With most of the world focused on Japan, Bahrain, and Libya, news from Europe has been somewhat sparse this week. However there have been some interesting, sad, and triumphant moments. From the passing of the adorable Knut, the busting of a large paedophile ring, and scandalous pictures of the Bolshoi Ballet directer, things have been all over the place this week. So settle in with a croissant and some espresso and let’s get started:
Denmark: A Danish Squadron was Moved to Sicily
Six Danish F-16 fighters are part of the fight against Gaddafi. They left for an airbase on Sicily on Saturday and were part of the initial attack. Read more.
France: Airbus Faces Charges over 2009 AirFrance Crash
Pitot tubes sense the speed at which the airplane is flying and relay that message back to pilots. Airbus, who knew about a pitot tube problem with the A330-200 in 2002, is now being charged for the role they may have played in the 2009 Crash that killed 228. Airbus and AirFrance will also be financing a new expedition to find the data boxes at the bottom of the Atlantic. Read more
Germany: RIP Knut
The world’s favorite polar bear, Knut, suddenly died over the weekend ““ with hundreds of visitors watching. Knut was alone at the time and cause of death is unknown. Read more.
Germany: Germany Chooses not to Vote
When the U.N. voted on whether action against Gaddafi should be taken, Germany was one of the countries that did not vote. Read more.
Germany: New Law Makes it a Crime to Force Women into Marriage
Forcing women (no mention of men even though coercion and threats happen for them as well) into marriage will now carry a five-year prison sentence in Germany. It also gives non-citizens who are forced to leave by their husbands a legal right to return. Read more.
Greece: Seven Arrested Over Bomb Attacks
Seven members of a militant group that has carried out several bomb attacks since 2008, even once sending one to the office of Angela Merkel, have been arrested. The seven are said to be part of a wider ring and dozens are considered still on the loose. Read more.
Ireland: Irish Catholic Church Pledges 14 Million to Abuse Victims
On the one-year anniversary of papal statement on child abuse, the Catholic Church has set aside 10 million Euros (approx 14 million USD) to be divided equally between dioceses to help the victims. The Church has been trying to implement tangible signs of change with hotlines, counseling, and by instituting every Friday as a day of fasting and remembrance. Read more.
Italy: Crosses can Remain in Public Classrooms
The European Court of Human Rights decided that crucifixes in classrooms do not influence non-Catholic pupils and, therefore, they may remain in the class room. The case was brought to court by a Finnish mother of two, now living in Italy. Funny how headscarves are a problem then. Read more.
Netherlands: Child Porn Ring Identified
230 children were rescued. 670 suspects have been identified. 187 arrests have been made. These are the numbers announced by Europol, following an international police operation. Read more.
Russia: Bolshoi Ballet Directer Resigns in Photo Scandal
Gennady Yanin, in what looks somewhat like a smear campaign, has had emails circulate linking to a website with erotic photos of himself. The website has taken the pictures down. Read more.