The week at a glance ... Europe
Cybercriminal nabbed: Acting on a tip from U.S. authorities, French police last week arrested an alleged cybercriminal wanted by the U.S. Secret Service. Vladislav Anatolieviech Horohorin, 27, a dual citizen of Israel and his native Ukraine, was picked up at Nice’s airport en route from Monaco to Moscow. Horohorin, known online as BadB, is said to be a founder of CarderPlanet, the first Russian-language website that dealt in stolen credit card information. He went on to open his own sites, Dumps.name and Badb.biz., and allegedly became one of the world’s biggest traffickers in stolen credit card and Social Security numbers. Horohorin has been “repeatedly linked to nearly every major intrusion of financial information reported,” said Michael Merritt, the Secret Service’s assistant director for investigations.
Bomber’s release questioned: One year after the reportedly terminally ill Lockerbie bomber was sent home to Libya on humanitarian grounds, he is still alive, and cancer specialists who treated him in a Scottish prison say they were never consulted about his prognosis. Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi was the only person convicted of abetting the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, over Lockerbie, Scotland, which killed 270 people, mostly Americans. He was transferred to house arrest in Libya last year after a Scottish prison doctor certified that he had only three months to live. Al-Megrahi’s cancer doctors, on the other hand, said this week that they had expected him to live at least a year. A U.S. Senate committee investigating the case has called on Britain to release al-Megrahi’s medical records.
Welfare benefits slashed: Denmark, which has long had the world’s most generous social programs, is cutting unemployment benefits. The payments, which cover 80 percent of a worker’s former salary, had previously lasted four years, but will now be cut off after two years. Officials said they’ve discovered that lengthy benefits don’t actually help people find jobs. Instead, most workers either find new jobs almost immediately or they wait until their benefits run out before taking whatever job is then available. “The cold fact is that the longer you are out of a job, the more difficult it is to get a job,” said Finance Minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen. “Four years of unemployment is a luxury we can no longer allow ourselves.”