U.S. Is Pressing Latin Americans to Reject Snowden

CARACAS, Venezuela — The United States is conducting a diplomatic full-court press to try to block Edward J. Snowden, the fugitive American intelligence contractor, from finding refuge in Latin America, where three left-leaning governments that make defying Washington a hallmark of their foreign policies have publicly vowed to take him in.

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. took the unusual step of telephoning President Rafael Correa of Ecuador to urge him not to give asylum to Mr. Snowden. Senior State Department officials have also pushed Venezuela, one of the three countries offering to shelter him, with both sides keenly aware that hopes for better ties and an exchange of ambassadors after years of tension could be on the line.

All Manus Island detainees show signs of anxiety and depression, report says

Damning UNHCR report raises further questions about legality of Australian government’s policy on asylum seekers

A damning UNHCR report on the state of immigration detention on Manus Island has found that every asylum seeker housed in offshore processing facilities on Manus island is displaying “apparent signs of anxiety and depression”, once again raising questions about the legality of the Australian government’s policy of offshore processing.

A delegation from the United Nations’ refugee agency, which did not contain a medical officer, visited the regional processing centre on the Papua New Guinean island last month, meeting with staff and detainees.

It observed that “all asylum seekers on Manus island displayed apparent signs of anxiety and depression” and said that while a torture and trauma counselling team were expected to arrive on at the facility in early July, it was “regrettable that this action is remedial rather than preventative”.


Jean-Claude Juncker government resigns over spy scandal

Luxembourg prime minister forced to step down after coalition partner withdraws support

Suzanne Lynch

Luxembourg’s government resigned yesterday amid controversy over prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker’s handling of a security service spying investigation, paving the way for elections in October.

Mr Juncker submitted his resignation to the grand duke of Luxembourg after his party’s coalition partner in government withdrew its support in the wake of a parliamentary report that found Mr Juncker “politically responsible” for failing to inform lawmakers of “irregularities and supposed illegalities” by state intelligence service SREL.

The scandal dates back to 2004 when the illegal phone tapping of senior officials by the secret service reportedly began. The report also found evidence of agents using public money to buy cars, and receiving payments in exchange for access to local officials. Questions also emerged about Mr Juncker’s role in securing an agency job for a driver who was also a former policeman.

Egypt unrest: ‘He was trying so hard to kill me he stumbled. That was when I ran’

Amer Saleh’s lasting memories of that afternoon were the rage in the face of the man who hacked at him in a frenzy with a butcher’s knife, the pain and his relief at escaping – which turned to shock when he saw his best friend, Hamada Badr, lying in a pool of blood, his life ebbing away. “The guy was screaming ‘Allahu Akbar’ as he kept on stabbing me,” the 16-year-old schoolboy told The Independent. “He was so close his spit was coming over the hand I was holding up to try to protect my face. He was trying so much to kill me that he overbalanced and stumbled. That was when I ran. That’s what saved me.” But his hand, almost amputated, may be beyond rescue.
Videos of the attack on Amer and his friends in Alexandria have spread across the internet. They show men chasing a group of teenagers who had been chanting against the Muslim Brotherhood and had been accused of throwing stones.

Pakistan’s Malala to be honoured at UN

Teenager shot by Taliban last year will address UN Youth Assembly and call for improvements in global education.

Last Modified: 12 Jul 2013 08:09

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who drew global attention after being shot in the head by the Taliban last year, is to be honoured by the United Nations.

She will celebrate “Malala Day” on her 16th birthday delivering her first public address at the UN Youth Assembly and call for improvements in global education on Friday.

Malala, who first came to public attention at the age of 11 for speaking out against a ban on girls’ education, was shot in the neck and head by Taliban gunmen last October on her way home from school in Pakistan.

She left a Birmingham hospital in February after she made a good recovery from surgery during which doctors mended parts of her skull with a titanium plate and inserted a cochlear implant to help restore hearing on her left side.

12 July 2013 Last updated at 01:05

The Templers: German settlers who left their mark on Palestine

In the late 19th Century a group of German Christians called the Templers settled in the Holy Land on a religious mission. What began with success though ended three generations later, destroyed by the rise of Nazism and the war.

Kurt Eppinger’s community of German Christians arrived in the Holy Land to carry out a messianic plan – but after less than a century its members were sent into exile, the vision of their founding fathers brought to an abrupt and unhappy end.

The Germans were no longer welcome in what had been first a part of the Ottoman Empire, then British Mandate Palestine and would soon become Israel.

“On 3 September 1939, we were listening to the BBC and my father said: ‘War has been declared’ – and the next minute there was a knock at the door and a policeman came and took my father and all the men in the colony away.”

Aged 14 at the time, Kurt was part of a Christian group called the Templers. He lived in a settlement in Jerusalem – the district still known as the German Colony today.