The news at a glance ... Europe
MadridGive us your detainees: In a boost to the Obama administration’s sagging efforts to close the Guantánamo Bay detention center, Spain announced this week that it would take in five detainees—the largest commitment by any European country. Of the 192 detainees still at Guantánamo, 110 have been cleared for resettlement, but only 24 have actually been relocated. European countries have balked at taking them, saying that the U.S. should transfer at least some of the men to U.S. prisons before asking allies to do the same. Spain’s decision is seen as an effort to improve relations with the U.S., which have been strained since Spain withdrew troops from Iraq in 2004.
Nottinghamshire, U.K.Mercy-killing arrest: British police have arrested a BBC television host on suspicion of murder after he told viewers he had once smothered a lover who was dying of AIDS. Ray Gosling, 70, said that years ago he put a pillow over his unnamed partner’s face in the hospital to end his “terrible, terrible pain,” after doctors said there was nothing more they could do. “If it happens to a lover or friend of yours, a husband, a wife—and I hope it doesn’t—but when it does, sometimes you have to do brave things and you have to say, to use Nottingham language, bugger the law,” Gosling said. Just before his arrest, Gosling said he would not tell police the name of the dead man or where or when the incident had taken place. Assisting another person’s death carries a punishment of up to 14 years in prison.
LondonNo longer ‘whites only’: The British National Party, a far-right group that says it represents the “indigenous British,” is about to get its first non-white member. Under orders from the government’s Equality Commission, the BNP this week lifted its whites-only membership rule and immediately announced that an Indian-born man would join the party. Rajinder Singh, 78, is a Sikh who says he has long been alarmed by the rise of radical Islam in Britain. He witnessed Muslims killing Hindus and Sikhs when India and Pakistan split in 1947, he said, and he fears that such violence could infect Britain. Party leader Nick Griffin said, “I will be absolutely delighted to shake his hand and give him his membership card.”