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World in Brief: 14.11.14

News from around the world

GERMANY: Four men were convicted in Dusseldorf today of being part of an al-Qaida terrorist cell that planned to carry out a bomb attack.

Moroccan Abdeladim El-Kebir was convicted of membership of a terrorist organisation as the group's leader and sentenced to nine years in prison.

Two accomplices convicted of al-Qaida membership were given seven years and five-and-a-half years in prison, while a fourth man convicted of supporting the group received four-and-a-half years.

 

CZECH REPUBLIC: Human rights groups accused Prague today of still defying a European Court of Human Rights ruling by misplacing Roma children in special needs schools.

The ECHR ruled exactly seven years ago that the Czech Republic must stop doing it.

The Budapest-based Roma Rights Centre and six other human rights groups said that Roma children still make up at least a third of the students in schools for those with mild learning difficulties.

 

BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA: Police announced today the arrest of 11 people suspected of terrorist activities - including recruiting for the so-called Islamic State (Isis).

Over 100 officers raided homes and businesses in the nationwide dragnet yesterday morning.

The raids were part of Operation Damask which began in September with the arrest of 16 people accused of financing and organising trips to Syria for Isis volunteers.

 

MOROCCO: The Interior Ministry announced the arrest today of four French nationals suspected of being Islamist extremists.

It said that the men had been arrested in Marrakech and in Laayoune, capital of the Western Sahara region illegally annexed by Morocco.

The ministry said that the men were suspected to have links to terror organisations.

 

UNITED STATES: Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel told a House of Representatives panel today that US-led coalition forces are making progress against so-called Islamic State militants.

But he warned that there will be setbacks in the fight in Iraq and Syria.

President Barack Obama has asked Congress for more than $5 billion (£3bn) to expand the US mission in Iraq and is dispatching up to 1,500 more US troops there, boosting the total number to 3,100.

 

PORTUGAL: Transport Secretary Sergio Monteiro announced today that his right-wing government is trying for the second time in two years to sell its flag carrying airline.

The government intends to sell a 66 per cent stake in TAP Air Portugal, with 5 per cent of that set aside for its 7,500 staff.

It postponed the planned privatisation of TAP in 2012 after the sole bidder failed to provide required financial guarantees.

 

BELARUS: Economy Minister Nikolai Snopkov said today that the Ukrainian crisis "will drag Belarus to co-operate more with the Western countries" if it continues.

He said that Minsk wants to strengthen its economic ties to the West and could even help it bypass Russia's ban on some Western foods by reprocessing EU products.

He said that close ally Russia would not object to Belarus expanding its ties with the West.

 

COLOMBIA: Police in Cali arrested Peru's No 1 fugitive Rodolfo Orellana today, arresting him at a luxurious home he owns in the city.

The businessman is accused of amassing a fortune through money laundering of over £120 million and of evading prosecution for years by buying off corrupt judges and prosecutors.

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