Breaking News -- European Union
|NATO Calls to 'Exercise Restraint' Amid Clashes Near Kosovo
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that all political and community leaders in Macedonia should do everything possible to avoid further aggravation of the situation in Kumanovo.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — All political and community leaders in Macedonia should do everything possible to avoid further aggravation of the situation in Kumanovo, according to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
As many as eight Macedonian security officers and 14 gunmen were killed in clashes in the northern Macedonian town of Kumanovo near the border with Serbia and Kosovo, media reported Sunday.
He added that all local leaders should cooperate in order to conduct a transparent investigation into circumstances of the incident.
According to the Macedonian Interior Ministry, a terrorist group, led by five former members of the Kosovo Liberation Army, had been neutralized.
Amid the fighting in Macedonia, Serbia urgently reinforced its border with Kosovo to preserve security of citizens.
Kumanovo has already been the centre of fighting in 2001 during the clashes between ethnic Albanian rebels infiltrated from Kosovo and government's forces.
It comes as Macedonia undergoes a period of a serious political instability.
At least 40 people, including 38 police officers, have been injured during anti-government protests in the Macedonian capital Skopje on Wednesday.
UK rejects nearly 200 army recruits for fear of jihadist infiltration
by Robert Spencer
How did all these army recruits come to an understanding of Islam that British authorities assure us has nothing to do with Islam? British authorities remain uncurious about that.
“Almost 200 recruits withdrawn from army’s basic training amid jihadists fear,” by John Ward, Daily Star, May 10, 2015:
DANGER: Senior Ministry of Defence figures admit infiltration by potential terrorists is almost inevitable
The revelation has sparked fears terrorists may have infiltrated our armed forces.
MI5 agents already believe exBritish soldiers are fi ghting [sic] with Islamic State and may return to the UK to commit atrocities.
But the latest disclosure will fuel fears our services are being targeted by extremists.
Senior Ministry of Defence figures admit infiltration by potential terrorists is almost inevitable and is one of the reasons why security vetting is now treated so seriously.
A Freedom of Information request obtained by the Daily Star Sunday shows that in the last two years, 188 Army recruits were prevented from undertaking training for security reasons.
The recruits were all selected for training but had their applications rejected after they failed the security vetting process.
All recruits wanting to serve in the armed forces must undergo a series of background checks.
But additional counter terrorist checks are carried out on individuals with links to countries where a terrorist threat exists.
A senior defence source said the Territorial Army was especially prone to infiltration, particularly in areas such as Birmingham and Bradford where there are large Muslim populations.
The insider said: “The TA is desperate for recruits.You can pretty much turn up, fill in a few basic security vetting forms and then you are in. You can learn about fieldcraft, weapons handling and explosives very easily.”
Most recruits have access to small arms and undergo infantry training.
Sources also said terrorists could get greater benefi t [sic] from targeting selected units such as the Intelligence Corps, the Royal Engineers and logistics.
The TA’s Royal Engineers would give them access to explosives, while the Royal Logistics Corps would provide access to military fuel dumps and a fleet of tankers.
During the Ulster troubles, recruits with a Catholic background who came from Northern Ireland or the Irish Republic could face checks lasting months to ensure they had no links to terrorist groups.
The same checks are being applied to recruits with family or religious links to countries in the Middle East, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nigeria.
The revelation comes months after it emerged terror chiefs had ordered jihadists to infi ltrate [sic] the British Army.
A manual used by Islamic State urged followers to join the Army and police to carry out attacks.
The manual explained how the atrocities committed in the Middle East – including the murders of British hostages David Haines and Alan Henning – were part of a wider strategy that includes plans to wreak mayhem in the UK.
The handbook, called the Management of Savagery, also revealed infiltration operations had been going on for years.
Britain will be 'forced' by Brussels to accept Mediterranean migrants
by Alice Philipson
The plan, driven by Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the European Commission, is “practically seen as a declaration of war”, senior EU official says
Every country within the EU could be forced to accept a quota of refugees under highly controversial plans to be unveiled by Brussels this week.
Britain said it would refuse to accept the proposal by the European Commission to share the refugees and asylum seekers – who have arrived in their thousands in southern Italy in recent months – among the EU’s 28 member states.
The plan, driven by Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the European Commission, is “practically seen as a declaration of war”, one senior EU official said.
According to the draft, seen by Italian media ahead of its unveiling on Wednesday, “the EU needs a permanent system for sharing the responsibility for large numbers of refugees and asylum seekers among member states”.
It is thought Mr Juncker will propose a quota of 20,000 refugees to be distributed evenly across the EU according to the country’s population, GDP and unemployment level, as well as its track record as a host for asylum seekers.
The proposals are likely to create deep divisions across the EU and will face stiff opposition from governments who want the system to be voluntary.
“Juncker wants a required quota of refugees, but this is practically seen as a declaration of war by certain member states,” a top European official told AFP.
Theresa May, the Home Secretary, said last week that “any decisions [on asylum] should be on a voluntary basis”.
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She said that “many will have paid organised crime groups to get them through [the Mediterranean]” and that “if we are really going to stop the people putting their lives in danger by crossing the Med, we need to stop them starting their journey in the first place.”
The long-awaited European Agenda on Migration has strong support from Italy, Austria and Germany, which, together with Sweden, takes almost half of asylum seekers in the EU. However, Britain, Slovakia, Hungary and Ireland oppose the plan – which will need approval from all 28 EU governments before it can be implemented.
“It is a mad idea for someone to let refugees into their own country instead of defending their borders and then to say I will redistribute them among you,” Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban told a public radio station on Friday. “This is an unfair and indecent proposal. We therefore cannot support it.”
The proposal says “emergency mechanisms” could be invoked by the end of the month to ensure all EU countries share “persons in clear need of international protection”. Asylum applications in the EU jumped by 44 per cent in 2014 to 626,000, according to EU statistics agency Eurostat. More than 200,000, or one in three, were registered in Germany, followed by Sweden with 81,200 and Italy with 64,600.
Sergio Mattarella, President of Italy, accused countries opposing the plan of “selfishness”. Rome had hoped that the EU plan would force member states to take economic migrants as well as asylum seekers. Separately, the EU will seek to obtain a UN mandate today for armed action in Libya’s sovereign waters to stem people-trafficking operations.
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