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News at a glance...Europe

Europe

Hamburg, GermanyE. coli mystery deepens: German officials still don’t know the source of the E. coli outbreak that has killed 26 people and sickened more than 2,700 across Europe. Officials initially said the deadly bacteria came from Spanish cucumbers, and Spanish products were banned from several countries. After tests ruled out the cucumbers, officials said bean sprouts from an organic farm near Hamburg were to blame, but then tests cleared them too. Meanwhile, farmers all over the Continent are suffering as sales of fresh vegetables plummet, and European officials are annoyed at Germany. “It’s crucial that national authorities don’t rush to give information on the source of infection when it’s not justified by the science,” said European Union Health Commissioner John Dalli. “That creates fears and problems for our food producers.”

ParisSick of sexism: The arrest of former International Monetary Fund director Dominique Strauss-Kahn on charges of sexually assaulting a hotel maid has spurred French women to speak out against rampant sexism in French society. Sexual-harassment hotlines and support groups report dramatic increases in calls and complaints. And female politicians have been telling newspapers and talk shows that the atmosphere in the National Assembly is oppressive, full of lewd jokes and belittling comments. One lawmaker said she no longer wears skirts to work because of the constant propositioning. The newfound feminism has already had one concrete effect: Civil-service minister Georges Tron was forced to resign this week after two employees charged that he had sexually assaulted them.

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