The week at a glance...Europe



Fight against Hitler approved: Ireland has pardoned thousands of Irish soldiers who fought with Britain against Nazi Germany in World War II. The war came less than two decades after Ireland won independence from the U.K., after centuries of bitter conflict. To enlist with the British, the soldiers had to desert the Irish army, which was neutral in the war, and when they came home they were branded traitors and denied government jobs. Aengus Ó Snodaigh of the Irish nationalist party Sinn Féin supported the amnesty, saying the Nazis had been “a greater evil than the British Empire itself.” Only about 100 of some 5,000 ex-soldiers affected are still alive.


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Mass diamond arrest: Authorities charged 31 people in three countries this week with staging the daring heist of diamonds from a parked plane in Brussels in February. Masked robbers dressed in police uniforms snatched $50 million in diamonds and then drove away, crashing through a chain-link fence around the runway. Police this week arrested 24 people in Belgium, six in Switzerland, and one in France. “The investigation is ongoing, and we will have to determine who did what exactly,” said Anja Bijnens of the Brussels prosecutor’s office. “For now, there are diamonds recovered in Switzerland, and we are sure they came from the robbery.”

Genoa, Italy

Crash at port: In an accident that revived memories of last year’s Costa Concordia disaster, an Italian container ship crashed into a control tower in the port of Genoa, killing at least seven people. The Jolly Nero, accompanied by tugboats, was heading out of the port at night during calm weather when it rammed into the tower. “It’s very difficult to explain how this could have happened,” said Luigi Merlo, the head of the Genoa Port Authority, “because the ship should not have been where it was.” Genoa is Italy’s busiest port.

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