The world at a glance . . . Europe
LondonGrand Prix boss hosts orgy: The head of Formula One racing is under pressure to resign after a YouTube video surfaced of him participating in a sadomasochistic, Nazi-themed orgy with five prostitutes. Max Mosley, 67, is the head of the Paris-based Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, or FIA. His father was Sir Oswald Mosley, who in the 1930s founded a fascist party in Britain and who numbered Hitler among his wedding guests in 1936. The video shows Mosley whipping a prostitute dressed as a prisoner, and saying in a fake German accent, “She needs more of ze punishment!” So far, Mosley is refusing to resign, saying his actions were private and consensual. He is suing the News of the World, the tabloid that broke the story and posted the video.
Omagh, U.K.Suing the terrorists: Families of some of the victims of an IRA bombing are suing the five men they say were responsible. Twenty-nine people were killed and hundreds injured when a huge bomb exploded in Omagh, Northern Ireland, in 1998. The victims included Catholics and Protestants, adults and children, and locals and tourists alike. The Real IRA, a splinter group opposed to the Good Friday power-sharing agreement that brought peace to the region, had claimed responsibility for the attack, but nobody was ever convicted. “We see this as our last chance for justice,” said Michael Gallagher, father of one of the victims. “The criminal justice system has failed the families.”
ParisProtesters put out Olympic torch: Thousands of protesters angry at China’s treatment of Tibet forced a quick end to the procession of the Olympic torch through Paris this week. Despite the presence of 3,000 police officers, many on horseback, protesters swarmed the route, lunging for the torch. The torch went out several times in the melee, and finally the police put it onto a bus and drove it to safety, canceling the final leg of the procession. It was the second disruption of the torch’s route in Europe. The previous day, pro-Tibet protesters stormed the torch procession in London, and at least 35 people were arrested. China’s Olympic spokeswoman, Wang Hui, blamed the disturbances on “sabotage by a few separatists.” The torch was next headed to San Francisco, its only stop in North America.
LondonBad driving killed Diana: The princess of Wales was unlawfully killed by the reckless driving of her drunken chauffeur and the pursuing paparazzi, the inquest into her death found this week. The 11-person jury, which heard testimony over the past six months, ruled nine-to-two after deliberating for less than a week. Diana’s sons, Princes William and Harry, said they agreed with the verdict and were “hugely grateful” to the jury. But Mohammed al Fayed, father of Diana’s companion, Dodi Fayed, who was also killed in the 1997 Paris car crash, said he was “disappointed.” Fayed is the most vocal champion of the discredited theory that the royal family arranged for Diana to be murdered to prevent her marriage to Dodi. The inquest’s findings have little legal weight, though, since the couple died in France, outside of British jurisdiction. Nine photographers had been charged in France, but the charges were thrown out.
MadridMad cow kills two people: Two people have died of the human form of mad cow disease in Spain over the past three months, authorities confirmed this week. Creutzfeld-Jacob Disease is the human variant of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease. It has a long incubation period, sometimes more than a decade, before causing the brain to disintegrate, leading to dementia and death. Authorities said the two victims, ages 51 and 41, probably contracted the disease from eating tainted meat before 2001, when stringent controls were adopted. Until now, Spain had lost only one person to mad cow disease. In Britain, 163 people have died.
BrusselsCell phones okay on planes: The European Union this week lifted a ban on cell phone use in European airspace. Starting later this year, airplane passengers will be able to make calls from their own phones during flights. The U.S. still bans the use of mobile phones aboard flights because of a potential risk that they could disrupt navigational instruments. But the E.U. decided the risk was negligible. It will be up to individual airlines to offer connection services, and the E.U. recommends that each airline create etiquette rules to prevent a nonstop cacophony on every flight.