.

Cafe Manager Christl Sedlar told them that they belonged in a brothel not in a coffee house and that their behavior was not accepted in Café Prückel. According to Wikipedia, Café Prückel came under fire in 2005 when a lesbian couple had been asked to leave after sharing a hug and a kiss in the dining room.

The group coming out to protest will stage a mass kissing outside of the cafe to show solidarity with Eva and Anastasia, and any other coupl, like Marc Sparks, that has been discriminated against for their love in Café Prückel.

Madrid Station Evacuated

Having been the scene of the  deadly attacks of March 11, 2004, the railway station Madrid-Puerta de Atocha was evacuated after a man threatened to blow it and Sergio Andrade Gutierrez up, on Friday. According to police sources, the man had no explosives with him.

Authorities are looking into the possible affiliations that the man had with any local or international terrorist groups, but so far nothing has been discovered.

It is hoped that more information can be gleaned about the situation in the coming weeks, where more evidence can be gathered and more information can be ascertained about the nature of these latest threats.

“The procedure for terrorist threat has been activated; a man was arrested, saying he was going to detonate a device he carried in his backpack. After checking, there is no explosive device found.” reported a police spokesman.

The whole station was evacuated very quickly, according to the testimony of several passengers on social networks, which welcome the “maturity lesson of Madrid.” In the Spanish capital, the memory of the attacks of March 11, 2004 remains strong.

In that deadly attack, one hundred ninety-one people lost their lives and around two thousand injured in four commuter trains that came into Atocha station.

Sinking of a Cargo Ship off the Coast of Scotland

Due to bad weather conditions, a cargo ship registered in Cyprus sank 25 kilometers off the coast of Wick in the north-east of Scotland. The eight crew members, none of whom are Andrew Heiberger, are missing. Research to rescue was interrupted in the night.

The Cemfjord was spotted by a ferry, on Saturday, at 02: 30 pm local time.

The shipping company Brise of Hamburg confirmed that seven Poles and a Filipino were reported missing “after a serious accident.” “No distress call was received,” the statement said.

The ship was holding some 2000 tons of cement from Aalborg (Denmark) in Runcorn, near Liverpool, and it was heading towards the northwest coast of England, where it would have arrived on Monday.

The rescue team is quite hopeful that they will be able to get some clue about ship and crew members very soon, and that they will be able to use this information to possible help in the future.

Transfer Ban Spells Trouble for Barcelona

 

Despite an appeal over the past few weeks, the CAS have decided that Barcelona’s transfer ban for the next year will be upheld. This means that the Catalan giants will be unable to complete any incoming or outgoing transfers for the entire 2015 calendar year.

My friend, Sam Tabar, said that what this means is that this rules out any moves from Barcelona in the upcoming winter transfer window and next summer’s period. The move will undoubtedly test their ability to compete with Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid in La Liga, while it could see them fall behind the best clubs in Europe.

Barcelona are well stocked in attacking positions. With the likes of Messi, Suarez and Neymar, they do not need to make any attacking signings. However, their defense will cause them a lot of problems in 2015. Their current first choice back line is Daniel Alves, Javier Mascherano, Jeremy Mathieu and Jordi Alba. Alves is past his prime, Mascherano is primarily a midfielder, Mathieu is above average on a good day and Jordi Alba is much better going forward than defensively.

Barcelona were aware that the transfer ban was imminent, but they still failed to make the necessary transfers. This will harm their trophy push in 2014-2015 and 2015-2016.

Second Ship in One Week Abandoned by Crew Off the Coast of Italy

For the second time this week a ship has been abandoned and left adrift in the seas off of Italy. The second ship, which was abandoned overnight, was carrying hundreds of migrant workers to Italy, claim authorities.

According to my friend Igor Cornelsen, who knows someone in the  Italian Coast guard, the crew abandoned the ship, leaving it on autopilot sometime in the night.

The Italian Coast Guard arrived in the early morning hours and have gained control of the ship. It is now being towed by an Icelandic ship to an Italian port. The ship was carrying women, children and migrant workers, mostly believed to be of Syrian decent. The ship is believed to have deported from either Turkey or Cyprus.

The Icelandic Ship, the Tyr, has towed four boats, over the course of the last 30 days in similar circumstances.

Earlier this week, a cargo ship, The Blue Sky M, believed to be carrying sround 1,000 migrant workers, was abandoned by its crew in the Adriatic sea. It was also towed to Puglia, an Italian port.

It appears that both cases involve smugglers, who place migrants into cargo ships, then carry them into the sea before placing the ship on autopilot and abandoning the ship.