The week at a glance...Europe



Finger-pointing: Many of the 69 victims of last summer’s massacre on the island of Utoya would be alive today if police had acted more quickly, a new report says. The report by a government-appointed commission said police could have reached confessed killer Anders Behring Breivik at least half an hour sooner if they’d had access to a helicopter. Instead, heavily armed officers piled into a small boat that almost sank under their weight, and they had to be rescued by a private citizen. “I feel a heavy responsibility for these police failures,” said Norway’s National Police Commissioner Oystein Meland. Better security also could have prevented Breivik from setting off the earlier bomb in Oslo, which killed eight people. The report recommends stricter gun controls, including a ban on semiautomatic weapons.

Amiens, France

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Youth riot: Dozens of youths, many of them armed, rioted in the northern French city of Amiens this week, setting fire to cars and buildings and causing millions of dollars worth of damage. At least 17 riot police were injured by buckshot and gasoline bombs. “The confrontations were very, very violent,” said Amiens Mayor Gilles Demailly. The unrest began in a neighborhood inhabited by many citizens of North African origin after police allegedly conducted an aggressive traffic stop, firing rubber bullets and disrupting a memorial service. The community was tired of being treated “like animals,” local resident Sabrina Hadji said. Similar tension between minority communities and the police sparked a wave of riots across France in 2005.


Anti-Semitic Jew: One of Hungary’s most prominent far-right, anti-Semitic politicians has been drummed out of the nationalist Jobbik party after admitting that he has Jewish ancestry. Csanad Szegedi was long known for his rants against Jews, accusing them of buying up the country and controlling politics. Now he has confirmed Internet rumors that his mother’s parents were Jewish Holocaust survivors. He immediately quit the party, and may lose his seat in the European Parliament as well: Jobbik asked him this week to step aside for one of its members in good standing.

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