Report: Turkey shuts down media

Story highlights

  • In total, Turkey has closed about 130 media and publishing outlets, state-run news agency says
  • It says nearly 1,700 soldiers — including 87 generals — have been fired
Amid a state of emergency, 45 newspapers, 16 television stations and three news agencies have been closed, state-run news agency Anadolu said Wednesday.

Anadolu said nearly 1,700 soldiers — including 87 generals — have been fired.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last week said actions were being taken to remove the “threat” raised during the attempt. Officials have fired or suspended tens of thousands as the government intensifies its vast purge.

Turkey’s top broadcasting authority last week revoked the licenses for two dozen radio and television companies that it said are linked to Fethullah Gulen, whom Erdogan blames for masterminding the coup, Anadolu reported.

Turkey has formally requested the extradition of Gulen from the United States, where he lives in self-imposed exile. He has denied involvement in the plot.

In total, Turkey has closed about 130 media and publishing outlets, Anadolu said.

Reporters Without Borders has lamented what it calls “growing persecution” of critical media.

In a recent statement, Johann Bihr, head of the group’s desk in Eastern Europe and Central Asia said: “No one disputes the Turkish government’s legitimate right to defend constitutional order after this abortive coup but democracy, for which hundreds of civilians gave their lives, cannot be protected by trampling on fundamental freedoms.”

Pope on priest killing

The killing of the priest — by two attackers who struck in the name of ISIS — is the latest terror atrocity to roil Europe in recent weeks.

On Wednesday ISIS’ media wing, Amaq, posted a video on the Telegram messaging app that showed the two attackers pledging allegiance to the terror group.

Speaking on the papal plane en route to Krakow, Poland, for World Youth Day celebrations, Francis said the world had been in “a piecemeal war” for some time.

He said Tuesday’s killing of the Rev. Jacques Hamel, 86, in St.-Etienne-du-Rouvray, France, was one casualty in this conflict.

“The world is at war because it has lost peace,” he said.

“There is a war of interest, there is a war for money, a war for natural resources, a war to dominate people,” he continued.

“Some might think it is war of religion. It is not. All religions want peace. Others want war.”

Security services stretched

French President Francois Hollande said Tuesday that the attackers acted in the name of ISIS, and Amaq released a statement, posted by the group’s supporters, claiming the Normandy attackers were the terror outfit’s “soldiers.”

CNN has not independently confirmed the claim, and no evidence has surfaced showing that ISIS had a planning role in the attacks.

Coming less than two weeks after the Bastille Day terror attack that left 84 people dead in Nice, France, the slaying has fueled public anger and highlighted apparent shortcomings in the French government’s ability to respond to the domestic jihadist threat.
Adel Kermiche was one of the attackers behind the killing of a priest.

One attacker, Adel Kermiche, had been flagged as a radicalized Islamist and was under house arrest at the time of the attack, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said.

The 19-year-old was forced to wear an electronic monitoring tag after he traveled abroad to try to fight in Syria. Under the conditions of his house arrest, he was allowed out of his parents’ home, not far from the church, for four hours each day — a window he used to carry out the attack.

A friend of Kermiche’s told CNN French affiliate BFMTV that the teen had previously spoken of attacking a church.

“We laughed at him. We thought it was a joke,” said the friend, who did not want to be named. “Me and my friend regret it. We should have warned the police, it could have maybe changed something.”

He said Kermiche had always been “a bit cuckoo, but we couldn’t know he was going to get to that point.”

“He changed. He started talking about jihad — we didn’t take it seriously, but it took over the situation,” he said. “He met bad people that convinced him.”

French authorities have struggled to monitor thousands of domestic Islamic radicals who, like Kermiche, are on a list used to flag radicalized individuals considered a threat to national security.

‘We must fight the terrorists’

In St.-Etienne-du-Rouvray, a town of about 27,000 people in France’s Normandy region, the reaction Wednesday was one of horror and disbelief.

“You can’t imagine that someone would do something like this. It is unimaginable, especially in a church, it’s terrifying, absolutely horrific,” said Philippe Payen, 70, who has lived in the town his whole life. Hamel, the slain priest, baptized his children.

Meggy Simane, 23, said the jihadist threat was “a problem for everyone: the gay community …, the Jewish communities, for all walks of life.”

Alexandre Herbert, 35, who lives in a nearby village and has aunts in the town, said the French “must not be afraid.”

“We must fight the terrorists. These people are crazy — they justify their actions with religion, but religion has nothing to do with it.”

Hava Balikci, 29, a half-Kurdish woman who lives in a nearby village, said governments around the world need to take more action against ISIS.

“What we are already doing is not enough; we have to find other solutions to avoid future youth doing this,” she said.

“It’s completely barbaric what they’ve done.”

"It's completely barbaric what they've done," says Hava Balikci, who lives  near St.-Etienne-du-Rouvray.

Security measures boosted

The French government said it will mobilize police and military forces to boost security in the wake of the attack.

Speaking at a news conference, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said that 23,500 police and military officers — including reserves — would be mobilized to ensure the safe running of 56 public events scheduled for the rest of the summer.

The events may be called off if the government determines that security arrangements are inadequate, he said.

Cazeneuve said France’s reservist forces would be boosted. He said 2,500 people had expressed interest in joining the reserves since he called on youths to sign up in the wake of the Bastille Day attack in Nice.

Lawmaker Marion Marechal-Le Pen, 26, tweeted she had decided to join the military reserves in response to the threat and invited “all young patriots to do the same.” Marechal-Le Pen is a member of the French Parliament from the far-right National Front party and also the niece of the party’s president, Marine Le Pen.

Cazeneuve said that information sharing between security services needed to be improved and that the response to the threat needed to remain within the law.

“Only in this way can we win the war against terror,” he said.

Cannes Mayor David Lisnard announced the French Riviera city had passed a bylaw banning people from carrying suitcases and large luggage — that could be used to conceal bombs — on public transport or along the beachfront until the end of October.

Religious leaders condemn killing

Hollande met with religious leaders Wednesday before attending a remembrance Mass at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris for the victims of the attack.

Speaking after the meeting with Hollande at the Elysee Palace, Dalil Boubakeur, rector of the Grand Mosque of Paris, expressed “deep grief” on behalf of France’s Muslims.

He said the killing of a priest — “who is respected and protected to the letter in our religion” — was “a deed outside of Islam, a deed that all Muslims of France condemn and reject in the most definitive way.”

A government spokesman vowed the republic would “respond with unity” to the ISIS threat, which has led to a state of emergency being in place since the Paris terror attacks in November.

“It is with the weapons of the republic that we will fight and protect,” government spokesman Stephane Le Foll said.

Witness: ‘They forced him to kneel’

The standoff at about 9.25 a.m. Tuesday began when the attackers, both carrying bladed weapons, entered the church as morning Mass was underway, taking the priest, three nuns and two parishioners hostage, Molins said.

Sister Daniele Delafosse said she was able to escape the attack, according to CNN affiliate France 2.

Before fleeing, she witnessed the perpetrators gather around the church altar and perform some sort of religious oration in Arabic before forcing Hamel to his knees and placing a knife to his neck, she said.

The Rev. Jacques Hamel, 86, was slain Tuesday in St.-Etienne-du-Rouvray.

“He was still in his robes, he was at the foot of the altar; they forced him to kneel and then not to move,” she said.

“I do not know what they said to us but, ‘you Christians, we will eliminate you’ — it was sort of this style of conversation, which they shouted a bit.”

The priest “tried to fight … but, well, he is 86 years old,” she said, describing the attack as “cowardly.”

The priest was killed when the attackers stabbed him in the chest and slit his throat, officials said. They also seriously wounded a churchgoer.

Police could not enter the building sooner because of the hostage situation, Molins said. One of the killers wore a fake explosive belt, and the other carried a kitchen timer and fake bomb, he said.

One of them shouted, “Allahu Akbar” — Arabic for “God is the greatest” — as they left the church and were killed.

Kermiche was identified by his fingerprints, while the other attacker has not been named.

Attacker was known radical

According to a French intelligence source, Kermiche tried to enter Syria twice after becoming radicalized following the 2015 Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris. The attacker was associated with Maxime Hauchard, a French jihadi who appeared in an ISIS beheading video in 2014, the source said.

Molins said Kermiche attempted to leave the country twice for Syria in 2015.

He was placed under “judicial control” in March 2015 after trying to use his brother’s identification to go to Syria. Two months later he left the country for Syria using a cousin’s identification card.

Authorities in Turkey stopped Kermiche and deported him to France via Switzerland, from where he had entered Turkey.

He was detained until March 18 when he was released under house arrest with an electronic monitoring tag. An appeals court upheld the terms of his release, which required him to live with his family under house arrest and sign in once a week at a local police station.

CNN’s Alexander Felton reported from St.-Etienne-du-Rouvray, while CNN’s Tim Hume wrote and reported and Margot Haddad reported from London. CNN’s Delia Gallagher, Ghazi Balkiz, Lindsay Isaac, Carol Jordan, Eliott McLaughlin, Simon Cullen and Sophie Eastaugh contributed to this report.

France attack is latest assault in ISIS war on Christianity

Although attendance numbers are down, Catholicism is still deeply entwined in the national fabric of France, and the attack has already led to outrage across the country.

The goal in going after such a provocative target? To trigger a backlash against Muslims in France and drive the country’s Muslims into the recruiting arms of the Islamic State.

The attackers filmed the atrocity, a nun who managed to escape told CNN affiliate BFM.

According to French President Francois Hollande, the attackers claimed they were acting on behalf of ISIS, something the group also claimed via an affiliated news agency.

A French intelligence source told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that one of the attackers had been radicalized after the Charlie Hebdo killings and had tried to enter Syria on two occasions and was associated with Maxime Hauchard, another French jihadi who appeared in an ISIS beheading video in 2014.
In recent weeks European intelligence services have detected a significantly expanded effort by ISIS operatives in Syria and Iraq to directly reach out to extremists in Europe to encourage them to launch attacks. European counter-terrorism officials believe the group is trying to project an image of strength and unleash vengeance, as it loses ground in Syria, Iraq and Libya. This month has already seen ISIS supporters in Europe launch two attacks in Bavaria and a deadly truck rampage in Nice.

ISIS ‘aiming to stoke backlash’

ISIS listed French churches as targets in the fifth issue of its French language magazine which came out last summer “to create fear in their hearts.”

In April 2015 French police thwarted an ISIS directed plot to attack a church in Villejuif in the Paris area after the operative recruited to launch the attack — Sid Ahmed Ghlam, an Algerian student in Paris — accidently shot himself in the leg. Ghlam had twice traveled to Turkey where he met French ISIS operatives linked to Fabien Clain, a senior French ISIS member who later is believed to have helped mastermind the November 2015 Paris attacks.

In urging attacks on churches, ISIS is trying to eliminate what it calls the “grey zone” for Muslims in the West by provoking a far-right backlash. A drumbeat of attacks in France has led to a groundswell of anti-Muslim anger, which is being stoked and exploited by far-right politicians.

According to France’s National Human Rights Commission (CNCDH) there were 429 anti-Muslim threats and attacks in 2015 — a rise of 223% from the previous year. Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s far-right national front, reacted to Tuesday’s atrocity by renewing calls for fundamentalist mosques in France to be shut.
ISIS declared an all-out war on Christianity when its fighters beheaded 21 Coptic Christians near Sirte, Libya, in February 2015. “You have seen us [in Syria] chopping off the heads of those carrying the cross [and now] we will fight you altogether,” a masked fighter with a North American accent stated in gruesome video featuring waves of blood flowing northwards into the Mediterranean. The message could not have been clearer: the “Crusader” enemy and all Christians were now seen as one and the same, and all needed to be exterminated.

ISIS campaign branded genocide

In March the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry characterized the ISIS campaign against Christians and minority religions in areas under its control as a genocide.
Not only has the group driven out Christian populations from cities such as Mosul, but it has targeted them for death across the Middle East, including in Egypt where a local Islamic State affiliate has assassinated Coptic priests. In Nigeria, ISIS affiliate Boko Haram killed more than 4,000 Christians last year and attacked almost 200 churches, according to figures compiled by a Nigerian Christian organization.
Also in March, suspected ISIS militants in Yemen carried out an attack on a Catholic retirement home in Aden killing 16 — and a Pakistani Taliban splinter group which has been supportive of ISIS targeted Christians in an Easter attack in a park in Lahore, killing 69 people.

It turned out most of the victims in the Lahore attack were Muslim, as were a third of those killed in the Nice truck rampage earlier this month, exposing ISIS to potential criticism among jihadis that it is shedding the blood of Muslims.

By going after churches, ISIS and its supporters are singling out Christians, and trying to usher in a new war of religions.

Why won't these decaying flowers die?

The daughter of a gardener, Law is finding a different outlet for her love of nature. A classically trained artist, she started off painting flowers, abstract works inspired by the bold colors of Kandinsky and Rothko. But it wasn’t enough, says Law.

Embedded image permalink

“I felt frustrated by how two-dimensional the work looked,” she recalls. “I desperately wanted to reflect nature in three dimensions.”

She turned to flowers as a medium in 2003, describing them as “my paint.”

“The complexity of flowers as a material fascinated me,” Law says. “I think because they are ephemeral and a challenge, flowers have kept me on my toes. They’re really difficult to work with.”

In the years since, Law has developed her own techniques for preserving her works, even consulting with experts at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

“Coming from painting and understanding oil and canvas, the way you’re taught is for a work to last as long as possible,” she explains. “I think I’ve tried really hard to create that with flowers.”

Bound with copper wire, the flowers gradually decompose, shrink and bleach. Once dried, they’re held together by their natural oils.

More than flowers: Trailblazing artist Georgia O'Keeffe celebrated in London

“They’ll go through a bit of a dodgy stage,” Law admits, “in that in-between stage between fresh and dry. The smell is not particularly great for maybe 48 hours, but then they come into their own, and [the work] becomes a different sculpture.”

Some installations are permanent, such as 150,000 flower work “The Canopy” (2016) at the Eastland Shopping Centre in Melbourne, Australia. Others are dismantled, with some flowers encased in glass and kept by patrons.

Those that aren’t kept are returned to Law for use in other works (she also mixes dried elements into her installations), and form part of her burgeoning archive.

“I’m quite strict now,” she says. “Nothing is thrown away.”

The beauty of decay

Entering its third week on display, “The Beauty of Decay” at the Chandran Gallery in San Francisco marks Law’s first solo gallery exhibition in the United States.

Featuring 8,000 flowers, the piece has “a slight hippie vibe” says Law, utilizing the classic daisy shapes of gerberas.

“I wanted it to reflect what I feel like when I come to California: laid back but fun.”

Law will always use cultivated flora from the surrounding area, explaining why dahlias, the official flower of San Francisco, feature heavily. By only using what’s available, Law also gives an insight into the fads and trends of the flower industry.

“It always make me chuckle a little bit,” she says. “It’s my material, but it’s dictated by what other people buy and what’s available.”

Big plans, colorful spaces

Up next is “Still Life: Sculpture and Prints” at Broadway Gallery in Letchworth Garden City in England.

Inspired by the Dutch Golden Age, “it’s a little bit deeper and darker,” Law says. “[It’s] about life and death and the moment in between… It will have a lot more flowers in a much more intense, intimate space.”

Law is also making plans for a permanent installation in Poland, and temporary exhibition in Denmark based on the sin of pride. Meanwhile her installation for NetJets at Art Basel will be transported and reconstructed for Art Basel Miami Beach in December.

(The dream, to fill the entire 35,520-square-foot Turbine Hall at London’s Tate Modern, remains elusive.)

But while her work remains confined to man-made spaces, Law stresses that it’s all grounded in nature.

“It’s about having a space to appreciate the natural beauty we’re given on this earth,” she says. “I think that by preserving these flowers, pausing time on them, you get to really observe these natural beauties.

“It’s a platform for showing what we already have.”

Celebrities are obsessed with Anya Hindmarch

Having realized she wanted to make handbags at the age of 16, the entrepreneurial British designer sold her first piece at 19 after moving to Florence straight out of school.

Thirty years on, Anya Hindmarch, the brand, is both lucrative — with 56 stores in nine countries — and lauded, much-loved by fashion critics and celebrities alike.

While today her well known customers range from Kendall Jenner to Kate Moss and Kate Middleton — Diana, Princess of Wales was also a fan, referring to the Anya clutch as her “cleavage bag” because she would use it to hide her décolletage when coming out of cars.

The secret to this success? Over the years Hindmarch has identified the real needs and wants of women — whether that’s compartmentalization or her famous stickers.

The brand is known for its craftsmanship, customization, understanding of technology and ultimately, wit. With quirky designs and unexpected collaborations, Hindmarch’s archive includes entire collections inspired by everyday objects — from cereal boxes to confectionery snacks.

Her latest collection pays tribute to early video games, referencing their pixelated images and graphics. We spoke to Hindmarch to find out more about the business of bags.

Anya Hindmarch has created a collection of purses inspired by a a packet of crisps

What bag best describes you?

One of my bags is designed to look like a crisp packet, and that’s a really good example.

It’s all about how the product is made, and it really is a fascinating process. It’s this beautifully crafted piece of art that is very complicated to create, but it’s made in the shape of a crisp packet so you can’t take it too seriously.

I love the way it’s a little bit irreverent.

Which bag do you think is iconic to 2016?

The backpack. There’s a backpack in shearling that we recently released, and it’s had a tremendous response.

Models Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid have been wearing them everywhere together, and I feel it’s a special bag that will last a long time.

Models Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid wear Hindmarch's shearling backpack

You hint at technology and digitization in your latest collection. How important, or influential, do you think technology is to artists today?

One of the things we’ve researched for this collection actually is image pixelation, and whether or not it can be considered an art.

It’s a highly debated topic right now and I would argue that yes, whether it’s a brush stroke or a square of color in a different form, it’s art.

And these days, this is how people consume art.

We see different types of art digitally than we do with more old fashioned methods.

It’s amazing what you can do with pixels these days, almost everything we look at now is made up of them.

Which photographer or artist did you discover on social media?

Quite a few. We’re actually working with someone now, Markus Magnusson (above animation), who we discovered on social media.

He’s done these lovely little animations for our newly-launched menswear line.

Another person to mention is Mr Singh, an artist we worked with last season, who we also discovered on social media.

Do you have any quirky habits you can share that inspire you to get creative?

I like to feed my brain.

It’s important to see lots of stuff, get out and travel often.

That said, it’s also important to relax your brain — sometimes we’re so glued to our phones that we don’t give ourselves a break and allow those ideas to cook.

Holidays, long drives… anything that lets you take a break from your smartphone and multi-tasking. And sometimes a glass of wine.

Do you ever feel like you’re out of ideas?

No, honestly, I think if anything it’s the reverse. And the important thing is to take one and, from there, dig and dig.

Which bag is your best kept secret?

Well actually it’s the things that go inside my bags.

There’s a beautiful, simple satchel bag, but when you look inside, it’s completely organized.

It has a place for your phone, your credit cards, and I’m actually a bit of an organizational nut, which happens as we’re all so busy as women.

Which bag makes you blush?

Well most likely the bag that looks like a crisp packet, because it was thrown at poor old Jay Z.

It still makes me go a little bit hot and cold at the thought of it going anywhere near his eye — that would have been awful.

London housing crisis hits the water

Several of these properties were houseboats.

Life on London’s 100-mile network of canals, or 42-mile stretch of the River Thames, has become a popular option for beleaguered citizens, and such homes can cost as little as £20,000 ($26,500).

But as more people swap apartments for houseboats, the popular, romantic vision is giving way to a harsh reality.

Surge in houseboats

The Canal & River Trust (CRT), which manages the canals of England and Wales, reports that boat numbers in London have increased by 57% since 2012.

“We’re seeing a huge rise in the popularity of boats, and London is the hotspot,” says Joe Coggins, a spokesman for the Trust. “The issue we have is that some people don’t move enough and stay in the same areas, which causes congestion.”

The Trust offers two types of licenses for boaters: permanent moorings which cost at least £1,000 ($1,320) in popular locations, and “continuous cruiser” licenses, which are around £1,000 a year, but require the boater to find a new location every 14 days — the latter have increased in number by 153% to 1,615 boats since 2012.

This rapid influx of new boaters has put the waterways under pressure, in areas such as Little Venice, the glamorous West London enclave that is home to stars such as Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher and designer Stella McCartney.

Boats line the canals of Little Venice, West London.

Producer and editor David Akinsanya is moored in this area, awaiting the birth of his child in a nearby hospital. He has spent the past 17 years on his 65-foot barge “Golden Buoy,” but rarely visits London now.

“We had a very lovely existence — it was like our secret,” he says. “But over the past five years it has gone absolutely crazy. When I come into London I can’t stop because there are so many boats.”

Different mentality

Akinsanya was attracted to life on the water due to a love of boating, and the more relaxed lifestyle and sense of community.

“People do it now because they have to, not because they want to,” he says.

“There is an etiquette to being on the river. At the locks you are supposed to leave the paddles down and the doors closed, now you turn up and find them open.”

Akinsanya says he has seen boaters emptying garbage onto the riverbanks, which has fueled campaigns from local residents to ban boats from mooring near their homes.

David Akinsanya aboard the "Golden Buoy"

Other boaters, however, lament the bad management of the waterways.

“It’s not that there are too many boats, it’s that there are not enough moorings,” says Phineas Harper, deputy director of the Architecture Foundation, who has spent four years on the water.
Harper notes that mooring access is being reduced, citing the River Lea stretch around the Olympic Park in East London, where short-stay facilities have been converted into luxury permanent moorings.

Research by urban planner Lee Wilshire shows congestion occurs around scarce shared facilities, such as water points and rubbish disposal units — there are just 13 water points serving London.

Canals around the Olympic Park are no longer accessible to cruising boats.

“It seems the CRT are deliberately under-resourcing central London facilities and making it harder to be a boater in London,” says Harper.

The travelers are also under fire from populations living alongside canals.

Harper describes a “hugely antagonistic relationship between boaters and the people of Noel Road,” an affluent North London street that is home to Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. Residents have regularly complained about noise and smoke from the boats, and overstaying on the canal, which have prompted new restrictions on the number of boats allowed in the area, and the type of fuel they can use.
The Angel, Islington, has been the site of a running battle between boaters and residents.

Under pressure

Boaters are operating in an increasingly hostile environment, says Marcus Trower, deputy chair of the National Bargee Travelers Association (NBTA), which provides support for boaters with cruising licenses.

“The threat of eviction is the main worry for most people,” he says. “We are now inundated with cases.”

Of the 5,600 cruiser license the CRT renewed in the past year, 1,130 were given a restricted license, in most cases for perceived rule breaking. Restricted licenses can lead to eviction and the confiscation of boats.

Exclusive permanent mooring site in central London.

A central problem is the rules do not specify what distance cruisers must travel between stops.

“They say we need to move a reasonable distance without saying what that distance is,” says Trower. This ambiguity leaves boaters vulnerable to unexpected punishments.

Trower sees the ongoing insecurity for everyday boaters as part of a business model that prioritizes higher value uses of the canal, from pleasure boats to permanents moorings and burgeoning waterside developments.

“So much of the canal is being developed into pubs and flats and (the CRT) don’t think we fit into that … It is getting to the point that none of us can moor in London,” he says.

Canals in East and Central London have seen extensive waterside development.

Hidden crisis

Growing demand for accommodation on the waterways has left new boaters vulnerable to exploitation, and potentially dangerous living conditions.

“Every boat we looked at had something wrong with it,” says 18-year-old Georgia Hart, a new arrival on the canals. “We were lucky to find a boat builder who helped us.”

Horror stories abound, particularly on the Thames, of unscrupulous landlords renting sub-standard accommodation.

“Floating shacks … without running water, central heating or adequate sanitation facilities,” is how former boater Sam Forbes described his experience, which ended when a safety inspector found “significant faults … which put the occupants at risk and in immediate danger.”
London waterways

An outreach worker, speaking anonymously, says she found people living in appalling conditions on the water.

“They stop under bridges because they haven’t got good waterproofing,” she says. “One guy had a shed he built on a floating platform and somehow registered with the CRT.

“When he answered the door, there was water sloshing around inside. There was a stove, so he could have got carbon monoxide poisoning. The boat could sink. For a guy who was drinking heavily it was so, so dangerous.”

It is impossible to say how common such cases are, she says, as monitoring of the canals is intermittent.

From the glamour of Little Venice to the hidden squalor under bridges, the waterways that once offered respite from London’s housing crisis, are rapidly becoming a symptom of it.

Raw eggs safe for UK pregnant women

The code ensures that producers vaccinate hens against the Salmonella bacteria, and uphold standards for animal welfare and freshness.

The safety committee’s report makes recommendations for the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to amend its prior advice, which suggested that raw egg consumption may lead to food poisoning.

The report says: “In practical terms, the group considered that the ‘very low’ risk level means that UK eggs produced under the Lion code, or under demonstrably equivalent comprehensive schemes, can be served raw or lightly cooked to all groups in society, including those that are more vulnerable to infection, in domestic and non-domestic settings, including care homes and hospitals.”

Government review

In response to Tuesday’s report, the FSA has announced an eight-week review of the new recommendations.

The UK Government last reviewed the topic in 2001, consulting the advice of the same advisory committee to assess the dangers of the food-borne disease.

Professor John Coia, chair of the ACMSF group on eggs, said: “The committee has found that there has been a major reduction in the risk from salmonella in UK hens’ eggs since 2001.”

The review, which invites health care practitioners, food and hospitality industries and consumers to provide input, will come to an end in September this year.

U.S. guidelines differ

FDA guidelines in the U.S. highlight that certain people are at greater risk from salmonella — including pregnant women, children, older adults and those with weakened immune systems. It suggests that eating raw eggs, eggs with runny yolks, or any under-cooked food containing eggs may cause food poisoning.
The FDA estimates that 30 deaths each year are caused by eating salmonella-contaminated eggs. As a result, their Food Safety for Moms-to-Be guide clearly warns pregnant women against consumption: “Don’t use recipes in which eggs remain raw or only partially cooked,” it says.

While the FDA also has regulations in place to prevent the contamination of eggs on farms and during shipping and storage, the advice still holds.

Multiple attacks leave Germans on edge

They appear to be unrelated for now. But three of the attackers were recently arrived refugees. One was a German-Iranian dual citizen. And all were young men between the ages of 18 and 27.

Bavaria’s Interior Minister, Joachim Herrman, was visibly shaken early Tuesday morning, hours after a Syrian refugee blew himself with a backpack explosive.

“I have been Interior Minister in Bavaria for nearly nine years,” he told the press. “And I have never experienced anything like this until now.”

Germany is on edge. “Wilkommenskultur” — the buzzword that welcomed more than a million refugees into the country last year — has given way to an unsettling fear that the country is not prepared for the security and integration challenges of taking in a diverse, often traumatized population that comes with their own emotional baggage.

Police are still piecing together how and why Mohammad Daleel, a 27-year old Syrian refugee living in Ansbach, decided to pack a bag of explosives, screws and bolts and detonate it outside a crowded music festival.

On his phone, police found a video of a masked man they believe to be Daleel swearing allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, threatening to carry out attacks on Germans.

Investigators say Daleel had also received psychiatric treatment for attempting suicide twice. Two weeks ago, Daleel received a notice that he was due to be deported to Bulgaria, his first point of entry into the EU.

But Daleel’s refugee neighbors never saw any signs of extremism, or even depression. Outside the Hotel Christl, a rundown hotel converted into shared refugee accommodation, Mahmood Mubariz, a refugee from Pakistan, told me that he had seen a smiling Daleel only a week ago waving from his balcony.

“He was always happy,” Mubariz said. “He never complained about Germany. He told me that he left his country because of the civil war in Syria. If he was an extremist, why didn’t he join those groups in his homeland? Why come here?”

Mubariz was shocked to learn that Daleel had attempted suicide and told me that his neighbor had been trying to land a job at the local McDonald’s. Now Mubariz fears a backlash against refugees.

“This will create so many problems for us. There are so many people in Germany who loved us and respected us. And what has he done? Killing their children and destroying their rules? It’s not fair. We must respect their country.”

Far right tries to capitalize

Across the street, an elderly couple stepped out of their homes to watch the police before heading to the market.

“Most of the refugees have been so friendly to us. It doesn’t change our opinion on welcoming refugees,” the wife told me. “But we also can’t see what’s going on in their minds. This is just so shocking. And that scares us.”

“Angst,” the Germany word for fear, is now commonly heard during conversations in local beer gardens. Far right groups have tried to capitalize on that public fear, ramping up their anti-immigration rhetoric.

On Tuesday evening in the medieval town square of Ansbach, police fenced off a small far right protest. Demonstrators held up banners that read “Foreigners Out!” and “Stop the Asylum Flood!” as a loudspeaker droned on about the dangers of immigration. A few feet away, a rowdy crowd of opposing protesters shouted back “Nazi Pigs!” and “Nazis Out!”

‘We can’t let them frighten us’

Claudia Frosch has more reason to be scared than most in Ansbach: She was sitting at the same table as Daleel just before he detonated. She noticed him because he was wearing earphones, but they weren’t plugged into the mobile phone that he was constantly checking.

“He was a good looking young man, quiet. Well dressed,” she told me. “I didn’t think he was a foreigner. I thought he was German, a local.”

She came away from the attack unscathed, but her friend was hospitalized after a metal bolt from the explosion ripped through her neck.

“I’m scared. My hands still shake.” she said. “I just can’t believe something like this would happen here.”

And yet Frosch was one of many local residents that returned to the crime scene after police lifted the cordons. Within hours, the café and restaurant next door had reopened, and Bavarians were enjoying an evening beer right next to the shattered glass, the blood stains and the chalk outline of the attacker’s body on the cobblestones.

“Why not?” said one local resident with a glass of beer in hand. “We can’t let them frighten us. We must get back to our normal lives.”

Patient shoots doctor at Berlin hospital

Story highlights

  • A doctor shot by a patient has died
  • Police say there’s no indication of terrorism

The doctor died from his injuries, Berlin police said on Twitter. The shooter is also dead, police said.

The shooting occurred at a hospital in the Steglitz neighborhood in southwest Berlin.

The hospital campus is secure, police said, and there’s no indication of terrorism.

Police haven’t released details about the shooter’s identity or motive.

Just Breaking News!