Egypt Independent: World-Main news http://www.egyptindependent.com//enhome_channel/World/rss.xml en Germany: Court backs deportation of German-born extremists http://www.egyptindependent.com//node/2477419 <img src="http://www.egyptindependent.com///sites/default/files/imagecache/media_thumbnail/photo/2017/02/01/507555/german_police.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p content="BERLIN (AP) — A federal court has endorsed the planned deportation from Germany of two known Islamic extremists who are foreign nationals, although they were born in the country and there is no proof they committed a serious offense, bolstering government plans to expel more foreign nationals deemed dangerous." type="text">A federal court has endorsed the planned deportation from Germany of two known Islamic extremists who are foreign nationals, although they were born in the country and there is no proof they committed a serious offense, bolstering government plans to expel more foreign nationals deemed dangerous.</p><p content="The two men, an Algerian and a Nigerian whose names were not released, were detained in February in Goettingen during an investigation of suspected attack plans." type="text">The two men, an Algerian and a Nigerian whose names were not released, were detained in February in Goettingen during an investigation of suspected attack plans.</p><p content="When they were picked up, investigators found two weapons, at least one of them a firearm that required no permit but had been altered to fire live ammunition. Also found were ammunition, flags of the Islamic State group and a machete." type="text">When they were picked up, investigators found two weapons, at least one of them a firearm that required no permit but had been altered to fire live ammunition. Also found were ammunition, flags of the Islamic State group and a machete.</p><p content="Lower Saxony's state government late last month ordered their deportation. It said late Tuesday the men will be deported before Easter after the Federal Administrative Court threw out a case against the decision. Authorities also plan to ban them for life from returning to Germany." type="text">Lower Saxony&#39;s state government late last month ordered their deportation. It said late Tuesday the men will be deported before Easter after the Federal Administrative Court threw out a case against the decision. Authorities also plan to ban them for life from returning to Germany.</p><p content="&amp;quot;This is a clear signal to all fanatics that we won't leave them one centimeter for their inhuman plans,&amp;quot; said state Interior Minister Boris Pistorius." type="text">&quot;This is a clear signal to all fanatics that we won&#39;t leave them one centimeter for their inhuman plans,&quot; said state Interior Minister Boris Pistorius.</p><p content="Prosecutors concluded that the two had discussed an attack plan but had no concrete plans to carry one out. Nevertheless, the government decided to deport them, relying for the first time on measures that were part of tightened anti-terrorism laws passed after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, the dpa news agency reported." type="text">Prosecutors concluded that the two had discussed an attack plan but had no concrete plans to carry one out. Nevertheless, the government decided to deport them, relying for the first time on measures that were part of tightened anti-terrorism laws passed after the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, the dpa news agency reported.</p><p content="&amp;quot;You can count on us using all means at our disposal with full force,&amp;quot; Pistorius said. &amp;quot;It's completely irrelevant whether they grew up here or not.&amp;quot;" type="text">&quot;You can count on us using all means at our disposal with full force,&quot; Pistorius said. &quot;It&#39;s completely irrelevant whether they grew up here or not.&quot;</p><p content="Germany was shaken last year by three attacks claimed by IS, including the Dec. 19 attack on a Christmas market in Berlin in which 12 people were killed." type="text">Germany was shaken last year by three attacks claimed by IS, including the December 19 attack on a Christmas market in Berlin in which 12 people were killed.</p><p content="Following the first two attacks, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere drew up proposals to boost security, including a new focus on deporting foreigners deemed dangerous and stripping dual nationals who fight for extremist groups of their German citizenship." type="text">Following the first two attacks, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere drew up proposals to boost security, including a new focus on deporting foreigners deemed dangerous and stripping dual nationals who fight for extremist groups of their German citizenship.</p><p content="After the Christmas market attack, which was carried out by a rejected asylum-seeker, the government proposed further measures to toughen the rules on deporting such individuals and on monitoring extremists." type="text">After the Christmas market attack, which was carried out by a rejected asylum-seeker, the government proposed further measures to toughen the rules on deporting such individuals and on monitoring extremists.</p> Wed, 22 Mar 2017 13:11:00 +0000 AP 2477419 at http://www.egyptindependent.com sites/default/files/photo/2017/02/01/507555/german_police.jpg Nations pledge millions to protect cultural heritage http://www.egyptindependent.com//node/2477411 <img src="http://www.egyptindependent.com///sites/default/files/imagecache/media_thumbnail/photo/2015/10/05/499612/the_monumental_arch_in_the_historical_city_of_palmyra.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>A UNESCO-backed donor conference at the Louvre museum in Paris pledged US$75 million (around&nbsp;&euro;70 million) on Monday for a new initiative to protect cultural heritage at risk from conflict and extremism.</p><p>French President Francois Hollande committed US$30 million to the fund, making France one of seven donors to the fund; the others&nbsp;include Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Luxembourg, Morocco and Switzerland. Addressing the conference,&nbsp;Hollande rallied donors to raise an &quot;ambitious&quot; US$100 million by 2019. He also stated&nbsp;that France and Italy will propose a UN Security Council motion aimed at increasing cultural heritage protection.</p><p><img alt="Iraqi soldiers view Nimrud ruins (Getty Images/AFP/S. Hamed)" src="http://www.dw.com/image/36406508_401.jpg" /></p><div><p><em>Iraqi soldiers view destruction caused by IS at the archaeological site of Nimrud</em></p></div><p>Announced in Abu Dhabi in December by Hollande and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the cultural protection fund was created in response to the recent theft and destruction of cultural artifacts and monuments across Syria and Iraq by extremist militant groups. Islamic State in particular has ransacked and damaged the ancient Syrian town of Palmyra, the Mosul museum in Iraq&nbsp;and the 13th century BC Assyrian capital of Nimrud, also in Iraq.</p><p>&quot;At Bamiyan, Mosul, Palmyra, Timbuktu and elsewhere, fanatics have engaged in trafficking, looting and the destruction of cultural heritage, adding to the persecution of populations,&quot; said Hollande. Militant groups are targeting both people and cultural heritage sites for the same ends, the French President added. &quot;[It&rsquo;s] the same objective: to break what was there before in order to kill hope afterwards, to eradicate human and cultural diversity.&quot;</p><p><img alt="Palmyra's Arch of Triumph was destroyed by IS in 2015 (picture alliance/dpa/Y. Badawi/EPA)" src="http://www.dw.com/image/37774276_303.jpg" /></p> Wed, 22 Mar 2017 10:15:00 +0000 Deutsche Welle 2477411 at http://www.egyptindependent.com sites/default/files/photo/2015/10/05/499612/the_monumental_arch_in_the_historical_city_of_palmyra.jpg US, Britain curb electronics on flights from Middle East, North Africa http://www.egyptindependent.com//node/2477397 <img src="http://www.egyptindependent.com///sites/default/files/imagecache/media_thumbnail/photo/2017/03/22/507555/jfk.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>The United States and Britain on Tuesday imposed restrictions on carry-on electronic devices on planes coming from certain airports in Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and North Africa in response to unspecified security threats.</p><p>The US Department of Homeland Security said passengers traveling from a specific list of airports could not bring into the main cabin devices larger than a mobile phone such as tablets, portable DVD players, laptops and cameras.</p><p>Instead, such items must be in checked baggage.</p><p>Although civil liberties groups raised concerns that US President Donald Trump was seeking another limit on movement after a travel ban from Muslim-majority countries was challenged in the courts, Britain took similar steps.</p><p>A spokesman for British Prime Minister Theresa May said there would be curbs on electronic items in the cabin on flights from six countries in the Middle East. The foreign office said the measures would be implemented by March 25.</p><p>The moves were prompted by reports that militant groups want to smuggle explosive devices inside electronic gadgets.</p><p>The ban would continue for the &quot;foreseeable future,&quot; a US government official said on Tuesday, adding that it was possible it could be extended to other airports and other countries.</p><p>White House spokesman Sean Spicer declined to talk about the intelligence that prompted the new steps or explain why some countries were left off the list.</p><p>Senator Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat, said he &quot;spoke to the intelligence community over the weekend, and this is a real threat.&quot;</p><p>US officials say militant groups are known for innovative bomb designs, including embedding them inside computers. Yemen-based Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) also has boasted of one of the world&#39;s most feared bomb makers, Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri.</p><p>French and Canadian officials said they were examining their arrangements but neither government was taking additional security measures at this stage.</p><p>The airports covered by the US restrictions are in Cairo; Istanbul; Kuwait City; Doha, Qatar; Casablanca, Morocco; Amman, Jordan; Riyadh and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; and Dubai and Abu Dhabi in United Arab Emirates.</p><p>The affected airports are served by nine airlines that fly directly from those cities to the United States about 50 times a day, senior government officials said.</p><p>The carriers -- Royal Jordanian Airlines, EgyptAir, Turkish Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad Airways -- have until Friday to adopt the new policy, which took effect on Tuesday.</p><p>No US airlines are on the list because there are no direct flights on them between the United States and the cited airports, officials said.</p><p>Britain said its restrictions would apply to direct flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.</p><p>The British regulations affect British Airways, easyJet, Jet2, Monarch, Thomas Cook, Thomson, Atlas-Global, Pegasus, EgyptAir, Royal Jordanian, Middle East Airlines, Saudia, Turkish Airlines and Tunisair.</p><p>IAG-owned British Airways advised customers departing from affected airports to arrive in good time at check-in.</p><p>Shares in IAG turned lower after the UK announcement, with easyJet also ending the day in negative territory.</p><p>RECENT INTELLIGENCE</p><p>A US government source said that while the restrictions arose from multiple reports of security threats, some recent intelligence had arrived that prompted the current alert.</p><p>US authorities believe there is a threat from plots similar to an incident last year in Somalia, where a bomb hidden in a laptop blew a hole in the side of a plane but failed to down it, another source said.</p><p>However, some experts questioned whether the limited ban could improve security and said it is complicated by aviation safety concerns about lithium-powered batteries used in many electronic items catching fire in the hold.</p><p>Some potentially affected said the ban was unfair.</p><p>&quot;Security for some people, and other people none? It&#39;s not for everybody, right?&quot; said Mohsen Ali, an Egyptian who spoke to Reuters TV at New York&#39;s John F. Kennedy International Airport where he was waiting to meet a friend.</p><p>US officials said the decision had nothing to do with Trump&#39;s efforts to impose a travel ban on citizens of six majority-Muslim nations.</p><p>On March 6, Trump signed a revised executive order barring citizens from Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen from traveling to the United States for 90 days. Two federal judges have halted parts of the ban although Trump has vowed to appeal.</p><p>While Democrats have criticized Republican Trump&#39;s travel ban, Representative Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence committee, said he backed the new precautions as &quot;both necessary and proportional to the threat.&quot;</p><p>However, human rights group Amnesty International said the restrictions raised &quot;serious concerns that this could be yet more bigotry disguised as policy.&quot;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><em>(Reporting by David Shepardson in Washington and Kylie MacLellan in London; Additional reporting by Yara Bayoumy, Mark Hosenball and Phil Stewart in Washington; Alexander Cornwell in Dubai, Victoria Bryan in London, Cyril Altmeyer in Paris and David Ljunggren in Ottawa; Writing by Alistair Smout; Editing by Jeremy Gaunt and Lisa Shumaker)</em></p> Wed, 22 Mar 2017 08:32:00 +0000 Reuters 2477397 at http://www.egyptindependent.com sites/default/files/photo/2017/03/22/507555/jfk.jpg Trump administration hosts first meeting of anti-IS coalition http://www.egyptindependent.com//node/2477396 <img src="http://www.egyptindependent.com///sites/default/files/imagecache/media_thumbnail/photo/2017/02/16/507555/jordan_syria.jpeg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>Foreign ministers from 68 countries meet in Washington on Wednesday to agree on the next steps to defeat Islamic State, the first such gathering of the US-led military coalition since the election of President Donald Trump in November.</p><p>The meeting will be hosted by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Trump has vowed to make the fight against Islamic State a priority and directed the Pentagon and other agencies in January to submit a plan for defeating the militant group.</p><p>The militants have been losing ground in both Iraq and Syria, with three separate forces, backed by the United States, Turkey and Russia, advancing on the group&#39;s Syrian stronghold of Raqqa.</p><p>The meeting is the first of the international coalition since Iraqi government forces, backed by the US-led international coalition, retook several Iraqi cities from Islamic State last year and liberated eastern Mosul.</p><p>While the jihadist group is overwhelmingly outnumbered by Iraqi forces, it has been using suicide car bombs and snipers to defend its remaining strongholds.</p><p>Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who met with Trump in Washington on Monday, said he had won assurances of more US support in the war against Islamic State.</p><p>A White House statement after the meeting said both Trump and Abadi agreed that &quot;terrorism cannot be defeated by military might alone,&quot; and the two leaders called for deepening commercial ties.</p><p>Discussions on Wednesday will also focus on how to help Mosul rebuild and ways to tackle Islamic State operations in Libya and elsewhere.</p><p>In Syria, the US-led coalition has been working with an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias. Its current focus is to encircle and ultimately recapture Raqqa - Islamic State&#39;s base of operations in Syria.</p><p>Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is supported by Russia and Iran, has said he saw scope for cooperation with Trump, although he has dismissed the US-backed military campaign against Islamic State in Syria as &quot;only a few raids.&quot;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><em>(Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by Peter Cooney)</em></p> Wed, 22 Mar 2017 08:29:00 +0000 Reuters 2477396 at http://www.egyptindependent.com sites/default/files/photo/2017/02/16/507555/jordan_syria.jpeg