The arrest is the first in a renewed murder investigation announced by police in 2012 into the “Bloody Sunday” killings in Londonderry, one of the most notorious episodes during 30 years of sectarian violence in the British-ruled province.
The questioning “marked a new phase in the overall investigation which could continue for some time,” the officer leading the probe, Detective Chief Inspector Ian Harrison, said in a statement.
Britain’s Ministry of Defence said it was aware an ex-soldier had been arrested in connection with the investigation and that it would be inappropriate to comment further.
On Sunday, January 30, 1972, British troops opened fire during an unauthorised march in the Bogside, a nationalist area of Londonderry. They killed 13 people and wounded 14, one of whom died later. The victims were all unarmed Catholics.
A 2010 inquiry - the longest and most expensive in British legal history - concluded that the civilians had been killed without justification and had posed no threat, prompting Prime Minister David Cameron to apologise for the killings.
Soldiers who gave evidence to the inquiry about their involvement did so from behind screens and with a guarantee of anonymity.
The killings changed the course of the violent “Troubles” that erupted in the late 1960s, boosting the Irish Republican Army’s violent campaign for Northern Ireland to secede from the United Kingdom and become part of the Republic of Ireland.
A 1998 peace deal, brokered after more than 3,600 had died, has largely ended the conflict that pitted mostly Catholics, who wanted a united Ireland, against Unionists, mostly Protestants, who wanted it to remain part of the United Kingdom.
British Prime Minister David Cameron made it clear that his country’s future within Europe hangs in the balance as he set out his demands for renegotiating Britain’s role in the EU on Tuesday.
With the UK set to vote on whether or not to stay in the EU in a 2017 referendum, Cameron sent his strongest warning yet that if the negotiations fail and Britain votes to leave the union, there will be no turning back.
“If we vote to leave, then we will leave,” he said as he outlined his renegotiation demands in a speech at the London headquarters of Chatham House, an international affairs think tank.
“There will not be another renegotiation and another referendum. So I say to my European counterparts with whom I am negotiating, this is our only chance to get this right - for Britain and for the whole European Union.”
It was, for the most part, “a good political pitch”, according to Thomas Raines, research associate for Europe at Chatham House.
“However, what it does mean is that the negotiations risk now becoming the centre piece of the UK’s referendum on Europe,” he told FRANCE 24.
Those negotiations will centre on four key areas that Cameron had already outlined in the past.
The British Prime Minister demanded financial and economic safeguards for countries that do not use the euro single currency, a reduction to the burden of EU regulations on businesses, for Britain to be excluded from the EU’s commitment to greater integration and curbs on some benefits for EU migrants.
It is this final demand that is likely to cause the most difficulty for Cameron. The UK Prime Minister said he wanted to see migrants from other EU member states arriving in Britain to be barred from receiving certain benefits until after they had been working in the country for four years.
This proposal is unlikely to go down well in many eastern European countries, such as Poland, whose citizens make up many of the EU migrants living in the UK.
It also goes against one of the EU’s most cherished principals, that of the free movement of people and labour.
Immediately after Cameron’s speech, the European Commission’s chief spokesman Margaritis Schinas described this demand as “highly problematic”, as it entailed “direct discrimination between EU citizens”.
But otherwise, Cameron’s speech was largely an exercise in striking a careful balance between demanding too much and too little. His wish list of reforms needed to be enough to placate British Eurosceptics, without going so far as to make them unacceptable to other EU members.
Cameron’s demand that Britain be excluded from a stated EU mission of moving towards an “ever closer union”, for example, may present some technical and legal challenges. But it would not substantially alter the workings of the EU or Britain’s role in it – it is not a legally binding clause and one frequently ignored by the UK and others.
Changing it, therefore, should not upset too many of Cameron’s EU partners, even if there is some resistance, but it would be a significant symbolic win for Cameron.
He has also left himself plenty of wriggle room on the immigration issue. A letter sent by Cameron after his speech to the EU European Council President Donald Tusk made it clear that the demand over benefits to EU immigrants was open to negotiation.
Given himself a reasonable chance of succeeding in the negotiations is a sensible strategy by Cameron, who is already, some may say, playing with fire by staking the UK's future in Europe on their success.
Cameron has said he wants the UK to stay in Europe, but should the negotiations fail, it would make it much harder, or perhaps even impossible, for him to campaign for that outcome in the referendum.
Even as Cameron was firing warning shots over Britain’s European future, he was keen to stress the economic and national security benefits of EU membership to the UK.
“Those who advocate Britain leaving need to explain how the league of 1 will compare with the league of 28,” he said.
“Negotiating as part of an economy with 500 million people gives us more power as a country, not less.”
Reaction from other EU leaders came thick and fast.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel was quick to signal her country’s willingness to work with Cameron to reach a deal.
“I spoke with him [Cameron] by telephone yesterday. I know of the demands, so what is on the table now is no surprise. We want to take a solution-orientated approach to dealing with these proposals,” she said. “There are some difficult points, and some less difficult points. But if one has a spirit of wanting to solve this then I have a certain confidence that this can work out.”
But in a view likely to be shared by many other eastern European countries, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka warned any changes to free movement in the EU would cause a “very serious problem”.
“The right to live and work anywhere in the EU is absolutely fundamental to us given our historical experience,” Sobotka said in a statement.
Hardline Eurosceptics were quick to voice their displeasure at a list of demands they saw as not going nearly far enough, with Nigel Farage, the leader of the UK Independence Party, saying Cameron was not aiming for anything “substantial”.
But, noted Raines, “there are people, including those on the backbenches of the Conservative party, who would never be happy with any changes to the EU that would be reasonable”.
Instead Cameron’s speech, he said, was “a clear balancing act, designed to appeal to ‘persuadable’ Eurosceptics, while presenting manageable proposals, aware of the difficulty of getting 27 other member states to approve the changes”.
“There will be a general willingness among EU leaders to make sure Cameron gets what he asked for,” he added.
Crimes against the environment – such as illegal deforestation, wildlife trafficking and toxic waste dumping – now bring in as much as $213 billion a year, but Interpol officials say the problem is not getting enough attention.
International experts gathered in the French city of Nimes for three days of discussions on environmental crimes this week ahead of the upcoming UN climate summit in Paris (November 30 to December 11).
Delegates highlighted a startling figure: After drug trafficking, counterfeiting and human trafficking, crimes against the environment have now become the fourth-largest money-maker for organised crime, generating between $70 billion and $213 billion per year, according to estimates.
The issue is nevertheless barely on the agenda of the key United Nations climate talks in Paris, also known as the COP 21.
The relative lack of interest in environmental crimes is a source of worry for Cees Van Duijn, Interpol’s Environmental Crime Programme project leader, who jointly organised the Nimes conference with the France-based International Forum on Technology and Security (FITS).
He spoke to FRANCE 24 on the sidelines of the meeting about his concerns.
FRANCE 24: Why are environmental crimes largely missing from the COP 21 agenda?
Cees Van Duijn: I regret that this issue is being overlooked at the international climate conference. We need stronger political support in order to address these types of crimes, but to get that political support we need people who have firsthand knowledge of the problem to be invited to speak at major meetings.
The consequences of drug trafficking are immediately visible, but this is not the case with environmental crime, which can seem an abstract phenomenon – so it is hard to it make it a priority. Yet we are all victims of crimes committed against the environment, even if they occur on the other side of the planet.
FRANCE 24: Are environmental crimes increasing?
Van Duijn: It's difficult to say, because it remains a relatively recent field of investigation and we have few references for comparison. But it is undoubtedly gaining ground.
In any case, it is a sector that is destined to grow. Most resources – like timber, rare wildlife or fossil fuels – are becoming scarcer. They represent lucrative opportunities for criminal organisations.
FRANCE 24: Can we say this represents a new territory for the mafia?
Van Duijn: The mafia, in the traditional sense, is in fact active in this field. We have seen this already in waste trafficking cases in Italy. However, the groups that are most active in the field of environmental crime are far less structured than the mafia. There is no group of bosses giving orders down the line. These are much more flexible organisations, which makes them all the more elusive.
FRANCE 24: Some people have evoked links between environmental crime and terrorism. What can you tell us about this?
Van Duijn: We do not have conclusive evidence of widespread cooperation but there are, indeed, increasing reports of links between environmental crimes and terrorist networks. Our own investigations have only centred on rebel groups, mostly in Africa, who engage in ivory trafficking or illegal fishing. We are also exploring whether these environmental crimes help fund terrorist movements.
Twin explosions outside the main train station in the Turkish capital Ankara killed at least 30 people on Saturday as hundreds gathered for a peace rally, in what government officials described as a terrorist attack.
More than a hundred people were also wounded in the blasts which went off just outside Ankara’s main railway station shortly after 10am local time.
Footage from the scene showed over a dozen bodies lying in the streets, covered by flags and banners, including those of the pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), with bloodstains and body parts scattered on the road.
Authorities are investigating claims the attacks were carried out by a suicide bomber, two government officials said. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was due to hold an emergency meeting with the heads of the police and intelligence agencies and other senior officials, his office reported.
Reporting from the scene, FRANCE 24’s Jasper Mortimer said the two explosions appeared to have happened just seconds apart as hundreds gathered for a planned peace march to protest against the conflict between Turkish security forces and Kurdish militants in the southeast.
“The road beneath me is smeared with blood,” he said, adding that the people had hurled rocks and sticks at a police van as it drove through the debris.
“They clearly blame the police for the lack of security.”
Violence between the state and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants has flared since July, when Turkey launched air strikes on militant camps in response to what it said were rising attacks on the security forces.
Those involved in the peace march tended to the wounded lying on the ground, as hundreds of stunned people wandered around the streets. Bodies lay in two circles around 20 metres apart where the explosions had taken place.
The attacks come three weeks ahead of a parliamentary election in Turkey and at a time of multiple security threats, not only in the restive southeast but also from Islamic State militants in neighbouring Syria and home-grown leftist militants.
The NATO member has been in a heightened state of alert since starting a “synchronized war on terror” in July, including air strikes against Islamic State fighters in Syria and PKK bases in northern Iraq. It has also rounded up hundreds of suspected militants at home.
Designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, the PKK launched a separatist insurgency in 1984 in which more than 40,000 people have been killed.
The state launched peace talks with the PKK’s jailed leader in 2012 and the latest in a series of ceasefires had been holding until the violence flared again in July.
ANKARA (AFP) -
The Turkish government suspects that the twin blasts that killed at least 20 people gathering for a peace rally in the capital Ankara was a "terrorist" attack, an official said.
"We suspect that there is a terrorist connection," a government official told AFP, asking not to be named.
Scene of twin explosions, see more photos below:
Reports reaching our news desk say at least 95 deaths have so far been recorded in twin Ankara explosions that rocked through a pro-Kurdish rally on Saturday, Prime Minister Ahmet's office disclosed to our reporter today in Ankara.
This has been the one of the deadliest attacks recorded in the country which left over 246 wounded, 48 which a reliable source disclosed are now in Intensive Care Unit (ICU)
“Former topless model arrested over Facebook terrorism links to Islamic State,” by Ben Farmer,Telegraph, October 9, 2016:
A former glamour model who once posed topless in a tabloid paper has been arrested by counter terrorism police.
Kimberley Miners was held for around 24 hours on suspicion of the possession of terrorist material, and then bailed.
Officers from the north east’s counter terrorism unit also searched the 27-year-old’s home in Bradford.
Last month it emerged detectives had warned Ms Miners to stop her contact with extremists online after she allegedly exchanged social media messages with a recruiter and shared violent Islamic State propaganda videos.
It is claimed she has used multiple Facebook accounts under different names to engage with extremists, the Sunday Times reported.
One account recently shared a video of two armed young children training for jihad alongside an adult fighter from Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (Isil)….
THE first scheduled train to pass through the world’s longest railway tunnel arrived in the Swiss city of Lugano more than 30 minutes faster than usual on Sunday, thanks to a shortcut that took 12.2 billion Swiss francs (12.3 billion dollars) and 17 years to build.
Departing from Zurich, the train was the first to carry members of the public through the Swiss Alps since the Gotthard Base Tunnel was formally inaugurated more than half a year ago.
The official ceremony in June, attended by various European leaders, was followed by 5,000 safety tests before authorities could approve the tunnel for public transport.
“We have been training for a long time and are happy we can finally get started,” the head of Swiss Federal Railways (SBB), Andreas Meyer, said.
The 57-kilometre tunnel was designed to boost environmentally friendly cargo traffic on rails across the Alps and to better connect industrial hubs in Germany, Switzerland and Italy.
It replaces Japan’s 53.9-kilometre Seikan Tunnel – between Japan’s Honshu and Hokkaido islands – as the world’s longest rail tunnel. It takes 17 minutes to pass through by train.
Although the number of arrivals was down in 2016, the number of applications actually rose
Germany says 280,000 asylum seekers arrived there in 2016, a drop of more than 600,000 on the previous year.
The German interior minister said that the decrease was due to the closure in 2016 of the Balkan route and the migrant deal between the EU and Turkey.
The record influx of 890,000 people came as migrants and refugees travelled through Greece and the Balkans.
They headed for Germany after Chancellor Angela Merkel ordered a temporary open-door asylum policy.
Her decision to suspend EU rules on registering asylum seekers in the first EU state they entered was aimed at the growing number of Syrians fleeing the conflict in their country, but large numbers of people of other nationalities made the journey too.
Migration has become a heavily politicised issue in Germany ahead of federal elections in the autumn. As voters punished her CDU party in regional polls last year, Mrs Merkel acknowledged that the migrant crisis could have been handled better.
"This shows that the measures that the federal government and the EU have taken are taking hold," said Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere. "We've been successful in managing and controlling the process of migration."
Syrians made up 36% of the asylum claims in 2016, followed by Afghans, Iraqis, Albanians, Iranians and Eritreans. - BBC