June 1 Universe news briefs

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Spanish soldiers advance Iraqi soldiers during a training mission outside Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, May 27, 2015. Islamic State extremists unleashed a wave of suicide attacks targeting the Iraqi army in western Anbar province, killing at least 17 troops in a major blow to government efforts to dislodge the militants from the sprawling Sunni heartland, an Iraqi military spokesman said Wednesday. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)
Spanish soldiers advance Iraqi soldiers during a training mission outside Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, May 27, 2015. Islamic State extremists unleashed a wave of suicide attacks targeting the Iraqi army in western Anbar province. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

Three Islamic State suicide bombers targeted a police base in Iraq’s western Anbar province with explosives-laden Humvees on Monday, killing at least 41 police and Shiite militiamen, officials said.

The attack on a police station in the Tharthar area north of the IS-held provincial capital, Ramadi, caused a large secondary explosion in an ammunition depot, the officials said. Another 63 security forces members were wounded in the attack.

Internal fighting has displaced more than 2.7 million people inside Iraq, including 110,000 who fled from renewed fighting in and around Ramadi in the past two weeks.

 

 

 

Bela Biszku
Former Hungarian interior minister in the communist-era Bela Biszku arrives in the courtroom in Budapest, Monday, June 1, 2015. ( Tamas Kovacs/MTI via AP)

A Hungarian appeals court on Monday ordered a retrial of a communist-era official convicted of war crimes related to reprisals against civilians after the 1956 anti-Soviet revolution.

Bela Biszku, the only high-ranking communist leader convicted since Hungary’s 1990 return to democracy, was sentenced to five years and six months in prison in May 2014. Prosecutors appealed the sentence, asking for life in prison for the 93-year-old, while Biszku’s defense sought a dismissal of the charges.

Biszku was in the Communist Party’s ruling interim executive committee after the 1956 uprising was defeated by Soviet forces. The committee created armed militias to carry out the repression, including firing indiscriminately into crowds at protests — and Biszku was convicted for his responsibility in nearly 50 deaths.

The Budapest Appeals Court, however, declared the ruling of the lower court void and called for a retrial with a new set of judges.

Biszku proclaimed his innocence when questioned by prosecutors before the initial trial but did not testify in court. He suffers from several illnesses, sat in a wheelchair during the proceedings and appeared unfazed by the ruling.

 

 

Paris city employees remove a railing loaded with locks on the famed Pont des Arts bridge in Paris, Monday June 1, 2015. Lovers in Paris, beware: City authorities are taking down thousands of padlocks affixed to the famed Pont des Arts bridge. The city council says the locks, usually hung by couples to express eternal love, cause long-term damage to Paris heritage and sometimes pose a security risk. Last summer a chunk of fencing fell off under their weight. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)
Paris city employees remove a railing loaded with locks on the famed Pont des Arts Bridge in Paris, Monday June 1, 2015. The city council says the locks, usually hung by couples to express eternal love, cause long-term damage to Paris heritage and sometimes pose a security risk. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)

Lovers in Paris, beware: City authorities are taking down thousands of padlocks affixed to the famed Pont des Arts Bridge.

The city says the locks, usually hung by couples to express eternal love, are causing long-term damage to Paris heritage sites. Last summer a chunk of fencing fell off under their weight.

Authorities began dismantling the metal grills along the sides of the bridge Monday and plan to remove 45 tons of padlocks in all.

Some residents had campaigned against the locks, which started appearing about a decade ago and now cover sites across the French capital.

The Pont des Arts Bridge will soon have padlock-proof plexiglass panels instead, while the city explores other ways for Paris visitors to express their “amour,” including street art on the subject.

 

 

Sen. John McCain, R-Az., is surrounded by reporters as he walks to the Senate Chamber to begin a special session to extend surveillance programs, in Washington, Sunday, May 31, 2015. Senate Republicans say they've been unable to make a deal to extend contested anti-terror provisions. As a result, the post-Sept. 11 programs will expire at midnight. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Sen. John McCain, R-Az., is surrounded by reporters as he walks to the Senate Chamber to begin a special session to extend surveillance programs, in Washington, Sunday, May 31, 2015. Senate Republicans say they’ve been unable to make a deal to extend contested anti-terror provisions. As a result, the post-Sept. 11 programs will expire at midnight. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

The National Security Agency lost its authority at midnight to collect Americans’ phone records in bulk, after GOP Sen. Rand Paul stood in the way of extending the fiercely contested program in an extraordinary Sunday Senate session.

Although the lapse in the programs may be brief, intelligence officials warned that it could jeopardize Americans’ safety and amount to a win for extremists. But civil liberties groups applauded as Paul, who is running for president, forced the expiration of the once-secret program made public by NSA contractor Edward Snowden, which critics say is an unconstitutional intrusion into Americans’ privacy.

The Senate voted 77-17 to move ahead on the House-passed bill, the USA Freedom Act, which only last weekend fell three votes short of the 60 needed to advance in the Senate. For McConnell, it was a remarkable retreat after objecting ferociously that the House bill would make the bulk phone collections program dangerously unwieldy by requiring the government to search records maintained by phone companies.

“It’s not ideal, but, along with votes on some modest amendments that attempt to ensure the program can actually work as promised, it’s now the only realistic way forward,” McConnell said.

America's soccer player Russo heads the ball as teammate Marlon watches during practice at the America Football club on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, May 29, 2015. "The majority of soccer clubs in Brazil have big problems," said fellow player Braz. "Players aren't paid, and then you see how the CBF benefits with so much money and luxury," referring to the Brazilian Football Confederation. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
America’s soccer player Russo heads the ball as teammate Marlon watches during practice at the America Football club on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, May 29, 2015. “The majority of soccer clubs in Brazil have big problems,” said fellow player Braz. “Players aren’t paid, and then you see how the CBF benefits with so much money and luxury,” referring to the Brazilian Football Confederation. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

The accused in the FIFA scandal are easy to spot: globe-trotting executives charged with diverting millions meant to build the game to their personal accounts. Those who feel victimized aren’t as obvious: youth players with hand-me-down equipment, semi-pro clubs that can’t afford to travel and developmental leagues that can’t pay referees.

Players and coaches can only dream about millions reportedly siphoned off by top soccer officials.

The indictment claimed Brazilian soccer officials took bribes for decades, selling off TV rights and marketing agreements while millions were delivered to them personally.

In South Africa, revelations that bribes were paid to get the 2010 World Cup have angered millions.

“The victims are hidden by the spectacle,” Gaffney said in an email. “White-collar crime has its greatest impacts on those who don’t own a suit.”

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