Feature

The week at a glance...Europe

Europe

Oxfordshire, U.K.
Murdoch exec re-arrested: Rebekah Brooks, the former editor of the now defunct News of the World, was arrested again this week in connection with the phone-hacking scandal in Rupert Murdoch’s media empire. After a raid on their Oxfordshire residence, she and her husband, Charlie Brooks, were detained on suspicion of “conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.” Rebekah is accused of telling her staff to delete hundreds of emails that alluded to the illegal hacking of the voice mail of celebrities, politicians, and private citizens; she was arrested last year on suspicion of corruption and conspiracy. Charlie, a racehorse trainer, is suspected of trying to get rid of a laptop computer containing potentially incriminating data. Charlie attended the private school Eton with Prime Minister David Cameron, who is a neighbor of the Brookses and was a guest at their wedding.

The Hague, Netherlands
War criminal: In its first ruling in 10 years of existence, the International Criminal Court in The Hague this week found Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga Dyilo guilty of using child soldiers. Soldiers under Lubanga forced boys into brutal training and fighting, and used girls as sex slaves. Lubanga’s forces were accused of ethnic massacres during the Second Congo War, which killed 60,000 people before ending in 2003. Congolese authorities arrested Lubanga in 2005 and turned him over to the court. He could face life imprisonment but has the right to lodge an appeal. The ICC was established in 2002 by an international treaty; the U.S. and China are among the countries that never ratified it and are not subject to the court’s jurisdiction.

Brussels
Muslim behind mosque attack: Belgium’s Muslim community was horrified this week by an arson attack on a mosque that left one imam dead. A Sunni Muslim man confessed to setting the fire to scare the Shiite community, saying he blamed Shiites for the ongoing slaughter of civilians in Syria. “Belgium will not tolerate this type of act and the importing of this type of conflict on its territory,” said Interior Minister Joëlle Milquet, adding that the government would take “all necessary measures” to prevent further sectarian violence. The suspect, who gave several false names to police, was apparently an illegal immigrant. Members of the Shiite and Sunni communities in Belgium met this week to express mutual solidarity and grief.

Sierre, Switzerland
Bus crash: A bus full of Belgian tourists, mostly 12-year-old schoolchildren, crashed into the wall of a tunnel through the Swiss Alps this week. Of the 52 people on the bus, 28 were killed, including 22 children. The kids were returning from a ski trip. “This is a tragic day for all of Belgium,” said Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo. “Words are useless. We are speechless.” He authorized military aircraft to fly the children’s parents to Switzerland, where 24 children injured in the accident are in the hospital. All the adults on board died, including the chaperones and teachers and two bus drivers.

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