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A former Ukrainian nationalist MP has been killed in a shooting incident on a street in Lviv, a western city. Iryna Farion, a 60-year-old linguistic professor who stirred controversy in 2023 by asserting that “true patriots” of Ukraine should never speak Russian, was targeted on Friday. Her death is under investigation, with authorities suggesting it may have been a premeditated attack.

The police have not yet identified the perpetrator, and a power outage affected CCTV footage in the vicinity. Lviv Regional Governor Maksym Kozytskyi confirmed that Farion succumbed to her injuries in the hospital. Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko indicated that the killing was not random and that the investigation is exploring motives related to Farion’s social, political activities, and personal conflicts. There is also the possibility that the murder was commissioned.

President Volodymyr Zelensky announced a major police operation, stating that all potential motives, including connections to Russia, are being thoroughly examined. The nationalist Svoboda party, of which Farion was a member, has accused Russia of orchestrating the killing, claiming it is an attack on the Ukrainian language.

Farion’s provocative statements in 2023, in which she labeled Russian as the “language of the enemy,” led to significant backlash and accusations of inciting linguistic hatred. She was dismissed from her university position and investigated by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU). In May, she was reportedly reinstated by the Lviv Court of Appeal.

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US journalist Evan Gershkovich has been sentenced to 16 years in a high-security penal colony by a Russian court, following a trial that has been widely criticized as a “sham” by his employer, family, and the White House. Gershkovich, a reporter for The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), was arrested in March while reporting in Yekaterinburg. Russian authorities accused him of espionage on behalf of the CIA, charges that Gershkovich, the WSJ, and the US government strongly deny.

This conviction marks the first time a US journalist has been found guilty of espionage in Russia since the end of the Cold War. The verdict can be appealed by both sides within 15 days.

The WSJ condemned the trial as disgraceful, emphasizing that Gershkovich has spent 478 days wrongfully detained, separated from his family, and unable to perform his journalistic duties. The publication pledged to continue advocating for his release.

Western leaders have universally condemned the ruling. US President Joe Biden asserted that Gershkovich had committed no crime and was targeted due to his role as a journalist. He reaffirmed the US commitment to press freedom and condemned the attack on journalism.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell and UK Prime Minister Keir Starmer also criticized the verdict, with Borrell accusing Russia of using its legal system to punish journalism and Starmer calling the sentence “despicable.”

There is speculation that Gershkovich’s conviction may be linked to potential negotiations for a prisoner swap involving Russian nationals held abroad. Russian observers suggest that a quick verdict might indicate imminent discussions for such an exchange.

The trial, which began last month, saw prosecutors request an 18-year sentence before the hearing was unexpectedly expedited. The charges against Gershkovich involve allegations of collecting secret information about a tank factory, which he and his employer vehemently deny.

Other US detainees in Russia, including Paul Whelan, also face espionage charges. President Biden has stated that securing the release of Gershkovich, Whelan, and other wrongfully detained Americans is a top priority.

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A 22-year-old Serbian man was arrested in France a week after the fatal stabbing of a 74-year-old man in Germany, locally identified as former Rolls-Royce car designer Ian Cameron. Bavarian police announced that the suspect was found in a flat northeast of Paris and apprehended by French special forces.

Ian Cameron was reportedly attacked last Friday night at his home in Herrsching, near Munich. His wife raised the alarm by fleeing to a neighbor’s house. Police later released an image of the suspect from a local supermarket before the incident, indicating he had been in the Herrsching area for several hours.

Cameron had moved to Herrsching 11 years ago. His former Rolls-Royce colleagues expressed deep shock over the incident. Authorities have not disclosed Cameron’s name publicly as the victim nor provided a motive for the attack.

After discovering Cameron’s body, police conducted extensive searches in the surrounding areas, including gardens, roads, and woodlands near Lake Ammersee, aided by helicopters and police dogs. The suspect had initially escaped on foot, prompting police to warn the public not to approach him. During the search, a red backpack and other objects were found near the victim’s house, and a cable for an outdoor security camera appeared to have been cut.

Bavarian police confirmed the suspect’s detention after a week-long manhunt, during which he traveled from Munich to Innsbruck, Austria, through Zurich, and then to France. The Serbian suspect was alone in an apartment near Paris when he was apprehended without resistance by French special forces. He is scheduled to appear before an investigating magistrate in France on Friday.

Chris Brownridge, the chief executive of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, expressed condolences to Cameron’s family and friends, noting Cameron’s significant contributions to the design of Phantom and Ghost models during his tenure as head of design until 2012.

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An Italian journalist, Giulia Cortese, has been ordered to pay Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni €5,000 (£4,210) in damages for social media posts mocking Meloni’s height. A judge ruled that two tweets by Cortese, who also received a suspended fine of €1,200, were defamatory and constituted “body shaming.”

The incident began in October 2021 when Meloni’s far-right Brothers of Italy party was in opposition. Cortese posted a doctored image on X (formerly Twitter) showing Meloni with a framed photo of fascist dictator Benito Mussolini in the background. Meloni condemned the image as extremely serious and announced legal action. Cortese deleted the image, admitting it was fake but accused Meloni of creating a “media pillory” against her. She called Meloni a “little woman” and later tweeted, “You don’t scare me, Giorgia Meloni. After all, you’re only 1.2m [3ft 9in] tall. I can’t even see you.” Meloni’s actual height is reported as 1.63m (5ft 3in) in Italian media.

Cortese was cleared of any wrongdoing for posting the doctored image but was convicted for the subsequent tweets. She has the option to appeal but hasn’t decided yet. Meloni’s lawyer stated that any awarded money would be donated to charity.

Cortese reacted to the verdict on X, criticizing the Italian government for its stance on freedom of expression and journalistic dissent. She compared the situation to Hungary under Viktor Orbán, expressing concern for independent journalists and opinion leaders in Italy. Cortese added that while she is proud to be Italian, the country deserves better than its current government.

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French Roman Catholic priest Abbé Pierre, a celebrated advocate for the homeless, has been accused of sexual assault 17 years after his death. Abbé Pierre, who passed away in January 2007 at the age of 94, is now alleged to have sexually assaulted or harassed seven women between 1970 and 2005. The Emmaus anti-poverty movement, which he founded, revealed the allegations and expressed belief in the women’s testimonies.

“These revelations have shaken our organizations, where the figure of Abbé Pierre plays a major role,” Emmaus stated on its website. “We all know his story and his message. These acts profoundly change the way we regard this man, who was known above all for his struggle against poverty, destitution, and exclusion.” The allegations have tarnished the posthumous reputation of Abbé Pierre, who was widely popular in France during his lifetime, even topping national popularity polls. His movement, Emmaus, has a global presence with hostels in numerous countries.

Following his death, then-President Jacques Chirac described Abbé Pierre as “an immense figure, a conscience, an incarnation of goodness.” Emmaus began investigating the allegations a year ago after receiving an account from a woman claiming to have been sexually assaulted by Abbé Pierre. This led to an inquiry by an external firm, which found six additional cases, including one involving a minor.

Emmaus acknowledged the bravery of the women who came forward, stating, “We believe them, we know that these intolerable acts have left their mark, and we stand by them.” The allegations dominated the headlines of the French press, with many expressing shock at the fall of such a revered figure. Libération, a left-wing newspaper, linked the scandal to the broader issue of the Catholic Church’s silence on sexual abuse, noting that before the MeToo movement, these allegations might have remained unheard.

Emmaus has established a confidential system to collect testimonies from anyone who experienced or witnessed “unacceptable behavior” by Abbé Pierre, offering guidance and support to those who come forward.

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On Thursday, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are set to decide whether Ursula von der Leyen will serve a second term as European Commission president. Despite her recent efforts to garner support, the outcome of the vote, scheduled for 13:00 in Brussels (11:00 GMT), remains uncertain.

Von der Leyen was officially nominated by European leaders at a June summit in Brussels, despite opposition from Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who abstained and criticized the exclusion of certain parties from the decision-making process.

Securing 361 votes is crucial for von der Leyen’s reconfirmation. While support from her center-right European People’s Party (EPP), the Socialists & Democrats, and the liberal Renew group is expected, the secret ballot nature allows MEPs to vote based on personal rather than party lines.

Several Irish MEPs from centrist parties plan to vote against von der Leyen due to her stance on the Gaza conflict. Some French MEPs within her own EPP group have also expressed dissent.

To secure votes, von der Leyen has conducted private meetings with various parliamentary groups, with mixed success. Left-wing MEPs have decided against her due to concerns over military spending, while she has garnered tentative support from some right-wing European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) members.

Italian Prime Minister Meloni, leading the ECR, is awaiting von der Leyen’s address before deciding how to instruct her 24 Italian MEPs. Reports suggest she may endorse von der Leyen in exchange for a senior Commission role for Italy.

The newly formed Patriots for Europe, led by Hungary’s Viktor Orban and including far-right leaders from France, Austria, and the Netherlands, has refused to support von der Leyen.

If von der Leyen fails to secure MEPs’ approval, EU leaders will need to propose a new candidate, potentially restarting the selection process.

Von der Leyen initially took office in a close vote five years ago, overcoming political deadlock among EU leaders.

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Chelsea footballer Fernandez has issued a public apology after a video surfaced featuring members of the Argentina squad singing a controversial song about France’s black players. The video, posted during celebrations of Argentina’s Copa America victory, prompted widespread condemnation for its racially offensive content. In response, FIFA has launched an investigation into the incident, with both the French Football Federation (FFF) and anti-discrimination organizations expressing outrage and calling for accountability.

In his apology, Fernandez, Chelsea’s £107m record signing, expressed regret for his involvement in the video, stating that the words used do not reflect his beliefs or character. Chelsea Football Club has initiated an internal disciplinary procedure, and anti-discrimination charity Kick It Out has emphasized the need for educational measures and accountability beyond mere apologies. The FFF has announced plans to file a complaint with FIFA against the Argentine Football Association, condemning the remarks as contrary to the values of sport and human rights.

FIFA, in response to the incident, has strongly condemned all forms of discrimination and is actively investigating the matter. The controversy underscores ongoing concerns about racism in football, prompting calls for comprehensive action to address such behavior both within clubs and at international levels.

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At the victory celebrations in Madrid, players from Spain’s men’s Euro 2024 winning team led chants of “Gibraltar is Spanish.” Midfielder Rodri, who also plays for Manchester City, was among those participating. The Gibraltar Football Association formally complained to Uefa, calling the chants “extremely provocative and insulting.”

Gibraltar, a British territory since the 18th century, is located at Spain’s southern tip. Spain has long sought its return.

The chants occurred as tens of thousands of Spanish fans gathered in central Madrid to celebrate the team’s 2-1 victory over England in the final. Fans dressed in Spain’s red and yellow cheered as the players toured the city in an open-top bus. The parade concluded in Cibeles Square, where the European Championship trophy was presented. Rodri, alongside right-winger Lamine Yamal, was seen chanting “Gibraltar is Spanish” on stage, a chant later led by team captain Alvaro Morata.

The Gibraltar FA expressed its concern in a statement, condemning the Spanish team’s actions as having “no place in football.”

Gibraltar, a British Overseas Territory with a population of just over 34,000, was ceded to Britain in 1713 under the Treaty of Utrecht. Despite referendums confirming its people’s preference for British rule, Spain continues to claim the territory. Border policing disagreements have arisen since Gibraltar’s departure from the EU with Brexit.

Gibraltar, a Uefa member since 2013, fielded its own team in Euro 2024, finishing last in Group B with no points and a significant 14-0 loss to France, the former champions’ largest win.

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Fifteen individuals were brought before a special court in Dublin following violent protests at a site designated for asylum seekers. Protestors ignited pallets and construction equipment at the former Crown Paints factory in Coolock, North Dublin, causing a significant fire. The site on Malahide Road was scheduled for development later in the week.

Taoiseach Simon Harris condemned the violence as “reprehensible.” The fifteen individuals who appeared in Dublin District Court on Monday evening faced public order charges, including non-compliance with police orders and threatening or abusive behavior. They were released on conditional bail, provided they avoid the protest site, and are due back in court on September 18. Four additional people are set to appear in court on Tuesday morning.

Over 200 gardaí responded to the incident, with three Garda cars damaged, one of which was set on fire. According to Irish broadcaster RTÉ, pepper spray was used by the police, and a security guard along with several gardaí sustained injuries during clashes with the protesters. The disturbances involved petrol bombs, fireworks, and the burning of mattresses, which damaged a JCB. Fires were also set on the roads.

Gardaí classified the event as a public order incident and temporarily closed the road. Officers faced verbal and physical abuse throughout the day, which escalated to rocks, fireworks, and other objects being hurled at them. “A number of fires were lit and official Garda vehicles seriously damaged,” a spokesperson said. As the situation intensified, police used force in self-defense.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris remarked on the challenging day for his officers and condemned the violence, stating that there were attacks on gardaí, criminal damage, and serious public disorder offenses, all of which would be thoroughly investigated. He mentioned that 15 individuals had been charged, with more charges expected overnight.

Justice Minister Helen McEntee expressed her horror at the criminal behavior in Coolock and vowed that those involved would face severe legal consequences.

Dublin city councillor Mícheál Mac Donncha condemned the incident as “deplorable,” asserting that violence, intimidation, and arson have no place in communities. The Sinn Féin representative emphasized that the burning of vehicles and attempts to burn the building were violent criminal acts that must be condemned. He noted that the Department of Integration was developing the site to house families seeking international protection, urging those responsible to cease their actions immediately and condemning the efforts to spread fear and hate in the community.

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Weeks before the Olympic Games in Paris, the River Seine is still unsafe for swimming on most days due to high levels of E. Coli bacteria, according to official data. Testing at Alexandre III Bridge, the planned start for the triathlon events, showed E. Coli levels were above acceptable limits on 22 out of 30 days from June 3 to July 2, potentially risking athletes’ health.

Despite these findings, authorities are optimistic. Antoine Guillou, Deputy Mayor of Paris, noted that recent weather improvements have led to better water quality. Mayor Anne Hidalgo even announced plans to swim in the Seine next week to demonstrate its suitability for the Olympics.

However, rainfall continues to cause E. Coli spikes. On June 30, following rain, E. Coli levels at Alexandre III Bridge reached around 2000 CFU/100mL, double the threshold for “good” water quality set by World Triathlon standards. If E. Coli levels exceed 1000 CFU/100mL, the swimming portion of the triathlon will be canceled unless deemed safe by the organization’s medical committee.

Efforts to clean the Seine include a new rainwater storage basin, operational since June, which can hold water equivalent to 20 Olympic pools. This basin prevented 40,000 m³ of wastewater and rainwater from entering the Seine after rain on June 17 and 18. Yet, E. Coli levels still reached 10,000 CFU/100mL on the second day of rain.

Fluidion, a technology company, has shown significant improvement in water quality since early April, despite occasional spikes. Paris 2024 has contingency plans for postponing events or moving marathon swimming to an alternative venue if necessary.

Authorities remain cautiously optimistic, attributing improvements to better weather and ongoing infrastructure projects aimed at reducing pollution. They stress the need for vigilance due to the unpredictable weather and potential for future rain-related contamination.

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